Prevue November-December 2017 - 8
digitalNow2017 attendees discover hidden superpowers at Universal Orlando Resort
everything they need all within walking
distance so they stay together."
"What's your super power?" was the theme
of the digitalNow 2017 conference held at
the Loews Royal Pacific Resort within
Universal Orlando Resort this past May.
The 18-year annual event brought together
about 250 C-suite executives from leading
associations across the country. The goal?
"Mobilizing courage" by harnessing hidden
superpowers and facing the technology
learning curve head on.
Hugh Lee, president of Fusion
Productions, the company that organizes
the event, chose Universal Orlando Resort
because it offers three engaging theme
parks and five hotels, and CityWalk, with
additional restaurants and entertainment.
The group took advantage of the entire
Universal experience, especially the
superhero-inspired Marvel Island inside the
Islands of Adventure theme park.
"[Having so much in one place]
encourages conversation, which speaks
to our goal of community," says Lee. "We
make sure that our group has access to
The superpower theme played off the
event's education, which focused on
helping association leadership lead
in a digital age. Lee says consistent
engagement with event content among
attendees boils down to staying true to
three principles year after year.
"What our success is based around
is giving attendees the content in the form
and substance that they can use to lead
in this fast-changing environment, building
a community of like-minded CEOs and
leaderships that require an environment
that encourages meaningful dialogues, and
engaging their minds and imaginations in
experiential learning formats."
Universal's "Meeting Enhancement"
package only added to the event's three
principles, making the event theme
all the more memorable. The general
session opened with an appearance from
"Transformers" characters Optimist Prime
and Bumblebee, followed by a visit from
several Minions characters at a break. The
Navigating the Digital Age
digitalNow 2017 setup at Universal Orlando Resort
8 | prevuemeetings.com
closing general session brought in Doc
Brown and his famous DeLorean time
machine from "Back to the Future."
"When you add in these types of photo
ops, it creates quite the buzz from attendees
and makes for a memorable, impactful
meeting," says Lee. "Everyone was sending
photos back to friends and coworkers, which
showed loyalty for the event."
A Royal Experience
Even though the group primarily stayed
on-site at Royal Pacific, the Universal team
tried to showcase everything the resort
has to offer. One event for the board of 25
attendees was held at Loews Portofino
Bay Hotel, while other meals throughout
the event brought the F&B experience
from other hotels to the Royal Pacific. A
"Breakfast in the Kitchen" event recreated
the experience at Hard Rock Hotel's
Kitchen restaurant in the Royal Pacific's
Pacifica Ballroom. The Universal
created a "farmers market," displaying local
vendor items such as hydroponic baby
greens in a market format.
"The service was amazing and
everyone was so attentive," says Lee.
"When our CEOs and C-suite attendees
say that, it's unique because they're used to
The entire meeting culminated with
a red carpet walk into the Islands of
Adventure theme park on the final night.
Rides, food and interactive character photo
ops awaited attendees. Attendees were
encouraged to move throughout the park,
starting with a dinner in Jurassic Park before
moving to Marvel Island, where dessert
and beverage stations lined the streets.
Three attractions-The Incredible Hulk
Rollercoaster, The Amazing Adventures
of Spiderman and Doctor Doom's Fear
Fall-allowed attendees to let loose...and to
possibly find their inner superpower.