August 13, 2009
By 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?
August 11, 2009
Debbi Beldon, CMP — Experient
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.
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August 6, 2009
By Andy Smith – Experient
The 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.The 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.
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.
August 6, 2009
By 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?
It 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.