WARNING: System Overload!

August 10, 2009

NJohnsonBy: Nora Johnson, SMMP Services Specialist, Experient

Data, reports, e-mail, blogs, websites, conference calls, voicemail, projects, news releases, reports, data, data, data: information. Chaotic and overwhelming, and made even more so as we toss in a few additional factors: past, present and future. Now that you may be experiencing an anxiety spike and your fingers are itching to check your e-mail, you should take this moment to stop and breathe

We are fortunate to have a lot of information available to us, and if not readily available, we at least have the means to gather the information. However, in trying to keep up, we find that there is more information than we can possibly process, there is information from questionable sources or there is conflicting information. Regarding information – we’re at an impasse.

How do we stop the madness? We don’t. We just need to learn Read the rest of this entry »


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.

Remembering Walter

July 24, 2009
BHoulihanMy personal encounter with Walter Cronkite
by Brenda Houlihan – Experient, Inc.

In the event industry, we are all privileged to meet all walks of life including celebrities, politicians, or entrepreneurs.  Recently, I was reminded of my brief encounter with an American icon, Walter Cronkite.

A few years back, I was working on an event and supporting the transportation and security elements of a high tech conference.  I remember checking on the shuttle buses when a limo pulled into the WDW Dolphin porte couchere.   I had instructed the transportation company that all VIP traffic was to be directed to the front entrance.  I was noticeably aggravated, when my transportation coordinator responded, “it‘s the conference talent and they need to be dropped off at the ballroom.”

The limo pulled up and out stepped an agent, then an assistant and then Walter Cronkite.   I immediately recognized the stately gentleman because he had been invited into my family’s home each evening at 6:00 pm.   The busy activity of a home with five active kids would come to a silencing halt.  My father would command that there would be silence, an almost reverence to the “Evening News with Walter Cronkite.”   I thought how Walter Cronkite had shaped Read the rest of this entry »


Career Life-cycle and Generational Professional Development

June 30, 2009

NJohnsonBy: Nora Johnson, SMMP Services Specialist, Experient

As the current economy rambles on, many individuals – and perhaps you – have revisited their current professional status. Even for those who may not feel their jobs are at risk, there is a more visible drive to grow, refresh or rebuild skills, knowledge, networks and more.

There are many models developed to represent career life-cycles and potential career paths. These cycles may include being a new hire, being promoted, dealing with internal expansion or contraction, retirement and any number of stages and possibilities in between. Several are even tailored to a particular industry or culture.


For simplicity, we need only look at the very traditional and very generic product life-cycle:  Introduction, Growth, Maturity, Decline.  As with most organizations, products and services, the goal is to reset the product life-cycle at the end of the maturity stage before beginning the decline phase, thus perpetuating growth and continuity.

Read the rest of this entry »


Will the real Cara please stand up?

June 25, 2009

Headshot_cara2By Cara Beckerle, CMP – Experient

Most days I consider myself an open book. I’m pretty happy with the way I live my life, am a self professed terrible liar, and will tell you a bit about myself if prompted (I’m still a teeny bit introverted, you know). But who am I, really? And who cares?

There aren’t any scandalous secrets about me online. I’ve been smart enough to limit my web profiles so only friends are allowed to check in on me. I’m selective in my posting of pictures. I try not to post anything too personal that might encourage identity theft or a myriad of other dangers you hear about. When you Google me (we all do it, right?) the main entries are mostly me, mostly accurate, and mostly innocuous. But am I ready for everyone to know the “real” me?

Over the last few months, I’ve been grappling with the E4 “experiment” using social media. I consider myself fairly technically savvy – been a blogger, on Myspace, religiously check Facebook for my friends’ status updates, and finally added a text package to my cell phone because the SO (for those not yet up on the multitude of text/chat abbreviations*, that would be “significant other”) was burning up messaging charges using his iPhone. To this point, though, the techie geek in me has been mostly operating in the personal side of my life. Adding professional groups and contacts adds a whole new dynamic to my wired life.

When mulling this topic over, I decided to check out the “Do’s and Don’ts of Social Networking.” Type that phrase into any web browser and you will get several good articles – mostly common sense but worth looking into if you are new to the online world. Because someone, somewhere will take a look into something you post. Period. What I struggle more with is revealing the inner sanctum of my brain with co-workers, professional contacts, future employees – and the assessment they may make of me from reviewing a quick status update or tweet. Read the rest of this entry »


Young Professionals

June 9, 2009

NJohnsonBy: Nora Johnson, SMMP Services Specialist, Experient and 2009 Chair, IAEE Young Professionals Committee

“How can I attract, engage and retain young professionals?”  Undoubtedly, many of you have heard or asked a similar question in the past.  Naturally, many of you have also had two words immediately come to mind: technology and entertainment.

 In short, the answers are:

  1. Attract: Show an interest in them
  2. Engage: Invite them to get involved or give them a seat at the table
  3. Retain: See 1 and 2 and add a dash of letting them own and pursue a project or initiative

You will notice that technology and entertainment are not in the short answers.  Why are they absent?  There is a lot to be said for the relevancy of these two words.  However, the reality goes beyond a generational trend and reveals a more significant business and societal trend.  A friend of mine, who is a Director of Design for a prominent fashion line, once mentioned that the days of big department stores, such as Macy’s, dictating the fashion of the season are over.  Rather, fashion is being heavily influenced by the numerous sub-cultures in our society: the “Jocks,” the “Skaters,” the “Goths,” the “Preps” and many more.  Essentially, trends are being generated from the bottom, up, rather than from the top, down, which had traditionally been the standing model for business. 

What, you may ask, does this have to do with young professionals, technology and entertainment?  Read the rest of this entry »