OVERALL IMPRESSION: “The way that staff handles questions, problems, com- plaints, or surprises on site at a meeting speaks volumes to attendees,” said Kellogg School of Management’s Lisa A. Fortini-Campbell, Ph.D. These impressions, she said, create the brand.
misalignments to happen between those things.” The way staff handles questions, problems, complaints,
or surprises on site at a meeting speaks volumes to attendees. Those impressions, Fortini-Campbell said, help create the brand.“Most of the time, unwittingly,” she said, “[the staff may] make a decision about how to handle something based on convenience or cost to themeeting itself.That’s not inap- propriate, but they need to take into account what message their action will send. Think through that decision based on the entire experience from the branding perspective, and that includes operational decisions and logistical decisions.” It’s not uncommon for “the operational experience [to
get] shoved into another bucket” apart from branding, For- tini-Campbell said. McDonald’s, she said, offers such an
“You can havethemost marvelous advertising and you can have an exciting-look- ing logo that says you’re modern. But if the bathrooms arefilthy and thefood is cold and the people aren’t nice, that’s sending an entirely different message.”
example: “The person who took over McDonald’s some years ago said that operations is branding. Everything is branding.You can have the most marvelous advertising and really great promotions, and you can have an exciting-look- ing logo that says you’re modern. But if the bathrooms are filthy and the food is cold and the people aren’t nice, that’s sending an entirely different message.” That overarching branding effort at a meeting requires
that everyone get on board. “If an organization is going to rebrand itself as providing leading-edge education for mem- bers,” Fortini-Campbell said, “it’s critical that the curricu- lum planners are involved.The materials that are in support of the service they deliver, the follow-up to whatever goes on at the conference or meeting, all of it needs to be done con- sistently with the highest standards in education in mind.” Meetings, Hennessy said, “fill all sorts of needs for cus-
Read more about branding and social media on The Dragonfly Effect blog atwww.dragonflyeffect.com /blog.Watch a video of Jennifer Aaker’s presentation at Web 2.0 Expo SF 2011, “Creating Infectious Action,” at http://bit.ly/hlaZCW.
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tomers—[who] come to be inspired, informed, to network with other folks. Certainly, you have to create excitement. [But] we have to understand the customer, and we have to make sure the content makes sense for them before we worry about a lot of hype.”
Kim Fernandez is a freelance writer based in theWashington, D.C., area. www.pcma.org