M&IW Industry Insights Blog

Transforming organizations through live meetings and events.

All You Need to Know about Pharma Forum 2018

M&IW Team Participating in Give Back Activity

M&IW Team Participating in Give Back Activity

Written by Anne Zambrano | Manager, Communications & Creative Services

Some of our Medical Meeting Masters descended on Philadelphia last week for the 14th Annual Pharma Forum 2018. With healthcare meetings being the largest segment of the meetings industry there is a lot to discuss in the medical meeting industry. So, what were some of the hottest topics and key take-aways? I asked our four conference-goers the below questions to get their opinion.

What were the biggest take-aways from the Pharma Forum 2018?

GDPR! These important four letters were a huge topic of conversation, and rightfully so, with the May 25th effective date quickly approaching the medical meeting industry is keen on making sure all processes and procedures are in place to comply with the new EU regulations. Here is what our team had to say about the topic:

“Knowing this is going into effect in May, all organizations in the industry can’t get enough information and details on GPDR to ensure they are compliant when the time comes. It was a widely discussed topic and more education is needed in the industry.” – ANGIE GROSS, HMCC – Sr. Manager, Reconciliation & Compliance Reporting

“I was moderately familiar with the topic going into the conference and after listening to the speakers address the changes, I am now very interested in looking for more information to become more knowledge on it and its effects on clients.” – ANDI STELPFLUG, MBA, HMCC – Strategic Account Manager

“Overall, it was apparent that everyone is concerned about how it will impact event information moving forward, yet there seems to be a general lack of knowledge on the subject overall. With such sweeping changes to how we collect personal data, I believe there is a need for further education within the meetings industry.” DAN TARPEY, HMCC – Vice President, Sales & Marketing

What are some of the industry compliance challenges you discovered at the event?

“Pharma, medical device, and third parties are all experiencing similar issues and concerns over compliance laws and regulations with there being so many differences between countries and states. However, some companies have figured things out and have implemented good policies and plans, whiles others are still in the learning process. For example, some don’t have any US state/OUS country system or database to obtain and track individual state/country laws/codes to ensure they are compliant with all for their meetings. Others don’t have a methods or assumptions document(s). I found it interesting that some are further along while others are still catching up. Pharma Forum is a great venue and opportunity for collaboration on all these methods.” – ANGIE GROSS, HMCC – Sr. Manager, Reconciliation & Compliance Reporting

What are some of the industry compliance changes you discovered at the event?

“Compliance is an ever-changing environment with newly developed laws and codes being implemented each year. Due to all these changes and challenges within the industry, it is vital for each type of company (pharma, med device, third party, and supplier) to have a distinguished compliance officer and/or department managing and training internally, and with their vendors and suppliers, on all the new laws and regulations that impact them.” – ANGIE GROSS, HMCC – Sr. Manager, Reconciliation & Compliance Reporting

What were some of the other hottest topics in the medical meetings industry?

Meal Caps

“Meal caps came up over and over. I really like the discussion on using data to enable data-based compliance discussions on what’s realistic. Something, that M&IW can do with our business intelligence system and existing compliance data.” – ANDI STELPFLUG, MBA, HMCC – Strategic Account Manager

“With the increase of pricing, labor and materials increasing, the meal caps for HCP clinical meetings have remained the same in the last 5+ years. Hoteliers are finding it difficult to comply with these caps. Some meeting stakeholders have increased their caps in the last year (from $125-150, up to $150-200), and it appears others will follow in the near future. We need to make sure that these caps remain consistent with reasonable industry pricing and provide the valuable opportunity for HCP’s to attend meetings and events to further in their field and education.” – ANGIE GROSS, HMCC – Sr. Manager, Reconciliation & Compliance Reporting

Technology

“Technology Solutions were a hot topic. Simply put, it was stated that ‘buying a tool that can support your needs is only a tool which will sit and gather dust without the appropriate process alignment with your objectives, buy-in and implementation.’ That made a lot of sense to me. You must first have the manual process together before a tool of any sort can help you automate your process. Don’t expect technology to come in and ‘fix’ existing processes. It can come in and streamline good existing manual processes.” – KIRSTEN PETERSON – Account Director

“Two technologies came up in discussion at the event. The difference of the various compliance technologies, such as COAP and Sign4Compliance, was discussed. Since, I have clients that use both technologies, it was great to get hands-on demos of both. Additionally, there was great discussion on virtual international meetings. As I have a large pharma client exploring this meeting style currently, this discussion was very timely and helpful!” – ANDI STELPFLUG, MBA, HMCC – Strategic Account Manager

What are some of your final thoughts you want to share about Pharma Forum 2018?

“I found it remarkable that competitors in the pharma/med device industry all come together under one roof to share their experiences, concerns, insights, education, and best practices in order to exceed as an industry in creating the best opportunities and outcomes for their patients. They truly seem to have a shared humanity in caring about public and patient trust and care.” – ANGIE GROSS, HMCC – Sr. Manager, Reconciliation & Compliance Reporting

“It is reassuring after attending an event like this that M&IW is ahead of the game and very posed to play the role of an expert consultant and partner in this space. It was interesting to see that I felt that some of the questions/topics were fairly basic and yet there were tons of people who found the info brand new to them.” – ANDI STELPFLUG, MBA, HMCC – Strategic Account Manager

“I was more reassured than ever that nothing beats face-to-face interaction to deepen partner and customer trust and discussing topics outside an official business meeting setting.” – KIRSTEN PETERSON – Account Director

“Pharma Forum is still the leading event to network in this industry. Supplier to planner, the connections are terrific and genuine.” – DAN TARPEY, HMCC– Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Another successful event in the books! Our team’s take-aways once again prove the value of meetings to stay connected to latest trends and regulatory environments as well as make the valuable connections and relationships that are important to transform organizations; and in this case, saves lives.

Posted in: Company News

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The Changing Landscape of Healthcare Meetings

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Written by Anne Zambrano | Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications & Creative Services

I had the pleasure of experiencing one our thought leaders in action at the recent MPI-CAC NEXT ’18 conference in Chicago. Susan Arts, CMP, HMCC, a 30-year healthcare meeting veteran and Project Director, Global Operations at M&IW, delivered an engaging presentation on The Changing Landscape of Healthcare Meetings. Many healthcare planners are aware that the worldwide focus on transparency reporting and greater compliance requirements have altered the landscape of planning and executing meetings in the healthcare sector. During her presentation, Susan shared tips, tricks, and best practices as well as provided an overview on where we are currently in terms of government compliance and reporting and where we are headed in the next 12-18 months.

As I came to find out, there are lots of important changes on the horizon and that this environment is only going to continue to be regulated or scrutinized. And, since healthcare is the biggest segment of the meetings industry with over 1.9 million meetings held in the US for a total of 250 million attendees1, I thought it was a good topic to continue to talk about.

The Changing Landscape

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation: In short, the GDPR is a new law in the European Union that deals with data of EU citizens going in and out of the European Union. Collecting parties will now need to disclose what data is collected, why the data is collected and how the data will be used. This is a hot topic for meeting planners because planners, hoteliers, travel managers, and event suppliers most certainly collect personal data of EU citizens for meetings. Personal data may include financial, contact, medical, travel, IP address and passport information. The law was adopted back in April 2016 and goes into effect on May 25, 2018. Susan recommended that it is a good time for your organization to take a closer look at the regulation, and how you are collecting or using data that is regulated by this law to make sure you have the appropriate practices and disclaimers are in place.

Continuing medical education funding in Europe and Asia: Susan made the excellent point that no longer will manufacturers be able to make direct payments to clinicians to fund attendance at CME events. All the funds must now go through grants to the health systems and accredited CME providers and these institutions will now choose who gets the funds to attend CME meetings. This is and will continue to be a hot topic, learning at a meeting or event is still the number one preferred way healthcare professionals receive their continuing education.

Worldwide Reporting: APAC, LATAM and Canada will soon all be adopting HCP transparency reporting policies and regulations. Susan made the prediction that in the next 18-24 months the transparency reporting regulatory environment that planners experience in the US will be global.

State Regulations: States continue to create and develop their own regulations as it relates to HCP meeting spend and reporting. It is becoming increasingly important to stay on top of and understand not only the changing environment of the federal regulations, but also at the state level. The state level could address meetings being held in that state or address attendee hailing from that state.

Susan concluded with the following important points:

  • Always go into a meeting preparing to be ready for an audit. Planning from the forefront can ease any pain on the backend.
  • Understand the reporting requirements when it comes to transfer of value verses aggregate spend for a meeting.
  • Document, document, document. Look toward new technologies to help streamline and automate documentation.

Finally, how is this going to affect our medical meeting profession? There is a going to likely be a shortage of trained, experienced, medical meeting professionals as well as a potential challenge with sourcing and space, dates and rates in a strong market because of the various interpretations of the regulations and Office of Ethics and Compliance in many organizations putting a cap on room rate allowances for HCPs.

One final, final note: some useful industry resources Susan shared at the end of her presentation:

  • Event Industry Council GDPR Resource Page (www.eventscouncil.org)
  • GDPR Awareness Coalition (gdprcoalition.ie)
  • Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certification (HMCC) – available through MPI (www.mpiweb.org)
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) (www.phrma.org)
  • European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) (www.efpia.eu )
  • My Compliance Wizard (subscription) (www.mycw.info)
  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) (www.accme.org)

(1) Events Industry Council Survey

In honor of GMID (Global Meetings Industry Day), we are sharing more thought-leading content on HCP transparency reporting. Please join us on April 12, 2018 at 1pm CST for our Industry Insight Webinar Series, “The Various Approaches to HCP Transparency Reporting and Best Practices for Industry Standardization, presented by Angie Gross, HMCC, Sr. Manager, Reconciliation & Compliance Reporting, Finance. CLICK HERE to learn more and register.

 

 

Posted in: Company News, Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Program Management & Event Design

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7 Secrets to Professionally Managed Meeting Procurement

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Written by Denise Farrell | Director, Global Procurement

Many meeting stakeholders have a general understanding of how outsourced meeting procurement works, but there are things that can happen behind the scenes that may surprise even savvy meeting managers. I have unveiled a few of those “secrets” below to show how these activities may benefit your organization.

Before we reveal the secrets, let’s explore what we mean by “professionally managed meeting procurement.” It can easily be defined as letting someone else, such as an event management company, handle the procurement of your meeting venue. Third parties bring expertise gained from experience in various industry positions and with numerous clients to your meeting. They employ buyers who are specialists, solely dedicated to that craft.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the secrets of professionally managed meeting procurement!

Secret #1: Chances are, third parties have BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT… At least, someone at their organization probably has.

You probably know that there are millions of worthwhile destinations and venues around the world. You can find them just by Googling a location. But then what?

But did you know that it takes an enormous amount of knowledge just to sift through all the possibilities to find the venue that’s right for your event? In fact, a database like Cvent, built for planners, has more than 245,000 venues!

The secret is third parties bring the cumulative knowledge of their entire team to the selection process. Chances are, someone has been to that location, even to that venue.

For example, on average corporate event teams place between 2-100 meetings a year. Whereas, the average third party books thousands of events per year. That’s a lot of knowledge and experience in one place. They have a set of tools and skills that they use to perfect their ability to easily evaluate destinations and venues. Some are external, and others are internal, such as the working with the sales team in the initial contracting process all the way though the onsite experience and billing experience. The third party knows how to communicate to deliver a mutually agreeable contract considering what matters most to the client and marrying that with understanding how those requests will be executed at the hotel level. They can bring both parties to an understanding that provides a smooth execution.

Secret #2: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PACKAGE. What do we mean by that? Well, it’s important to have ALL the information before deciding which venue will best suit your needs.

You probably know that there are many pricing options available to host your meeting.

But did you know that there are many factors beyond room rates that can have a huge impact on the success of your meeting? How do you choose the venue that is the “best” for your meeting?

The secret is that third parties evaluate a venue based on tangible and intangible factors, such as space, rooms and quality. They also read the fine print.

For example, third parties will confirm if the venue can accommodate the needs of the program, including factors such as; will the meeting space be conducive to the meeting objectives, can the attendees easily access the venue, and will they feel well taken care of once they get there. Additionally, some intangible ways they assist is in their ability to consult and look at the entire package. Does the meeting have to take place in 1 ½ days so near the airport? Is this a group that shares rooms so are enough doubled bedded rooms available? Does the meeting need quiet or space to move? Is it more about aesthetics or function, will pillars in the middle of the meeting room hamper the attendees being able to see or hear the content?  These are the things a third party can help you look for and evaluate.

Secret #3 – Third parties SPEAK “EVENT” IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES… and it’s more than just having translators.

You probably know that it is challenging to book a program at an international destination.

But did you know that many third parties have people on staff who not only speak the language, but also understand the business customs, terminology, common contract terms and potential risks of working pretty much anywhere in the world?

The secret is that third parties book international destinations on a regular basis, and have “boots on the ground” around the world.

For example, things are ever changing and if you have not worked in an area for several months or years you need someone who can provide you the knowledge. A new Russian law declares that all contracts must state that Russian language must prevail.  A third party will have run into this situation and be able to tell you when this would apply to your event. They will be able to work with the venue to have English and Russian terms and conditions listed side-by-side to compare them.

Secret #4 – They RUN A TIGHT SHIP and can help your department be more efficient as well.

You probably know that working with a procurement department includes providing a lot of details, from contract terms, to data points, to funding limits.

But did you know that good third parties keep tabs on all that critical information and can help you with that paperwork? They can also improve your relationship with your procurement department.

The secret is that third parties will not only save you money through efficiency gains, but they can also help procurement better understand what you do.

For example, a third party can evaluate your internal process and procedures using their industry and technology experience. Some third parties can share best practices to help you streamline processes to gain efficiency. They often act as a buffer between the numbers people and the meeting planner, and during that process, help procurement better understand the meetings industry.

Secret #5 – THEY’RE A LITTLE OCD and that level of attention to detail is a good thing sometimes.

You probably know that there are regulations in certain industries that meeting planners need to know.

But did you know that these regulations are not uniform for all industries or destinations? Attention to detail can save your organization a lot of time, money and headaches

The secret is that third parties should be familiar with these regulations, so they can ensure that you’re following the laws.

For example, a third party should use a consistent sourcing approach and contract language that dovetails with your company’s compliance standards and load all critical items into the systems at the end of a meeting. This will save your compliance department time in locating documents for an audit.

Secret #6 – They PINCH EVERY PENNY for you.

You probably know that there are negotiable items when reviewing a hotel contract.

But do you know all the items that are negotiable, which ones bring the greatest value, and which are easier for hotels to agree to than others?

The secret is that third parties do this all day, know the hotel’s market and the pressures they’re under, often have leverage with hotels because of the number of events they book, and know how to negotiate a win-win contract for the client and the venue.

For example, a third party is able to leverage multi-year agreements to help clients realize additional savings on room rate and enhanced concession packages; package a smaller meeting with a larger one to enhance savings; stay on top of cancellations that might put a hotel in a position to be more open to negotiations; understand which concessions bring value to the client and which ones may not cost the hotel as much.

Secret #7 – THIRD PARTIES CAN SEE THE FUTURE. How? You ask…

You probably know that BIG data is a hot topic in the meetings industry.

But did you know that data is only BIG if you know how to use it?

The secret is that third parties can help you gather data accurately to discover trends that can help you make buying and process decisions.

For example, at M&IW our business intelligence tool and data told us that larger clients with multiple procurement teams were having difficulty managing all the moving parts. To address this need, we developed a consolidated single sourcing program that provides essential governance yet allows the flexibility of multiple sourcing providers. We also determined that small meetings often don’t have the same tools available to be as efficient and as they could be, so we’re investigating new technologies for small meetings.

To learn more on this topic, please enjoy our Industry Insights Webinar on Demand: 7 Secrets of Professionally Managed Meeting Procurement. Or, if you are interested in connecting with our procurement team regarding an upcoming program, please email sourcing@meetings-incentives.com.

Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Incentive Travel Programs, Program Management & Event Design, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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M&IW’s 50/50 Spotlight – Chicago Can Cans

M&IW 50-50 Spotlight - Chicago Can Cans Volunteering

Written by Christina Wicklund | Marketing Project Lead

This week’s featured 50 Years 50 Charities team is the Chicago Can Cans. The team members are Sarah Evans, Alexander deHilster, Christina Chevallier and Julie Eplett.

The Chicago Can Cans selected a cause close to their hearts and home — the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “Hunger is a worldwide problem and it definitely affects our families and neighbors” said Julie Eplett the team captain. She continued to say, “we chose a charity we felt would have a positive impact on our community.”

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Chicago’s food bank and offers relief not only to Chicago, but also the surrounding neighborhoods that struggle with hunger. They are fighting hunger one meal at a time. During the cold winter months many families are faced with the hard choice of buying food or heating their home, food pantries and programs are an essential resource during these challenging times.

To put our hunger challenge into perspective, 41.2 million Americans are often forced to skip meals, eat less, buy cheap non-nutritious food or feed their children, but not themselves. Of the 41.2 million Americans, 12.9 million are children. This means that 1 out of every 6 people in America face hunger.

The Chicago Food Depository is in partnership with more than 700 agencies and programs. This includes pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and programs focused on children, older adults and veterans. This network distributes food throughout Cook County. Last year, they distributed nearly 72 million pounds of food, 37% of which was fresh produce. Every day they distribute the equivalent of 164,000 meals. That is that is 60 million meals a year!

As part of M&IW’s Project Global Giveback which encourages employees to get involved and gives them time off to volunteer, the Chicago Can Cans shared a day of packing meals at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. They are also raising money for the 33rd Annual Hunger Walk on September 8, 2018. This is Chicago’s largest annual anti-hunger rally that raises funds and awareness to end hunger.

To learn more about the Chicago Food Depository, or to donate, please visit www.chicagofoodbank.org.

Posted in: Company News, Event Marketing & Communications

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M&IW’s 50-50 Spotlight – English Roses

M&IW's 50-50 Spotlight Charity - Chestnut Tree House

Written by Jill Pearson | Manager, Digital Marketing & Media

This week’s featured 50 Years 50 Charities team is the English Roses. The M&IW team members are Ella Darby, Paulomi Debnath, Giovanna Federico, Ana Silva Sara Bruce and Sophie Benson, the team captain. The English Roses are making a difference on a global scale and work in our UK office.

These ladies selected a charity that touched their hearts on a very personal level. Ella Darby’s daughter, Katy, was born with a rare chromosome disorder. Her little girl spent the four years of her life in and out of hospitals. During this time, Ella and her family leaned on the Chestnut Tree House for practical, social and spiritual support throughout and after their beautiful angel’s fight for life concluded.

The Chestnut Tree House gives support for the whole family including psychological and bereavement support, end of life, short break care and sibling support. They provide hospice care for young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-shortening conditions. These services are offered at no expense to the families. A majority of the funding for the Chestnut Tree House comes from donations, fundraisers and the blood, sweat and tears of its volunteers. The government helps, but the amount donated is less than 7 pence in every GBP. That equates to less than 10 cents to every USD.

On January 25, 2018 the English Roses headed to the Chestnut Tree’s warehouse. The English Roses spent the day collecting and sorting through thousands of donated items. Once sorted, they helped with loading these items onto trucks. The items are then distributed to charity stores (thrift shops) located throughout the area. When asked how it was volunteering in the warehouse, Sophie Benson replied, “Whilst it was exhausting, we also had a lot of fun!” Ella Darby replied, “It is a fabulous place – we all decided to volunteer at the warehouse again, it was a great day and felt so good to be helping out!” For many charities the gift of time can be worth as much as money donated. In the case of the Chestnut Tree House this is very true.

M&IW 50-50 Spotlight Charity - Chestnut Tree House Team

M&IW 50-50 Spotlight Charity – Chestnut Tree House Team

In addition to volunteering, the team is also raising funds so that the Chestnut Tree House can continue their very important work of supporting children and their families when they need it most.  The team has set up a secure giving page to make it fun and easy to donate, just CLICK HERE. The Chestnut Tree House is a registered charity based in Sussex, UK. To learn more about them, visit their official website at http://www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/

Once again, a big thank you and congratulations to all of our M&IW’s 50 Years 50 Charities teams! The program was launched on July 1, 2017 and runs through June 30, 2018.

 

 

Posted in: Company News, Event Marketing & Communications

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M&IW’s 50/50 Spotlight – Southern Ladies for Alzheimer’s

 

M&IW's 50-50 Spotlight Charity - Alzheimer's Association

M&IW’s 50-50 Spotlight Charity – Alzheimer’s Association

Written by Christina Wicklund | Marketing Project Lead

This week’s featured 50 Years 50 Charities is the Southern Ladies for Alzheimer’s. The M&IW team members are Neema Hurley, Kim O’Connell, Amanda Miller, Valerie Sandbach and Layne Johantgen, the team captain. True to their team’s name, these charming southern ladies live and work in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

When asked why they chose this charity, Layne Johantgen replied. “Alzheimer’s hits close to home.  Many of us have watched love ones battle this disease or currently have a family member struggling with Alzheimer’s.” Layne continued to say, “The Alzheimer’s Association works on a global, national and local level so all our team members can participate and support the cause.”

The Alzheimer’s Association was founded in 1980 by a group of family caregivers and individuals interested in research. Today, the Association reaches millions of people affected by Alzheimer’s across the globe. They are the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

The Southern Ladies for Alzheimer’s have been on a roll with their fundraising and volunteer efforts for the past eight months. Amanda Miller participated in the Alzheimer’s Association walk in North Carolina. The team raffled off a “Southern Hospitality” bag from the World of Coca Cola filled with traditional southern items like Daufuskie Island Vanilla Rum, peach jam, boiled peanuts, pork rinds, and Cajun fried peanuts.

They are now on their third fundraiser and auctioning off a LIVE taping of Jimmy Kimmel or James Corden (VIP Green Room access with Corden). The package includes a two-night stay at the beautiful Loews Hollywood Hotel located in Los Angeles, California. For more information, CLICK HERE. And, if you want to place a bid you will have to move quickly. Bidding for this package closes this Friday, February 23, 2018 at 5:00pm EST. Visit www.32auctions.com/SL4ALZ to place your winning bid TODAY!

Together, we can change the future of Alzheimer’s. To become a part of that change or to learn more, please visit https://www.alz.org/.

Posted in: Company News, Event Marketing & Communications

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Give Your Event a Competitive Edge with Technology Integration

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Written by Marie Johnson, CMP | Director, Marketing & Strategy

Events are a great place to learn about the latest innovations, network with colleagues and other industry professionals, and hear from leaders in the field. Event technology is the lynchpin that connects you to all these things. From apps to check-in software to virtual and augmented reality, event tech keeps attendees in the know before and during conferences and keeps them engaged long after the event has ended.

M&IW knows how important tech is to your event. We also know as more and more technologies are introduced in our space, it can be overwhelming to determine which ones are the best fit for your event and organization. And, more importantly, how to best integrate them for an optimal attendee experience.

That’s why we’re very excited to introduce our new EVENT TECHNOLOGY team. Several departments are joining forces with a focus on researching, implementing and servicing new event technologies that will help our clients grow their business and demonstrate ROI. By bundling services and offering a more strategic vantage point – our clients can make the most of their event technologies.

Tim LaFleur, CMP, is the Director of Event Technology and will lead this team. Tim brings more than a decade of experience in the meetings and event industry as both a meeting planner and technology expert which is a powerful combination. He truly understands event technology and mobile strategy. He designs, builds and manages mobile apps in a variety of platforms including CrowdCompass and Attendify.

Joining the EVENT TECHNOLOGY team is Chip Begley, Manager and Senior Web Designer. Chip is Cvent Certified. Chip has been with M&IW since 2011. He leverages his experience to ensure event websites and mobile apps provide an unparalleled user experience, from branding to features and more. Together with their talented team members, Tim and Chip will consult with our clients on innovative technology solutions that will help them inform, engage, and delight event attendees.

“M&IW has long been at the forefront of the meeting and events industry because we’ve understood the importance of changing tech trends and have used them to address our clients’ needs,” said Tim. “Tech like mobile apps benefits both attendees and clients who put on the event. If offers attendees real-time updates and a convenient, personalized experience, which increases engagement. For clients hosting the event, it offers real-time reporting and analytics, so they can adjust as needed Clients no longer have to wait for post event surveys to determine if their event is successful.”

M&IW’s most popular and trending services offerings include:

Event Websites. Your event site should offer attendees the information they need without digging and provide a pleasing user experience. Your digital touch points should offer consistent, relevant content and branding from registration through the app onsite. M&IW works with you to ensure your users will have a seamless, cohesive experience from registering on a desktop computer to checking event updates on their phone or tablet.

Mobile Apps. Today, mobile apps are a necessity, instead of a novelty. They enhance attendees’ event experience, increase engagement, and deliver measurable results. Users have all the information they need at their fingertips. This may include a personal welcome message from leadership, personalized agendas and targeted feature sections, immediate alerts regarding sessions and/or schedule changes, and more. In addition, mobile apps offer extra engagement features, such as live polling, instant messaging, “gamification,” such as trivia and scavenger hunts, and photo galleries to build and sustain excitement.

ARS Moderation. Questions and polling is a great way to get valuable feedback in real-time. Our ARS moderation service works directly with speakers to educate them on the polling/Q&A Crowd Sourcing Moderation service, as well as building the polls and executing it onsite. In addition, reporting will be available post-event, making the data actionable quickly.

Matchmaking (appointment scheduling). When you have information, a product, or service that the client needs, it’s important to make a connection to answer questions and ensure conversions. M&IW’s appointment scheduling will create the business rules needed to facilitate the right match based on the client’s requirements. This makes it both effective and efficient for both our clients and their customers.

Incentive Reclamation Website. Our team will work with you to build a website that can track points and give visibility rights to participant progress based on role definition within a hierarchy. This point tracking can be a simple leaderboard user interface to track who qualifies for a trip or for a cash payout, or it can qualify the participants to be able to select certain items in an online catalog. It’s a clean, easy-to-navigate interface will help ensure engagement.

Mobile App Video Production. Make your event electrifying with video! It’s easy and cost-effective with M&IW. With our video production “lite” package, we’ll send a specialist onsite to record, edit, and create a 4k quality video that can be shown at closing ceremonies or divided into snippets that can be shown throughout the week to give the event an extra boost of excitement. This is a great option for clients who want the cutting-edge production element, but have conservative budgets.

On Arrival. Using Cvent software, this service offers attendees the freedom to check themselves in using a tablet device and a wireless printer. It’s a high-tech way for attendees to self-register and cut down on long lines, helping to improve attendees’ overall event experience. (Note: When using On Arrival, clients will need to provide hardware.)

Event in a Box. Offering the ultimate in convenience for smaller events with less than 500 attendees. Cvent’s Event in a Box includes the check-in tablets, printers and will ship all the hardware to your event. Minimal set up and assembly required.

EM-Array / Educational Measures. Gain valuable insights from your attendees with live meeting engagement technology. Capture and keep audience attention with the most usable interactive system. Engage attendees with more than 25 interactive features. And, measure and improve the effectiveness of your live event.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Give your event a special, fun edge with this cool new tech. Use the AR (augmented reality) portion as a high-tech passport program. Or, use VR (virtual reality) to transport your attendees to alternate locations. The possibilities are virtually endless!

Through innovation in design and skill, M&IW’s event tech team will help our clients:

  • Create high-impact, engaging and memorable technology experiences that are complementary and seamless with the overall event design.
  • Provide attendees a streamlined event experience, mitigating confusion and hassle and increasing engagement.
  • Easily integrate new trends and features into established platforms, helping clients move forward and stay ahead of the pack.
  • Providing thoughtful consultation by truly embracing and understanding the event design and offering innovative technology solutions that make sense.

Learn more, stay connected, and get started:

Interested in hearing more from Tim? He will be presenting Epic Technology Approaches that Create REAL Immersive Experiences at NEXT ’18 hosted by MPI-CAC in Chicago on March 8, 2018. This is a can’t miss one-day educational conference bringing together meeting planners, event producers, and design and experience gurus, to learn from the leading authorities in areas from planning techniques and strategies, to the latest cutting-edge tech trends. Visit NEXT’18 to learn more and register.

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Using the latest technology can help your event go off smoothly and ensure attendees have a memorable event experience. With so many new offerings, our EVENT TECHNOLOGY team will work with you to develop strategic solutions and the tech tools you need to boost your ROI and make your event a success. Receive the latest news about emerging event technologies directly to your inbox, SUBSCRIBE to our mailing list. Or, CONTACT US and let us know how our team can be of service.

Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Incentive Travel Programs, Program Management & Event Design

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M&IW’s 50/50 Spotlight – The Wild West Team

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Written by Christina Wicklund | Marketing Project Lead

This week’s featured 50 Years 50 Charities team is the Wild West. Wild West selected a charity everyone on the team could contribute to even though they work in different locations – Washington, Nevada and Colorado. The team members are Hannah Buzzo, Marge Bazsika, Jeanette Davis, Ali Geisler, Marte Meighan, Kim St. Martin, and Genessa Gonzalez, the team captain. Their charity is the American Red Cross, a well-respected charity that focuses on wildfire relief in their states.

The catastrophic wildfires of 2017 didn’t just destroy neighborhoods and livelihoods — they also annihilated records. Damage estimates from the 2017 wildfires topped $10 billion, said Adam Smith of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And that was before devastating wildfires tore through Southern California in December.

Wild West raised $400 selling CPR kits this summer at our annual company event. Plus, they sold Brewers vs. Cubs baseball tickets on StubHub, an online website, now that’s thinking outside of the box!

When asked if they had other fundraising events in plan? The answer was a big YES! In the upcoming months, Wild West will auction off two Milwaukee, Wisconsin gift baskets filled with items donated by local businesses. All proceeds from this raffle will be donated to the American Red Cross. Wild West is also hosting an interactive benefit at the Wine Bar located in Denver Colorado. A portion of sales that evening will be donated by Vinue Food and Wine Bar to the American Red Cross. If you find yourself in the Cherry Creek, Colorado area on March 26, 2018, please join them!

This team may be spread over three states, but distance doesn’t seem to slow their efforts down. Way to go Wild West, keep that momentum and great team communications going!

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To learn more about the American Red Cross – wildfire relief or to donate, please visit www.redcross.org.

 

Posted in: Company News, Event Marketing & Communications

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Top 5 Takeaways – PCMA Convening Leaders 2018

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Written by Jill Pearson | Manager, Digital Marketing & Media

Since 1956 the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has been dedicated to driving global economic and social transformation through business events. This year, at their annual event, PCMA Convening Leaders 2018, they cranked up the volume in the Music City. There is no denying this was an epic year! So many things added to its success, from the vibrant location of Nashville, to the music, speakers, networking events and noteworthy content. This conference focused on the engagement factor of events, the most critical piece of connecting your audience despite the challenges we face today, with digital distractions and increased attendee expectations.

This successful event was experienced firsthand by our very own Mae Ibe, CMP, Director of Conferences & Tradeshows earlier this month. These are Mae’s Top 5 from PCMA Convening Leaders 2018.

1. Steaming Live Content – PCMA implemented streaming content, live and on demand, from the event. A continuing trend to get involvement from your members who cannot attend. Studies show that streaming this content does not discourage face-to-face attendance. Keep your whole membership engaged by providing conference content.

2. The Attendee Journey – The attendee journey is the newest way to capture your attendees’ movement throughout the event. Newest technology does not use Bluetooth, so attendees do not need a cell phone or Bluetooth device to gather the data. Track CE credits, collect data that will help you plan future meal counts, and keep abreast of the most popular breakouts so you know what your attendee is finding beneficial.

3. Strategizing Your Room Block – Studies show 1 out of 3 rooms are outside the room block. Are you strategizing your room block based on your location? If you are a big fish in a small pond, you can be aggressive on your room block. If you are a small fish in a big pond, you may want to be a little more conservative since your attendees have more options. Think about the leisure destinations and how that will affect your pre and post nights. Educate your attendees on why they need to stay in the room block; financial benefit for the organization, safety and security, future data, etc. Plan a different experience for those who book in the room block. Work with the local CVB to determine the economic impact of your event.

4. Attendee Acquisition – Instead of competing with other organizations for attendance, you are now competing with the “no event.” You need to make sure your attendees see your event as the must-attend event. Have you taken the customer journey into consideration? Does the customer know who you are? Your marketing message may not be describing your event and/or organization the way you think. Remind them throughout the year who you are, not just in the months or weeks leading up to the event. Your attendees must have an emotional connection or they won’t be engaged and want to attend year after year.

5. Video Testimonials – video testimonials are still a great way to connect with your attendees, but use trailers instead of long drawn out messages.

In addition to these top 5 takeaways there were two noteworthy areas of discussion one digital and one in person. M&IW experienced a substantial increase in social media responses based on posts from this event. Using the #PCMACL hashtag helped connect attendees, read tidbits of sessions that were not attended first hand, and pick up tips on new trends whether onsite or just following the online discussion. The #EventBoss initiative was also a huge hit! Great job on getting the word out socially PCMA. It greatly enhanced engagement and the overall experience.

Finally, innovation was a BIG discussion item. How do we innovate? What qualities do you need in employees to encourage innovation? It is predicted that 1 in 3 companies won’t be around in 5 years. You must be innovative and embrace change, so you are not one of the statistics. Attending leading industry conferences and live events is definitely one way to stay plugged in and discover new insights.

Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions

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4 Steps to Obtaining Work-Life Balance

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Written By Naomi Tucker, CMP, HMCC | Account Director, Global Enterprise Solutions

Obtaining work-life balance is a concept that everyone aspires to. M&IW prides itself on having an expansive virtual culture and supports work-life balance to its fullest. Although the process of obtaining work-life balance can be in one’s grasp, it can be hard to acquire. Industry professionals aspire to excel in their work, and excel at home, and at times, the imbalance creates a frustration in their lives. How do you adjust your expectations and get rid of the frustration of imbalance? Checkout these four steps that I’ve created to help:

Recall
The first step is to recall your current situation. It is always best to take an actual account of your situation and what is providing you with the frustration that you are experiencing. What is preventing you from the balance that you require? Take a written account of everything that you are involved in or have on your plate in both your work and in your personal life.

Re-Evaluate
As you are taking an account of your situation and where you are spending your energy, you must re-evaluate your plate. Ask yourself key questions. Identify why you have this item on your plate and why is it important to you. Asking questions will allow you to be able to quickly identify items that shouldn’t be on your list or items that are preventing you from obtaining balance.

Reset
The next step that should be taken is to reset your expectations. Identify your goals and aspirations in your work and your personal life. Are the items on your plate fitting with what these goals and aspirations? If they aren’t, then unfortunately they would need to be placed to the side until you have time to designate to them. Many people wonder what to do with the items that they have placed to the side. It helps to delegate them, or just simply say no to those items that you are being asked to do. Sometimes taking things off your plate can be tough, but it is a necessary step to obtain balance in your career and life.

Reactivate
After you have done every step; recalling your situation, re-evaluating what’s on your plate, and resetting your expectations, you will need to reactivate your plan. This means putting your written plan to action. Items that you need to put to the side, should have a plan on how you will delegate or move the responsibility of them. Items that you need to say no to, need a plan on how you will say no. Items that you need to take responsibility for, you will need a plan on how you will start to obtain responsibility. The key word is “plan”. Have a plan and make it actionable.

Summary
Making the steps toward balance can at first seem like an overwhelming experience, however it can take so much of the burden off of you when done correctly. As industry professionals, the concept of having it call can be an illusion, but we can create a life for ourselves were we can be content and joyful in the work and life that we do lead with following these simple steps.

For more information, CLICK HERE to review the entire recording of our recent Industry Insights Webinar: Career, Life and Beyond – How Can Planners Have It All?

 

Posted in: Company News, Event Marketing & Communications, Incentive Travel Programs, Program Management & Event Design

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