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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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

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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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Creating Connections-Welcome Reception

August 4, 2009

Headshot_JSommers

By Jennifer Sommers, InterContinental Hotels

Wow, Gaylord National really rolled out the red carpet to welcome us all to e4, 2009!

The view of the Potomac alone out of that massive front window at sunset was something to see. I also enjoyed the music of all kinds but I have to say my favorite was the Mariachi band. I, for one, will have a particular song running through my head today; a little ditty you may recognize that begins with; “Ey, yi, yi, yi…”

The food was just awesome. Lamb, lobster, scallops, short ribs, potatoes, pizza, salsa’s, etc. I don’t think a thing was missed. Frankly, if you couldn’t find something to eat you just weren’t looking. WelcomeReceptionCrowd

It was great to see everyone together in one place as well after chatting about the event to come over the past couple of months. In the first 8 hours I’ve already met a dozen or so new contacts and picked up the ball on a conversation I’d been having with someone via this very e4 blog! Of course it’s always great to see old friends as well as making new acquaintences while we all gear up for what will surely be an informative few days to come.

What a wonderful kick off and a night to remember!


The Evolving Value Proposition of Association Meetings

July 28, 2009

NWiseBy Nancy Wise, CMP – Experient

What is the future value of your association and its annual “face 2 face” conference to your members?  Today’s associations face many challenges, some of which are the same from years’ past, but some are new and unique to this decade.

For years associations have depended on their annual conference as not only a major revenue source, but also as the focal gathering point of the year for networking and education. Marketing successfully across the multi-generational workforce and the use of technology including social networking are both crucial elements of today’s and future association efforts to draw and retain member attendance.

Join us for an open discussion on what associations may need to consider moving forward in order for their annual conference to grow and remain a vital part of their member benefits as well as appeal to nonmembers.


Food & Beverage Planning for a Greener and Cheaper Meeting

July 10, 2009

AHendersonWBy Amy Henderson, CMP Experient

When planning food and beverage for your convention, the first thing we generally consider is what we have to spend.  There are several great ways to ensure that you are spending somewhat less, making smarter choices and making a positive impact on the environment and the local community where your meeting is being held.
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