Thursday, December 27, 2007

Facebook has opened my eyes

Have you been on Facebook? If you are a person of a certain age (which I am!) you would think that Facebook ( is just for the youngsters amongst us. I went on it - with some nudging of Melissa who heads up our student efforts and has created a network online for all our students attending our Annual Meeting. Anyway, I went on and started playing around...not quite sure what I was doing.

I have been on LinkedIn ( for a few years now - so I "get" the premise of social networking.

What I didn't get - was how HUGE Facebook was and what a powerful tool it was to help ease communication with friends, family and colleagues. I now have a Facebook account that I visit once or twice a day to see what's going with my Friends. And when I say Friends, it's not cyber friends (people whom I've never met). They are my friends that I don't get to see enough because of time limitations 0r the fact that we live in different cities, they are my neices and nephews who live in a different state - I stay connected with them in a whole new way which is priceless, and they are my colleagues folks I see everyday but for which our relationships are different now that we are "connected" in this new way.

Here's a prime example of the power of Facebook. After I created my site I became Friends with my colleagues who were on Facebook - not really believing that I knew anyone else who would use Facebook. I was wrong. Within 5 days I had found an old friend of mine from college - after 15 years - can you believe that?!!! Because we're in different states than each other it's not likely that we would have just bumped into each other. This ability to cyber connect is priceless!

PCMA has brought forward a business networking site for the Annual Meeting called PCMA Connect. PCMA Connect works very similarly to these other social networking sites - but it's a place to connect more for business connections than personal. But one thing is for sure - if you use the site for it's intended purpose the personal is bound to come because I believe it's just simply impossible to not personally connect with someone with whom you have something in common with - business or otherwise.

The power of these sites to bring you to a mass of people is something that you shouldn't ignore. My advice to anyone that's a little curious about any of these social networking sites is to try it - you never know who you'll find.

-Christine M.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Year.....Already!

Here we the end of another year. It felt strange today talking to my team about our first meeting next year. NEXT YEAR! So many things have happened this year for me - most really good. I started at PCMA in April and I cannot believe that 8 months have already come and gone.

As we are embarking on a new year, new opportunities await us - if we are willing to take chances and risks - who knows what we can accomplish! I know that some of my goals are pretty HUGE, but without trying I have no idea how far we can really go.

I wish you the Happiest of New Year's, safe travels, relaxation and a renewed spirit as we launch into 2008!

Cheers -

Friday, December 7, 2007

So...tell me about yourself

I don't know if you are aware of this, but PCMA is trying to learn more about you...and we are trying to do it through a demographic survey. The questions that we are asking (what type of organization you work for, how many meetings, how many staff, etc.) are going to help us customize our programs and services to meet your needs.

What I wasn't prepared for, call me crazy, was how long it was going to take to get the information collected. So...if you get a survey from us asking you for your information I hope you take the 2 minutes to fill it out - it will be so helpful!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Charity Begins at Home

Speaking of charity, if you are attending the Annual Meeting - are you planning on going to Party with a Purpose (PWAP)? You can buy individual tickets and all the funds raised go to three different organizations: PCMA Education Foundation, PCMA Network for the Needy committee and a local Seattle charity.

This year the charity we selected is The Moyer Foundation's Camp Erin. Camp Erin is a grief camp designed for children ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a parent, friend or loved one. It is a weekend-long experience filled with traditional, fun, camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support -- facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers. The Moyer Foundation partners with local hospice and grief counseling organizations in the communities where the camps exist. Because these organizations are seeing and treating grieving children everyday, they act as the natural registration points for Camp Erins in those communities. Support from The Moyer Foundation and local communities ensures that Camp Erin is free to all campers.

Find out more about this exceptional charity at:

Be sure to view the video to see for yourself the good work that they are doing.

We hope to see you in Seattle having a good time at PWAP - tickets are $95 - send me a note if you have any questions!


Charity Giving

At this time of the year I always look for a charity to donate to. If you're like me you also get great joy from helping people and families in need. I found a great online resource called Charity Navigator - below are some of their more interesting/helpful links I found.

Tips for Holiday Giving:

Food Banks:

Charities Helping the Homeless:

Social Services:

Reminders Before the End of the Month

November 29 is fast approaching and if you didn't already know this - that's the last day for advance registration for the Annual Meeting. After 11/29 the registration fees go up $100 - so register now to save some cashola!

If you are already registered for the Annual Meeting-be sure to take advantage of two very useful tools - PCMA Connect and the Personal Planner. Each serves a specific function - PCMA Connect to get you networking and Personal Planner to set your schedule for the Annual Meeting - which sessions you want to attend, etc.

Traffic is picking up on PCMA Connect - I'm up to 127 contacts - each someone who is attending the meeting and with whom I have something in common with. Get on PCMA Connect today to start your Annual Meeting networking. And don't forget - it will stay open for the whole year - to keep you connected long after the Annual Meeting closes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

December Events...

There are a few events coming up that PCMA will have a presence at - here's a recap - stop by to say hi if you are at any of them:

Holiday Showcase 2007 - December 11, 2007 @ Hyatt Regency Chicago
Stop by and say hi - our table will be located throughout the event near the luncheon room.

Chicagoland's No. 1 Business Services and Meeting Sites Exhibition brings together the best in learning, networking, and business connecting all in one day and all in one place.

TAKE TIME TO LEARN! An array of learning experiences designed to increase your knowledge base and acquaint you with some of the best new ideas in the field. From the Knowledge Lab to Center Stage Speaker Alpana Singh, Master Sommelier, there is something for everyone!

TAKE TIME TO MEET! The Showcase Reception and Lunch provide a high-energy environment for maximum networking! Re-connect with friends and colleagues and meet new ones. This year, Chicago's own Redmoon Theater Company will delight and entertain with their unique style of inventive visual language. These events promise great food, great company and a great time!

TAKE TIME TO DO BUSINESS! The Showcase Exhibition is the mid-west's largest collection of hospitality and business service vendors. More than 800 of the best and brightest reps in the industry are waiting to meet you. Come prepared to do business, win great prizes and have fun!

Register today at

Expo! Expo! - December 11, 2007 @ Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Booth - 1043 - Show Hours 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition is the single, face-to-face meeting in the exhibition industry that offers a wealth of education sessions and networking opportunities designed to enrich your personal and professional career. Exhibition and event managers from around the globe gather with suppliers in the exhibition industry.

Expo! Expo! is open to members and non-members who would like to increase their knowledge of the industry, network with their peers, and learn of the vast new products, services and options available to help make their event one to remember.

For info:

The Inaugural West Coast Medical Device and Bio/Pharmaceutical Meeting Planners Forum - December 10-11, 2007 @ Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa

You will find PCMA at a booth at this new Forum on the West Coast with a special focus on medical device and small pharma/biotech meetings. The program features detailed case studies from some of the industry's leading organizations and provides you with the information you need in order to maximize the value of your medical device and bio/pharmaceutical meetings.

If you are an executive or senior level director from the medical device, biotech or pharmaceutical with responsibilities or involvement in the following areas: meetings, conferences, exhibits, marketing events, conventions, procurement, speaker relations or CME - this event might be of interest to you.

Talking Turkey

With Thanksgiving just a week away, I have to ask myself, "where in the heck did this year go?" I am constantly amazed at the quick passage of time...I'm sure I'm not alone here.

We are about 40 days away from our Annual Meeting (Jan 13-16 in Seattle) - and the finishing touches are going on the event. This is my first Annual Meeting with PCMA and so I am watching from the sidelines as our Meetings & Events team works effortlessly through the details, the hassles and the issues that are inherant in a major event.

For my team - this is a HUGE part of the year for us as we are focused on recruiting new members who are interested in attending the Annual Meeting - as well as serving all our current members who are renewing and interested in learning about what's in store for 2008.

For our Student members - this is a big time too - as they are all joining us again - 400 of them in October alone - holy smokes!

Stay tuned for more updates....


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Back to Hawaii...

More musings from my trip to Hawaii...

Make sure you always prep and rehearse your leadership if they are presenting in front of a group. Understand if they are comfortable with public speaking and if not, invest in the time to get them comfortable - it pays off tremendously - not only for them to look good, but for the attendees to respect, admire and have confidence in the leadership.

If you are recognizing sponsors, partners, supporter, donors - make sure you have all the names of the companies or individuals who contributed. Nobody likes to be left out, and if they take it the wrong way your opportunity to get them back as a sponsor might be a tad bit more difficult the next time you ask.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PCMA Connect Update...

Are you signed up for the Annual Meeting yet? If so, have you logged into PCMA Connect to start your networking? No....why not? So far, I have 93 people who will be at the Annual Meeting and who have at least one thing in common with me. Ninety-three people....that's AMAZING. I can't wait to see more of you active - and when you get on and see me on your "map" shoot me an email!

Have fun with PCMA Connect and take advantage of all that it offers!

Spouse Programs & Excursions

I recently returned from a trip to Hawaii where my husband had a business conference. I know, tough job but somebody had to do it! :+) It was a great trip and being as it wasn't work for me I thoroughly enjoyed myself. As part of the meeting registration my husband signed me up for the spouse package - which included 3 breakfasts, a reception (with live music and dancing) and a plated dinner (with live music and dancing). It was quite enjoyable - especially when I wasn't the one having to worry about food allergies, seating charts, etc.

Also as part of the meeting, as Hawaii is an excellent destination for sightseeing, many excursions were planned that were opt-in, with a fee. We took advantage of two trips - both really amazing destinations and activities. It's hard to complain about anything when you're in Hawaii...but without boring you to death with details I'll sum it up as this - if you have a bus full of people out for a period of more than 3-4 hours - please provide snacks and a cooler with at least bottle water for them. People do get thirsty!

My point being this - take a look at the small details of your event - little misses can add up.

As a planner - what are your thoughts? As a supplier to the industry - how do you work with planners to make these events the best they can be?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Exciting stuff in the air

It's been a while since I've written, but I'm back!!!! It's not because I haven't wanted to write - I really have...but you know how it is in the fall - so much to do before the holidays and at PCMA that means being 100% prepared and ready for the Annual Meeting before Thanksgiving - keep your fingers crossed.

Two major initiatives to tell you about - I hope to see you in Seattle so you can tell me what you think of them! You'll find me in PCMA Connect and at the PCMA Pavilion.

PCMA Connect launched yesterday for all attendees of the annual meeting - it's an online networking community. If you are reading this, most likely you are interested in the benefits of online information. The link is: If you are registered you received your login and password yesterday. If you haven't registered - what are you waiting for???

Are you asking yourself what is PCMA Connect - here it is in brief:
PCMA Connect is an intelligent, targeted virtual networking experience created to maximize quality networking opportunities for Annual Meeting registrants.

This simple, user-friendly system allows Annual Meeting registrants to create personal profiles, conduct targeted searches, send intersystem emails, and participate in online forums about the latest industry trends.

PCMA Connect for the Annual Meeting launched on Tuesday, October 16th and will remain active through 2008.

This means that when you connect with people before and during the Annual Meeting - you can keep that connection throughout the year!!!

I also wanted to promote a new area at the Annual Meeting called the PCMA Pavilion. New in 2008, the PCMA Pavilion offers you a respite in the middle of a busy meeting. Created with your needs in mind, the PCMA Pavilion is a comfortable place to meet up with friends and colleagues during the meeting, relax between sessions, or plan out your schedule.

With couches and chairs to relax in, you can also find demonstrations of the new PCMA Website, learn about membership and leadership opportunities, learn about PCMA’s events for 2008, and see demonstrations of PCMA products and services.

I look forward to meeting you all in Seattle - you'll find me in the PCMA Pavilion. But before then you'll find me on PCMA Connect.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weekly Wrap...

I'm not sure if the fall weather will ever arrive - I love fall. But one thing is certain - fall planning is kicking into high gear. Budgets, Annual Meeting planning, membership campaigns, Board Meetings, Chapter meetings...there's enough activity to show me that fall is here - even if the weather doesn't give it away.

Working in the non-profit world for such a long time, it's the yearly cycle, the predictable and the unpredictable that makes this profession so interesting and challenging. For many of our members I know you are in the same boat - others will be right here in a few months while you prepare for your spring meetings.

Keeping focused while at the same time balancing all the big and small details can be challenging, but for those who are good at it, we can learn a lot.

One way I keep my focus is to filter all my activities around the end goal - if something is distracting me from my goals, I try to deal with it quickly and then move on. I'm sure there are a ton of ways you all have for staying balanced and getting it all done.

I've seen you in action - I know you perform daily miracles - getting someone in the host hotel, getting that special meal request handled at the last minute, dealing with a difficult VIP guest or speaker, travel delays, the list can go on and on.

Share your thoughts on how you keep it all going without the proverbial details falling through the cracks......

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And then Joan said...

Thanks to Joan Eisenstodt for chimming in on the discussion about Jeremy Rifkin's session. Here's a part of what she had to can find the rest in the comment section:

....There were so many points that both reinforced information known and provided new insights. Finding just one would be impossible. The 3 of us who talked and shared information that night believe that we need to dissect some of the points and do so point-by-point and THEN see how we can apply the learning to our industry. We have a long way to go to ensure that this industry is at the cutting edge of the world economy. We can start it here.

This is more than a gentle nudging to keep the conversation going - it's a business imperative.

Thanks, Joan - for keeping it alive.

What does everyone else think?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Future....

On Tuesday, PCMA held a Masters Series program in Washington, D.C. with speaker/author Jeremy Rifkin. I'd say the event was a huge success...not just because it was well attended (of course that's critical), but because of the continued dialogue that happened well after the session ended. I even heard people on the HSMAI show floor talking about it - and they weren't even in attendance....

For those of you who attended - let me know what stuck out the most in your mind? What are you doing differently today based on information you learned on Tuesday?

I heard from many people that you want to continue those conversation - let's use this highly interactive vehicle to do that. Just send in your comments and I'll post them.

Keep the learning going, the sharing of information open and the spirit of the meeting alive!!!

Flight delays

I'm sitting in Reagan National airport after attending HSMAI and my flight is delayed.

If you have flown anytime in the last few months you know this is not uncommon. What is most interesting is watching people handle the flight issues. I used to remember a time not so long ago when people would yell and get huffy with the airline personel. Not tonight. Is it because people are just used to it? Are we a kindler, gentler nation??? Are we just more mellow these days?

I wonder what changed?

If you travel a lot, I just discovered that has a mobile version for your handheld device. Go to and you can chose your airport and see real-time travel alerts - from REAL travelers.

Flight delays are a part of life and right now I'm just soaking up the scenery (I love people watching and what better place than the airport!), trying to stay focused and get some work done and contemplating a Potbelly cookie.....

Friday, August 31, 2007

First Week...

With the first week of the blog under my belt I'd like to thank everyone who has visited and chimed in on the discussions. We've covered a lot of topics this week...I'm curious to see where we go next.

Next week I'll be in D.C. for business (PCMA Masters Series and HSMAItradeshow) - I'm sure when I talk to members at these events it will spur some additional topics to cover.

Looking forward to hearing from you....

I hope you all have a safe Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Laser Focus

Have you heard of the Barbershop Harmony Society? PCMA member John Schneider (Director of Events) works with this organization. This is a society that is singularly focused with a very clear and concise mission. I'm amazed by this group - to have such clear focus and vision of who they are and why they are in existence is so awesome. That can be hard to find these days.

Their mission couldn't be more clear:
"The Society is built on fundamental principles that drive our mission: that singing brings joy to our lives and world."

I hope you have the opportunity to work in an environment where focus and vision are right at your finger tips.

Two Questions to Ponder:
1. Have you worked at a company where you contributed to the discussion that led to them getting back in focus?
2. How does clear vision help you serve your members/clients better?

Check out the Barbershop Harmony Society website at:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Attendance & Support....

Thanks to everyone who has visited the blog. The blog is an interesting animal and I'm having a lot of fun writing and thinking about issues and concerns.

One comment posted is about looking for new ways of attendance building. I don't know anyone who is not concerned about getting people to their educational programs, networking events, or tradeshows. It's HUGE. With so many marketing minds out there please post your tips on how you build attendance at your events. I know by pooling our ideas we can directly affect the success of each other - that is super cool.

Separately, I see from the poll results that the leading issue many are facing is not enough support. I realize now that that's pretty broad - is it employee support, supervisor support, board support? So many possibilities... Which one are you specifically dealing with? Any real life advice on how you have overcome this obstacle?

Looking forward to continuing this discussion and seeing what's going on with you!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Biggest Concern...

So I've been thinking a lot about the question I posted regarding what the biggest challenge/concern is for you. I think, not surprising, for me it's budgetary. Being smart with my budget, staying focused on "desired state" or "desired outcomes" is hard - but critically important.

I find the greatest success sticking to this by using a filter that forces me to ask: what is the point of X? Whether X is an email, a postcard, a brochure, new web content, etc. If you cannot answer that question you need to get more information on the project. Try this filter on your job and let me know how it goes.

If you are contributing at a level where you don't have the ability to directly control your budget creation or spending there are ways for you make a difference. Make sure you always know what and why you are working on a project - this is easy to overlook especially when you are busy. Stop and ask the question - it will most likely save you a lot of time in the long run.

Tell me - how do you stay focused?

How do you contribute when you aren't the final decision maker?

Monday, August 27, 2007


Welcome to the very first PCMA membership blog site! This site is meant for everyone in the hospitality industry to share their thoughts, ask questions and learn.

I will try to post some new musings, information or questions regularly, so check back often.

To kick us off, I have posted two questions - "do you have a blog?" and "what's your most pressing problem?" - I hope you consider these and not only answer the poll, but post your concerns and thoughts.

It's all about you - our members, our partners and our industry - let's have some fun and let's stay connected!

Christine M.