How events contribute to the sales growth of organizations
How do events create sales growth?
What can you do make events more effective?
What is the key to the future of events?
Join The Our Shawn McBride ⭐️ 🌟💥 (aka R. Shawn McBride) for The Future Done Right(TM) Show as we explore what we are seeing and what we need for the future. Marketing and Communications Specialist and Event Strategist Abbey Herman, CMM joins us.
Here is the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/b9LDIGB3xD8
REMEMBER: More videos on the future economy are available at http://futuredoneright.com
Below is a machine transcript of the interview —
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Hey everyone to see our Sean, welcome to another edition of the future done right show and podcast and today we’re joined by Abby herb and we’re going to jump into
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The future of meetings and events and how you can really drive an ROI to drive sales scores from your events and so
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You know, a lot of us are looking at how the futures evolving technologies obviously coming into it and off screen before we got here. Abby and I were having a little difficulty just getting the meeting started
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I know a lot of people are excited about the virtual side of things, but there’s still a piece of that in person connection. How do we balance that, how do we make that happen, the future so
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We’re going to talk in and dig into them a little in depth for us. You don’t turn it off as often. I’m Dr. Sean I’m a corporate lawyer by training. I do a lot of transactional planning and I also do speaking on business.
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Strategy and how do you build your business plans and looking at how these future TECH ITEMS come together.
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And Abby’s and experience meeting planner met her through one of my good contacts Shawna suck. Oh, who
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Is out in the speaking circuit as well. It has a long history. The meeting planning world and Abby’s agreed to come on today.
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And share some of her knowledge with us. So after this meeting, you’ll have a better idea about the future of meetings.
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What you can be planning for your organizations or groups and how you should be taking various things into account as as we move into a changing environment with technology and the way people relate to each other.
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We love your comments are dropping wherever you are seeing this, whether it’s the future done right.
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YouTube channel. Our Sean McBride on LinkedIn. Abby Herman on LinkedIn, I’ll be reading all the comments we do a comment contest and people who leave great comments I we do invite on to the show.
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I always tell people, we don’t do investment advice or legal advice on the show. So everything here is just for your general knowledge and education. And so with that, Abby. Welcome to the show. Thanks for joining me today.
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Well, thank you. This is great.
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Yeah, it’s something that’s it’s an area of interest to me, which is why I originally reached out the Shauna because I said, You know, I know that there’s a lot of industries going through change because of
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The future and technology and the way people in a relate to each other at meetings seems to be an area that’s really seeing a lot of difference. What are you seeing out there in the world right now.
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Well, I’m seeing meetings. I’m seeing meetings happening I’m seeing that people are getting together and different locations. It’s all about face to face and building relationships.
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And I’m seeing a progression of that in industry.
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Yeah, and I think the fact that a lot of people are working from home or doing these kind of virtual things are a lot of people are now doing gig economy consulting and I think that creates a demand for
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That in person connection and people want to go out and actually see other people and meet colleagues and have that kind of human interaction that sometimes doesn’t happen on a daily basis anymore.
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Absolutely sales and marketing are key in an organization and typically they’ll have sales kickoffs in the beginning of the year.
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And seeing that as
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Talking about the goals and objectives as an organization that usually happens on an annual basis and sometimes even quarterly on a regional level as well. Right.
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And so that that’s traditions holding very strong. I mean, we’re still seeing a lot of those
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And we’re seeing people, you know, loving that that that connection is your way to drive home things there doesn’t seem to be a technological solution for that camaraderie, or that informal interaction tends to happen at these conferences and events.
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Absolutely. For sure. Yeah.
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And so, um, so as we move into the future, what what pressures are you seeing or what changes are you seeing coming through the environment, what are, what are people talking about or were they dealing with within their organizations.
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Will do more with less.
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Always been a struggle for meeting strategists and and event planners and marketing people as well and organizations is how can we cut costs and gets
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The same type of wonderful meeting. And that’s always a challenge. And so one of the one of the areas that I recommend as sponsorships and building partnerships with people that help the business industries and and and companies that can support the business.
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Because they want to be a
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seat at the table with the audience, so it’s it’s about how do we bring in other opportunities to add to the value of the meeting and still get the same result.
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Right, so some creativity with some cross networking maybe get some sponsorship dollars flowing or do some other things to help offset some of the costs and then maybe even build some other synergies, then, is that the types of things you’re thinking about these days.
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Absolutely, that’s been very successful and my in my past opportunities that I had
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So, so what would you do, is I mean let’s say you’re having your traditional internal sales me. I mean, do you bring somebody in for the entire meeting to set up a booth in the lobby or do you invite them for a portion of the event or how are people
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Working with that with combining these, these two different traditions or two different ideas.
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There, I think it really depends on the goals, objectives for the meeting. So, usually in the beginning of the year. It’s talking about what new products are launching depending on the organization.
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What industries are we trying to network to who the audiences and then figuring out those partners that can help grow the business.
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So then it’s a matter of do we
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Have them sponsor a lunch or dinner. How much money are we looking at what’s the value for them. Do we invite people from their organization.
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Right. It really depends on the type of meeting, it is and the audience as well.
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But basically to everybody’s busy. So I’d say limit the amount of time that somebody needs to be there because they’re, they’re going to be pitching.
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Being on site with their bosses and being out of the office for four days isn’t going to fly.
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So being there in a certain period of time. Somebody may be in the local market that can come over at a lunch break or at a cocktail reception. Our speak at
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One of the general sessions or something like that would really or even, like you said, have a booth and and be there to answer questions that breaks
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Right, it’s just trying to carve out a portion of time throughout the meeting that makes sense for those objectives.
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Yeah. So I mean, but it sounds like it sounds, customized. It sounds like each organization is going to reach different balance, depending on the nature of the meeting and what they want. That’s, that’s where
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Probably someone like yourself comes in there and knows the different options and what’s worked and what hasn’t worked in other cases.
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Absolutely. It’s going to depend on the attendees. It’s going to depend on the goals for that year, and also the partners as well. So everything is definitely specialized an event is not and
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They talked about these meetings in a box or something that will try to do and an event just there’s so many aspects to an event. And it’s the strategy that goes behind putting this together because
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Any events to be successful. You need to look at all avenues and look at all the options and really focusing on what makes sense for that specific meeting.
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Yeah, and you, you hit on something interesting to me as I was thinking through this, you’re talking about bringing different people in the meetings, maybe some new partner relationships customers, suppliers.
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Other people that might be part of the meeting.
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And, you know, it certainly would add some complexity to it, but at the same time. I’m thinking now, potentially, you have everybody in one location. So you may save a lot of travel and other time after the meeting. If you get this time. Right. Do it right
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Yeah, and actually I’ve had customer panels that have worked really well.
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In the back, that we needed to reach some of the people that were selling the product and we would have a panel discussion. What’s working, what’s not working. How can help your business.
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And then, yes, getting everybody in one place at one time makes the best sense because it’s disjointed and everybody is not on the same page, moving forward, and the senior leaders, obviously, and in the room would help drive the
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Drive the, the end result of the of the meeting as well.
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So I think it’s really important to make sure that everybody is on the same page and and we bring in the right people. Yeah.
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That makes a lot of sense customer panel sounds very interesting for a sales conference to get that real feedback into asked questions of your customers. How do you get customers to raise their hand volunteer to comment and what what’s the magic trick there.
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Well, it’s about the sales people in those regions, they tend to know their customers. Well,
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And so they have
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The pulse on and I would rely on those folks to make sure that we bring in the appropriate people to give
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Both sides. And yes, this is working. No, this is not working. How can we improve the business. So, and, and maybe it’s an incentive to get them there, you know, hey, we’re going to bring you to some special event or whatever that might be. So
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leave their businesses. So we want again minimize the amount of time that are out of their offices, but forge the relationships and so they feel like they make a difference to the bottom line as well.
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Yeah, I mean, it just seems highly valuable to get direct customer feedback. I love the concept. And the idea just, you know, how, how do you get people to say, Okay, I’ll take the time out, particularly if they have to travel, right, I’m gonna jump on a plane. I’m gonna lose
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You know, a day day and a half of my productive time if I’m the customer to invest in the sales team. And so, you know, just seemed like something a probably a little carrot or something to incentivize them to get to say, Yeah, that’s what I want to do.
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Yeah, that’s for sure. But it’s definitely valuable information and it’s about communication. Right. And I think that’s, that’s an age old portion of meetings and events, but probably something that’s
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Still high on the agenda right is getting that communication going between whoever the parties are whatever the goal of the meeting is absolutely no
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Yeah, and I and as we’ve done a lot of our shows on the future economy, you know, we talked a lot about communication becoming even more of a valuable skill of the future. Right. It’s as AI comes in machine learning computers.
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It seems obvious that everybody’s going to need the humans are doing the communicating and the computers are doing the executing. Alright, so we’re really in a different world.
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Let’s talk a little bit about technology as we had a little technology hiccup as we
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Went to connect in the computer software didn’t work. What is what how to conferences, get that balance between
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Using cutting edge stuff, which might be really cool. And my open some new possibilities versus the stability and reliability of, of, you know, the old school way of doing things, having in person speakers and simpler technology. How do you balance the two.
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Well, I think you need to take somewhat of a risk and also have checks and balances. So you need to bring in the right
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experts in the field. If you’re going to do a webcast, or you’re going to do a satellite uplink. You want to make sure you have the most up to date.
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Equipment and the right people in place to make sure meeting a successful. And I think it’s also a balance. It’s a matter of the people in the audience in the room, the speakers and also making sure that
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Whoever they’re linking to is part of that meeting and technology could be just the visual aspects on the screen and in the room, or could be the feedback that you get after the meeting to see how it went.
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There’s so many different aspects of technology, the audience feedback system that I’ve used actually a lot of meetings where basically the audience response is is immediate. So an executive asked from the stage I question and you get immediate an immediate response. Yep.
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I’ve seen this.
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Many aspects. And I think you need to step out of your comfort zone to try some of these things and and also know that. Yeah, there’s sometimes the technical issue, but you have backup.
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So, and as the issue we had this morning. I had another computer that I just throw through together. Okay, look, log on and try new computers so
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I think it’s all about having checks and balances and having the backup plans in place, but taking a risk and taking trying something new and trying to be innovative, so that you are showing that you’re a step ahead of your competitors.
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Yeah, and that’s probably something you’re sitting down and doing when you’re when you’re putting an event together you’re saying, Okay, this is the a plan. And then if we have a technology problem we’ll
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We’ll slide this in here. We’ll regroup. This way to kind of keep things flowing. So we’re not wasting the attendees times
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while they’re waiting for things to
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Happen. Yeah, I’m, I’m thinking of a conference, you know, a couple of conferences apparently have had speakers appear by hologram. And I’m just, I just wonder about all the technology behind them. The risk behind having a holic a hologram of a speaker on the stage.
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And what could go wrong. A
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Lot of risk. And I guess they had backup plans, a handful of times I’ve heard this has happened is apparently actually worked.
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Well, what do you think will change in the future of meetings. What do you anticipate coming as we get deeper into the next decade.
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I think technology will continue to grow. Yeah.
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I think that, again, resources will because I think that the goals and objectives of an organization meeting certain sales goals.
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Are going to continue to be aggressive and it’s it’s gonna be more difficult to get things done and
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I think it’s about the creativity to make sure that you’re looking at all aspects to produce an event and how can the company be most most successful
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So I think there’s going to continue to be those challenges the technology challenges the budget issues the staffing issues and so matter how you be creative and get the right support.
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From different the different support team that you put in place and having those vendors and relationships to get you to where you need to go to be
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Successful is also very key. Yeah, I hear that I think that makes a lot of sense from, from my perspective,
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I’m WAS SURPRISED AT BUDGETS would go down over time because that tends to be what corporate does. And, you know, they
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Often do meetings and events is as an expense line item. Right. So even though they’re providing a lot of long term benefits. It’s one of the areas like we can get a little money out of there.
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And we had it. We had a presenter for one of my national speakers Association events recently and they were saying that meeting planner was one of the top five most stressful.
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Jobs rated by one of the magazine’s in 2017 and I think you can see why because all these pieces coming together here and a lot of responsibility.
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I read that as well. And it’s interesting because you probably asked any meeting and event planner and they probably say, Well, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Yeah.
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I love, I love what I do and I love contributing to an organization and making a successful meeting.
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Well, probably creates a lot of excitement and interest. Right. And then because you have that planning and you have some constraints and you have to get strategic and you have to get creative. Right. So it probably makes the job fun at times.
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Absolutely. So, so what what should organizations be doing now, you know, to plan for their future as they’re looking to the future and, you know, maybe they’re expecting tighter budgets and, you know, coming years.
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Some people have started to hint around with the R word
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Possibly. What would you, what would you recommend people start doing now to prepare for the coming years.
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I’d say really work with vendors and partners and figure out
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What can we do now to prepare as far as technology, what are the things that you use, day to day that can be used or deployed.
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In a sense, where maybe a meeting is going to be cut that happens every, you know, maybe it will happen. One time of year versus four times a year or three times a year. So what are the other tools. What is it a webcast.
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Some sort of communication that goes out to the employees or the sales team.
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So it’s really having those lists of other opportunities that may be the face to face might be cut down moving forward. Do the budgeting.
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But again, the video conferencing is key. Have it just being able to see a face and having this dialogue with you is a lot different than having a conversation on the phones.
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So that I think we’ll see more of that as we do to our I think it will continue to grow and expand and the technology will get better and better.
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Yeah, but I don’t think it will ever replace meetings in person. I think the meetings in person will happen. I just as it continues to evolve it will be reduced. Maybe reduced and the amount of time that we do it over the year maybe
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The frequency is instead of three times, here it goes down to two or one time a year you know so and also local, local events and meetings happening so that people don’t have to travel, we can save some costs.
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Where the local team can meet and and maybe there’s a web cast WHERE THE OFFICE SAY IN DENVER is on the webcast. And so we can see the Denver, folks, but in LA, we’re all together in one room and
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Possibly going forward. So it’s utilizing the technology and continuing to talk to the technology partners as many people out there that are in the technology space.
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Partner with now to attend some technology conferences and and really get to the bottom of what is going on and what is the future and and being
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Up to date with some of those different technology usage for events. And so I see that as moving forward and augment and just basically helping with events moving forward.
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Yeah, it makes a lot of sense to me. And I think, you know, there’s probably. There’s a lot of testing experimentation going on. I think one thing you’ve kind of were mentioning, or hinting at there is
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Learning from what the other organizations are doing right you’re watching other people deploy the technology, see what they’re doing. Is it working, is it not working. Can we tweak our programs based on what other people are testing and teaching us
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What else is there anything else that I missed today that that you would think that’s important for this future meetings are getting an ROI on meetings that I didn’t ask
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Well, I would say it’s all about the audience. And I think that’s the first key and planning events is the goals and objectives when you’re
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Being a strategist and and strategizing how the meeting actually happens.
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Who is the audience, what are the goals and objectives of an organization.
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And why are we doing this meeting. I’ve had many times in an organization. People come to me. Oh, we want to plan a meeting or we want to plan a party. I’m like, why the question would be, like, why are we doing this.
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And a good corporate meeting event planner, like myself, those questions and say,
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Give me the reasons for doing this because, again, I’m going to be questioned by the CFO and the CEO and I say why we send this kind of money for these types of events.
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And we able to track the ROI down the road and say, Okay, we are getting a group of dealers together because they sell our products and we need to motivate them incentivize them.
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Educate them and happened to be the reason we’re doing this meeting and then doing a couple months later, to be able to say, well, let’s see the results of why
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We have this meeting and follow up and be able to see. Okay, yeah, we had a spike in our sales so that after this meeting happen or this incentive trips that
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Lecture is basically the strategic high level to the tactical and then the follow up and being able to show the results. And I think that’s really key and and the planning process and a good strategic event planner.
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Yeah, I think that’s good planning and all of business right know what you’re trying to accomplish, and while you’re trying to accomplish it, then work to accomplishment and I think
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Sometimes with meetings. I think that’s a very key point because people just follow the tradition or they follow what other people are doing.
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And they don’t stop and plan what their objectives are, and you can have very different objectives for different meanings depending on what your organizational goals are.
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Awesome. Well, thank you, Abby. Our goal is to wake people up. So if you’re watching this video, we asked you, like, comment, share let more people know what’s going on out there, get them a little smarter about their meetings and help them.
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Help them and their goals. We ask that you like, well, yeah, like, comment, share and I remind you, we have our comment contest going on best comment of the week we invite on to the show.
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Abby. How do folks get ahold of you.
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After LinkedIn would probably be the best. Okay.
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Yep. So if you’re if you’re if you need some help on a meeting or you want some additional invite, feel free to reach out to her.
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remind you we don’t do investment advice or legal advice, my show. Everything’s just for your education.
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I want to thank the audience and graduate you for doing the hard work to invest in yourself think strategically about some things and really invest for the future.
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And I want to remind you, there are past videos available and more resources at future done right com you can also see our upcoming guests happy. Thanks for joining us today.
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Thank you, Sean. Thank you, everyone.
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It’s a lot of fun.
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It was great. Thank you.