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!