Mile High Mania

An Early Accelerate Preview

By Debbie Ivie, CPCU, AIM, NcIA, Learning Experiences Manager, NetVU | Posted: 10/5/2021

I’ve just returned from the Mile High City, and all I can say is “wow!” We are in for a treat at Accelerate. They say seeing is believing, but since March is a ways off I’ll be your eyes and ears for now. 

Staff from NetVU and Vertafore along with members of the conference steering committee toured the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, where the general session, classes and hospitality events will be held. 

In a word, the convention center is spectacular. It’s conveniently located, incredibly functional and most importantly, a stunning space. Walk through the doors and you’ll get a burst of excitement that you don’t get from a sterile meeting room (e.g. white walls and fluorescent lighting).

I took pages and pages of notes, which I’ve boiled down to six things that will make Accelerate a memorable experience: 

1. Let’s talk: One of the biggest benefits of Accelerate is the chance to hang with friends that you haven’t seen in two years. The best discussions happen in small, impromptu groups that organically materialize in the hallways. The convention center was designed with this in mind, as you’ll find places to “perch” everywhere. These conversation pits whisper, “Come and sit,” and feature high-end chairs and sofas.

2. Happy feet: The main corridor of the Colorado Convention Center is a quarter mile long. But don’t worry; you don’t need to bring your track shoes because all of our sessions will be just steps apart. Also, each meeting room will be specially tailored to the number of participants and the session’s purpose. No more dragging in extra chairs.

3. The big stage: The general session will be held in the Bellco Theater, which is one of Denver’s premiere concert venues. (Who says we’re not rock stars?) It’s like no place we’ve ever held a general session before! I can’t imagine a more inspiring venue for us to assemble as a group and hear about the future of our organization and the independent agency ecosystem. I know everyone will rush to Google it, so I’ll save you the trouble.

4. Elbow room: The exhibit hall is spacious and state-of-the-art. And, we’ll have it to ourselves. Yes, the Auto Show will be going on at the same time but unless you seek it out you won’t know it’s there.
5. Right brain activation: The convention center might be mistaken for an art museum. Everywhere you look there’s art on display because Denver has a robust public arts program, which is funded by 1% of every capital improvement project over $1 million. Experience the work of the area’s top creative minds in mini galleries especially curated for Denver visitors.
6. Bear necessities: Bears are common in Colorado, and it’s hard to miss the state’s most famous bear staring through the window of the convention center. He’s the creation of artist Lawrence Argent and he stands 40 feet tall, weighing 10,000 pounds. The piece is called “I See What You Mean,” which is appropriate for Accelerate because seeing is believing, right? Learn more about Denver’s public art here.

Mark your calendars: Accelerate is March 28-31, 2022 in Denver. Registration opens November 1 and the Accelerate 2022, website will be live and continually updated. My fellow staff members here at NetVU will be sharing more in the coming weeks about how to experience the best of what Denver has to offer.