Meetings Focus Blog

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Industry experts discuss a variety of topics specific to the meetings and events industry.


Will Industry Associations Survive?

I've been an MPI member since 1980 (although officially, 1981 – checks were processed slowly in the early days in Middletown!); a PCMA member since the '80s; ditto ASAE. I've been an active member in all of them, including serving as chapter president with the Potomac Chapter of MPI (PMPI), on the international board of MPI, and on and chairing many committees for all associations mentioned. I’ve taught at more industry events for those organizations and others (SGMP, IACC, CMP Conclave, GBTA, HSMAI), and for-profit shows like Exhibitor, and at the University of Georgia and the University of North Carolina/Charlotte in their ...

Where's the Human Factor?

Have we taken the "human" factor out of the equation when planning meetings and events? And have we forgotten human needs when creating and designing meeting environments? Recently the focus on human needs and event environments became more apparent to me as I attended conferences and seminars where the meeting rooms are too dark, too cold (or too hot), the chairs are unbearably uncomfortable, the setup is detrimental to adult learning with minimal flexibility or options, the event room is bland, uninspiring; restrooms are hard to find, directional signage is non-existent, and there is no food being offered during the ...

Creating Options for Learning Meetings

In the first of three blog posts about industry education, I wrote about the ‘us-them’ conundrum regarding who pays for and attends educational events sponsored by industry associations or private companies and the harm I believe is being done to overall knowledge, professionalism and service for our industry. In this, part two, I’ve written about content and delivery, as well as scheduling and timing. This is, by the way, all adaptable for your own meetings: the status quo the industry meetings exhibit is the same for many other types of meetings. Status Quo 1: Schedules limit time for the pursuit of ...

How to Achieve Summer Outing Success

With the summer months upon us, planners who want to capitalize on the season should look into open-air options in order to take advantage of the warm weather and the ambiance of the great outdoors. Examples of the most impressionable venues include the following: Yachts and bay/river cruises. Ballparks. Restaurants with outdoor patios. Public gardens and parks. Luxury resorts. Poolside facilities. Outdoor music facilities. Beachfront destinations. Dude ranches. You will want to take an inventory of your needs before selecting a particular type of venue. Consider some of these logistics: Purpose of the outing. Size of your group. Theme. Dress ...

A Proposal is NOT a Contract!

Please note: this blog post is not a solicitation of services. Please do not write in the comments or to me directly about your company and/or the services you provide. This is strictly about how we still, in this industry, don't know the difference between a proposal and a contract. A client is in need of a company to provide on-site meeting services—bag stuffing, registration staffing, session badge-checking—at their upcoming annual meeting. They solicited proposals, received one of the two they solicited with no response from the other company, both of which were recommended by their convention hotel.* I solicited one other ...

What about those long head tables?

I'll get back to my blog series on "Industry Education" in a few days. For now, a short digression with highlights and questions from my viewing of the recent White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, held Saturday, April 25, 2015, at the Hilton Washington in DC. No, I didn't attend in person nor have I ever. Junkies for politics and news, my husband and I try to watch it every year, always on C-SPAN. Sure, listening to the roar of the crowd before the program begins might be boring but listening to inane comments on various broadcasts as they watch and ...