And the Survey Says…

August 26, 2009

headshot karenBy Karen Watson, CMP Experient

Can you believe three weeks have gone by since we all said our goodbyes at the 2009 e4 conference?? From the feedback Experient  received it appears everyone enjoyed and found tremendous value in the event.

I have been curious as to how many of you are already utilizing some social media applications or plan to in the future? As I awaited the results of the post event surveys I wondered what we would actually learn about our social media experience at e4?

Well, based upon the surveys received here are the findings:

  • Live Webcasts —
    • 24.43% of Experient clients are already doing live webcasts.
    • 45.9% plan to do so in the future.
    • Only 29.73% have no plans for webcasts.
  • Live Twitter Streams in Sessions–
    • 13.5% of clients have already utilized Twitter feeds in session(s).
    • 42.89% plan to do so in future
    • 44.59% have no plans to do so in future.
  • White Label Social Networking Sites (i.e. Social Collective)
    • Only 9.46% utilize white label social networking site.
    • 45.95% plan to do so in future
    • 44.59% do not plan to do so.
  • Read the rest of this entry »


e4 Power Networking — “I didn’t want to leave”

August 17, 2009

Jeff SacksJeff Sacks, CMPExperient

Have you ever been invited to a party that you just really didn’t want to attend but did any way since it was the “right thing to do”?  When the agenda was distributed for e4, I heard on more than a few occasions that people were jazzed about the education being offered, but “what is” and “why are” we Power Networking”?  As a mater of fact, while onsite at Gaylord National, I was speaking to one individual (who I’ll kindly refer to as Negative Nelly Networker) who told me that they were absolutely dreading the Power Networking time slot and would give anything to have a reason to not attend.

The “What is”  of Power Networking turned out to be a series of 5 minute power networkingconversations between two individuals who may or may not have known each other before they found themselves face-to-face across a 30” classroom table.  The “Why are” was clearly to have an opportunity to meet upwards of 10-15 new people in an hour’s time – and not just meeting them as in “how’s the weather” but as Keith Ferrazzi implored people to do – meeting them deeply and actually “giving a damn.”  I personally learned things about people’s families, jobs, dating activity, hopes, dreams and everything in between.  The energy in the room was palpable and people were networking their tails off.

It was a fascinating hour.  Andy Smith did a yeoman’s job of getting everyone to move along every five minutes and the group jumped in with two feet and really got into it.  As a number of us have learned post-e4, this was an experiment in networking that not even the Ferrazzi team was sure we could pull off.  They were so pleased with the results they expect to recommend this session to clients for years to come!

So…how could I experience this session and not have sought Negative Nelly out to see their reaction right?  All Nelly had to say was…”I didn’t want to leave!”  Nuff said.

Question — Have you or your organization engaged in a power networking session?  What was the outcome and why?  Please share your thoughts with us!


e4 Wrapup — “Technology and the Future of Meetings”

August 14, 2009

Mike at podium alternate 800X800Michael M McCurry, CMPExperient

As many of you know Experient concluded its 2009 e4 Conference on Wednesday, 8/5 with a free live webcast of the panel discussion “Technology and the Future of Meetings.” Great news  — if you missed the live version of this event, a free archive of the webcast is available for post event viewing.  To access it click here.

Approximately 300 ppl were present in the live audience for the event and another 216 participated virtually. The Experient  official hashtag #e4chat drew 44 active Twitter users, some onsite at the event and the rest participating from cyberspace.  To view a recap of that entire chat transcript please click here.

The session featured the following oustanding panelists:

  • Stephen Nold (Moderator) – Advon Technologies
  • Nicole Buraglio – Hanley Wood Exhibitions
  • Mike Immerwahr – Microsoft
  • RD Whitney – Tarsus Online Media
panel closeup

(L to R) Mike Immerwahr, Nicole Buraglio, RD Whitney, Stephen Nold

For a recap of the discussion during this session about social media as well as the rest of the conference please visit my personal blog, McCurry’s Corner and view the article entitled “The New Business Culture.” There really were some terrific insights about the future of technology presented.

Adrian tweeting

Adrian Mabry posting on "Tweetdeck"

A remarkable aspect of this event was the fluidity of dialogue exchanged between the live and cyber audience via Twitter.  It felt like those folks tweeting from afar were right there in the room with us.  The panel fielded questions from the live audience, but more significantly they responded to the cyber participants as well.  This is the essence and spirit of a hybrid event!!

Face2Face Meetings are so important to the culture of doing business, but it is crystal clear to me that social media will play a critical role in enhancing the reach and value of these events for months and years to come. Please make sure you watch the archive version of the webcast.  You don’t want to miss it and we would love your feedback!

Question — In your opinion what is the next step to raising the bar in creating educational content that is viewable both live and from cyberspace?  I look forward to your comments.


Final Notes from e4 Cafe “The Evolving Value Proposition of F2F Association Meetings”

August 13, 2009

Judy kent profileBy Judy Kent, Experient

Thanks to all who attended our session at e4.  I hope you all enjoyed the topic.  We loved the passion that you all showed in coming up with “What will the meetings of the future look like?”.  We looked at five burning areas/questions and focused our attention on them.  Below is a recap that you as a group developed through your sharing.  Stay tuned for a great study that will be released in October from Oxford Economics on this very topic.  It will be very educational and pivotal to our industry.  We will post it once we received.

1. Grow/Retain Membership and Attendance – What role do conventions and meetings play in increasing and maintaining membership for an association, driving attendance or motivating people to attend an association’s meeting?  Will larger meetings be a thing of the past associations shift to smaller regional meetings costing less to produce?   Do you believe associations will begin merging or partnering with other similar accredited associations to build attendance?


We Are The Faces of the Meetings Industry

August 11, 2009

DBeldon_headshot

Debbi Beldon, CMPExperient

Just got back from e4 – what a terrific time we had networking with clients, partners and colleagues. I learned a lot too. For instance, I learned that people really will follow me on Twitter, even though I’m not exactly sure why yet. I learned that I need more than five hours sleep a night and apparently that I get cranky if 45 minutes goes by without eating something. I also learned that it is unwise to drink an entire Diet Coke if the session is going to be 90 minutes long and the bathroom is a mile and a half away.

But seriously, I also had the pleasure of attending the closing general session where we learned from Roger Dow, President and CEO of the US Travel Association about what’s going on with the events industry.
Read the rest of this entry »


State Dinner at E4

August 6, 2009

By Andy Smith Experient

Dinner_NixonThe e4 content has helped each of us take networking into a new dimension. Within the span of three days we integrated true Lifeline Relationship Networking with Keith Ferrazzi. Rapidly we integrated technology with blogs, facebook, linkedin, and twitter. And then the amazing happened – e4 attendees experienced time travel networking with visits from several DC based famous and infamous Presidents at the e4 State Dinner.Dinner_LincolnThe time travel was good, but there have been some troubling side effects. Suddenly jords are wumbled. Suddenly motts are jangled. Suddenly we do not know if we are in our poom or rose.   Fortunately, the fine entertainers at Capital Steps will help us regain our tasp of gralk soon.

Dinner_CapitalSteps

 

If not, Stephen Nold has agreed to perform another pecha kucha aria to get us back on track.

Lets all be bold, give a da*n, and connect throughout the weeks and months ahead. The journey is only beginning.


Is the Conference Over Yet? Is It Ever Really Over?

August 6, 2009

headshot karenBy Karen Watson, CMP Experient

“You’ve just finished your annual conference!  What’s next?”

“I’m headed to Disneyland!”

Not kidding.  One day’s break to do laundry and re-pack and I’m taking my 7-year old to San Diego and Disneyland before the school year starts up.  

In the age of 24/7 access and the need to provide fresh content to a website or blog throughout the year to keep your audience interested, there’s barely time to think about thank you letters and paying this year’s bills before it’s on to next year’s program.  It’s almost like the concept of “annual conference” is gone because we must continue to build our audience and market the event and provide updates throughout the year.  Social media has increased both the opportunities to do this as well as the pressure to do so. 

We are insane!  I truly believe it.  But we’re also addicted.  There’s nothing like the sense that all the work has paid off and the meeting has actually happened!  And hopefully been a success!  But my mind is already racing on what will be waiting in my email Inbox when I return and what I’ll already be behind on.  Do we have fresh blog posts going in?  When can we get the photos uploaded to the website?  Is the RFP ready to issue?  What are we thinking about content for next year?  Do we need to send a reminder out on the conference survey?

Disney6It is a bit of a shame if we can’t enjoy the moment.  Relish a bit of relaxation.   A simple “Whew!”  Find balance.  Appreciate an ending before moving on to the next beginning.  And guess what?  There’s no choice but to seek that balance for ourselves, so I’m off to do just that.