The Business of Meetings

  • Shaping the Culture: How to create inclusive networking events

    This is part two of a two-part series. See part one here. In his book The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, Daniel Coyle explains that humans use “belonging cues,” or behaviours, that create safe connections in groups. You’ve felt these before: eye contact, turn taking, attention, body language, vocal pitch and whether everyone talks to everyone else in the group. If a group isn’t inclusive, you sense it immediately. “Belonging cues add up to a message that can…

  • The case for harvesting data

    As the Cambridge Analytica controversy dominated headlines, a number of commentators excitedly speculated that Facebook had been discovered engaging in data manipulation. I expected that they would soon follow with dark hints that the Ford Motor Company was manufacturing automobiles. Seriously? What business did they think Facebook was in? As the controversy unfolded, data analysis was characterized as a digital dark art thatneeded to be regulated and restricted. It was maligned as dishonest, pervasive and intrusive, and with little mention…

  • Legacy-building events: Excerpts from “Intentional Event Design, Our Professional Opportunity”

    Hope is a great motivator. When we deliver a mindful experience and positively benefit others, we have a win for participants and organizations. Designing events that foster exchanges is critical to moving society forward, and always has been. Event professionals are developing rich corporate social responsibility programs that make a difference in the lives of those living in the local cultures we touch with our events. These moments are often the pieces with the emotional power to take your programs…

  • Venue contract wisdom is often woefully insufficient

    By Heather Reid A side-by-side examination of 12 signed and negotiated contracts for booking events into unconventional venues unveiled disturbing discrepancies to me. The “unconventional venue” contracts included the following Canadian locations: cultural centre, city-owned sport facility, entertainment complex, music hall, high-risk recreational facility, heritage facility, aquarium, brewery, two recreational/amusement facilities and museums in three different cities. A wide variety of unconventional venues for sure! Here are a few of the disturbing findings of my side-by-side review: Indemnification Clause: 6…

  • Smart hiring managers invest in getting to know candidates

    By Sheila Wong Common courtesy is not just something we remember from the past – it can be an asset in recruiting today. How you treat your candidates before, during and after the interview process is very telling of the type of manager you are perceived to be. It is instrumental in attracting the kind of candidate you need in our service-based industry. How does this apply? It’s a lot like dating. After talking to a classmate from his MBA…

  • Prevent becoming a commercial casualty by avoiding current events debates

    On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed and 17 more wounded. It seemed yet another tragic shooting of numerous innocent victims that provokes intense political and media interest for a few days and then is eclipsed by other events. In this case, the Parkland shooting has gained a momentum that has grown in news coverage, causing a number a special interest groups to wade into the…

  • Four reasons why you should attend professional association meetings

    As an association manager, I’m regularly coming up reasons why professionals should join their industry associations, and different ways to market and share their value propositions – and yet, there is still work to do around awareness in our own meeting planning industry! How do you get your professional development? What networks have you joined? Is it time to start being more active in your industry’s association? Or, maybe you’ve already had a full career and it’s time to give…

  • Marriott’s commission reduction: Don’t say you weren’t warned!

    By Shimon Avish Six months ago, in a prescient article by the GBTA Meetings Committee, the specter of a reduction or elimination of hotel commissions was explored. And as of last month, that possibility is now a reality, thanks to the folks at Marriott reducing commissions from 10 to seven per cent in North America. Do we believe this is the final reduction in commissions, or only the first step? Let the chaos begin! The only question that matters now…

  • Trend Watch – Association Meetings in 2018

    Over the next few months, the team at Redstone will be taking the time to look at what we can change or improve on in our association meeting planning in 2018 – particularly those that will require increasing a budget line or two – in order to be able to bring the organizations we work with into the future. Here are two important areas where our team will be learning, training and increasing our budgets in order to better serve…

  • The psychology of events: Why sticking to a schedule matters

    Have you ever wondered why you get so agitated sitting in a presentation longer than expected? Or why you are so relieved when it ends a few minutes earlier? To understand why this is the case, I interviewed Dr. Brynn Winegard, award-winning professor, brain science expert and keynote speaker. Dr. Winegard opened my eyes as to why sticking to a schedule matters more than you can imagine for the attendee experience. As event planners we know how important it is…

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