Giving Back to the Community

August 30, 2009

Mike at podium alternate 800X800By Michael M McCurry, CMPExperient

Last week my colleagues and I with the Chicago Experient office participated in our annual Summer Community Service Day.  As with last year, the project benefited Chicago public schools, and was sponsored by our events industry partner, the Nashville ‘Music City’ Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Experient team arrived at Manierre Elementary School at approximately 8:30am on Friday, August 21.  Our Nashville CVB Hosts, Pride Haggerty & Randy Kidwell treated us to a delicious continental breakfast to kickoff the festivities.  They also supplied us with a terrific lunch to provide  a break midway through the day.

The task was to paint the Black Iron Fence surrounding the school property.  This video will recap for you the experience.  I hope you enjoy it!

It really does feel good to help “less fortunate” people and organizations with their needs and this day, while a lot of work, was fun and rewarding.

I look forward to next year’s adventure!


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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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.

 


Experient Welcomes e4 2009 Attendees!!!

July 31, 2009
Mike McCurry

Mike McCurry

Michael M. McCurry, CMP — Experient

Well, only two days until e4 2009 officially kicks off.  Some of you are already in DC enjoying the wonderful tourist attractions and historic landmarks of our nation’s capital.

There really is a fantastic program lined up for us this year.  Thanks to the entire Experient e4 team for putting this event together!

As we turn our focus to e4 just wanna throw a few teasers your way:

  • My e4 — if you have not setup your account for this “cutting edge” online community yet, please take a few moments to sign up.  There really are some terrific features there and the site will remain live Post-event.
  • Sponsor Fan Pages — Once signed up for My e4 please visit the sponsor fan pages.  They are fun and informational.  Of course our sponsors will appreciate your participation!
  • e4 Social Media Tech Squad — in the Maryland 1-6 foyer Experient will feature a social media learning center beginning at 1pm on Sunday, through Wednesday.  (see schedule for more details)  Our tech squad will assist you with your questions/challenges regarding Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Live Twitter Stream — Experient has established a Twitter hashtag “#e4chat” which is already active.  A Live stream will be featured throughout the conference in the public areas and some general sessions.  Please participate as it will enhance everyone’s social media experience!
  • NEW!! Live Open Webcast — Earlier today Experient released a promotion inviting all event professionals across the meetings business to watch a live webcast of e4’s Wednesday morning panel discussion, “Technology and Meetings in the Future.”  This is a must-see event, please make sure you register for it!

Experient looks forward to your participation in the 2009 e4 Conference, whether that be in person, by webcasts, or via the twitterverse!  Thanks for being part of our event!


8 Creative Techniques For Avoiding/Reducing Attrition Expense

June 24, 2009
Michael McCurry

Michael McCurry

By Michael M. McCurry, CMPExperient

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 third in a three part series of articles recapping the highlights of those events.

Coinciding with renegotiation of a hotel contract is the sometimes painful topic of attrition.  In these tough economic times room block performance has become a pervasive issue with most organizations hosting meetings and events.

Thinking creatively and acting proactively is paramount to alleviating, or at the very least minimizing attrition risk.  The following are some suggested techniques for addressing this issue.funny hotel cartoon

  • Mitigation Clause — Make certain you get credit for “re-sold rooms”.  If your hotel contract does not contain a provision crediting your organization for room nights resold by the hotel request that it be added to it.
  • Attrition Buyout — If you are certain your event will have an attrition expense then offer an early payment in exchange for a reduction to the liability.  For example if you believe you will owe $100K, negotiate to pay a smaller amount (i.e. $50K) several months in advance.  The hotel deposits the funds earning interest on them, and enhancing their cash flow.
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9 Strategies For Room Block Management Success

June 19, 2009
Mike McCurry

Mike McCurry

By Michael M. McCurry, CMPExperient

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 second in a three part series of articles recapping the highlights of those events.

Feeling challenged by room block management?  Here are some ideas to consider when developing your management plan ….
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