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THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT: A little more than a quarter of respon- dents work for organizations that have created an app for use at their largest conference. Their use runs the gamut—surveys, social-media feeds, handouts, programs, itinerary builder, hotel, exhibit-floor and poster-floor maps, links to restau- rants, exhibitors, speaker submissions, and abstracts. “This year,” said one respondent, “we plan to organize a treas- ure hunt of the exhibit floor using the app.”


STAYING CONNECTED Seventy-four percent of respondents use socialmedia for personaluse, 60 percent for work. Forty percent update their status on the road for personaluse and 19 percent for work.


IT COMES WITH THE TERRITORY Planners shared their favorite parts of their job:


“Bringing people together and watching them enjoy a great experience.” “Creating space for the attendees to learn.”


“I actually like working under pressure and trying to exceed attendee expectations.”


“The challenge that the ever-changing world of meeting planning brings.We are called on to be ‘mini-experts’ in so many different areas.You must be well read to be a great meeting planner.”


“Seeing it all come together—especially seeing the tricky spots/crises avoided by a great planning-team effort!”


“Throwing in a bit of the unexpected.” “I was born to take care of people!”


“I love my job—but getting a chance to see different places and meet new people ranks up there at the top.”


And the things they like least about their job:


Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.


“Sixteen-hour days.”“4:30 a.m. wake-up calls.”“Being away from home and family.”“Dealing with uncooperative or negative team members and upset attendees.”“Delayed flights.”“It is a joke in our office now that if we could do a meeting without attendees, then our jobs would be perfect! Ha! So the answer would be: dealing with attendees who don’t read anything you send to them in advance of the meeting.”“Reconciling bills.”“The anxiety of predicting the future.You sign a contract a year in advance, not knowing how many will attend or the economic climate. I wish I had a crystal ball.” 


84 pcmaconvene April 2012 www.pcma.org


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