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?

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 »

Customer Service Is More Than Just Being Nice

July 23, 2009

NicoleHeadShotREVBy Nicole Buraglio Hanley Wood Exhibitions

A trade show staff equipped with the best customer service techniques doesn’t cut it anymore, especially in this environment where the economy and technology are changing on what feels like a daily basis. What, then, can we offer our customers that will blow them away? That will make them choose us over the competition? That will help us retain customers when turnover is high?

Think about customer service as it pertains to you and your favorite restaurant—the one you’ve been frequenting for many years. You go there twice a month, on Mondays; you know the owner and the wait staff. Heck, you even order the same thing (most of the time). What would happen if you walked in one Monday and you were just another customer? Hint: You wouldn’t like it.

It’s critical we continue to treat our loyal customers as if they’re friends or family. Besides, they spend a ton of money with us every year and they stick with us, even when the rest of the industry struggles to do so at best.

As trade show organizers, we need to find a way to communicate to our customers that we know and appreciate them. At my company, we spent last year developing customer portals that allow our exhibitors and attendees to see their history with us, find out what’s coming up that may be of interest to them (based on their demographics and habits) and plan for the future—across ALL of our events.

Our booth space application and contracts are now online and pre-populate based on what we know about the individual companies, our customers, signing up.

The response has been huge. And, while it was—and continues to be—a lot of work, it is a simple concept. At a time like this, when everything seems to be up in the air and out of control, we need to focus on the fundamentals.

R U lost w/o the WEB

July 17, 2009

BMabryM Headshoty Adrian Mabry – Experient

For many workers currently engaged in the workforce, the Web, social media and the internet have been useful additions to our available tools.  For many entering the workforce these days, technology is more than just a ‘tool’ to be used as needed.  In this article from The Denver Post – Young workers lose way without Web – By Martha Irvine – The Associated Press many workers entering the workspace are finding corporate policies regarding internet use and access restrictive.

From the employers’ perspective, these policies accomplish what they are intended – to stop workers from wasting time online.  In some cases, these restrictions are getting in the way of actual work, preventing some workers from performing legitimate internet research.  For others, it’s just inconvenient.  The thin line where all this collides exists between corporate concerns regarding time wasted online, confidentiality breaches and liability for what employees do online versus the employee’s ability to experience the Web, interact with peers via  industry chat groups, and escape, if only briefly, the daily grind of the office.

As the article notes, it is believed that nearly half of all U.S. employers now have a policy regarding social-networking site usage.  With the advent of web-enabled hand-held devices (Blackberry’s, iPhones and other PDA devices) monitoring or enforcing these policies will become even more difficult to enforce.

Being what is typically called a ‘digital immigrant’, I understand the corporate drive to limit our encounters on the Web.  I’m curious though to know what you think about corporate policies regarding internet use.

  • Does your company have a policy about internet use during work hours?
  • Does your company have a policy regarding text messaging?
  • In you opinion, does your company policy restrict internet usage too much?  Text messaging?

Perhaps we can discuss this further in DC.  See you at e4!

Twitter: It’s About Real Relationships

July 8, 2009


Jessica Levin

Jessica Levin

By Jessica Levin, CMP – Seven Degrees Communications

On July 9th I will celebrate my one year “Twitterversary” – one year since I first created a Twitter account. Like many people, my first thoughts when I learned about Twitter were “I don’t get it” and “why would anyone care what I was doing.” I quickly learned that tweets, as posts on Twitter are called, are not just about what you are doing. Tweets are about sharing information, learning from others and meeting quality people.
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