thinkAbout 2017

Cleveland, OH
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Back Where It All Started

So this is truly what it means to come full circle. Back in 1998 we started a little gathering here in Cleveland, Ohio, to give us the opportunity to share our ideas at our own event – not someone else’s! – on this exciting notion we had come up with called the “Experience Economy.” We dubbed the event thinkAbout, because that’s what we wanted everyone to do. Naturally we had to practice what we preached… this had to be not another conference but a distinctive experience itself. And over the years that three-word phrase became the meta-theme of every thinkAbout we staged.


thinkAbout was hosted in different cities every year, visiting the West Coast, Midwest, East Coast, Northeast, and South (we never did hit the Pacific Northwest… sorry, Seattle!) and only hit one city twice – the epicenter of the Experience Economy, Las Vegas. And now, on the eve of our 20th thinkAbout, we prodigal pundits are returning once again to Cleveland, to the very site of the first event – the Wyndham Hotel (soon to be the Crowne Plaza Cleveland at Playhouse Square) – for our final thinkAbout performance, September 27 + 28, 2017. Never fear, thinkAbout will continue in a newly offered form and we’ll have details on that later this year. But this will be the last time we stage our annual public flagship event, what has become a mecca for evangelists and practitioners of the Experience Economy.


Our final event will act as a retrospective of sorts. We do plan to go through each of the past thinkAbouts, but rather than pull out the 35mm carousel and subject you to an interminable vacation-like slideshow, we’ll breeze through highlights and focus on the biggest ideas from each event. In this way, whether you participated in one, a few, or many of these previous events – or have never been to thinkAbout before -- there’ll be new learning that you can apply to your business and career.


But we won’t just focus on the past. Together we’ll discuss what’s on our minds today, the new concepts we’re mulling over right now. Many of these items surely brush up against our existing body of thought, but others will be new and never presented before. You’ll also have the opportunity to share with us what’s on your mind – and to ask us questions about the current state of your business or industry.


And naturally, having focused on past and present, we’ll dedicate time to the future. We’ll give you and your fellow participants an active opportunity to envision where things are headed. And who knows, perhaps some of the next Big Ideas will be birthed right here!


We’ll have fun, too. We’ll treat you to a number of Cleveland experiences, including a trip to Progressive Field to watch our American League champion Cleveland Indians take on the Minnesota Twins (wait… Minnesota vs. Cleveland? How very Pine & Gilmore!) We’ll also have some other special surprises plus opportunities to meet with the two of us in more intimate settings. And naturally you’ll have the chance to catch up with your colleagues from previous thinkAbouts as well as meet brand new participants.


We’d love a big crowd to send us off, so to make it simple this time we have no alumni Chits required in addition to a nice enticing price! So don’t hesitate. We hope you’ll join us this September 27 + 28 for Twenty Years in Two Days… the Final Bow of thinkAbout.




    Joe Pine                    Jim Gilmore

    June 2017


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