Balance in the Core: ARDA World 2013
By Kathryn Mullan, ARDA Editor & Director of Publications
April 25, 2013
Note: this is an excerpt of a feature article that will appear in the June 2013 issue of Developments magazine.
If I only had a few words to describe the space and event that was this year’s ARDA World 2013, I think it would be something along the lines of “energetic peace.” Although we changed up much of the program and a few key elements this year, there was a sense of dynamic stillness that kept the week in balance.
Moving away from Orlando to the South Florida beach scene, with all the perks and attractions of Greater Fort Lauderdale as an international travel destination; naming Monday as “Key Constituent Day,” when most of the committees and forums met, along with the Board of Directors; plus, featuring core Fundamental sessions for new industry entrants and new student activities (like Speed Lead).
The top-line events included Sunday’s RCI/AIF Open Golf Tournament, at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, a world-class 18-hole, Joe Lee-designed golf course that combines challenging play with luxurious Mediterranean style architecture. That evening, LEAPS (ARDA’s new leadership/cultivation program) had its first reception, and WIN also met to toast ARDA World 2013.
Most of Monday was spent in committee and council meetings—interspersed with the Resales, Social Media, and Tech Forums—capped off with the ICE Breaker Party (sponsored by ICE & RCI) out on the Diplomat Landing.
Tuesday brought the keynote speaker, Don Tapscott, sponsored by RCI, who inspired attendees with his latest insights on technology and innovation and reaching today’s generation of consumers. Who will ever forget that last video of a “murmuration” of starlings at twilight—the perfect unison of their miraculous flight-ballet—and how he compared it to today’s on-line user behavior? Then, to round off this busy first full day of educational sessions, Interval International threw its signature Party with a Cause—a 20th anniversary bash—that headlined Foreigner at Miami hotspot, Mansion.
Wednesday rounded off with the Awards Gala, sponsored by Global Travel Benefits (powered by HSI)—a delightful evening with comedian, Ron Pearson, and the great honor of celebrating our industry’s crème de la crème. We closed out the week and all ARDA World 2013 events with Thursday morning’s Breakfast of Champions (sponsored by Hilton Grand Vacations), featuring baseball star, Jim Morris, the inspiration for the film, The Rookie.
All in all, a wonderful Convention. Mark your calendar now for ARDA World 2014: April 6-10, 2014, at The Venetian in Las Vegas.