If you have attended PersoniFest, our annual conference, you may know that we try to level up every year and introduce activities and programming that will continue to excited and resonate with our clients, partners and friends. We’ve certainly got our work cut out for us this coming year…I’m not sure how we’ll be able to top our Puppies and Ice Cream break at the 2019 conference in Savannah.
My colleague Megan and I had the privilege of visiting the Broadmoor Hotel last week to coordinate logistics and activities for next year’s PersoniFest. I’m rounding up some of my favorite things about Colorado Springs and how we plan to make this the best PersoniFest yet.
1. The History of the Broadmoor
Our upcoming conference will be hosted at the Broadmoor Hotel, which was opened by Spencer and Julie Penrose in 1918 with the goal of creating a property where European elegance met Western hospitality. The Broadmoor boasts 779 rooms, three championship golf courses, 18 restaurants and 25 unique retail shops. Additionally, it is the longest running Five Star, Five Diamond property in the United States.
My expectations were pretty high going into this trip but, in spite of that, I was amazed by how tranquility and beauty of the resort. The Broadmoor has several historic buildings that are situated around Cheyenne Lake, which was originally built by Count James Pourtales who developed a casino on the property before it was the Broadmoor. Pourtales built the lake to enhance the beauty of the property but found it mysteriously empty 14 days later, so he went to great expense to fill the excavation with clay and, thus, prevent this from happening again.
Today, the lake is home to two beautiful white swans that I enjoyed seeing swim as we walked the property and coordinated the layout of our event. Interestingly enough, in the 1950s, the lake kept a few sea lions on property. One of them decided to take a “stroll” one day and went into the Mezzanine, down the escalator and proceeded to bark at incoming guests until it was removed by staff. While it’s probably best to not have sea lions on property for several reasons, I’m a little bummed that I won’t get to see this happen at PersoniFest.
The Broadmoor has a captivating history that includes visits from celebrity guests such as Prince Harry, Margaret Thatcher, Buzz Aldrin along with Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt to tunnels that were built under the property for sneaking in illegal booze during prohibition. We’re excited to allow our guests the opportunity to learn about the Broadmoor’s history and explore the beautiful grounds of the hotel while also brushing up on their technical skills and expertise and becoming a Personify power user.
2. The Garden of the Gods Park
During our recent site visit, our team drove through the Garden of the Gods Park, a public park that was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1971. In the 1850s, two European surveyors were awestruck by the formation and remarked that it “is a place fit for the Gods to assemble” and, therefore, how it was named.
The Garden of the Gods’ red rock formations are stunning and seem to pop up out of nowhere as you’re entering the park. The formations were formed during a geological upheaval along a natural fault light millions of years ago.
While driving through the park, our guide pointed out that many of the formations have shapes that resemble animals and people. For example, there are two kissing camels at the top of North Gateway Rock and a bear and seal atop the Three Graces Rock. The Garden of the Gods is an easy drive and only a short distance from the Broadmoor. If you have time during the conference, I highly encourage attendees to check it out.
3. CAE, CEM and CPE Credits Galore
While we’re thrilled about the location and the activities available in Colorado Springs, our team is working hard to ensure that attendees have a wealth of programming tailored to their interests, roles and industries. In 2019, we had more than 35 sessions that were available for Certified Association Executive (CAE), Certified Exhibition Management (CEM) and Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. We plan to provide even more compelling content and breakout sessions in 2020 that allow attendees to grow their skillsets, learn best practices from their peers and become more effective users of our suite of products.
I’ll be sharing more details about PersoniFest in the coming months such as our keynote speaker, conference party details and more. But I did want to share that we recently opened registration for 2020 and are offering 20% off with the code “earlybird” if you purchase an All Accesa Pass.