Tell Stories — but Make Them Work KA There are the speakers who think they know how to speak on the stage, and are often good, right? The goal would be for conference managers to tell them, “We want your tips to be actionable. You can storytell, but they have to relate to action- able tips.” That’s my perception of the future of meetings, no matter what topic you’re on.
Be Truly Social DS We always believe in throwing good parties on both nights [of the conference,] and I think the whole social aspect also helps. It is called social media, but we like to be real social, in both. So we try to have [the parties] in locations where the entire group is together and they are there for a purpose for a few hours both nights. [For an off-site party at McKelligon Canyon
outside of El Paso,] when I got up there to do the site visit, cell service was a little shaky and there was no Internet, and I thought: “This is going to be a big plus for us.” Now of course we had com- plaints, because you cannot take Internet away from these people. It is like … well, you know. But the whole idea was, if they got there and they were on the top of a mountain with some cocktails and some food and they could not use their device, they would have to talk to each other.
Finish Strong KA There are three important themes in any in-person experience. If you think about a movie, it’s the opening scene, the closing scene, and the climactic moment in between. Ironically, the scene that’s most important in shaping how I feel about the meeting is the one that’s usually most neglected, and that is the closing scene. As I’m leaving the scene, do you give me some-
thing? Do people shake hands? Do we see along the hallway, projected on the walls or on butcher paper along the walls or [on] banners, quotes that we heard? Does someone walk up to me with a video camera — it doesn’t have to be perfect or even professional, but there’s a squad of 30 of them — and they’re saying, “What is the specific tip that you found most helpful, just a sentence or two?” And it focuses the attendee on what they most enjoyed.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Yourself GF The most engaging events (or organizations, or people) stand for something that matters,
58 PCMA CONVENE FEBRUARY 2013 Greg Fuson
‘There’s something at the heart of it that gives your work meaning and pur- pose. Find that and build upon it. You won’t create some- thing engaging if you’re not engaged.’
Test Time Here’s how to earn your CEU hour. Once you
finish reading this CMP Series article, read these two blog posts by Kare Anderson:
› “Like a Movie Director, Storyboard the Experience for Us,” at convn.org/ anderson-storyboard
To earn one hour of CEU credit, visit pcma. org/convenecmp to answer questions about the information contained in this CMP Series article and the additional material.
The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is a registered trademark of the Convention Industry Council.
articulate their values clearly and persuasively, and aren’t afraid of polarizing people who don’t stand with them. If you’re bland and inoffensive, nobody will hate you. But nobody will love you either. You, the planner, also need to be willing to
put your passion and personality out there. People aren’t drawn to things that feel corporate. They’re drawn to things that feel human. Laurie Coots, chief marketing officer of TBWA\Chiat\ Day, puts it this way: “A good product is not enough; consumers today are also looking for soul — and soul is one thing you cannot invent. It has to be authentic.” Whatever organization you’re with, whatever
industry you’re in, there’s something at the heart of it that gives your work meaning and purpose. Find that, ideate around it, and build upon it. You won’t create something engaging if you’re not engaged.