Meetings Today Blog

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Industry experts discuss a variety of topics specific to the meetings and events industry.


Beware the Polar Bear

Last week I saw a consumer product with a photo of a polar bear prominently displayed on the package. Right next to the smiling polar bear was the tag line, “The Right Choice.” Searching the rest of the packaging, I was unable to find any reason this product was the right environmental choice or more sustainable than the competition. Polar bears have quickly become the symbol for good stewardship of the Earth and can be found on cleaning products, office supplies and even the back of buses. It is greenwashing, pure and simple, unless the image is accompanied by information ...

Beyond the Tradeshow - Being Relevant (Part 2)

If you are like me, you like to think you are in tune with what is going on in the world. And we probably are, but are you in tune with how you are communicating? How the information you are sharing is being received? How you are engaging others to “buy” into what you are “selling”? OR are you just selling, sharing the info and communicating the way you always do, and engaging the way you you’ve always done it—hoping some of it will “stick” and a planner will buy? And, of course, this is all related to "knowing your ...

Soft Terrorism Targets and Events: How Do You Prepare?

For those of us who live and/or work in D.C.—I have a home office across from and next to major Federal buildings, and near a restaurant where more groups of kids and teens go than to almost any monument or museum!—terrorism is not on our minds all the time. I imagine that you who live and work in this area think, like I do, about MetroRail (our subway system) risks more than a potential terrorist attack. Reading this article in the Friday, 4.15.16 Washington Post ("Alert Level Green" by Dan Zak)—thinking about the classes I teach in a university meetings certificate course and at meetings ...

Transferable Skills and How to Use Them

Meeting planning is a remarkably broad career, one to which many who enter the profession came from elsewhere, have the responsibilities as part of other jobs (marketing and HR as examples) and is often considered a profession of generalists. If there’s something to be done, meeting planners (which I use instead of "professionals" because the latter often includes sales and marketing, catering, convention services, production, AV, etc. that are sometimes more specialized) often are tasked with "other duties as assigned" because we have so many transferable or cross-over skills. We are problem-solvers who can often think through how best to solve ...

It's Time for Healthy Events

They eat right, exercise, and get quality sleep while at home, it is any wonder why participants are asking for the same considerations when traveling and attending a meeting? Health and wellness are the latest trends in the hospitality industry and professional organizers are learning to incorporate them into meetings and events. While most conferences still require long days, high energy and endless stamina for the average human being to survive, organizers are beginning to integrate healthier practices into their planning. The phrase, triple bottom line, was coined in the early 1990’s and incorporates caring for “people, planet, and profit” as the goal ...

6 Ways to Change Meetings

I know I’m cranky about the meetings and hospitality industry. I’ve worked, sometimes labored, for 40+ years (yes, of course, I started when I was 5 years old with the first event I did: a fundraiser for polio) to make it better and I still experience, hear and see the same old stuff. People have said to me, “Just be patient.” What does that even mean?! I write and teach lots about risk and about ethics. Those are increasingly important and I’ll continue to discuss those. Right now, I’m frustrated by meetings that are little different than they were years ago and by people talking ...