Business Of Meetings: Using Micro Strategies To Build Association Events


Published on

All too often associations build events with a large overall strategy and theme, failing to capture the many small factors, details, and nuances that make up the overall experience. Determine why overarching themes fall short and why key details are missed. Uncover the path to successful association events by experiencing all the details, no matter how small, through the eyes of the member. Come prepared to be enlightened and challenged; you will never look at your events the same way again!
Primary area of focus: Meetings & Expo Excellence

Thomas M. Bohn, CAE, executive director, CEO, International Accounts Payable Professionals (IAPP)

Jo E. LaBorde, director business development & chief learning officer, International Accounts Payable Professionals (IAPP)

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Business Of Meetings: Using Micro Strategies To Build Association Events

  1. 1. Business of Meetings: Using Micro Strategies to Build Association Events August 17, 2009 3:15 – 4:30 pm Content Leaders: Thomas M. Bohn, CAE, CEO, IAPP Jo E. LaBorde, CLO, IAPP Connecting Great Ideas and Great People
  2. 2. <ul><ul><li>Emphasizes “big theme” over key details </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t look at customer experience all the way through </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most customer touch points aren’t considered in planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fails to recognize what motivates customer </li></ul></ul>Why Use Micro Strategies? Typical approach to event planning fails on several fronts:
  3. 3. Typical Approach: Top Down This is where breakdown begins!!
  4. 4. <ul><li>We spend hours on planning… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Theme/branding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site location – city/facility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content /topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key note speakers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General session speakers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Session leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HOWEVER… </li></ul></ul>Traditional Planning
  5. 5. <ul><li>The secret in taking an event from average or even GOOD… to EXCEPTIONAL is… </li></ul>How Do we Move From an Average Event to a GREAT One? … the small things that face the customer each day!
  6. 6. Micro Plan: Customer First! To Micro Plan…we must INVERT the pyramid!!
  7. 7. <ul><li>Know your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize multiple communication methods </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilize a GREAT resource planning team (two-tiers) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the customer and what motivates </li></ul><ul><li>Relate to the individual , not the group </li></ul><ul><li>Look at your events from a micro perspective! </li></ul><ul><li>Listen! </li></ul>Invert the Pyramid!
  8. 8. <ul><li>With Traditionalists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use inclusive language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use face-to-face or written </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t waste their time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>With Baby Boomers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show respect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use open, direct style </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present options </li></ul></ul>Communicate To Your Audience <ul><li>With Gen X </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get to the point </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use email/internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get feedback/input </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share info quick/often </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lighten up-be informal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>With Gen Y </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use visual com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include humor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage new directions </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Resource Planning:
  10. 10. <ul><li>What is the first point of contact about the event? </li></ul><ul><li>How will they hear about it? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the value proposition obvious? </li></ul><ul><li>When gathering information , is it intuitive? (Not to YOU – but to your CUSTOMER!) </li></ul><ul><li>What if they have only been on your site ONE time? Will they “get it”? </li></ul>Key Questions to GREAT Event Customer Service:
  11. 11. <ul><li>How does registration feel? (Is it simple? Cumbersome? Has it been tested by your customers?) </li></ul><ul><li>What about on-site check in ? (Signage? Line queues? Support staff? Customer Service? Concierge Service?) </li></ul><ul><li>How does your session selection process flow? (In advance? Easy? Obvious?) </li></ul><ul><li>How do you handle on-site overflow ? (Will the customer be annoyed that they can’t attend what they came for?) </li></ul>Key Questions to GREAT Event Customer Service:
  12. 12. <ul><li>#1 – Marketing: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Send your messaging out as a test to the “unaware” and ask them these key questions: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does this resonate? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does it answer all of your questions? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is the call to action clear? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What about pricing? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective: It only takes 3-4 people to give you incredible information!
  13. 13. <ul><li>#2 – Registration Process (Before the event) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Simplify the process to elevate the customer’s experience: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide options: Intuitive online one-stop shopping / In print / On-site </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide customer service reps to walk them through it over the phone </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allow session pre-selection for an easier on-site experience </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide “5 Easy Steps for Easy Registration”! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective:
  14. 14. <ul><li>#3 – “The Walk”: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Walk through on-site as if you were attending: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drive through the entrance </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is “check in” clearly marked? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Size of facility? Size of event? Will your event get “lost”? Will you be packed in? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If lodging is separate from facility – how easy is the flow? Is it clear and obvious? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective:
  15. 15. <ul><li>#3 – “The Walk”: (continued) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Walk through on-site as if you were attending: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look at where your signage should be from the attendee’s perspective. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How will the flow from one session to another be? Keep in mind, they will be distracted! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rule of thumb: When you think you have enough signage… DOUBLE IT! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective:
  16. 16. <ul><li>#4 – Registration Process: (on-site) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Think about the experience from customer perspective: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Size of event? Queue lines / logistics? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Select the right staff team to work the counter! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Special concierge lines for VIPs, groups? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How to handle new on-site registrations? Cash on delivery? Internet-based service? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How to inform those with special information to select groups? Information overload!! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective:
  17. 17. <ul><li>#5 – Getting to Class: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Think about the flow–remember customers will be distracted: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Size of event & facility? How much time to allot for movement from one session to another? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have you included appropriate breaks for a breather & networking? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is messaging and signage intuitive before event and on-site so that customers can map out experience? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have you provided pre-selection of sessions? What happens when customer finally gets there and there’s no room? Do you offer add on sessions? Does the customer walk away mad? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective:
  18. 18. <ul><li>#6 – Class Itself: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Factors for successful sessions: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does instructor make all customers feel welcomed? What about late arrivals? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are session outlines available in the room? What if the customer didn’t pre-print handouts? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do you provide guidelines/rules of etiquette for instructors’ facilitation? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are there evaluations available to encourage customers’ feedback? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does instructor encourage interaction for enhanced sharing? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective:
  19. 19. <ul><li>#7 – Time to Unwind: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Put yourself in customers’ shoes! There’s nothing worse than a tight agenda and no time to breathe: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aren’t you exhausted after a full day’s events? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide time to check emails / check in with home </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include information on resort/facility and city for customers to relax after a long day. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include dedicated time on agenda for exhibit hall meetings & demos. (include CPEs) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective:
  20. 20. <ul><li>#8 – Networking/Meeting New People: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remember that customers attend to meet new people to elevate learning/sharing: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social events? Ease of flow/conversation settings? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exhibit hall – involve exhibitors in brainstorming ideas to drive traffic (offer demos and advance registration list to allow quality interactions) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage staff/volunteers/members to TWEET before/during/after event! Provide incentive for winner! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective:
  21. 21. <ul><li>#9 – “Chatzkeys” or “Brick-a-brack”: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t waste your time/money: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Go quality or go home! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use overall branding/theme </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Always include web address & telephone number! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage speakers to bring their own to sessions as incentives for interaction. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective:
  22. 22. <ul><li>#10 – What’s Next: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t miss amazing opportunities when it’s all over: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure to provide when/where next year’s event will be! These customers are already engaged & have had a GREAT experience! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make it easy for them to tell their friends what they’ve missed by not attending! (Create a “fan page”!) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide details on your home web page of the events (as they are happening) and afterwards! Include pictures on conference page! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Repurpose content in articles, webinars, web site, blogs and social media outlets. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>10 GREAT Ways to Look at Your Events From a Micro Perspective:
  23. 23. Questions? Thomas M. Bohn, CAE International Accounts Payable Professionals Executive Director & CEO Jo E. LaBorde International Accounts Payable Professionals Director, Business Development & Chief Learning Officer [email_address] SEE YOU NEXT YEAR! Annual Meeting & Expo August 21 - 24, 2010 Los Angeles, CA