Who's bright idea at IIR was it to move FUSE 2016 to Miami?
Well, we thank you! As the final day of FUSE comes to a close I have to say I'm not ready to leave. This Minnesota girl has enjoyed the 80-degree temps of Miami.
My last blog post usually focuses on one over-arching observation from the week. Today I find myself thinking about many different FUSE moments that have all come together to define the FUSE brand for me. I'd like to share moments from this week's experience that were most meaningful.
After flying into Miami on Sunday afternoon, I came upon this lovely message as I walked through the airport. Carnival Cruises owns this little goodie but it felt serendipitous to me as I prepared mentally for the week ahead. I've come to know the FUSE experience is anything but boring.
Knowing the next three days would be rigorous and may not allow much time to explore beyond the conference, we enjoyed our first evening in Miami Beach. Walking through the neighboring hotel, Fountainbleau, offered some beautifully designed moments. This very cool artifact stopped us all in our tracks.
As we stood in silence, observing this interactive "grandmother" clock, I was compelled to look behind the clock to believe what I was seeing. Yes, I knew this lovely grandmother wasn't really inside the clock constantly cleaning the face and adjusting the time. But I just had to check.
From there, we ventured to South Beach and the iconic Delano. Have you been there? If not, you must. As their website states, "Designed by Philippe Starck, Delano South Beach balances eclectic details with grand public spaces that are playful, elegant, quietly theatrical and filled with all-night energy - proof that the new rules of chic are simplicity with crisp, clean and modern sense of ease."
The Delano delivers on this promise flawlessly. Even though we weren't staying at this hotel, the bell staff warmly welcomed us as if we were honored guests. These young men even humored us when we asked if Leo or Bradley Cooper were inside. Sadly, these celebs weren't at The Delano Sunday night to pay our bar bill. Yep. A whopping $80 for three martinis enjoyed out by the famous pool and cabanas. Want to guess how I feel about that expense? Well, I'd say it was worth every penny. The entire experience made us feel like a million bucks. This is a great example of the power of designed experiences.
|The Delano South Beach pool and cabanas|
After a great night out, I was ready for all that FUSE offers. The last three days have been filled with stories, insights, data, research and networking. We appreciate each and every speaker, sponsor and organizer of this event. But as I sat in the front row for Mauro and Stefan's fireside chat, I thought about how fortunate we are that such significant design leaders commit their time to us. (Add Karim Rashid up on that stage and we'd have a trifecta!)
|Stefan Sagmeister and Mauro Porcini, fireside chat|
Not only do these leaders fit speaking engagements into busy schedules, they engage while here. They don't show up an hour before their time slot. They don't slip out the back door avoiding conversations. They mingle. They shake hands, they exchange business cards, they make themselves visible and accessible. And yes, they take selfies.
|A selfie with Stefan Sagmeister|
|A coveted "Mauro's Shoes" shot with my open toes.|
He said he wore these shoes just for me. Pretty sure he was just being nice.
A few last highlights.
My previous blog post shared happenings from the Street Art Tour. Leaving the conference hotel and traveling to the beautifully designed Wynwood district was possibly the most engaging experience of the week. You can read that post here.
|Street Art Tour led by Man One and Mikel Cirkus|
And last, we were offered an inside look at the craft of cigar and sushi-making. (But not at the same time. That would be awful.)
|This was my first conference with a Cigar Bar.|
|With the restaurant Nobu onsite, we observed the art of sushi-making.|
|The final product. Works of art.|
These very personal moments are meaningful to me and ones that contribute to my overall experience at this conference. We don't pay big bucks to come just for the speakers. The program content is the foundation of the experience and is always expected to be substantial. But the location, food, music, scents, conversations, events and interactions are the designed moments that keep us coming back for more.
What were your favorite FUSE moments?