Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Blog Location

As of May 5, 2011 my blog has moved!  It is now combined with other PCMA blogs which can be found at:

See you there!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Value of PCMA Membership to You and Your Organization

These are some crazy times we live in – no doubt about it. With everyone strapped for time and resources to get their goals accomplished and in many instances exceed them – the pressure to succeed has never been higher.

The concept of ROI for a membership to a professional organization is nothing new. Recently I came up with some key questions people need to answer to help them figure out the ROI of PCMA membership. I share these with all of you to help you articulate what PCMA means to you and to your organization.

As pressures continue to prove value – take the time to reflect and I’m sure you will come out with a rich story of what PCMA has done for you!

1. How many business deals have you put together based on your connections with PCMA?

2. What does your network look like and how many of those relationships are because of PCMA?

3. What special deals/pricing, etc. have you been able to negotiate because of your connections through PCMA?

4. What programs/technologies have you implemented in your own organization because of the education gained at PCMA?

5. What leadership skills have you grown/gained through volunteer work for PCMA (HQ or Chapter)?

6. What plans do you have in place that came out of the education/inspiration you received from participating in PCMA?

I am sure there are more – what questions do you use to evaluate your membership? Love to hear them!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 10 List...Revisited

In October 2010, I put together a top 10 list of things I was looking forward to. I thought it would be interesting to see if my top 10 actually turned out to be my top 10. Without a doubt - YES!

Here’s a look back at my list – with my updated comments:

10. Celebrating with the Award winners
WOW – I could not have loved meeting our award winners more and then when I did, I cannot think of anyone who could have been recognized besides this amazing group. Sadly, one of our award winners, Dr. B.J. Reed, was missing due to a broken leg (ouch) – but she was magnificently represented by one of her students.

9. Meeting a ton of new members
I can’t even estimate how many members I met during my time in Las Vegas. And it isn’t even all the new people I met, I saw so many members with whom I’ve already met and it was so great to reconnect and catch up with each other.

8. Giving back to the community through Hospitality Helping Hands
Both of our HHH projects were sold out! We had waiting lists before the event and it was insane the passion our members had about these projects. From all accounts the two projects we worked on (U.S. Vets and WestCare) were two deserving organizations and we made a real impact.

7. Seeing the Chapter Leaders – and celebrating the outgoing presidents
Plain and simple I don’t get to see our chapter leaders as frequently as I would like and being able to gather with them on Saturday to learn and network was great. I ran into many of them throughout the meeting and got to know more of them on a more personal level – which was fantastic. I’ve increased my “Friends” and “Connections” by adding a ton of them to my personal network!

6. Party With A Purpose – enough said!
This event was SOLD OUT for the first time EVER!!! It was a Vegas-style event, with amazing music brought to us by Austin CVB (thank you!). There was dancing, celebrating and partying – and when all was said and done we donated $25,000 to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. Now that’s what I call partying with a purpose! :+)

5. Kicking off a new committee year
I got to spend time with my 2011 Awards Committee and we have so much to look forward to this year. With the addition of two new awards (check out more information on that in February) – we have even more opportunities to recognize great members!

4. Amazing keynote speakers
Okay, admittedly, as a staff member it is hard to see the keynotes because there are a lot of other activities to take care of so I didn’t get to enjoy all of the keynote addresses but I did catch a portion of them all. What I’ve heard was Tony Tsieh was AMAZING – so I will be sure to check out his presentation on the PCMA Online Learning Center when it’s posted.

3. Fun and energizing general sessions
It’s now time for a commercial plug…I love the creative work that Freeman brings to the table. Working closely with them, our M&E team really hit some balls out of the ball park this year!

Here I am with Elvis and some Showgirls at the Sunday reception!

2. Fabulous evening events
Seriously, these were mind blowing events. I walked into the Sunday reception and! The beautiful flowers, d├ęcor and entertainment truly proves that the entertainment in Vegas is second to none.

1. Seeing YOU!
I had so many good times, so many great conversations and so many laughs with you that I cannot stop thinking about how much fun this event was. As a staff member, sure, I came home exhausted, but that exhaustion is worth everything because I had an amazing time with you.

One of my social media and PCMA friends, Midori Connolly, has written about post-event blues – and many people have validated that it’s real. I can tell you that I have them. I miss being among you, I miss sitting down and talking with you and I miss the energy and excitement you all brought to me.

Thank you all for making 2011 Convening Leaders AMAZING and living up to my Top 10 list!

Now…I’m off to start working on the Education Conference and 2012 – see you in Baltimore and then San Diego!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Top 10 Things I’m Looking Forward To at #PCMA11

I realize that many of you are planning to attend PCMA's Convening Leaders (Jan 9 – 12 in Vegas) and like you, I am excited to get onsite and experience the meeting. As a staff member, my involvement in the meeting and seeing all my members is one thing that I love most about my job.

The fact of the matter is, no matter how much work it is, how many early mornings or late nights are needed, or even how ugly my shoes are onsite (they are soooooo UGLY! - see previous posts), being there and absorbing the energy of our members really motivates me to work harder for you!

So, here is my first, of what may be many lists that I will be creating, top 10 list of things I’m looking forward to in Vegas:

10. Celebrating with the Award winners

9. Meeting a ton of new members

8. Giving back to the community through Hospitality Helping Hands

7. Seeing the Chapter Leaders – and celebrating the outgoing presidents

6. Party With A Purpose – enough said!

5. Kicking off a new committee year

4. Amazing keynote speakers

3. Fun and energizing general sessions

2. Fabulous evening events

1. Seeing YOU!

Let me know what you’re looking forward to…or what you hope you’ll see there. And, if it’s not already in the plans, maybe we can pull it off!


P.S. – Don’t forget that early registration end 11/3!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Don't Talk to Strangers...and other tips for tradeshows!

It is a general rule of thumb that it is impossible to go to a tradeshow and not talk to strangers.  Well, you could if you were really looking to sabbatoge your presence there.

I recently came back from a tradeshow where I talked to a man for about 10 minutes and at the end of the conversation I thought I might have a stalker - seriously!

So I was joking with some colleagues on a new rule I was implementing for our tradeshows - don't talk to strangers.  It was pretty funny and of course I wasn't serious, but it got me thinking that as a booth staffer you need to put up with so much more than just the logistics and travel that come with exhibiting - you have to be able to deal with humanity in a professional and positive way.

To make my point, I've come up with some tips on how to be a good attendee: 
  • Approach booth personnel with a smile.  Do not look like an ax murderer!
  • If the show is slow and you find it fun to go around and mess with exhibitors by making up stories/professions, etc. I recommend you head for the hills.
  • It is also not wise to bring up your hatred of anything that might be controversial like religion, politics, ethnicities, genders - keep it professional people.
  • If you've overstayed your welcome in a booth, take the hint and move along.
Admit it - you are smiling to yourself right now because you've experienced something similar - am I right?

So, it's not just about being a great booth staffer for your organization, it's about being able to think on your feet, deal with the unpredictable, and stay professional no matter what you come across!

Have a good story to tell?  Please send it along!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tradeshows Revisited

We have had a busy few weeks with our tradeshow presence, and there is more coming this fall.  And, as I mentioned in a previous post, I am so not in love with how "paper oriented" tradeshows still are.  Why can't more be done electronically?

Today I come bearing the news that shipping needs to be looked at too.  For two of my recent shows I contracted for shipment through the show contractor.  Both times the shipping company refused to come to my office to pick up the shipment - they wanted ME to deliver it to them while they just parked out front.  WHAT?

I was in disbelief....and believe me the show contractor heard from me and made it right. But seriously people - really?!?!?!

Today was different... 

Today will be marked on the books as the day when a shipping company got it right.

Today will be marked as the day when the shipping company called to tell us they were on the way.

Today will be marked as the day when the shipping company showed up in my office, confirmed all my pieces were present and then THANKED ME, yes THANKED ME for using them!

Why oh why, is this the exception and not the rule? 

Please share your thoughts on this process...there has to be a better way!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Top 5 Things I Want To Read About...

Unlike a lot of top 5 lists around these days I would like to take a different approach, and thereby taking exception to a lot of the top 5 lists around these days, no offense. :+)

We all use SM for different reasons. I learn so much from my contacts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter that if I were to give you things I don't want you to tweet about, I might miss something really cool.

So here's my list of what I want to read:

1. New and hot bloggers - please keep telling me who you're reading. I often go visit and have found some extemely interesting business perspectives/tips/tricks. Don't stop touting interesting people (or people to follow/friend/fan).

2. Work projects - if you are working on a project that someone out in the SM world could help you with...don't hold back - collaboration is one of the key things SM give us access to!

3. Great restaurants - while I often get hungry, and therefore sometimes angry, when I am not eating delicious food like you - I still want to hear if you're having a fantastic meal and where. It expands my knowledge base and gives me options of places to try.

4. Photos of your vacation, dog, cat, baby, husband, wife, friends, etc. - while we are connected to each other through SM we don't see each other F2F very often, if ever, so if you stopped posting photos of personal interests that are important to you we might not ever get a chance to learn more about you, find more commonalities between us, and therefore build a stronger relationship with you.

5. Interesting news - even if it's not industry related, you never know where you will get the inspiration for your next big idea. Post it especially if it's industry related...we all want/need to know - don't hold back.

For me SM gives me an opportunity to meet and connect with interesting people - if you stop doing the above because someone created a list that said you should stop doing these things, most likely I would stop following you because I wouldn't believe there was a person behind the name...