ASAE 2009 — A Virtual View From the Cheap Seats!

August 19, 2009

Mike at podium alternate 800X800By Michael M McCurry, CMPExperient

This week I attended the ASAE Annual Meeting in Toronto, but the cool thing is I didn’t have to fly there.  I was a virtual participant!

While I obviously was not able to experience the normal networking and social opportunities that go along with physically attending a conference I was able to at least experience a significant portion of the educational content. Utilizing a live Twitter stream, marked by Hashtag #ASAE09, I attended three General Sessions (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) following the tweets posted by virtual and live attendees.  It was a very positive and interactive experience!  Sunday’s opening session featured Gary Hamel, and was outstanding, and I wrote a blog article recapping it from the tweets that were posted.

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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.
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State of the Industry

July 1, 2009

David GauthreauxBy David Gauthreaux – Freeman

How many times have you read or watched news shows about the economy in the last several months?  If you Google economic conditions in the United States you will get more than 37 million hits.

The reason I talk about this is that the Exhibition Industry is not immune to the economic restraints we are experiencing.   In 2008, the Industry was down significantly for the first time since 2003.  Even though we face a unique set of challenges that could greatly affect recovery, we continue to see that companies still value the face-to-face marketing strategies.

That’s because face-to-face is core to human relationships.  Why do you think people flock to the Super Bowl, inaugurations, concerts, etc.? When people meet face-to-face, trust is established, ideas are exchanged, business occurs, relationships are built, and so on.  Think of the great events in history – would Martin Luther King’s speech have been as effective if he had given it over the radio instead of in front of thousands of people?  Even though we can access information through the internet, TV, radio, etc. – we still thrive on the live experience.
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Getting the WOW without the WHOA!

June 23, 2009

BHoulihanBy Brenda Houlihan Experient

In today’s current economic conditions, are you trying to do more for less?  Many clients are forced to drastically cut budgets because events have become lightning rods for criticism. Does this mean that we have to abandon the WOW of a special event because we do not want to risk the WHOA of procurement or public opinion?

Most of my client’s conferences and events include a special event or gala, which are integral to creating networking opportunities or expanding bonding activities. Many companies are concerned about perception and want to steer away from conspicuous consumption. Trying to show financial responsibility, they are cutting decor, entertainment, as well as adding control mechanisms like drink tickets.  Does BACK to BASIC mean we need to abandon the WOW??
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10 Strategies For Renegotiating A Hotel Contract In A Down Economy

June 10, 2009

Mike at podium small vsBy Michael M. McCurry, CMP – Experient

In April, Experient hosted three Meetings and Events industry forums in Chicago, St. Louis and Washington DC.  Experient team members, as well as prominent association and corporate executives met to discuss and brainstorm hot industry topics.  This is the first in a three part series of articles recapping the highlights of those events.

Many organizations hosting conventions and meetings today negotiated their hotel contracts several years ago, in a strong economy.  Ultimately, perceived compression in the marketplace led to negotiated contracts with high prices and inflexible terms.
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