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As our council members plot and plan for the year ahead... we thought we'd share some personal updates with you and what we have planned for the year ahead.
Have you set goals for 2018?
UPDATE from Anne:
The first meeting in my calendar in January concerned our sustainability strategy and planning; talk about putting new year’s resolutions in action straight away! Within the association, particularly focused on our annual conference – we have several goals for the year, sustainability being one of those I especially look forward to learning about and working on the coming year. I am curious to see how we can go beyond the obvious wins and put more long term goals in our plans.
On a personal level, I want to continue developing my knowledge and skills regarding the association side of things – beyond the event on its own but really being able to place it in the context of a member-led organisation. Being able to partake in the ASAE Next Gen Summit end of 2017 was a great kick-off for this goal.
The longer I think about what 2018 might be able to offer – and what I would like to get out of it – the more comes to mind. So I would say, bring it on 2018 – we are ready for you!
UPDATE from Grainne:
2017 is going to be a hard year to beat. Last year when I sat down and wrote what I hoped to achieve in 2017, no way did I think I would be where I am now – in my ideal job, living with my ideal man – cliché I know, but its true – 2017 was brilliant!
So here I am again, thinking about what I want to achieve this year and how I want to grow both personally and professionally. This year, I want to invest more time in learning about revenue management, forecasting, budgeting – all those things that people normally hate about sales…. The numbers! I love numbers, always have and although I love my job currently, I want to branch more into the strategic sale side of things! Fortunately I have a fantastic manager who is delighted to help me learn more – I finished a brief short course in Revenue Management in college last year, so I really want to build on this and see how I can implement an overall revenue management strategic plan!
Time management is something that I say every year I am going to work on, so yet again, it is on my list! I’m actually attending course on project management and prospecting next week, so hopefully that will point me in the right direction… again!
In relation to Meetings+Millennials, I want to put more time aside to concentrate on making great connections, gathering some great content and blogs from other millennials in our industry and building our profile! while we have had a fantastic 1st year, it can be hard to find the time and patience to invest in something like this, especially when work and life takes over! So hopefully 2018 will be the year!
When it comes to the personal side of my life, 2018 is already looking like it might top 2017! So bring it on!
UPDATE from Aoife:
2018 is going to be BIG and I am ready for it. I am feeling very privileged to be working on a new & exciting project with SoolNua as we lead the new SITE Marketing team into 2018. I will be undertaking the role of Director of Digital & Social Media Marketing - I am really looking forward to working more in the "I" in our MICE world - Incentives!
SoolNua recently moved office to Terenure, which is closer to home for me. I am going to try use the car less this year and walk the 25minute commute to our new working-home. I am lucky enough to have colleagues that don't mind dogs... so Nova gets to come to work with me too.
I work in all things social and digital after studying Advertising & Marketing in college, I am going to further my knowledge base in the coming year and I have enrolled in a professional diploma - back to the books!
I'd like to develop the networking opportunities within Meetings+Millennials and draw us all closer as a community to share knowledge and ideas.
I am in my 5th year in the same company and every year my role has evolved and our client base changes. I am always happy and excited to be doing the work I am doing and coming up to the office door every day... so here's to 2018 bringing more happiness!
What your goals, thoughts and reflections on the year ahead? Tweet us @MICEmillennials
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Many of us are familiar with ICCA as an industry organisation and with the events, they organise. Last month they hosted their 56th annual congress with a record attendance of almost 1300 participants. Several council members were able to attend – and we were curious to see how many YPs get the chance to do so, in what ways they are present at the event, and what their experience is like. On top of YP attendants and speakers, this year ICCA tried something new to attract and showcase young potential within our sector, which we were very happy to see!
‘The future belongs to us’ was a competition with a jury of YP-peers, allowing young professionals to envision a congress session that they think is worth attending, that is well set-up and treats a relevant topic. Thanks to the 6 brave souls who took charge of the young professionals’ meeting industry future by jumping on stage at the ICCA congress, by showcasing their potential and their vision for next congresses!
Meetings+Millennials spoke to several young colleagues who attended the congress, including colleagues who participated in the ICCA contest. We asked them about their experience, their views on how they can project their voice in the industry – and their ideas about the future. Happy reading!
M+M: What motivated you to participate in the ICCA contest?
Sezen Elagoz, Business Development Executive, Kenes Group:
Like many Millennials, I am competitive by creation. I am a firm believer of continuously developing and even reinventing myself and enjoy the process. Challenges like this competition are great tools to achieve this goal.
Karin Hagemann, Head of Convention Bureau, Montreux-Vevey Tourisme:
I started looking into it as different industry friends encouraged me to. I believe that we learn and grow most when leaving our comfort zone, similar to what Sezen expresses, so I thought it would be a great opportunity for me.
Amalie Andersen, Senior Project Manager – Events, Wonderful Copenhagen:
Agreed! I also aimed to challenge myself and meet likeminded YP’s.
M+M: The pattern of ‘challenging yourself’ as well as connecting with others seems to come to the forefront with 3 of our colleagues who participated in the contest. Do you recognise this as a participant of the congress as well as the session?
Vikas Tembhare, Meeting Media Group (Headquarters Magazine):
For me industry events are the platform to listen, share & learn. I try to meet all kind of professionals (all ages). However, meeting and spending time with young professionals does have an added advantage. We connect very fast, we share more and do not hesitate to open mind and thoughts; we ‘Learn together and grow together’. The ICCA competition was a good try to facilitate opportunities for young professionals.
M+M: What has been the response to your participation in the contest? Did you get any fun, crazy, bad, good, feedback? (or a job offer?;)
Sezen: I received many congratulations from people I know and people I don’t know. Even though I did not win I did develop myself on the way- which was my aim.
Karin: I was very surprised from the responses I got actually! I knew some familiar faces were in the room who would give me feedback but I was surprised by how many amazing remarks I received from people I did not know!
Amalie: I also received very positive responses from both known and unknown peers. Furthermore, we received a master class in public speaking from David Becket as well as a 15 min alone session with him to improve our pitch. Public speaking is not everyone’s favourite game, but nonetheless if you want a voice then you have got to ace that game. So that was a great prize in itself!
Karin: I agree! It was a fabulous opportunity to get a personal coaching session with David.
M+M: Great to hear that the contest was set up in a way that everybody would ‘win’ from competing! We think this is key to making these kind of opportunities work – well done to the ICCA team! On that note, do you guys feel that there are sufficient ways for young professionals to engage/be visible/share in our industry?
Karin: There are different organisations that organise programs for YPs, such as 20 in their Twenties by PCMA or the Forum of Young Professional by ICCA. So I definitely recommend all the YPs to apply to those events as they are great platforms to meet new industry colleagues and grow your network. But you should also connect with more experienced industry friends as you can learn a lot from them.
Amalie: I am not so sure that we should aim things to be particularly around Millennials only. However, I think congresses and conferences should acknowledge that this generation is here and things should be designed for both Millennials and the other generations.
Vikas: I see there are many ways to engage as a YP. Also group activities and sessions give chance to share your experience and know about other experience from different geography.
Sezen: There are some meetings/forums, however I feel participation in most industry events for the Millennials is not that easy as it is difficult to show ROI and the lack of content aimed at Millennials. Education doesn’t have to be different for different generations, good professional practice stays same across ages. Yet some focus on networking events and more opportunities like the competition we have participated in could help create a platform for us to gather around.
Side note from the M+M team; For those of us that are in the association sector, ASAE also hosts an amazing yearly event for young professionals (not fully event specific); ASAE NextGen Association Summit.
M+M: we are happy to hear such a cross-generational approach with many of you, as this is what we stand for also! However, lastly – just to get our point across – why do you think its important you and the rest of our ‘generation’ in the industry are heard and seen?
Karin: YPs often bring new ideas or point of views, so that is the reason why I believe it is important everyone should be put in the same rooms, as all generations have something else to offer and by working all together we will be more efficient and find new solutions.
Sezen: Most Millennials have come to professional maturity, in terms of age. We are in a period in our lives where we have experience, knowledge and energy and drive which hopefully leads to actions and result. I feel this is why our generation is being put under the magnifying glass: We are keen, motivated, want to make a difference, have a purpose, share etc. Just look how the world’s consumption habits have changed; we are not interested in ownership anymore. If we want to listen to a song, we subscribe to an app, we don’t buy albums. The millennial age is already here, it is just natural that millennial ideas are heard too.
M+M – that sounds like a beautiful statement to close this conversation: The millennial age is already here, its just natural that our voice gets heard! Thanks to Karin, Vikas, Sezen and Amalie for their willingness to share with us.
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Meetings Millennials by Gráinne Ní Ghiollagain - 2M ago
One of our sponsors, SoolNua, write a monthly musings Newsletter where they share advice and suggestions to enliven your weeks ahead. I was delighted to contribute some practical business advice new ways of looking at and understanding workplace culture. Here is my contribution below:
In 2012, after 5 long years of studying pharmacy to a master’s level, I finally graduated and started my career as a community pharmacist. Fast forward 5 years, and here I am working as the Business Development Manager in one of Dublin’s most unique venues. A very obvious transition… right?
Some people called me mad, crazy or stupid for turning my back on a career that I spent 5 years studying for – a career that was stable, consistent and well paid. However, I call myself fortunate. I was brave enough to throw myself into something entirely new, something that stimulated and motivated me in a very different way.
Yes, I took a pay cut at the beginning. But at the end of the day, happiness and ensuring I was learning and meeting new people every day was worth more to me than a few extra euros in my pocket. Now I am the Business Development Manager at Croke Park and my career is evolving. The people, pace and the passion of this industry are what motivates me and I am lucky that my ‘mad idea’ paid off.
So what’s my advice? Don’t be shoehorned into a specific job because you ‘studied the course in college’ or because you have experience in it – if something interests you, explore it and find a way to incorporate it into your life somehow. The same goes for managers looking to hire new employees, look beyond the applicant's experience and qualifications – see the potential and the passion they have, and use it.
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GUEST POST: Sarah Wenman, Conference and events consultant at HotelRes Ltd and Great Events UK. Travel
Millennials in this industry are constantly looking for new opportunities to get involved in. I personally want to get out and experience what’s on offer, not only to gain valuable insights into the industry to bring to our clients' events but also to broaden both my professional knowledge and my personal horizons. The "Millennial mind set" means that we are always looking for that new challenge to excel in and succeed, we look for new and exciting ways to further our development and keep ourselves up to date with the ever-changing face of the industry.
Being a Millennial in the events industry certainly has its fair share of challenges and changes - both as an organiser and on the client side. In my current workplace, we have seen a change in the needs of our clients and the types of events they want to hold. Gone are the days of the standard boardroom meeting with a Powerpoint presentation thrown in for good measure! Now it’s all about engaging - interactive events in unique and unusual venues across the globe with added values such as team building activities, incentives and dining experiences. There is also a strong emphasis on social media, technology and the way an event is shared, presented and delivered. 
I personally came into this industry with no previous experience whatsoever after a long 9-year stint in a retail position. I was instantly thrown into the deep end and learned new systems in a role that couldn’t have been more different than what I was used to. To re - use an analogy recently said to me by an inspiring Irish guy nicknamed Padraicino: My first week felt like I was drowning in a pool of uncertainty I had jumped straight into with both feet, it was either sink or swim so I thought to myself – best get swimming then! And I haven’t looked back since. Best decision I ever made!
My journey into the meetings & events world is proof that there is an incredible amount of potential for millennials to adapt and shine in this exciting industry - no  matter what your background is. I have experienced some amazing opportunities in the 3 years that I have now been part of this exciting and fast paced industry - travelling to different destinations, dining in high-end venues and meeting likeminded individuals. I have forged both good working relationships and friendships around the globe - these are just some of the perks of the job. 
This industry gives millennials the opportunity to experience destinations, venues and activities first hand and to meet some amazing people along the way. These opportunities give people like myself the platform to recommend new ideas to clients that we can talk about with confidence, all while increasing our profiles as #eventprofs through networking.
Through business trips I have -  learnt about the history of Flamenco in Madrid, walked through the city of Rome, tasted many a whiskey, learned to play the Bodhran and walked over the roof of third largest stadium in Europe, Croke Park, on its infamous skyline tour in Dublin (I have a long standing love affair with Dublin’s fair city so this was an absolute personal highlight for me!).
There is a big opportunity for Millennials to showcase and explore what social media and digital marketing can do in the destination management field and beyond. Millennials have experience of using these platforms as teenagers and in young adulthood - we sort of have a natural navigation of technology. We’re all just a hashtag away from event world domination!
Millennials have all the opportunity they want to make memories and lead the industry in a new direction.
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Tim Norris is the Senior Production Manager at ACC Liverpool, and shares with us his views on what you can build with likeminded colleagues who want to move forward, and also about ‘paying it forward’ to next generations. This blog goes to show that the younger generation of colleagues is present in many different sectors of the Meeting Industry, looking to make their mark, but also looking to make it future-proof! Enjoy the read...
With many millennials working in events, it is up to us to try and help shape the future of our industry.  This means fresh ideas, energy and dynamism in order to progress the services we provide and in turn enhance our visitors’ experience.
Joining The ACC Liverpool Group as a technician seven-and-a-half years ago provided such an opportunity.  I had cut my teeth at ICC Birmingham, learning from an experienced technical team with many years under their belt.  ACC Liverpool, which comprised of Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre, only opened in 2008 and that meant a young, fresh team hungry for to make an impact.
When I started in 2010, the production team consisted of 10 people, mainly of a similar age, which was a great advantage – we were a small team with many new and exciting ideas – and we supported each other so our suggestions could be heard.  At the beginning, we supported smaller association conferences and larger events mainly brought their own production teams in.
As the business and number of events grew, we were able to prove that not only were capable of providing full technical services, we were hungry for it.
Having a millennial led team, we had a great energy and appetite to grow the department. As a young, focused and enthusiastic team we wanted to move away from the usual traditional ‘in-house AV teams’. We wanted to make a name for ourselves for our creativity and innovation. We listened to each other, learnt from each other, and in turn was able to offer our clients something more exciting and unique.  
Over time we like to think we have more than proved ourselves - the enthusiasm and proactive nature of a younger team gives our clients confidence in our abilities and innovative suggestions.  Trust has built over the years so that clients are comfortable leaving every aspect of their production in our capable hands and our sales team are happy to sell our services.
As millennials, we are never finished learning – we are constantly looking for new innovations, new ideas, new inspirations. I count myself lucky to be working in such a young dynamic company, who thrive on learning and development. Everyone’s ideas are heard and discussed .
We not only support each other, but we also focus on supporting and nurturing young talent. We recruit casual staff and freelancers who are studying at local universities to help boost their skill set. This has resulted in many of our younger casual technicians moving on to get full time jobs with us.
Since those initial days, I have seen the department grow.  We continue to innovate and invest which enables us to enhance our services smashing the old school image of a production team as we go.  After all, the industry is constantly evolving, so why shouldn’t we?
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GUEST POST: Aoife Delaney, Director of Marketing & Sales, DMC Network
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Aoife has been named on the 22 Millennials to watch list with Meetings and Conventions, a Meeting trendsetter with Meetings Focus, and a Rising Star with C&IT. Her background is in the DMC arena, she was formerly Director of Global Sales for Ovation Global DMC. Aoife is an active member of many industry associations, particularly SITE, where she spent the last 5 years as a member of the International Board of Directors.
By 2020 millennials will comprise of 50% of the global workforce - that’s a hefty chunk of the population, and certainly the future of the meetings and events industry, so we need to take this demographic seriously.  
That being said, in many ways I would use the term Millennials to describe a much bigger demographic then one that is purely defined by age.  What I am seeing in our industry is a demographic that is comprised of a new way of thinking, and that demographic isn't always of the age group that is a millennial.  In today’s world, we need to look at who portrays those characteristics, and not just define this by age. 
So, what does this new Millennial look like, and what are they bringing to the table?
First and foremost, there is definitely a new way of thinking among this group - a questioning of the traditional way of operating and a transition away from hierarchy being trends that are certainly paving the way for companies to approach the way they operate in a new way.  We’re seeing that new approach spilling over into how we work with our clients also – a new way of looking at the way we do business, and that truly is refreshing.
There’s also a craving for new and truly authentic experiences.  There is less of a focus exclusively on the luxurious, the opulent, and the elaborate; and more of a spotlight on a local’s experience.
Work life balance is another trend that this Millennial workforce are embracing – in today’s competitive labour market work-life balance practices are truly essential for employee retention.  Progressive companies are encouraging this healthy balance, and reaping the benefits because of it.
A focus on more and more digital options is another field coming to the forefront.  Virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence – the art of applying technology to maximize the audience experience is a big focus in the events industry now - it’s an exciting time!
There’s also a change in the type of services that are required.  This is definitely being driven by millennial lifestyles, and we’re seeing that spill into how they like to do business.  We're living in an age of instant gratification, we’re not used to waiting and so service has to change to meet these new customer demands.  Take a look at our social lives for a great example – we want to watch a TV show…we can get it on Netflix instantly.  We want to buy a new sweater?  Next day delivery means it’s on our doorstep in the morning.  We’re no longer used to waiting socially, and that has an effect on our expectations in a business environment.
For me though, the most exciting change is the refreshing attitude in our industry at the moment – people are more open to learning, changing and evolving.  There isn’t that same sense that we need to know the answer to everything straight away anymore, or that there is only one correct way to do things.  People are operating in ‘beta’ more, being open to change and open to evolving. 
The implications of what Millennials are bringing to the table are positive for everyone, we're looking at more ways to work harder, not smarter, there's less micromanaging, more creativity, more rewards, more digital opportunities to get involved in. 
But what is the most special thing to see as we come into this new workplace environment? 
The creativity, the disruption and challenging of the norm that we are experiencing is not solely coming from the ‘younger’ workforce. 
It’s a way of thinking that can span all age groups, and that’s truly something to embrace.
Twitter:@efa_d
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In many of the events I attended as Meetings+Millennials representative, discussions I had or sessions M+M was part of – a major topic was company culture and ‘finding the right fit’.
Personally I think it is hugely important to work in a place that shares similar core values with you; where colleagues work with each other in a way that you feel is right, or feel comfortable with; where objectives are in line with your own and these are met in ways that are in agreeance with your own moral compass.
I believe such an environment allows for people to do a job the best they can – regardless of age, years of experience or job level.
I consider myself fortunate to work in an organisation which I feel ‘at home’ in;
we (proudly) have many different nationalities represented,it’s a culture that fosters getting to know each other and to care for each other,one that allows for everybody to make suggestions or bring forward ideas – regardless of hierarchies or job titles.
Greener events -> greener office
More recently, our office culture has also become more ‘green’ – something which I care for deeply and am very proud of. This is also the ‘case study’, if you will, for this blog. It is to show that you should find the right fit – but that is not to say that you cannot make this fit more snug once part of the organisation!
Several colleagues, including myself, care about sustainable efforts in our personal lives and were trying to find ways to bring our ideas about sustainability in to the work we do. In the end, I can eat vegetarian meals (with limited dairy consumption) all year to reduce my carbon footprint – however – if I can make 5.000 people eat a meal with limited meat and dairy for the duration of our conference, then we are talking a much bigger impact than my personal efforts!
By talking to each other, sharing ideas and seeing what we can do within existing budgets and plans – this year’s conference will be considerably more sustainable without having to take these decisions through policy planning phases, Management Team brainstorms or Board and Council meetings. We hope to show to the rest of our office, and our association, what you can do when you put your mind to it – to ‘green’!
Next step – showing our progress so this input can be used in the more structural discussions as of course we are aware that meals and recycling of materials are not the big(gest) issues when hosting international events.
Not only will our conference be greener, but once we started these discussions among colleague’s small things in the office started changing as well. We were not just bringing sustainability in to the work we do – but also into the place we work in! Separating and recycling of trash, considering when to print, or different choices about cleaning materials. All slowly creating awareness for sustainability with colleagues for whom this was not yet ‘a big deal’.
Finding your fit, creating your fit
At Meetings+Millennials, we hope to encourage young professionals to ask about company culture in job interviews (don’t be afraid to ask for examples – find out what’s real and what’s PR/wishes and to empower them to make career decisions based on ‘fit (which does not need to mean that everybody is exactly the same!)’. Furthermore, we want to stress to employers the importance of communicating these values to future colleagues clearly and from the start -as we hear around us (and this is mentioned in many studies also) that these are extremely important for this generation in their decision making processes. Plus, I believe you should want people in your organisation that will work with you, not just for you, and this is a great way to achieve that.
Now, you might not care so much for sustainability (although you really should ;)) but there will be something else you deeply care about, or there will be something you deeply care about in your field of work specifically. No matter your age, job level or sector – if you are in the right company you should be able to contribute to company culture. Once you’re in, that culture is yours too! If you notice there is no room for your values, the things you care about, have a look around you to see what else is out there. Because in the end company values do not stand on their own, but also influence how you as a person, and a colleague, are valued by your company and its employees.
What is important to you in life and work? Is this shared by the people you share your working life with? Sometimes the best way to find out is to talk about it! Why not try to reach out to some fellow M+M colleagues at an industry event or online.
**If you want to know more about sustainable efforts in your daily life – for me reading the book ‘Eating Animals’ by Jonathan Safran Foer was a great start to change my diet and reduce my carbon footprint.
**If you want to know more about sustainable efforts at events – there are great resources on the GMIC (Green Meeting Industry Council) website.
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GUEST POST by Thomas Heiser,originally posted on his blog.
Introduction
Event organisers are super organised. It almost goes without saying. So deciding not to plan a third of my recent conference programme was a massive break from the norm.
“Why would you do that?” I hear you cry!
Because pulling together conference programmes is a guessing game. Of course we make (very) educated guesses, we know the industry trends, we make sure we have great speakers lined up, but:
ultimately only the audience know what they really want to engage with.
So at 2017.Open.coop we left roughly a third of our two-day programme COMPLETELY BLANK. Then, on the first morning, we let delegates pitch sessions they wanted to run and the audience used Slido to select the sessions they wanted to be added to the programme.
Was I nervous? Yes (but aren’t we always on show days?).
How did it go? Very well indeed.
A modern “Open Space”
If 2017 is the year of Event Design (i.e. consciously moving away from “events-as-usual”), it was amusing to be starting the year with a decidedly “old-school” technique.
Open Space (Technology) has been used as a means of allowing groups to self-organise since it was developed in the 80’s and there are lots of articles you can read on the subject.
The main idea is as follows:
The programme for the event starts blank Delegates sit in a circle and are invited to address the group to raise subjects they would like to discussEach proposal is written onto a post-it note and then all post-it notes are stuck on a board​The post-its are then arranged into a programme which forms the schedule for the eventDelegates visit the board and are free to choose which session they attend
There’s more to it, but this is the basic idea.
To my (admittedly limited) knowledge running an open space is generally done in this low-tech way, using post-its, markers and whiteboards – not something that appeals to my sense of order and love of tech – nor something that I really wanted to try with a tech-savvy group of 400.
I needed a digital alternative to bring the Open Space idea up to date.
Why can’t we just hack Slido?
I’d used Slido before at other events and always had a feeling it could be stretched to work in more creative ways.
In the end, the solution was a simple one.
A re-write of the 1-5 above (or “How to use Slido to manage an Open Space”) would read something like:
The programme for the event starts a third blank (we did have people like Brianna Wettlaufer and the Shadow Chancellor that we needed to publicise in advance!)
Delegates are seated theatre style. Those that want to propose a session use Slido to “ask a question” which actually contains the title and a brief overview of the session they would like to run. These are displayed live on the main conference screen.(We actually invited delegates to start submitting their sessions in the week prior to the event. This increased pre-event engagement and ensured there wouldn’t be an awkward silence with no-one wanting to go first with the pitches).As the list of potential sessions grows we invite the first in the list up on stage to give a 1 min pitch of what they want to run.Pitches continue until everyone who wants to run a session has been heard.The audience is then invited to “up-vote” the sessions they would like to attend. The “up-vote” functionality in Slido is designed to make popular questions rise to the top for Q+A sessions (we used it this way in our main sessions). It worked equally well for the Open Space voting allowing our delegates to steer the development of their programme without leaving their seats.Once people have voted, the top x sessions (I think we had 14) are incorporated into the programme on the conference website/app and are immediately accessible to delegates on their mobile devices.
So how did it go?
It was great. Slido kept the process smooth and our delegates were excited to come along for the ride.
We knew our audience was eclectic and we’d worked hard to ensure the pre-arranged sessions in the programme would appeal. Even so, it was amazing to see the breadth of subjects that our audience wanted to discuss.
There was no way we could have curated content as diverse or engaging as the sessions our delegates came up with.
It was also amazing to see just how many people wanted to lead a session. We had twice as many pitches as there were spaces and (I think) ended up with an even more diverse speaker pool.
The format and delivery of sessions were also brilliant. Some delegates came pre-prepared with worksheets and pens, some ran discussions, others presented case studies or ran working sessions.
Crucially, all of the sessions were led by people passionate about the subject and attended by an audience who had actively chosen to take part.
The buzz and excitement you could feel around the venue were reflected in the post-event feedback.
Same again next time?
Before the event, I definitely had my reservations.
Coming from a corporate event background the slightly “loose” way in which the process was described didn’t sit all that well. However, with Slido and a bit of creativity, we managed to scale and streamline the process so it worked with a larger audience and fitted within a more traditional conference set up. To be honest I think I may have been converted.
I saw huge benefits of incorporating elements of an Open Space. The most obvious included:
Delegates develop immediate buy-in and ownership of the programme.The content is 100% relevant to the people in each session.The subjects that need to be discussed get discussed.
In effect, you end up with a programme custom designed for your delegates, by your delegates. And it (possibly) requires less work.
Have you tried something similar?
This was the first time I have run an Open Space on this scale but it’s something I will definitely do again. If you have any questions, experience or advice to share please add a comment below. It would be great to learn more.
This article was written by freelance event manager Thomas Heiser and was originally published on the Focal Point Event Management website.
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At Meeting+Millennials we want to cross generational gaps and create bridges together. Therefore we are proud to provide a platform to Thuy Anh Nguyen, student at Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences. In this guest blog she will tell us about her experience at IMEX in Frankfurt and her participation in the Future Leaders Forum.
A Student's fresh Experience into the Meeting Industry
- 3 Things I learned at FLF/IMEX 2017 in Frankfurt -
As a 4th Semester Tourism Student who has just started her majors in Business Tourism and MICE three months ago, everything I have learned about the meeting industry was through the Professor's lectures. If you had asked me back then how sure I was about my major choices, my answer would have been: “I’m still experimenting with my choices”.
I mean, how many of us actually know exactly what we want to do in the future? How many of us have a clear purpose in life? Not that many, in fact 98% of people don't - according to Guy Bigwood, Group Sustainability Director at MCI Group and one of the presenters for the Future Leaders Forum at IMEX.
But IMEX has given me more than just a bag full of goods to bring home, the exhibition has given me a sneak peek into the meeting world, valuable contacts, new friends and an experience that made me changed my mind and think “I want to become a part of it”.
1. Valuable Contacts and new Friends around the Globe:
The one tiring thing you will be doing again and again in IMEX, besides listening, is talking. The FLF/IMEX is designed so that you meet new people at every turn and in every corner throughout the whole program. The first activity you do during the FLF welcome is to stand up from your round table of classmates and join other circles that share the same idea with you through a series of questions. “You like Chocolate Ice-cream? Me too. What a coincidence”.  And of course, we can´t forget about the many networking coffee breaks, lunches and receptions.
Be it with other students from all over Europe as well as from the US, China, Thailand and South Africa, or with industry leaders, business meeting experts and exhibitors… you will find yourself networking and bonding with other people whether you like it or not.
2. A peek into the Meeting Industry:
The FLF/IMEX program gave a clear understanding of what was going on inside the meetings and events industry, which trends are currently ongoing and how to plan a purposeful meeting.
My favourite activity of the whole program was the round table session, where you had the chance to sit down with 4 out of 14 industry experts of your choice and get first-hand insights into their respective organization and field.  I heard about their exciting personal experiences, what they have done to reach that professional position and their view on what a job in the industry is really like. And as a bonus tip, I even received some inside info about possible internship openings. Jackpot!
3. A Bag full of Goodies:
And I mean a very full bag of goodies packed to the brim with small gifts from each exhibitor that I visited: a small stuffed Kuala bear from Australia, delicious Penang sweets from Malaysia, a Stuttgart to go coffee cup, an adorable Japanese Umbrella and a bag with beautiful printed design from Singapore… All these souvenirs gave me the feeling that I just jumped across half of the world and came back home packed with memories of my experience.
But most important of all are the valuable conversations, business cards, brochures and company info that I’ve gained from tourist boards, convention bureaus and destination management companies worldwide.
Who knows, maybe one of them will become my future employer.
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This post is the 2nd post in a series of 4 short blog posts, sharing some tips on a subject that we can all relate to - event hashtag trending. These tips are based on my experience of running social media campaigns for a variety of events in the industry that have trended online - from something as small as a meeting of 80 people to a conference of over 1,000.
The last post addressed the issue of timing - when to tweet! You can you read that post here.
After you have worked on a strategy of the timing of your tweets for your event , the next step is to get as many people as possible on-board the tweeting train! Having the one account tweeting out 100 tweets isn't as effective as 10 people sending out 10 tweets each.
Part 2: It takes more than one.
Tweeting from your own account or company account multiple times on the day of your event won’t be enough to get the hashtag trending.
The Team: Make sure you, your company and other team members are tweeting from their own accounts. You will need multiple accounts tweeting about the hashtag to reach a larger audience and spread the impression count further in order for it to trend
The Attendees: Involving your attendees as much as possible is crucial. Encourage them to tweet photos / videos / text and use the hashtag to capture the story online
The Stakeholders: Get any sponsors, venue or suppliers involved – its promotion for everyon
Got something else to add? Tweet the team at @MICEmillennials.
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