Free coronavirus-related webinars (May 2020)

Posted 3 weeks ago @

woman webinar

To help educate professionals during this unprecedented crisis and to help prepare them for the inevitable recovery, many industry groups are amping up their online offerings and making them freely available, as the MPI Academy has done for much of its content.

Following are some excellent, live online programs throughout May 2020. If you miss the original live broadcast, still click through as you’ll likely be able to view the recording. These are free but require registration.

U.S. Travel launched a new weekly webinar series that looks toward the recovery of our industry and the broader economy, focusing on the guidance, data and traveler sentiment necessary to safely restoring travel and tourism in the U.S.

All of these live webinars take place 12-1 p.m. EST on the dates listed

May 7

“Addressing Uncertainty Through Safety: New Guidance for the Industry”

May 8

Meeting Executive Re-Think Tank on Lessons Learned & Continued Impact

May 13

Avoiding Burnout and Managing Stress

May 14

Reduce Stress from Meeting Planning by Knowing Who to Trust

May 14

Back-to-Normal Barometer

May 21                                        

Accessing Recovery: The Three Legs of Research

May 21

The Work From Home Revolution

May 26

Risk Management Planning

May 27

Leading Your Organization, From Any Level, During a Time of Crisis

May 28

No Time Like the Present …Taking Your Meetings Virtual

And some educational webinars that have already taken place, but are archived and available at no cost:

 

The post Free coronavirus-related webinars (May 2020) appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Social media as a positive platform

March 30th, 2020 @

online options

“Social media is not going away. It is a business tool, it can be an incredible place to find strength but it can be dark. I am organizing a conference on how to handle social media as a positive platform. I can’t wait to share it with you soon.”

That quickly deleted Instagram post by stylist Jessica Mulroney drummed up a flurry of intrigue with online royal watchers in January, theorizing that the note’s removal indicates a surprise appearance by Duchess Meghan Markle. Whether or not the Suits actress signs on to the event as a speaker doesn’t much matter for our purposes, but the overall tale highlights the oftentimes toxic landscape of social media as well as its importance as a business tool.

And now that so many meeting professionals find themselves at home, exercising extreme social distancing, many without active events on which to work, some no longer employed, perhaps obsessively searching for and scanning coronavirus news on Twitter, it’s prime time to focus on your professional education—you can only watch so many hours (or days) of Netflix before that leisure activity becomes a chore.

So here we go again. Decades into social media’s communication takeover, many meeting professionals still need to learn the proper uses of the various social media platforms and hone skills in what author, futurist and artist Howard Rheingold terms “crap detection.”

Even though social media is fluid with new rules, mores, opportunities and threats swirling around seemingly every day, one trend I’ve seen over the past decade is that the best published guidance for effective social media use has remained evergreen. More specifically, the most basic social media communications concepts are just as valid and important to learn now as they were 10 years ago. Sadly, many users continue to dive into social media—and claim fluency in that domain—while ignorant to these essential lessons.

Here are four important elements of social media in which all professionals should be fluent—with links for those seeking a refresher.

Get your facts straight

Fake news—both well-meaning yet erroneous and propagandic in nature—is enjoying a golden age thanks to the easy-to-share nature of social media. Sadly, the art of fact-checking is not receiving the same love. Not only must event professionals be able to communicate with stakeholders clearly and correctly via social media, they must also know how to deal with disinformation online. In Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, Rheingold shares sage wisdom to help readers develop authentic digital literacy and critical thinking skills (“crap detection”), with the hopeful goal/promise similar to that of any good meeting or event: to produce a more thoughtful society. (Those really wanting to get into the weeds of digital communication theory should explore the materials for Rheingold’s past courses at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.)

RELATED STORY: What Meeting Planners Have Learned from a Decade of Social Media

Trolls!

Some of the disinformation encountered online comes from these jerks of chaos. In short, the goal of a troll is to disrupt, distract and cause grief. How you respond/react to trolls can affect the tone and quality of your event. Consider this hypothetical: Your keynote speaker engaged your community via Twitter in advance of your event, seeking to identify their most under-served pain points. A couple of valid responses are posted, then a random user chimes in to denigrate the physical appearance of the speaker…then moves on to abuse the other respondents. The valuable pre-event back-and-forth has been hijacked. Suddenly, there’s a negative taste tied to your event and the quality of community feedback disintegrates, all thanks to an anonymous digital heckler. In general, the best approach to a troll is to block/report the account and do not engage—ignore the petulant child. Hootsuite offers some excellent additional insight on how to deal with trolls.

RELATED STORY: 6 B2B social media marketing tips for eventprofs

eyes online

Where’s the strategy?

You develop strategies for every aspect of your meeting/event, so why don’t you have a social media strategy? This begins with deciding upon a social media policy—guidance (sometimes simple recommendations, sometimes enforceable with penalties) for staff, partners and/or attendees to ensure communication is respectful and on-brand. In “Open Door Policy,” I explored the reasons for and against having a robust social media policy. Although published 10 years ago, the lessons shared in that article are just as important and overlooked by meeting professionals today. (Go here to read an updated version that also provides 0.25 hours of continuing education credits.) Once you’re past the policy question, move on to the nitty gritty of your social media strategy—Hootsuite has a PowerPoint template for that.

RELATED STORY: 10 lessons for creating social media videos

Is this what ROI looks like?

Early discussions about the ROI of social media were a bit ephemeral in nature. How can you quantify the value of your activities on the various platforms? The ah-ha moment for me came with the understanding that you define how to gauge the success of your own social media actions—there’s no singular metric that applies to every organization or event. A valid entry point to this topic is “Untangling the Value of Social Media,” my own initial foray into the social media ROI discussion.

The post Social media as a positive platform appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Social media as a positive platform

March 30th, 2020 @

online options

“Social media is not going away. It is a business tool, it can be an incredible place to find strength but it can be dark. I am organizing a conference on how to handle social media as a positive platform. I can’t wait to share it with you soon.”

That quickly deleted Instagram post by stylist Jessica Mulroney drummed up a flurry of intrigue with online royal watchers in January, theorizing that the note’s removal indicates a surprise appearance by Duchess Meghan Markle. Whether or not the Suits actress signs on to the event as a speaker doesn’t much matter for our purposes, but the overall tale highlights the oftentimes toxic landscape of social media as well as its importance as a business tool.

And now that so many meeting professionals find themselves at home, exercising extreme social distancing, many without active events on which to work, some no longer employed, perhaps obsessively searching for and scanning coronavirus news on Twitter, it’s prime time to focus on your professional education—you can only watch so many hours (or days) of Netflix before that leisure activity becomes a chore.

So here we go again. Decades into social media’s communication takeover, many meeting professionals still need to learn the proper uses of the various social media platforms and hone skills in what author, futurist and artist Howard Rheingold terms “crap detection.”

Even though social media is fluid with new rules, mores, opportunities and threats swirling around seemingly every day, one trend I’ve seen over the past decade is that the best published guidance for effective social media use has remained evergreen. More specifically, the most basic social media communications concepts are just as valid and important to learn now as they were 10 years ago. Sadly, many users continue to dive into social media—and claim fluency in that domain—while ignorant to these essential lessons.

Here are four important elements of social media in which all professionals should be fluent—with links for those seeking a refresher.

Get your facts straight

Fake news—both well-meaning yet erroneous and propagandic in nature—is enjoying a golden age thanks to the easy-to-share nature of social media. Sadly, the art of fact-checking is not receiving the same love. Not only must event professionals be able to communicate with stakeholders clearly and correctly via social media, they must also know how to deal with disinformation online. In Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, Rheingold shares sage wisdom to help readers develop authentic digital literacy and critical thinking skills (“crap detection”), with the hopeful goal/promise similar to that of any good meeting or event: to produce a more thoughtful society. (Those really wanting to get into the weeds of digital communication theory should explore the materials for Rheingold’s past courses at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.)

RELATED STORY: What Meeting Planners Have Learned from a Decade of Social Media

Trolls!

Some of the disinformation encountered online comes from these jerks of chaos. In short, the goal of a troll is to disrupt, distract and cause grief. How you respond/react to trolls can affect the tone and quality of your event. Consider this hypothetical: Your keynote speaker engaged your community via Twitter in advance of your event, seeking to identify their most under-served pain points. A couple of valid responses are posted, then a random user chimes in to denigrate the physical appearance of the speaker…then moves on to abuse the other respondents. The valuable pre-event back-and-forth has been hijacked. Suddenly, there’s a negative taste tied to your event and the quality of community feedback disintegrates, all thanks to an anonymous digital heckler. In general, the best approach to a troll is to block/report the account and do not engage—ignore the petulant child. Hootsuite offers some excellent additional insight on how to deal with trolls.

RELATED STORY: 6 B2B social media marketing tips for eventprofs

eyes online

Where’s the strategy?

You develop strategies for every aspect of your meeting/event, so why don’t you have a social media strategy? This begins with deciding upon a social media policy—guidance (sometimes simple recommendations, sometimes enforceable with penalties) for staff, partners and/or attendees to ensure communication is respectful and on-brand. In “Open Door Policy,” I explored the reasons for and against having a robust social media policy. Although published 10 years ago, the lessons shared in that article are just as important and overlooked by meeting professionals today. (Go here to read an updated version that also provides 0.25 hours of continuing education credits.) Once you’re past the policy question, move on to the nitty gritty of your social media strategy—Hootsuite has a PowerPoint template for that.

RELATED STORY: 10 lessons for creating social media videos

Is this what ROI looks like?

Early discussions about the ROI of social media were a bit ephemeral in nature. How can you quantify the value of your activities on the various platforms? The ah-ha moment for me came with the understanding that you define how to gauge the success of your own social media actions—there’s no singular metric that applies to every organization or event. A valid entry point to this topic is “Untangling the Value of Social Media,” my own initial foray into the social media ROI discussion.

The post Social media as a positive platform appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Coronavirus: Suppliers’ View

March 9th, 2020 @

Last month, I deployed a survey for MPI of meeting professionals (planners and suppliers) to gauge the concern related to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and its impact on the meeting and event industry. (You can see those complete results here.)

Most recently, we wrapped a subsequent survey specific to the experiences and opinions of industry suppliers re: the impact of this virus. In the field between March 3-5, the survey had 217 respondents. Here’s what we found.

Cancellations

cancellations

Notably, in mid-February, 80% of respondents said their meetings/events had not been affected by the virus. This time around, we specifically asked about cancellations (a big step up from simply “affected”) and 73% of suppliers said they have encountered these as a result of the virus.

Business impact

business impact

Here, we see that 65% of suppliers expect less business in 2020 thanks to the novel coronavirus; 26% believe they’ll have more business as a result.

Concerncoronavirus concern

A total 95% of suppliers are concerned about the business impact of the novel coronavirus. Last month, 90% of meeting professionals were concerned.

Duration of impact

Understanding that most industry suppliers aren’t virology futurists, we still sought to hear opinions on the anticipated duration of the virus’ impact on meetings and events.

duration of impact

Most notably, 70% of respondents believe our industry will be affected for 1-6 months; 3% think it’ll be wrapped up in April; 15% believe its impact will stick around at least through the end of 2020.

Sales strategies

sales strategies

Yes, 49% of suppliers indicate their sales strategies have not changed as a result of the novel coronavirus. However, that means more than half of all respondents are changing their sales strategies. How?

14% – Limiting international travel

9% – Offering greater discounts or complimentary amenities/services

8% – Shifting to remote calls with clients rather than in-person meetings

8% – Limiting involvement at trade shows and professional events

 

More surveys on this evolving topic are likely in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned to Plan Your Meetings as well as MPI’s dedicated novel coronavirus page.

The post Coronavirus: Suppliers’ View appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Most-read stories of 2019

December 30th, 2019 @

Get up to speed on some outstanding reports you may have missed during your busy 2019, by exploring this year’s most-read stories from the Plan Your Meetings blog.

1) Understanding the Event Grant and Program Funding Process

2) 5 Common Event Planning Mistakes

3) Vegan Inclusion Tips for Meetings and Events

4) Fyre Festival and Planning in Cinema

5) 10 Engaging Tips to Boost Meeting Participation

The post Most-read stories of 2019 appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Exploring your professional development

November 25th, 2019 @

How often do you work with a convention and visitors bureau (CVB) for assistance organizing your meetings and events? If you answered “never” or “what’s a CVB?” then the newest edition of the Plan Your Meetings Professional Development Guide may very well open up a whole new world of possibilities in your work!

In “CVBs: A Planner’s Best Kept Secret?”, we explain what this type of destination management organization is, how it operates and, most importantly, how it can best be leveraged to help with your event planning efforts—at no cost. Along with those various elements, you’ll also find additional online resources and educational opportunities to help grow your skills relevant to planning and working with CVBs.

For this edition’s columns, we once again tapped résumé and career expert Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, to share successful job-seeker advice (“The Dangers of ‘Up-Titling’”). This is an especially notable problem as the current business landscape is filled with a confusing blend of old-school and creative titles—the title “associate cat herder” certainly requires an explanation. And digital strategist Andrea Williams pops up to emphasize the importance of truly knowing your potential clients (“Why You Need Detailed Customer Profiles”).

Of course, you’ll also find the usual resources we update and collect here to aid your professional growth, such as planner scholarships, complimentary industry magazines and no/low-cost online education and live events.

Updated twice per year, the Professional Development Guide is created as an interactive resource for you—loaded with active links, a complimentary MPI Academy webinar (“Digital Storytelling: Create New Revenue Streams Through Digital”) and more. With that in mind, please reach out and let us know what essential resources you’re struggling to find so we can try to collect those in a future edition.

Don’t miss free education opportunities at Plan Your Meetings live events throughout North America—see future dates and register.

The post Exploring your professional development appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Pause and refresh for productivity

November 18th, 2019 @

breathe

The amount of stress that you experience everyday might well be increasing. Instead of letting everything you come into contact with master you, seek to master your environment, only allowing those things you choose to come into your consciousness. Attempting to do too many things at once only leads to stress. Taking a strategic pause every now and then can lessen the time pressure you feel, help you to be more productive for the brunt of your career and probably help you to live longer.

Years ago, a Time magazine editorial lauded one of their senior writers who died of a massive heart attack at age 44. They described him as a “vivid personality, first-class intellect, bracing professionalism.” The editorial/obituary said that this fellow did an extraordinary number of things extraordinarily well. He vigorously filled his post, and also wrote extensively about politics, social issues, the media and books.

In addition to those things, he frequently appeared on TV panels, ready to express provocative, but well-thought-out opinions. This gentleman lectured, wrote books and freelanced for other publications. Amazingly, they say that he had a wide, varied circle of friends—people at every level.

RELATED STORY: 15 guidelines for wellness zones that really work

A ghastly tribute

I was aghast when the editorial/obituary said that this fellow rarely did fewer than two things at once and lauded him for doing so. He “opened his mail while discoursing on story ideas. When he went to lunch with a co-worker, he often took a book.” Apparently, he never turned down an assignment and he attacked the most mundane task as if a Pulitzer Prize “depended on it.” The piece concluded by observing that this gentleman had a forthcoming book wherein he decried that “it was a simple fact that ‘some people are better than others—smarter, harder working, more learned, more productive, harder to replace.’”

just be

Don’t the good people at Time magazine understand that cramming everything into your life at hyper speed can contribute to early death? I wrote to the magazine following this commentary, although I didn’t expect them to answer. I asked, “Where was the reflection in his life? When did he pause? When did he ever reset his body clock? I understood that he was a notable individual, but to praise him publicly for doing two things at once, and in the same breath recount that he died of a massive heart attack at 44 is dripping with irony.”

This person was the antithesis of someone who masters his personal environment. Rather, he let all assignments, all intellectual queries, all interests, anything, apparently, that appeared on his personal radar screen, to master him.

RELATED STORY: Are you a human being or a ‘human doing’?

What about you?

In your life, what are some techniques that you could use daily to pause, collect your thoughts, reduce your level of stress and move on with relative grace and ease?

1) Close your eyes for as little as 60 seconds and visualize a pleasurable scene. It could be a waterfall, a favorite hiking trail, a mountain top view, the shoreline, a campfire or simply the image of a loved one. Any time that you can visualize a pleasurable scene, it is like resetting your internal clock. You get an immediate “time out.” Think of it as a vacation of the mind. When you return to where you are, invariably, you will be in at least a slightly better frame of mind.

2) As a variation on this theme, with your eyes closed, listen to music with your headphones. When you are concentrating solely on music that you like, giving it the undivided attention of one of your senses, the time begins to expand. A three- or four-minute-long song goes by, perceptually, in ten minutes.

3) Allow one of your senses—smell, taste or touch—to dominate. For the next several minutes, close your eyes and simply explore your immediate environment by touch only. Yes, I know that you already know how many of these things will feel when you touch them. Make a game out of it. Pretend that your sense of touch was the only vehicle that you had for understanding your environment. When you open your eyes again, the world will look a little different, and things will be a little less intense.

Do the same with your sense of smell. If you are in an office environment and think that you don’t have options, look around you. Perhaps there is a non-toxic smelling magic marker nearby. How about a flower or lead pencil or a cup of coffee? When have you stopped and actually smelled the coffee?

RELATED STORY: 8 signs that your work-life balance is looking good

4) Play with Rover. Interacting with pets enables you to reset your internal clock. A growing body of evidence shows that pets have a calming, tranquil effect on people.

5) Notice your breath. Breath is the key to life. If you can’t breathe, you can’t live. In a particularly stressful environment, you might be engaging in shallow breathing. If you can draw three deep breaths, you will find that you can more easily feel in control.

The post Pause and refresh for productivity appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Recognizing workplace psychopaths

November 11th, 2019 @

sinister foreboding

This article by industrial-organizational psychologist and executive coach/consultant Dr. Paul Babiak was originally published by Meeting Professionals International in July 2008, yet the content is just as valid today—especially for meeting and event planners and those in roles requiring interaction with many different people. It is republished here in recognition of the revised and updated edition of Snakes in Suits, the “definitive book on how to discover and defend yourself against psychopaths in the office” that Babiak co-authored, which was released in August.

Annoying co-workers, deceitful colleagues and egocentric clients can make the job of the meeting professional a challenge. But nothing could be worse than dealing with a psychopath.

The word “psychopath” scares people. Psychopaths are often the subjects of newspaper headlines and television crime shows—cold-blooded killers, pedophiles and ruthless con artists—people we hope to never meet in our own lives. Yet, research shows that about 1 percent of the world’s population has psychopathic tendencies. The fact is that not all psychopaths are violent and dangerous; rather, the headlines that raise our awareness have skewed our understanding of who they are and what they’re like. If one in 100 individuals you meet in any given day could have psychopathic tendencies, how can you tell if your colleague is a psychopath or just someone with a disagreeable personality? An important first step in defending yourself is to learn about and understand just what makes someone a psychopath.

Psychopathy is a personality disorder defined by 20 traits and characteristics. Studies of the personalities of criminals over the past 30 years, as well as many individuals in the general population, form the basis for this research.

To make these traits and characteristics easier to understand, we can group them into four domains based on how they play out in daily life.

1) Interpersonal domain

The interpersonal domain defines how someone with a psychopathic personality disorder comes across to other people. When you first meet a psychopath, he or she seems to be very charming, often charismatic and quite likable. Psychopaths have excellent oral skills and will impress you with their knowledge in many areas, convince you that their view is the correct one and entertain you with humorous, and sometimes pleasantly outlandish, stories. But if you spend some time with one, you’ll eventually notice the grandiose style seems a bit too superficial and the air of superiority and the sense of entitlement a bit too much to take. If you dig deeper, you’ll discover that most of what you know about them is just a mask or façade. The façade they create provides the cover they need to get what they want: money, power, sex, status and so forth. Think Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Once you suspect that someone is not who they appear to be you should be careful not to take the relationship any further. But, if this is a work situation—whether a co-worker, client, vendor or property owner—you may have to deal with him or her anyway.

RELATED STORY: 5 ways to promote positive conflict in meetings for more effective collaboration

Psychopaths are master manipulators, investing notable energy and skill in creating and then preserving their masks. Their masks are successful because they tailor them to their targets, lying to get what they want. Pathological lying, even about insignificant things, is a core trait of the psychopath.

How can we be fooled? The positive first impressions psychopaths make are prone to last far too long because it is human nature to trust our initial judgments of people. We also want to give people the benefit of the doubt. We filter in information that supports our initial impressions and filter out facts that don’t fit. Should any doubt arise in our minds, the psychopath is there with a convincing explanation or plausible excuse that soothes any concerns we may have had. Over time we come to believe we really know this person and trust him or her.

2) Affective (emotional) poverty

Psychopaths also lack the capacity to feel the wide range of human emotions the rest of us experience; they suffer from affective (emotional) poverty, which is the second domain. Neuropsychologists have discovered that the emotional parts of a psychopath’s brain work differently than the emotional parts of a non-psychopath’s brain. Words, acts and feelings don’t connect in their minds. For example, when you lie, or when you hurt someone, you feel remorse or regret, and believe you should apologize or make it up to the person somehow. Not sleeping at night when you’ve done something wrong is a symptom of a working conscience, which the psychopath lacks. So is fear that you may get caught should you break the law. On the positive side, most people take pleasure in art, music, professional accomplishments and achievements of their friends. Psychopaths do not have this capacity for human emotion. In fact, other than anger, rage and frustration, they rarely feel anything akin to normal human emotions. People who do not interact regularly with psychopaths will find this concept difficult to understand and accept, especially since psychopaths will mimic emotions in order to manipulate their targets.

Besides lacking empathy and sympathy for others and being unable to feel remorse for anything wrong they may do, psychopaths are unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions. They readily blame others for everything that goes wrong. Should you be in their lines of fire, you may find yourself a convenient scapegoat.

RELATED STORY: Thoughts from a hotel’s neuroscientist in residence

3) Lifestyle

The third domain, lifestyle, deals with how they live day-to-day. Theirs is an impulsive, irresponsible lifestyle. They lack goals and are unwilling to expend the effort needed to achieve anything of significance. However, lists of major accomplishments (faked), high-status positions (exaggerated) and significant scopes of responsibility (distorted) will fill their résumés. Their irresponsibility can be frustrating, especially if you are conscientious about doing your job and doing it well. Their impulsivity can also be dangerous as they don’t care about the impact of their actions on co-workers, clients or their employers. They do enjoy handling “the big picture” and schmoozing with clients, but details bore them, and they leave important work undone. Yet, expect them to take the credit for anything you’ve done, even if they weren’t even involved.

4) Antisocial behavior

Because psychopathic tendencies can develop early on in life (both nature and nurture are involved), psychopaths often have personal histories filled with antisocial behavior, the fourth domain in our model. Examples include early adolescent problems (such as delinquency, truancy, shoplifting, disturbing the peace, public intoxication) as well as later adult antisocial acts (such as fraud, excessive speeding violations, spousal abuse). Their inability to control their behavior in socially acceptable ways seems rooted in their belief system (they are above the law) and how their brains are organized (they don’t feel fear and suffer no guilt).

RELATED STORY: 5 tips for speaking confidently and influencing undecided stakeholders

The corporate psychopath

Interpersonal influence, emotional poverty, aberrant lifestyle and antisocial tendencies together make up the psychopath’s profile. People who demonstrate most of these characteristics tend to end up as criminals and in prison. The corporate psychopath, however, has a muted profile. He or she is typically high on interpersonal and emotional domains (they have the psychopath’s personality) but score only moderately on the lifestyle and antisocial domains (they have “learned” how to better fit into society and corporate life). Unfortunately, they can incorporate many seemingly effective traits of leadership into their masks. Yet, all the while they may be working behind the scenes to sabotage projects, ruin careers and even commit corporate fraud.

The best advice if you suspect that you’re dealing with a psychopath? Avoid contact as much as possible, document everything, follow-up on all details and keep superiors in the loop. It’s tempting to trust people who appear to be too good to be true but remember that often they are.

Pick up the new, revised and updated edition of Snakes in Suits: Understanding and Surviving the Psychopaths in Your Office (2019).

The post Recognizing workplace psychopaths appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Prevalence and nature of virtual reality for meeting pros

August 5th, 2019 @

virtual reality

The topic of virtual reality (VR) and its use in the meeting/event industry first popped up in comments to MPI’s Meetings Outlook survey several years ago. A mere blip. Mentions have grown little by little since then, so this quarter several questions specifically about VR were included in the survey. While the immersive technology isn’t yet taking over, more and more industry professionals are experiencing it—and such first-hand experience is essential for the proliferation of VR as that’s the best way to truly understand its uses and potential.

Have you had a VR experience in the past 12 months?

Yes      36%

No       64%

While most meeting/event professionals have not experienced VR in the past year, the percentage who have used VR recently (36%) is generally in line with the general population of adults (41%) who report an interest in trying VR (according to a 2018 Google consumer survey).

RELATED STORY: 10 intriguing VR takeaways from SXSW

What was the nature of your VR experience(s)?

32%    360-degree video

21%    First-person experience (“walking” around and viewing a virtual world)

15%    Interactive environment (similar to “first person” but users can also interact with virtual objects)

12%    3D content creation (e.g. painting or building in VR)

10%    Riding on rails (guided through a virtual environment, only able to look around; e.g. rollercoaster)

9%      Social VR (interacting in real time with other users while in a shared virtual space; e.g. VR chat)

Understandably, 360-degree video is the most common VR experience reported. This is a very accessible segment—the most affordable type of VR experiences to create, easy entry for VR newbies or those without video game navigational experience and supported by every brand/style of VR hardware. The following video was shot in 360 outside of San Diego Comic Con–you don’t need a VR headset to experience this, either, just click and drag on the screen while viewing the video.

What brand of VR headset or system did you use?

47%    Mobile phone-based (e.g. Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, GearVR)

24%    Oculus Go

15%    Oculus Rift

3%      HTC Vive

3%      Oculus Quest

3%      Samsung HMD Odyssey

This is completely in line with expectations. For several years, inexpensive VR headsets that use a mobile phone for the display and computing power have introduced many to the basics of the technology. This is the most widespread and accessible type of VR headset available and, in fact, the platform I used to demonstrate the technology while speaking at Forum Eventos in Brazil in 2015. The Oculus Go (late 2017) lowered the bar of entry to slightly more immersive VR ($199, wireless, with a controller, but otherwise on par with a mobile phone experience)—so a strong showing here makes sense. Expect the new Oculus Quest (released in late May) to create more VR converts than any headset to date, given that it’s the first high-end, standalone, wireless headset with six degrees of freedom/movement (and a controller for each hand)—and has been perpetually sold out since going on sale at the relatively affordable starting price of $399.

To explore more findings from the summer 2019 Meetings Outlook report, read the full report.

The post Prevalence and nature of virtual reality for meeting pros appeared first on Plan Your Meetings @ Meeting Professionals International.

Category : Blog and Industry News

Beyond the usual in the latest Professional Development Guide

June 3rd, 2019 @

In addition to the usual resources we assemble twice a year to aid your career growth—scholarships, no/low-cost online education and live events—this edition of the Plan Your Meetings Professional Development Guide offers insight to some revolutionary and very important education opportunities for meeting and event professionals, whether students, young professionals or veterans.

A major development that’s finally taking shape this year: U.S.-based master’s degree programs in event management. Indeed, this high-level education boosts not only your professional standing but that of the meeting and event profession at large. To learn more about the course offered by New York University’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, launching in September, we spoke with academic director Lynn Minnaert (“The Birth of an Event Management Master’s Program”).

PYM2019Spring-coverEarlier this year, I had the opportunity to experience the three-day Event Design Certificate Program in Las Vegas. This highly focused process uses the #EventCanvas to map out the behavior changes you seek in affect in your attendees and stakeholders and determine how to make this change a reality. (Spoiler: I went in a skeptic and came out an evangelist.) This course was so much more than I expected, and I cannot recommend it enough!

Unlike most of the resources provided herein, neither the master’s nor event design programs are free—but that just means you need to utilize our scholarship resources we’ve assembled in the Professional Development Guide. It’s exciting to envision an industry made up of professionals who have been through these programs.

Career expert Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, also returns in this edition with a new column offering advice on “Shifting Gears: Making a Change Mid-Career.” And rest assured, elsewhere in this Professional Development Guide, you’ll find more of the updated essential goodness you’ve come to expect, including a free embedded webinar from the MPI Academy (“Five Keys to Cultivating Strong Partner Relationships”).

P.S. Don’t miss free education opportunities at Plan Your Meetings live events throughout North America—see future dates and register.

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