Monday, March 24, 2008

Observer of all

Is it just me? Is it just because this is what we do for a living? But, I can't go to an event without looking at all the details of the event from a planner perspective. I look at linens, I take photos of centerpieces, I look at signage, buffet set-up, bar service, candles, registration materials....the list is exhaustive and exhausting.

I'm back recently from a wonderful trip to Laguna Beach where we stayed at the St. Regis. Wow - great, great property. The meeting rooms were nice, the ballrooms were also good - easy to maneuver throughout the property - all in all a good, good experience. Did it hurt that it was 70 degrees and sunny and I left behind snow storms - you bet it matters. :+)

But back to business, enough day dreaming already!!!! I was there for a fun work retreat for my husband - a little bit of business and team celebrations (awards, dinner/dance) but more time for R&R. It was a bank event (where my DH works) - and they did an excellent job of working with the space in unique ways and utilizing the great outdoors (thanks to some heaters at night when the temps got downright chilly) for receptions and breakfasts....

So, even when I'm far, far from home and "trying" not to work - I end up evaluating the entire event. I won't push for workers comp or anything - I guess it's just a curse (or a blessing) of this fun, creative and unique industry we work in!!!

-Christine M.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

2011 and 2012

Disclaimer: It should be known that I am not involved AT ALL with our site selections - I'm in Membership for goodness I have no voice in the decision....
What exciting news to report that PCMA will be in Las Vegas and San Diego in 2011 and 2012 respectively!

Las Vegas has so much to offer and I know our attendees will get an experience to remember. Our Vegas will be!!!

San Diego - ahhh - San Diego - one of my favorite cities in the United States. My memories of my ONE visit have lasted me more than 8 years - fish tacos by the ocean, warm weather (relative to Chicago) in February - does it get better??? I look forward to reliving my good times and seeing all that has changed since I was there last.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blogs and The Meeting Planner-A love story!

No, that's not the name of a new fairy tale - the time is upon us to see new ways (which could be good or bad) in which our members are only a text message away, blog or streaming video from talking about our events to the  world at large.

I found this blog entry very interesting and thought I'd pass it on.  I got it off a website I recently just found (as in last night) - these folks are at the forefront of new ideas - it's time for us to pay attention.

A taste of the blog entry from Kare Andersonco founder of Say it Better Center, LLC :

"Live blogging just started recently, mainly at tech-centered conferences or unconferences. Audience twittering just started within the past 14 months or so. Yet the trend will spread quickly to more kinds of meetings. Parents are learning text messaging to keep in touch with their children. Young meeting attendees expect to make their views heard, in the moment. As more meeting attendees adopt these social media tools, they’ll use them the conferences they attend.

Thus more and more attendees won’t wait to vote on the questions the speaker or panel wants to ask. They’ll be commenting, asking the questions and trading opinions as the program unfolds. They’ll take photos from their seat, then try streaming video."

See the whole article here:

If you were in Seattle you heard Mich Matthew's talking about this...that it's coming.  I think that time has come.

What do you think?  How are you using new technology at your events?  What's stopping you? Who's the evangelist in your organization that's pushing for this?  Do you have one?  If not, you might want to gather a team together and look at this to see what you can do to join in the fun....and it is fun, exciting and just a little intimidating.

- Christine Melendes

Monday, March 10, 2008

Call for Ideas....

Did you attend the Annual Meeting in January? If you did, did you stop by the Pavilion? If you did, I need your help. Really, I'll take any suggestions - so don't worry if you didn't attend....

I created a PCMA Pavilion at the Annual Meeting - the sole purpose was to show off the new website, have staff on hand to discuss member benefits and all the cool new things PCMA is doing. I think it went well. We had a good spot and traffic was decent. The concept rocked and I don't want to lose it in 2009 - actually I want to make it BIGGER AND BETTER in 2009.

This is where you come in. What ideas can you think of to make it better in 2009...keeping in mind that I want to highlight PCMA. We will be in the New Orleans convention center - it's long and thin and there are a lot of opportunities to accomplish this idea...but it won't look the same.

What creative ideas are you using at your meetings to promote your own organization?

How can I creatively use the space for maximum benefit and traffic?

What ideas can I steal (thank you very much) - to really knock this out of the park?

Let me know your thoughts - would love to incorporate ideas that come from members.

-christine m