Weekly deals and highlights: June 15, 2018

Posted 1 week, 1 day ago @


Waco – The Heart of Texas
The Waco Convention Center, located 6 blocks from Magnolia Market, is the backdrop for the perfect Central Texas meeting. Call the CVB at 800-321-9226.

The post Weekly deals and highlights: June 15, 2018 appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

10 lessons for creating social media videos

Posted 1 week, 5 days ago @

Ever since LinkedIn and Facebook introduced their native apps, social media experts have been encouraging people to upload videos. There has been a lot of hype about it. It sounds like the magic bullet…the next big thing.

I’m always skeptical about following fads and the “flavor of the month.” Far too often, results have not turned out to be as promised. So, I started experimenting with uploading some of my existing videos using the native app to see if they gained traction. The results were mixed. After much reluctance, I recently started shooting and uploading new videos.

As of this writing, I’ve uploaded four videos. I shot nine but only six were usable and were far from perfect. What the experts fail to tell you is that shooting videos is not simply a matter of grabbing your camera or mobile and pressing record. In fact, the technical aspects can make or break your video.

My recommendation is that some things are best left to professionals. If you can hire a professional videographer or engage a talented film student, do it. If that’s not in your budget, then a DIY approach is what you’ll have to use.

I’m an actress, so I am already comfortable on camera. Many people aren’t. I’ve even produced a couple of videos for clients, written the scripts and done some of the voice-overs.

When I am on a TV, movie or commercial set, there are always professionals to handle set design, sound, lighting and the shoot. There are also hair stylists and make-up artists. After the shoot, professional editors work their magic.

I’ve never had an interest in the technical aspects of making movies or shooting videos. But when you’re using a DIY approach to creating video content, it’s important to master the basics. It can be a steep learning curve, and I’m still learning. Here is what I have learned, so far, from the school of hard knocks.

1. Prepare to go on camera

Here are a couple of really quick tips based on my experience on-camera and in training hundreds of corporate professionals in presentation skills.

  • Keep it brief. Two to four minutes is best. Any longer than that and people will tune out.
  • Never write out or memorize your script
  • Put a few keywords on a large index card in large print to remind you of what you want to say. Post this where you can see it or have someone hold it. (A flip chart is even better.)
  • Rehearse, but don’t over-rehearse. Your deliver must be natural. Rehearse in a whisper so that you don’t get locked into patterns.

2. Make sure you look great

  • Get your hair and make-up done professionally if you need help.
  • Bring powder for the shine.
  • Bring two or three tops so that you can shoot more than one video at a time. Make at least one outfit a business suit. For the other outfits, select colors that pop.

3. Scout locations in advance and pick the right location

Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, it must be free of noise and distractions. This isn’t always easy. That is why film and video companies have location scouts. Fortunately, some libraries and community centres have rooms that you can use for free. Make sure the room is furnished and not a relatively empty space. (See lesson No. 6 for the rationale.)

I recently attempted to shoot outside of my apartment building. A neighbor in one of the apartments overlooking the courtyard was coughing loudly and intermittently.

This brings us to our next point.

4. Always have a back-up

Even in a remote location like a lake, there can be cars passing by, dogs barking or children coming out to play. You don’t always have control.

Last week, I found what looked like the perfect location by a pond. As soon as I popped out of the car, I heard the motor running for the water pump. As I type this, a neighbour has just powered up landscaping equipment outside, near my office.

You need to have the option of driving a few blocks to go to a park, garden or greenhouse until the noise has stopped.

5. Select the right background

I’m not talking about going out and buying backdrops, although that would be helpful. When you’re deciding where to shoot, make sure that it’s a wide background with some height to it. If the person operating the camera is not a professional, they are going to have a tough time zooming to crop and frame you properly. The result is that you could end up with distracting objects in the frame. A wide backdrop is more forgiving.

6. Keep it steady

It can take a long time to get the technical details right. Many takes may be required if the person on camera is inexperienced and they’re making mistakes. If someone is holding the camera, their arms will get tired. It is also likely that they won’t be able to keep the camera steady the whole time. Save yourself the trouble. Get or borrow a tripod.

7. Shed the right light on it

This is very important, especially for people of color like me.

Even on a bright and sunny day with the shades drawn up on two large windows, there wasn’t enough light in my office for me to shoot. It took a long time of fiddling with lamps in order to get enough lighting.

 As soon as you can afford it, invest in a ring light. Have the person being videotaped (on camera) sit facing the window. Set the camera on a tripod in front of the window and put the ring light around the camera. Make sure the person on camera is close enough to the light so that the light shines on them. If that is not enough you may need to invest in an LED panel light.

8. Sounding off about sound

Sound can make or break your video.

I learned this the hard way. Frustrated with trying to get the lighting right and a wide enough wall to prevent framing problems, I ventured into a couple of hallways. They were big and bright—and the videos looked great. After I uploaded them to LinkedIn, I received feedback that there was echo. I never noticed it.

Echo happens when a room or space is almost empty and the sound bounces off the walls. The solution is to always select a location that has furniture and, if necessary, bring in pillows and blankets to cushion the sound. It is also important to use an external microphone. Apparently, even if you invest in an excellent DSLR camera, the internal mic may not be enough. Check out “Improve Your Audio: How to Reduce Echo in Your Video” for more recommendations.

9. Get the right equipment

Perhaps this point should have been covered first, but it was important to set the stage so that it is clear why this equipment is needed.

The basics

  • A digital SLR camera (DSLR) with an external port for a microphone and horseshoe for a light
  • A tripod
  • A ring light
  • A panel light (optional)

I have what is considered to be a good camera—Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70 (16.1 MP). It has a powerful zoom and it has been fabulous for shooting photos for blog posts over the past seven years. Echo was a problem in some of my videos, so I was advised to get an external microphone. Unfortunately, a quick trip to the camera shop revealed that there is no port for an external mic.

Sometimes you can pick up gently used or even new equipment online at affordable prices. Some libraries and universities have equipment that you can borrow.

If you have no option but to shoot using your phone or tablet, rest assured, ring lights and panel lights are also available for mobile devices. Here are some tips for creating content with mobile devices.

10. Get help

If you are using a DIY approach, get help. Get a film student to help you and/or team up with other event professionals in your area to share equipment together, shoot videos and learn from each other. Here are some tips for helping things go smoothly when you get together.

What challenges are you facing in creating LinkedIn videos?

Join the conversation on LinkedIn and follow #socialmediaSOS on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for video tips.

The post 10 lessons for creating social media videos appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Meet the New PYM Professional Development Guide!

Posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago @

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Plan Your Meetings Professional Development Guide!

PYM Professional Development Guide Spring 2018Exploring the meeting and event industry publications landscape, we recognized the need for something more like a career resource than a newsy magazine. While the better industry publications absolutely provide valuable content that can be useful in your business life, any attempt at a one-stop-shop for professional development information appeared to be elusive at best.

With the digital-only Plan Your Meetings Professional Development Guide, we’ve compiled extensive resources for growth in your career, with an emphasis on free or low-cost opportunities.

  • Scholarships for planners as well as students in the industry to attend conferences in multiple countries, attain professional designations (such as the CMP and CMM), help defray the costs associated with college programs and more. You’ll also find a testimonial from a peer who attended MPI’s World Education Congress thanks to a scholarship.
  • Free and affordable online professional development courses are out there, if you know where to look. Not only can you find info about free Plan Your Meetings webinars here, but the MPI Academy has generously allowed us to build into this edition its “Art of the Deal: Strategic Hotel & Contract Negotiations” webinar—for free!
  • Most meeting and event industry print publications can be had for no cost—you just need to know how to get them. Here, you’ll learn for which publications you can receive a complimentary subscription—and, for those not available freely in print, where you can find much of that material at no cost. With the magazines, blogs and podcasts, you’ll have plenty of free fodder to help you grow.
  • Professional industry events are an integral part of the planner career experience—and that’s where the hosted-buyer format can ease your financial burden. Check out 12 conferences for the duration of 2018 for which you can apply to be a hosted buyer and receive complimentary registration and, in many cases, accommodations and airfare. Beyond that, PYM LIVE is a series of half-day events throughout North America taking place all year long—and those, too, are free to planners!

This is how the Plan Your Meetings Professional Development Guide story begins; your insight is necessary for the betterment of future adult learners. So, what other information would you look to see presented here? Let me know!

P.S. Don’t miss free education opportunities at PYM LIVE events throughout North America—see future dates and register.

The post Meet the New PYM Professional Development Guide! appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Degree vs. certification: What’s best?

May 21st, 2018 @

“Should I get a master’s degree or a certification?” It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot over the years. And my answer is usually an ironic, “Yes.” Asking, “Should I get a master’s degree or a certification?” is like asking, “Should I have an apple or should I have turkey and dressing with giblet gravy?”

education is key
(CC) GOTCREDIT

A certification and a degree are not equivalent. Believe me, I know. I have both. I’ve taught in both kinds of programs. Thus, it makes me irrationally crazy when I see a certification described as “the MBA of” any field. It’s not the MBA of a field. An MBA is an MBA (did I mention I’m a professor in a business school?). But I digress.

A certification—be it a CMP, CMM or one of the many other valuable options available—is a great professional development tool when you want to fine-tune skills or knowledge within a fairly well-defined framework. The content is consistent and it can usually be achieved within a short period of time. While sometimes including strategic elements, it tends to be focused on more discrete topics out of necessity due to the timeframe. It’s recognized within an industry or professional segment but may or may not be known outside the industry.

A degree, on the other hand, is an expedition into a body of knowledge. The focus of most advanced degrees is strategic and I would venture to say that no two degrees are alike. Ten students can take exactly the same classes in the same master’s degree program at exactly the same time and they will all come out with something different because you get a certain freedom to customize, to integrate your professional experience into the curriculum, to poke and prod at the materials and challenge the professors and theories over an extended period of time based on your unique experiences until you come out with a common base of knowledge layered with unique experiences and projects that make a master’s degree a one-of-a-kind experience.

The beauty is, you don’t have to choose a certification or a degree. You can do both. Or either. Or several of either or both. That’s the beauty of educational credentials. There’s no one-size-fits-all, but there’s probably a credential for everyone. When people ask me which they should get, I ask them these questions:

  • How much time do you have to devote to it? In the short-term? In the long-term?
  • Why do you want a credential? Personal gratification? Do you think it will help you get a promotion? A raise? A new job?
  • What kind of credentials do others who have the promotion/title/job you want have?
  • Do you think you’ll go on for additional credentials in the future?

Answering these questions can help guide a person to what may be their first (or only) credential or may lead them to another path altogether. The credential alone, however, doesn’t make the person a better meeting planner or salesperson or whatever. Again, this is not to disparage certifications or degrees. Clearly, I’m a believer. My point is that you can get the credentials, but you have to apply the learning and continue learning for it to truly help you professionally. Both certifications and degrees are based on a body of knowledge. You can master the body of knowledge, great or small. But what you do with it from there is what makes you a professional…or just a person with a credential.

And what if you are thinking, “But I don’t even want a credential?” In my mind, that’s okay, too, as long as you never stop learning. Credentials aren’t for everyone. And there are plenty of non-credentialed learning opportunities out there. There’s nothing to say that a credentialed person is smarter or more knowledgeable than one without. For example, my mother finished high school when she was in her 30s with a GED. My father earned a master’s degree. With absolutely no offense to my dear father, matching wits with my mother was a far more formidable experience for me, even after I earned four degrees and a certification. Mom used to say, “There are common sense smarts and there are book smarts.” Then she’d give me a look that told me that she put my father and I in that latter (and from her perspective, inferior) category.

Some of us just do better with “book learning” than others. It happens to be something I enjoy very much, wrapping my arms around a body of knowledge, learning from experts, feeling I’ve mastered it and getting some kind of credential—whether a certification or a degree—for it. It’s almost a game for me, like running an obstacle course and capturing the flag at the end. But I know others in and outside our industry who struggle mightily with the kind of learning I do for fun. My mom and dad were polar opposites. My brother and I are, too. College was not his thing, but not because he’s not smart—he’s very smart. There is no machine he can’t figure out, including cars. He builds houses and says he thinks in three-dimensional blue prints, which blows my mind. In education, we call this “differently smart.” And we haven’t yet figured out the andragogy (methods and principles used in adult education) of how to offer the same credentials in ways that reach those who are differently smart. So, if you are differently smart, keep learning your own way until we catch up to you. We’re trying!

Whether you’re seeking a degree or a professional certification, there are numerous scholarship programs available to help fund your growth.

The post Degree vs. certification: What’s best? appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Out of commission: Future of planner business models

May 9th, 2018 @

Over the last few months, there has been a lot of controversy about commissions in the meeting and event industry. Not only did Marriott International make a decision to claw commissions back to 7 percent in North America, the chain also established a two-tier system with major players such as Maritz and HPN Global still receiving 10 percent commission. In March, Hilton announced plans to follow suit. It’s a sticky situation.

searching for value
(CC) JD HANCOCK

Now that the shock has worn off, it’s time for event planners to carefully weigh their options—cool heads must prevail. It is important to leave emotion out of it and make sound business decisions. So, what are the options for event planners who are experiencing a shortfall in income due to the policy change by these hotel companies?

One option is to book with hotel chains that offer higher commissions. This is problematic for a number or reasons and, at best, a temporary solution. If event planners bypass Marriott and Hilton properties, that flies in the face of the stance the industry has always taken. Event planners have always maintained that they make venue recommendations based on the needs of the client, not due to commissions or personal incentives. To bypass these chains brings that stance into question. Industry veteran Joan Eisenstodt has always expressed concern about the ethics of commissions especially when they are undisclosed and maintained that the commission model is unsustainable.

Many are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Has Marriott set a precedent? Perhaps, as Hilton has shown. Will other hoteliers follow this lead and, one by one, reduce or eventually eliminate commissions? Travel Weekly reported that some hotel chains such as Preferred Hotels & Resorts and a few independent hotels like Eden Roc and Nobu in Miami Beach designed promotions to court event planners by offering commissions of up to 12 percent. Is this likely to continue?

The writing is on the wall. At this juncture, it would be wise to learn from the travel industry. Many travel agencies that were dependent on commissions eventually went out of business when airlines eliminated or significantly reduced commissions. Based on the events that unfolded in the travel industry, it is likely that hotels will eventually wipe out commissions.

It is becoming increasingly clear that event planners would be wise to revisit their business models and gradually wean themselves off commissions. This won’t be easy. Even event planners who levy fees for their services have factored commissions into income projections and adjusted their rates accordingly. Clients have not been paying for the full value of event planning services as these have been partially underwritten by commissions. It will be challenging for them to perceive the full value of services that have always been subsidized. While a sudden and drastic increase event planning fees will surely result in the loss of business, over time, these adjustments must be made. To do otherwise is sure suicide.

How long will it take for hotels to fully eliminate commissions? One year? Two years? Certainly not five. In Jamaica, we have an expression: “When your head is in a lion’s mouth, you have to take it out…slowly.” Slow and steady wins the race. The time to make adjustments is now.

The post Out of commission: Future of planner business models appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Out of commission: Future of planner business models

May 9th, 2018 @

Over the last few months, there has been a lot of controversy about commissions in the meeting and event industry. Not only did Marriott International make a decision to claw commissions back to 7 percent in North America, the chain also established a two-tier system with major players such as Maritz and HPN Global still receiving 10 percent commission. In March, Hilton announced plans to follow suit. It’s a sticky situation.

searching for value
(CC) JD HANCOCK

Now that the shock has worn off, it’s time for event planners to carefully weigh their options—cool heads must prevail. It is important to leave emotion out of it and make sound business decisions. So, what are the options for event planners who are experiencing a shortfall in income due to the policy change by these hotel companies?

One option is to book with hotel chains that offer higher commissions. This is problematic for a number or reasons and, at best, a temporary solution. If event planners bypass Marriott and Hilton properties, that flies in the face of the stance the industry has always taken. Event planners have always maintained that they make venue recommendations based on the needs of the client, not due to commissions or personal incentives. To bypass these chains brings that stance into question. Industry veteran Joan Eisenstodt has always expressed concern about the ethics of commissions especially when they are undisclosed and maintained that the commission model is unsustainable.

Many are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Has Marriott set a precedent? Perhaps, as Hilton has shown. Will other hoteliers follow this lead and, one by one, reduce or eventually eliminate commissions? Travel Weekly reported that some hotel chains such as Preferred Hotels & Resorts and a few independent hotels like Eden Roc and Nobu in Miami Beach designed promotions to court event planners by offering commissions of up to 12 percent. Is this likely to continue?

The writing is on the wall. At this juncture, it would be wise to learn from the travel industry. Many travel agencies that were dependent on commissions eventually went out of business when airlines eliminated or significantly reduced commissions. Based on the events that unfolded in the travel industry, it is likely that hotels will eventually wipe out commissions.

It is becoming increasingly clear that event planners would be wise to revisit their business models and gradually wean themselves off commissions. This won’t be easy. Even event planners who levy fees for their services have factored commissions into income projections and adjusted their rates accordingly. Clients have not been paying for the full value of event planning services as these have been partially underwritten by commissions. It will be challenging for them to perceive the full value of services that have always been subsidized. While a sudden and drastic increase event planning fees will surely result in the loss of business, over time, these adjustments must be made. To do otherwise is sure suicide.

How long will it take for hotels to fully eliminate commissions? One year? Two years? Certainly not five. In Jamaica, we have an expression: “When your head is in a lion’s mouth, you have to take it out…slowly.” Slow and steady wins the race. The time to make adjustments is now.

The post Out of commission: Future of planner business models appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Education and advocacy for GMID 2018

April 11th, 2018 @

Thursday, April 12, 2018, is Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), a dedicated date to focus on and promote the meeting and event industry and enhance your planning skills through free or low-cost professional education (it’s time to get more strategic in your planning). The tagline for the 2018 GMID “Real results, real impact, all around the world.”

MPI has a day-long free live steam planned for 12 hours (7 a.m.-7 p.m., ET), which will explore the GMID festivities from Asia to Europe to North America. This will include educational discussions with experts as well as partners from IAEE, IACC, PSAV and more. Some of the topics scheduled:

  • “How to Prepare for the Next Attack on Meetings”
  • “One Principle That Will Make or Break Your Negotiations”
  • “How to Grow Your Attendance”
  • “Inside the Industry: What’s Really Going on Out There”
  • “Women in the Industry: Challenges and Resources”
  • “Budget Tips for Meeting Organizers”

Check out the full line up of sessions planned for the MPI stream.

If you want education in person, there are countless events, organized by numerous industry associations and destinations. Many of these groups are working together for true community gatherings.

For example, the GMID Spring Training! event in Atlanta (3:30 p.m.) is a collaboration between PCMA Southeast, IAEE Southeast, GSAE, SITE Southeast, the MPI Georgia Chapter and SPIN Atlanta.

Over in Chicago, the MPI-CAC Industry Xchange is organized by the MPI Chicago Area Chapter in partnership with a slew of other professional groups. There, participants will enjoy sessions with notable industry names such as Joan Eisenstodt, Tony Lorenz and Christy Lamagna.

There are so many events you can join this GMID. Meetings Mean Business has a comprehensive list of more than 140 GMID events taking place April 12, most of which are in North America.

GMID 2018 logo

The post Education and advocacy for GMID 2018 appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

9 strategies for last-minute event planning

April 9th, 2018 @

Last minute event planning is a bad idea for so many reasons.

  • It’s tougher to find venues.
  • The client’s preferred venue will likely be booked.
  • Clients will end up paying more for hotels, resorts and airfare.
  • Planning at the last minute increases the likelihood of errors.
  • In the rush to plan, important details may be overlooked.
last minute
(CC) Faliq Idrus

The pressure that accompanies last-minute event planning and its twin, last-minute changes, contribute to making event planning one of the most stressful professions. (Unfortunately, event coordinator made Careercast’s most stressful jobs list again. It’s number 5 for 2018.)

Trying to educate clients about why they should plan events with more lead time hasn’t worked. (I’ve written a number of blog posts to convince organizations to change their approach—and I’m not the only one.)

Clearly, no one is listening. So, to preserve their own health and sanity, event industry professionals need to try a different approach.

1. Reach out to regular clients proactively and let them know of some options that may meet their requirements.

This may encourage earlier bookings.

2. Say “no.”

All the money in the world is not worth it if it takes a toll on your health and disrupts your family life.

3. Manage expectations and set boundaries.

This is a message that needs to be conveyed more often. It’s important to be flexible and provide exceptional client service, but there have to be boundaries.

This is important. I don’t recall who said it but it’s sound advice: “A lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine.”

If a client has left a booking until the last minute, it doesn’t mean that you should work all night and every weekend until the event in order to achieve the impossible. This flies in the face of current practices in the industry. It is intended to encourage event planners to carefully consider which assignments they accept and which ones they bypass.

4. Identify what is realistic.

Internal corporate event planners usually don’t have the option of saying no. As an internal planner, it’s all about compromise. Identify what’s realistic. Review the client’s expectations and be candid about what is and isn’t possible within the allotted time. Do your best to come to a workable and more manageable agreement.

As an external planner, it may mean that you lose the business. Is it better to lose business or sacrifice your health?

Pinpoint the tasks that need to be completed and identify joint accountabilities. I can’t take credit for it. Alan Weiss came up with the concept. My tweak is that one should never be afraid to reverse-delegate time-consuming tasks when faced with a last-minute booking.

5. Create templates for all aspects of event planning from supplier requests to catering.

Work with the client to quickly fill in the blanks.

6. Marshall additional resources and charge the client accordingly.

If you need to hire extra help, say so. Let the client know what that will cost. If they don’t want to pay it, move on.

7. Charge a premium.

Planning a last-minute event should be considered a premium service. Whether your premium is 5% or 10%, it conveys your value and may encourage clients to book earlier.

8. Ensure that you are paid in advance.

Some clients book at the last minute and then indicate that they can’t pay until well after the event. In this situation, you’re setting yourself up. I have had colleagues accept last-minute bookings and agree to a late payment schedule. They’ve jumped through hoops, burned the candle at both ends and ended up not getting paid or receiving less than the agreed upon amount. Rushing to plan an event at the last minute increases the likelihood that the client won’t be satisfied. They could push back on rates or delay your payment.

9. Build in downtime to re-charge after the event.

Rushing to plan a last-minute event is stressful. For this reason, it is important for event planners to build recovery time into their schedules. Identify the strategies that work for you and apply them regularly.

A radical change in mindset

This is radical thinking in an industry that places a premium on service, however, stress and burnout among event planners is at crisis levels. Radical surgery and a change of mindset are necessary.

Both Stephen Covey and Dr. Phil McGraw have said that we treat people how to treat us by what we tolerate. By failing to set boundaries, the abuse will continue and event coordinator will continue to make the list of most stressful careers alongside enlisted personnel and firefighters, year after year. We can keep burning out our have the courage to work with our clients to make the changes that are needed to ensure the health and welfare of event and meeting planners.

The post 9 strategies for last-minute event planning appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Conferences to grow your thought leadership

April 4th, 2018 @

Thought leadership is a concept that many meeting professionals integrate into their own conference or event content.

But what about including it on a personal level?

Thought leadership is a fast way to accomplish many things in one’s career:

  1. Learn about new ideas, concepts, emerging technologies and legal impacts before they actually arrive.
  2. Understand how to implement them into your workplace with practical application.
  3. Help your organization be poised to meet future challenges or opportunities head on, or be ready to springboard ahead of the competition.

By being an early adopter of new concepts, you can not only be a driving force for helping organizations evolve, but also grow your own career by being the catalyst that helps them get there.

Thought leadership, by definition, is literally getting ahead of the proverbial 8 ball.

Business Insider had a great quote about thought leadership in general: “Thought leaders are seen as trustworthy, go-to authorities among industry colleagues and peers,” said Jake Dunlap, CEO and founder of sales consulting firm Skaled.

(CC) Art Jonak

“They possess an innate ability to contribute to the conversations happening today, while also being able to speculate on what is going to happen tomorrow. Rather than chime in on every topic, they set the pace for the industry and offer intelligent insights and informed opinions.”

So how does a meeting professional gain access to thought leadership?

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend MPI’s World Education Congress, then you should. (This year, it’s happening June 2-5 in Indianapolis—visit www/mpiweb.org/wec18 for complete details.)

The wide-ranging subject matter at this event provides some tasty tidbits of the universe that’s out there.

But to fully capitalize on the menu of thought leadership available, you have to do some digging to uncover where the thought leaders are located, and then head to that conference or event to get fully immersed. Some thought leadership events are aimed at specific job functions, so the content is highly specialized.

Understanding what is about to hit and how that might impact a company or how it does business is a critical thought leadership trait.

Think of it is as the person in the crow’s nest looking at the horizon who yells, “Land ho!”—that’s what you’d be doing. You’ll spot the next destination before anyone else and can help navigate the ship in that direction.

Other types of thought leadership are what I call “Blow the Lid Off” types of learning.

This is the kind of thing that can fundamentally change how you see things, react to them and decide how you can work with or without them. TedX is a great example of this.

There is also a whole other world out there that is based on thought leadership, but it goes in entirely different directions.

Case in point: If you want to know what kind of emerging technologies and innovations are on the way in, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is a great show to check out. Not everything that gets buzz in this event limelight ends up having staying power in the consumer marketplace, but being exposed to so many new applications can be inspiring.

Similarly, SXSW is the annual digital and interactive media hotspot in Austin, with film, interactive media and music festivals and conferences all congregating within one area. Seeing what is attracting users can have tremendous applicability to your own work.

Recently, I read about C2, an “annual international business conference that helps established and aspiring leaders unlock their creativity in order to better face disruption and change.” It’s been getting a lot of buzz too, and could be a great place to really gain insights on disruption at the executive level. What are they talking about, and how is that going to impact your organization?

The World Business Forum is known as a thought leadership event that “brings together thousands of restless minds united by their passion for business.” With speakers that include CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators, thinkers, artists and sportspeople, this event can provide inspiration beyond the daily grind and help you rethink how you do business.

Want to get truly savvy with social media? Try going to Content Marketing World which showcases speakers from top global brands discussing the innovations they are introducing with content marketing.

But what if you are fairly new in your career and desire to make a difference? Try the One Young World conference which brings together young leaders who are ready to find ways to solve critical global issues.

Similarly, a lot of women-focused thought leadership conferences have sprung up. BlogHer Conference is one of the most well-known for its networking and ability to inspire, empower and celebrate female influencers, but you might check locally to see if there are other such gatherings taking place closer to home.

Ready to really push your envelope? Burning Man is an off-the-wall gathering that is, well, not for the faint of heart. From what I understand, those that attend Burning Man find it to be completely inspiring (and, of course, sand is in everything).

Sustainability has been and will continue to be a hot topic, and there’s a plethora of thought leadership conferences you can consider.

If none of these get your innovation juices flowing, then a good way to find out what conferences to attend is to start asking colleagues and industry connections what they think is a good source of new ideas.

Now, start making plans to attend!

(Featured image CC Frank-Bernard)

The post Conferences to grow your thought leadership appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Weekly deals and highlights: March 28, 2018

March 28th, 2018 @

Vail Resorts
Plan a meeting experience of a lifetime. Receive an unforgettable group experience with Vail Resorts Meetings & Events’ newest group offer, Meetings That Move You.


United Meetings makes travel planning fast and simple for meetings, incentives, and conferences. Travelers can experience United’s award-winning service at a discounted fare. The United Meetings program is designed for 10 or more people traveling to the event from various originating cities.

Click here to fill out the survey for your chance to win!

The post Weekly deals and highlights: March 28, 2018 appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News