Sunday, April 27, 2008
- Mark Twain
Why do most auditorium-style meeting sets have the aisle in the middle, right where prime viewing of the screen would be? Why do we cram so many chairs together that the middle of the rows are empty because people can't get to them without climbing over each other? Why do we make a vague attempt at helping people see the screen by herringboning the side rows, but we still make them crane their necks for an hour?
A few years ago, I attended the SGMP National Conference in Nashville and had the pleasure of participating in Dr. Paul Radde's session on audience-centered seating. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why this has not become the standard for meeting room sets. No more aching necks. No more empty seats in the middle because people do not want to crawl over each other. MORE room for chairs. It really is a no-brainer. Also check out his ideas on optimizing narrow rooms.
If you see Dr. Radde on any conference agendas discussing audience-centered seating, don't miss that session -- you'll never be more amazed by someone talking about chairs!
Friday, April 25, 2008
- Oscar Wilde
I'm trying really hard to care about Twitter. Stories of non-events like flash-mob parties thanks to twittering are enthralling, as are stories of how people network at events via Twitter. Is Twitter the next level of Facebook/MySpace when it comes to keeping up with friends and colleagues, or will it just further crush our youths' ability to communicate in actual full paragraphs and words by encouraging one-sentence microblogging?
It's easy to label this one "passing fad" simply because it seems that only the technically savvy will truly latch on to it, where something like a blog is a little more open to the masses. But I will admit that I follow a few people on Twitter (Andy Sernovitz, Wil Wheaton, and my husband who posted once - 11 months ago). You should at least log on and check it out - you know, see what the kids are up to! Sidenote: all of the people I currently twitter are over 30! Perhaps "the kids" are not the young'uns you're imagining. For a quick reality check of how ubiquitous this is becoming, check out twittervision.
The point is, you should keep an eye out for this technology's usefulness at your next event. Can you tweet your attendees to alert them to news, session changes, or evening events?
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Quick nod to one of my favorite sites for co-worker gifts. Despair.com is a blast to explore!
Now on to the topic at hand - why do you do the things you do? Is it because you've always done it? A legacy ritual inherited from those who came before you (a la the monkeys and the bananas)?
Or do you do it because you "should"? i.e. post-event surveys? Don't get me wrong, surveys are absolutely vital to measuring the success of your event and attendee ROO, but that's contingent upon someone in your company actually taking the time measure the success of your event and attendee ROO. If everyone looks at the survey results PowerPoint you send out and then sends a note back to you saying "Thanks for pulling this together," and you never hear from them again... well, it's time to reevaluate the need for and the usage of those surveys.
In my organization, we are going through some sacred cow slaughtering at the moment and it's pretty exciting to witness the morale increases first-hand.
Here's one that we can't seem to kill, though (in fact, I have been laughed at for even suggesting it) - why must event personnel stand behind a registration desk? Isn't there a more inviting way to welcome attendees to your event rather than placing a large table between you and them? Perhaps you have some ideas?
- Frank Crane
I would probably not name my business "Blow Me," however in this case, it seems to fit - they're breathalizers! From the latest issue of Springwise:
In the US, alcohol-related car crashes kill someone every 31 minutes, according to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the problem extends around the world. Blow Me is a UK-based company that hopes to reduce such statistics by bringing its mobile alcohol breath-testing service to private and corporate events.
Event organizers can hire Blow Me to attend any party or other happening where alcohol will be served. With the same equipment used by police forces throughout the UK, Blow Me's trained team conducts unlimited alcohol breath tests for event guests in a non-threatening and professional manner. Both branded and unbranded packages are available, and Blow Me's staff will follow any dress code to suit the occasion—tux and ties if needed. They can offer custom promotional materials, if requested, as well as information for guests about local transport options. The result, Blow Me hopes, is that more people will think twice before getting behind the wheel.
Launched in 2006, London-based Blow Me serves clients all over Europe; by January of this year it had stopped more than 1,000 people from unknowingly driving drunk, founder Sam Rose says. Undoubtedly it has also enhanced many a company's corporate image.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
- Aung San Suu Kyi
Just discovered this a few days ago:
I also discovered that MPI has a student group on Facebook that I encourage you to join. It seems to be relatively new, so the traffic is a little light at the moment. Perhaps we can fix that by getting the conversations going!
If you have a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation, please considering joining the Certified Meeting Professionals group here on LinkedIn.
* Reach out to fellow CMPs
* Get to know more than just a name in a directory
Clarification added 16 days ago:
This group is designed ONLY for those that have the CMP designation issued to them by the Convention Industry Council.
Monday, April 21, 2008
- Robert Zend
An actual innovation in air travel for coach class! The first class cabins have been the recipient of many nice upgrades (fully reclining seats, anyone?). And now we poor cows in coach will actually have a pleasant experience, too, thanks to Delta's new design.
Though it seems like it would make conversation among passengers a little more difficult...oh, and:
No more laying down across 3 seats when they're empty.
How do you see out the window if you're in an aisle seat?
How do you get your hot coffee from the stewardess if you're in the window seat?
Potentially disgusting germs on the "cozy" shield area...
– Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
As the online community becomes ever-more isolating, events may become to the key to truly allowing people to connect. So says Spike from Brains on Fire in this post.
And I quote, "...joining forces with offline opportunities to get flesh and blood together to celebrate one another (no, not celebrate your brand) will amplify – and trump – anything you could ever do online."
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where –" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
You know you are an event geek when this quote makes you think of event measurement. If you don't know your success metrics or objectives, any event can be a success (or failure for that matter)!
Define success early in your planning so you know what you need to accomplish andhow to shape your survey questions. But if the goal of the event is to increase sales, you'll need a viable way of correlating sales to the event. If you know that's not possible to correlate, then find another success metric.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "otherwise you wouldn't have come here."
I have ravenously devoured a few event-related blogs (Gathering and Face2Face being two of my faves), and casually clicked around others, and what I've discovered is a wealth of knowledge but a lack of community. Why are there rarely comments on these blogs? Are we all too busy in the offline world to network and share in the online world? Or are we all old school and just not into this web thing? Or perhaps we are shy (ha!). We encourage our attendees to join our online event communities, so why are we not drinking our own kool-aid?
So why am I starting a whole new blog instead of commenting on others? Good point. Didn't think of that. I should go comment on some blogs!
But seriously, what do you think? Why do you not comment on blogs?