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You Will Crowdsource Your Content


Phil Cavanagh, CMM Vice President of Global Events and Trade Shows Monster Worldwide Inc. › about-monster .com


› @eventphil


No “I” in team As meetings become more col- laborative, the management and strategy around them almost need to become more centralized. In the past, we’ve always talked about the benefits of centralized meetings management and decentral- ized meetings management, the benefit of some autonomy, but now as meetings become more and more collaborative and more and more experien- tial, the shift has changed to where you need a cen- tralized oversight of how that strategy takes place. I think we still get too caught up with logistics and lose sight of the potential of the strategy.


Reinvents and reimagines tradition.


Attendees control the out- come Attendees no longer think of themselves as attendees, they think of themselves as partici- pants. With that comes crowd- sourcing of content. Pre-setting an agenda may or may not be the case anymore, because you want that feedback ahead of time and you want people to feel that the content is meaning- ful to them. Event designers need to develop out- come models. What we’re trying to do is still get to the objectives of a meeting, but make it meaning- ful. In the past, we were always able to come up with a measurement to track ROI, but now moving forward, we need to be able to forecast ROI. What are the outcomes we’re looking to create from a meeting, and how do we allow participants to col- laborate in the development of the content?


Brand your meetings In the past, the sales meet- ing was the sales meeting, the sales incentive trip was the sales incentive trip. Now all of those seem to mean more. It’s not so much what we say they are or what we define them as; it’s what the


52 PCMA CONVENE JUNE 2013


participants define them as. As brands have real- ized that brand identity is important, meetings and conferences need to maintain an identity of their own. It’s not so much what we say the identity is, it’s what the participants feel about the identity. People want to align themselves with brands and experiences that are responsible.


Your new skill set Basic skills are still a strong, needed foundation. All the principles that we had in the past — strategy, logistics, procurement, the legal impact, and a global awareness — are still a baseline for entry. But beyond that, event professionals need to become a trusted adviser moving forward. The onus is on the event folks to make sure the event channel is being used. Are there live experiences or road shows or collaborative meetings that need to happen that aren’t being consid- ered? What’s the architecture of that experience? The exciting part is that it’s


always new. It’s constantly evolving.


How to develop those skills I would say part of it is continuously working on your connectivity skills. So, what is your personal network like? Do you have, as a meeting professional, as a planner, people you can reach out to? Are there people you can reach out to benchmark against others in your industry, or what other industries are doing? I think everyone’s gotten a lot better in the last few years at creating personal networks — who they know and what industries and keeping in touch. Moving forward, a bigger skill would be maintain- ing and growing those networking opportunities. — Sarah Beauchamp


PCMA.ORG


‘Event designers need to develop outcome models. What we’re trying to do is still get to the objectives of a meeting, but make it meaningful.’


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