Rob Adams: People, Moments and Memories

Skift Take

From the simple yet profound mission of creating joy to savoring unique experiences and benefiting from the mindset shift of younger generations, Rob Adams, the CEO and owner of Bishop-McCann sees a bright future for the meetings industry.

Rob Adams, the CEO and owner of Bishop-McCann, has a storied career that took a dramatic turn from a 12-year stint at tech giant Microsoft to the helm of a premier events company. Adams’ transformation journey reveals some profound insights he’s gathered along the way. From the simple yet profound mission of creating joy to savoring unique experiences and benefiting from the mindset shift of younger generations, Adams sees a bright future for the meetings industry.

From Tech to Events

Adams started his career in events with a remarkable transition from a 12-year tenure at Microsoft. Adams enlightened listeners with his decision to shift gears, a move that left his colleagues perplexed. “You’re leaving this to go throw parties,” his boss had questioned. Adams’ rationale for such a change was steeped in potential rather than just parties. “I think about life in general…I get excited about when I see potential in things that people don’t see,” Adams shared.

Creating Joy

Bishop-McCann’s mission statement — ‘We create joy’ — might seem simplistic in wording, yet it embodies the company’s profound impact on its clients. Adams stressed the significance of this mission, “We started coming up with a lot of stories…the core essence of every one of those stories was something to do around joy or happiness.” Emphasizing the pivotal role of joy, Adams noted, “When we have oxytocin, that’s what creates memorable moments.”

Savouring the Experience

Adams also revealed a personal practice he maintains during events. He takes a solitary moment to create a “mental picture,” capturing the essence of the gathering, a practice that encapsulates the fleeting beauty of human interaction and celebration. “I am capturing, thinking about the people…and knowing that that moment is actually creating a memory,” he explained.

Events: A Trilogy of People, Moments, and Memories

Adams eloquently distilled the essence of events into three elements: people, moments, and memories. This philosophy underscores the sensory richness of events, an experience Bishop-McCann strives to perfect. By accentuating the individual attendee experience, Adams envisions a future where events are tailored to create lasting, positive impressions for each participant.

Generational Influence: A Forward-Thrust for Industry Change

According to Adams, younger generations have become catalysts for transformative change across the meetings industry. Their demand for balance, transparency, and defined career development have become benchmarks that benefit all workers. Bishop-McCann has embraced these changes, instituting policies like unlimited vacation, which Adams acknowledges were “influential” and accepted as a boon by all age groups within the corporation.

The Benefits of Competitor Collaboration

Adams expressed a wish for the meetings industry to emulate the collaborative spirit demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It felt so good…we were talking with each other about what is it that you’re doing and how are you surviving,” he reminisced. In Adams ‘ view, encouraging an open exchange of ideas among competitors could drive collective improvement and innovation within the industry. This sentiment resonates with the inclusive and progressive nature of Bishop-McCann’s ethos.