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See the Impossible: InHouse Physicians

Diamond Sponsor Feature – InHouse Physicians

With the threats to travelers growing, duty of care is front and center as a job responsibility of planners. At this year’s M&IW Annual Summit you will meet a leader in the industry who not only consistently delivers a powerful risk management solution to their clients, but a company that has transformed to a much broader mission. InHouse Physicians leverages the latest in neuroscience offerings and creates a roadmap that adds significant values to programs. InHouse Physicians (IHP) introduces neuroscience elements, such as mindfulness, nutrition for the brain, and visualization into meetings.

Dr. Spero, the CEO of IHP  had the following to say about Seeing the Impossible. InHouse Physicians has gone beyond what is possible by exploring new opportunities with neuroscience interventions, the flow state of the brain and what he has termed as “BioStacking. To learn more about the ‘how’, ‘what’, and ‘why’ of IHP, please continue reading the interview below.

This year’s M&IW Summit Theme is See the Impossible. Our message is about going beyond what is possible to uncover solutions to challenges and explore new opportunities. How does InHouse Physicians See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients? 

Over the span of three decades, InHouse Physicians has grown consistently by delivering a powerful risk management solution to our clients that satisfies their organization’s duty of care. There has never been a program location or healthcare need that IHP has not been able to fulfill – whether it is the delivery of emergency care on a safari in South Africa, providing a medical safety net for World Cup in 12 South American cities, or responding to an infectious disease outbreak affecting 600 attendees at an annual sales program, InHouse Physicians delivers the “impossible.”

As part of the InHouse Physicians’ journey, we have transformed into a much broader mission – Igniting Human Potential. It is inspired by the belief that every human being is truly unlimited and that stress, bad habits, and limiting beliefs create an environment which affects our performance in life. This belief has been supported by what we have experienced at meetings – attendee stress and burnout leading to poor engagement, illness, and performance.  There exists a huge opportunity to leverage the latest research in neuroscience offering a roadmap for meeting professionals to adding significantly more value at their programs. By introducing neuroscience elements, such as mindfulness, nutrition for the brain, and visualization, planners can assist program sponsors in meeting and exceeding their program goals and driving improvements in the bottom line.

What are some of the trends you are seeing related to your business? Or, do you have any new products or services that are creating waves? 

There are two primary trends affecting our business, namely, Duty of Care and Human Performance. With the threats to travelers growing, Duty of Care is front and center as a job responsibility of event planners. With the threats to travelers growing, Duty of Care is front and center as a job responsibility of event planners. The need to access and mitigate risk at meetings has never been greater. Of course, our services coincide, as we are a powerful medical risk management tool for high profile programs. A large percentage of sales meeting attendees are responsible for generating most of the revenue and profits for corporations. The performance of these same sales and marketing associates is critical to the success of the organization. As such, the science of human performance is starting to be taken very seriously at corporations. The corporate wellness movement and, more recently, the popularity of corporate mindfulness program are a couple of examples of this trend being put into action. Meeting professionals are ideally positioned to partner with an organization’s sales and human resource departments to develop strategic initiatives to drive human performance at key sales programs. It is time for the role of the professional meeting planner to expand to a more strategic one. Offering meaningful solutions to benefit the organization’s bottom line is a good place to start!

InHouse Physicians’ R-Lounge offers planners a turnkey human performance solution, based in neuroscience, and designed to offer attendees a restorative experience improving well-being, engagement, and performance at programs.

What does Seeing the Impossible mean to you personally? In your role, how are you continuing to bring new, fresh and innovative ideas to forward?

I have struggled in my life with health issues that required me to look outside the normal avenues for answers. These health struggles lead me to a deeper journey into human existence and how our own self-imposed limitations are the primary force holding us back from reaching our true potential. Through my learnings and insights, I have spent more than a decade building a formula for optimizing human performance based on neurobiology. This formula consists of stacking proven, individual neuroscience interventions on top of one other to move the brain closer to a Flow State – a process I have termed as “BioStacking.”

BioStacking leverages the latest knowledge in neuroscience research to improve focus, memory, learning, complex decision-making, creativity, and emotional regulation resulting in dramatic improvements in your personal and professional performance. The key neuroscience interventions included in BioStacking are:

  • Focused Attention – meditation to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, relax, and balance.
  • Mindfulness – open monitoring to be in the present, live in the now.
  • Future Visions – visualization to identify your core dreams, associated purpose, and remove limitations.
  • Metacognition – learning to better think, memorize, and analyze.
  • Recovery – downtime is productive time and recovery from stress.

When in Flow you not only have a greater capacity for learning, you also have greater interconnectivity and collaboration with others and overall reduced stress – all things that are important to your professional performance and personal life. As corporations continue to invest in the well-being and development of their employees, the neuroscience interventions of BioStacking become the key to satisfying an ever-evolving workforce. This new workforce expects their employers to provide a culture focused on a growth mindset, a holistic set of wellness offerings, and tools to achieve greater performance in the workplace.

The R-Lounge takes several of the elements of BioStacking and seamlessly incorporates them into meetings and events.

To learn more about Igniting Human Potential and how InHouse Physicians delivers powerful risk management solutions time and time again, we invite you to connect with the InHouse Physician Team at the M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase.

Posted in: Company News, Program Management & Event Design

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Employee Spotlight: World Traveler

Written by Christina Wicklund | Event Marketing Lead

At M&IW, every day is an adventure and our culture at M&IW encourages us to take risks and embrace challenges. From each experience we grow, we learn, we teach. Carlos Sandoval, CMP is a Sr. Program Manager on our Global Operations Team who does just that!  With a “come and get me attitude,” you might say he thrives on challenges.

Carlos enjoys his position at M&IW because he loves the sense of accomplishing a program. “There is nothing better than the look of awe on the faces of my clients and their attendees, he says. It makes everything worthwhile.”

Last year, Carlos won the award for the most miles travelled in a year. So, it was not easy, but I recently caught up with Carlos to learn more about him and his role with M&IW.

Q. What do you value most about M&IW and why?

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide values family. Jean, Tina and the Executive Leaders have an open-door policy and are always receptive to suggestions, recommendations, and feedback. But most of all, I am not just a “number” or one of many employees, I feel like part of a family that cares about one another.

Q. What’s the most interesting destination you’ve had a program at and why?

Istanbul, Turkey. The hustle and bustle of the city is so vibrant.  Knowing that you are at the edge of the European continent, the culture, the sound of the mosques during praying time, the food, the Bosporus. It’s just an amazing city with great history, architecture, and grand hotels with services.

Q. Working at, on or while supporting an event what is a weird experience you’ve had?

I have had so many! My top two picks are getting stuck in a shower in Dubai during a site inspection and the other is waking up at 3:00 am with chocolate melted all over my back, I had forgotten housekeeping left chocolates on the pillows in the evening. After working an 18-hour day, removing pieces of chocolates from my pillows was the last thing on my mind, hence the chocolate covered back.

Q. Tell me about a huge win you’ve recently had.

Every day is a win…from having financials done, finishing a program successfully, getting 600 USB drives through customs in Peru without having them seized, ensuring that my kids eat their vegetables, finish their homework and stay away from fortnight. Huge client wins are getting a stolen passport back from the person (restaurant waitress) who stole it in Chile, to getting a client on top of a mule while we were at the bottom of a volcano in Ecuador. To me, these are all huge wins!

Q. What is a quirky fact about you that not many people know about you? 

I love to draw animals. When I’m stressed out, I bite my fingers on my right hand only, my left hand is off-limits. Odd, I know, but you did ask about a quirky fact.

Q. What would you like to tell yourself at age 13?

Start backpacking throughout the world sooner rather than later, there is so much to see and do.

I would like to thank Carlos for not only taking the time to share his passion and a little bit about himself but for all he does each and every day as an M&IW Hospitality Hero. Information about M&IW careers can be found on our website careers page.


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See the Impossible: Teneo

Diamond Sponsor Feature – Teneo

Have you ever had the opportunity to partner with a company who is all about breaking the boundaries of what is possible and raising the bar for what is typically expected of a Global Sales Office? Have you worked with a partner who is nimble and flexible, a company that is constantly innovating to deliver results to you? If not, you are going to want to partner with the Teneo Hospitality Group.

We sat down with Traci Baxter, the Director of Sales at Teneo to discuss this year’s M&IW Summit Theme and what it means to Teneo. “Seeing the Impossible means not taking no for an answer, helping hotels and clients come to creative solutions through imagination, and a customer first focus.”

How does Teneo Hospitality Group See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

Teneo Hospitality Group, as a relatively young company of five years, is all about breaking the boundaries of what is possible and raising the bar for what is typically expected of a Global Sales Office. We have shifted the focus from being a vendor to becoming a partner to embrace our client’s creative spirit and vision. As a smaller company, we can be nimble and flexible to customize solutions to ever-changing needs. Teneo relishes going beyond the sourcing and contracting. We are here to support and advocate for our clients and constantly innovate to deliver results.

What are some of the trends you are seeing related to your business? Or, do you have any new products or services that are creating waves?

This is an exciting time to partner with independent and smaller branded hotels for groups. As our event participants are changing generationally and expectations turn towards authentic, experiential and personalized immersive experiences, the amazing hotels in the Teneo portfolio are perfectly suited to fulfill these needs.

With much consolidation in the hotel world, and in some locations, it means less choice for a group outside of branded hotels. Iconic independent hotels and smaller experiential brands value their relationships with companies like Meetings & Incentives Worldwide so we can adjust to required contractual requirements, maintain flexibility, and have the ability to go ‘straight to the top’ when negotiating.

One of the trends that keep growing is sustainability and a focus on the environment. As an example, 1 Hotels, whose vision is that “the future of the world and the future of hospitality are one and the same. 1 Hotels believe that sustainability is the foundation on which they base all our design, construction, and operational decisions.”

Corporate social responsibility and giving back have been conversations we have all been having for many years. But, now and into the future, our partners, like M&IW, live and breathe this and have melded this focus into the DNA of their companies. In 2019, Teneo is supporting the Kids in Need Foundation and Society B for all of our networking events, continuing our give back efforts that began our very first year in 2014. Check out the video here for more information on both organizations! Clients who attend our hotel showcase events love that they while they are networking and learning, they are also contributing to a good cause!

What does Seeing the Impossible mean to you personally? In your role, how are how are you continuing to bring new, fresh and innovative ideas to forward.

I have the best job in the world! There are no processes or hoops for our customers to jump through to work with Teneo – no key accounts. As a GSO, I am the first and only go-to for any group from anywhere, for 10 rooms to 10,000 people, for any of our hotels or DMCs. For me personally, that means constantly educating myself on not only my portfolio of hotels and DMCs, but trends, destinations, renovations, technology, regulations, and anything that can impact a group’s experience. Because we can’t predict the next disruption, relationships can ensure you have a strong advocate to support your needs in the future. I strive to create an environment of trust through transparency, flexibility, and value by aligning what we can do with our clients’ business needs and their best interests.

To learn more about the mighty Teneo team we invite you to talk with them at this year’s M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase.

Posted in: Company News, Event Marketing & Communications, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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See the Impossible: Visit Orlando

M&IW Summit Sponsor Visit Orlando

Diamond Sponsor Feature – Visit Orlando

Have you had the opportunity to partner with a vendor who has worked hand-in-hand with you to create an unforgettable meeting? Do you know you don’t need to travel far to offer attendees an extraordinary experience? Orlando, Florida is the perfect event destination thanks to the incredible diversity filled with unique experiences for attendees. Visit Orlando ensure the creation of an unforgettable event!

We caught up with Susan Zeiri, National Accounts Director, with Visit Orlando to find out what See the Impossible means to her and her organization. Please continue reading to see what she had to say about Seeing the Impossible:

This year’s M&IW Summit Theme is See the Impossible. Our message is about going beyond what is possible to uncover solutions to challenges and explore new opportunities. How does Visit Orlando See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

From the initial site visit to the closing reception, our Visit Orlando team works hand-in-hand with groups to create unforgettable meeting experiences. Whether groups are searching for a nontraditional venue, new culinary experiences or world-class entertainment, planners can count on Visit Orlando as a strong partner and an extension of their team. Merging our destination expertise with the planner’s imagination, there are no limits to what groups can accomplish with their Orlando event.

What are some of the trends you are seeing related to your business? Or, do you have any new products or services that are creating waves?

Experiential meetings have become increasingly popular with clients in Orlando, as it allows planners to customize their event experience. Our destination is home to several unique venues that can serve as an incredible backdrop to create memorable events for attendees. Planners can have an event at the foot of a volcano at Universal’s Volcano Bay, enjoy a beachside reception with animal encounters at Discovery Cove or host an outdoor block party under a 400-foot lighted observation wheel at Icon Park. At Universal Orlando Resort, meetings can be kicked off with the help of a larger-than-life character from The Transformers movie franchise. At SeaWorld Orlando, groups can go behind the scenes and watch veterinarians nurse rescued sea cows back to health. The destination is constantly unveiling new event spaces, innovations and upgrades that will give planners great options and keep attendees excited about their next Orlando meeting.

What does Seeing the Impossible mean to you personally?

Working for such a dynamic city for 19 years I would say that I have firsthand experienced the impossible. When I first started with Visit Orlando there were just a handful of convention hotels and the OCCC only had 1.2 million square feet on the West side of the building. International Drive was considered “boring” with chain restaurant and tourist type of shopping.

In my 19 years, I have witnessed the impossible! The addition of the North/South Building of the OCCC adding an additional 1.2 million square feet; the construction of Rosen Shingle Creek, The JW/Ritz Grande Lakes, the Hilton/Waldorf Bonnet Creek, the Hilton Orlando and the expansion of the Peabody to the Hyatt Regency Orlando. These are the significant changes that have occurred over the past 19 years, but that doesn’t even include the Impossible of turning Orlando from a ho-hum food city to one of the Nation’s best cities for fine dining!

As a salesperson for this great city, I have witnessed the impossible when it comes to growth and development, and I have also had to ride the wave of “the Impossible” by meeting as many customers as possible within my market and introducing them to the Orlando as a top business destination as opposed to just a place for families to connect. I also had to work diligently and effortlessly to educate our customers on the value of a CVB. This has come a long way since I started with Visit Orlando and I am so thrilled to have been a part and perhaps made my mark and contribution to the CVB world which at times seemed impossible. I have learned to never use the word “Impossible”, but rather, “Anything is possible”. That is my personal motto.

We invite you to talk with the Visit Orlando expert team at the M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase coming up in August of 2019.

Posted in: Company News, Program Management & Event Design, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting, Upcoming Events

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See the Impossible: Hyatt Hotels

M&IW Summit Sponsor Hyatt Hotels

Diamond Sponsor Feature – Hyatt Hotels

Teaming up with the right strategic partners who understand you and your client’s goals can make all the difference. Partners that just get it; think the way you think; and mirror your organizational values and culture. These types of relationships are invaluable. They not only make work fun; they drive better results. Hyatt Hotels is one of those partners. So, it wasn’t surprising when we caught up with Katie Cassidy, the Global Director for the Americas Hyatt Sales Force to find out what See the Impossible means to her and her organization, we couldn’t get enough of what she had to say. Read below to learn how Hyatt Hotels Sees the Impossible:

This year’s M&IW Summit Theme is See the Impossible. Our message is about going beyond what is possible to uncover solutions to challenges and explore new opportunities. How does Hyatt Hotels See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

As we continue to grow, we don’t lose sight of what’s most important, people. Hyatt is a company that was family built. Every day we care for our guests. Care is at the heart of our business, and it’s this distinct guest experience that makes Hyatt one of the world’s best hospitality brands.

At Hyatt, we see wellbeing as the ultimate realization of our purpose, and caring for the wellbeing of our colleagues, customers and guests are at the heart of our purpose-driven work. Together, focusing on wellbeing creates deeper personal connections and experiences, and can be an encompassing effort that benefits everyone. For this reason, we are not only focused on bringing wellbeing to life for our guests and customers both in- and outside of hotel stays, but for our colleagues as well.

Hyatt has committed to a multi-million-dollar investment to inform offerings, programs and services that positively impact the wellbeing of Hyatt colleagues around the globe. We are also collaborating with thoughts-leaders to gain insight and incorporate best practices into our colleague programming because when our colleagues are at their best, they can better care for all of you and your guests and customers.

What are some of the trends you are seeing related to your business? Or, do you have any new products or services that are creating waves?

We are recognized globally by meeting planners for our responsiveness and flexibility. We have the tools and resources to alleviate the pressures of your role and address your most pressing pain points. From our RFP submission process to the Hyatt Event Concierge App and Group Bill, to our exceptional event service teams, we are known by meeting planners for being easy to work with and our timely execution.

The World of Hyatt loyalty program gives you and your organization access to rewards like upgrades and credits to enhance the experiences of both you and your attendees. New this year, we have launched a loyalty collaboration with American Airlines in which World of Hyatt and AAdvantage elite members can link their loyalty accounts in order to earn miles, points, and status when flying with American or staying at Hyatt.

What does Seeing the Impossible mean to you personally? In your role, how are you continuing to bring new, fresh and innovative ideas to forward?

What “Seeing the Impossible” means to me is being committed to my clients by really listening to them, connecting, showing empathy, and by doing so we will make a difference together. I am focused on delivering customized offerings, seamless events that provide meaningful experiences, value for your organization, and support to achieve your goals.

My commitment to Hyatt’s purpose of care allows us to provide a consultative approach so that our team acts as an extension of yours. You can count on us a partner who proactively communicates, stays connected and flexes to execute flawlessly, no matter what comes your way.

We invite you to talk with Katie Cassidy at the M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase.

Posted in: Company News, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting, Upcoming Events

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See the Impossible: Stamm Media

Platinum Sponsor Stamm Media


Platinum Sponsor Feature – Stamm Media


Event technology is constantly evolving from digital signage and gamification to unified event system integration and much more. Working with the right technology partner can make or break your event. When looking to partner with an event technology company looking for a company that not only offers high tech / high touch but one whose main focus is on thorough customer service and exceeding expectations.

Stamm Media is one of those partners. We talked with the President & CEO, Dave Stamm to find out what See the Impossible means to the Stamm organization. Please read below to learn how Stamm Media Sees the Impossible:

This year’s M&IW Summit Theme is See the Impossible. Our message is about going beyond what is possible to uncover solutions to challenges and explore new opportunities. How does Stamm Media See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

For an event production and audiovisual rental company, ‘seeing the impossible’ and executing it can be a daily task. Meetings of any scale need to be meaningful and memorable – and with that could present seemingly ‘impossible’ goals. We believe seamless service elevates the ordinary into extraordinary and makes those goals possible. At Stamm Media, we understand how important it is for your event to go smoothly and within budget. We help navigate those budgets by providing expertise in total AV production, custom interactive development, and IT services. That is why, along with our first-class level of production and state-of-the-art event technology rental inventory, our main focus is on thorough customer service and exceeding expectations.

What are some of the trends you are seeing related to your business?

Gone are the days of corporate theater for meetings and events. In its stead, Stamm Media places our emphasis on dynamic digital engagement. This provides meetings with flexibility and adaptability for the changing demographics of attendees that the theatrical design couldn’t accommodate. Digital signage solutions have been one of the biggest trends in that direction. This platform provides the client with an abundance of options for consistent branding including meeting agendas, breakout room schedules, and wayfinding to name a few. Digital signage also allows for real-time social media interaction. For example, attendees can post pictures or comments using a designated hashtag and see their participation populated on screen – or multiple screens across the venue. Another trend that will be utilized in future meetings and events is unified system integration. That is to say one overall system for your event tying together badge registration, mobile app, gamification data, etc.

Do you have any new products or services that are creating waves?

New technology can arrive with a high price point, so we’re constantly innovating ways to be cost effective while maximizing impact. One of the model ways we’ve accomplished this is with branded interactive rentals. Stamm Media has developed a dozen plus interactive experiences including; Plinko, Puzzle Master, Match 3, Golf Simulator, Trivia, and many more. Each one allows for a fully brandable game and integrated lead capture. This provides the client with a WOW factor and branded engagement piece without the cost of a built-from-scratch application. Additionally, we would say the move to LED from projection display is creating some waves. While projection has been the standard display for most meetings in the past, more and more general sessions are using LED walls to create unique stage presentations. Further along those lines, a new hardware solution is MicroLED. We now have an HD LED solution to replace the current 3 x 3 seamless monitor walls with one unified LED wall at the same resolution. As the industry continues to change, new technologies will be implemented to further leverage branding. Live streaming and secure WiFi deployment have made it possible to have remote individuals attend and participate. We have also seen emerging technologies like AR/VR experiences and holograms foster unique and purposeful engagements.

What does Seeing the Impossible mean to you personally? In your role, how are you continuing to bring new, fresh and innovative ideas to forward?

Stamm Media helps our partners bring the impossible to life through premier event production, exceptional service, and innovative event technology solutions. We operate at the forefront of our industry in a number of ways. Our team is continually educating themselves and following thought leaders to see what is on the bleeding edge. Technology is ever evolving, and we strive to quickly identify new technology that excels within the meetings and events space. Our charge is to be extremely responsive and receptive to our clients and use the right technology to exceed expectations. Finally, and most importantly, we ensure flawless execution and production with everyone on our team living out our motto of “Whatever it Takes”.

To learn more about innovative, engaging event technology solutions we invite you to talk with the knowledgeable Stamm Team at the M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase or you can visit their website at Stamm Media Website.

Posted in: Company News, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Upcoming Events

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Employee Spotlight: Global Operations

Incentive Trip Team Photo Hawaii Top Performers
Written by Christina Wicklund | Event Marketing Lead

At M&IW, we know our culture starts and ends with our extremely talented and dedicated team members who bring their experience, passion, and creativity to each and every client event. One of these amazing employees is Kristi Stephan, Senior Program Manager on our Global Operations team. In her role, she specializes in high-end incentive programs.

We sat down with Kristi to learn more about her career in the industry and current position with M&IW. During our chat, we discovered what she loves most about her position at M&IW is the ability to create unique and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our clients, winners and their guests. Especially the amazing memories for the individuals who have earned an invaluable trip as a part of a reward for their hard work and accomplishments. Kristi took a bit of time out of her busy travel schedule to give us additional insight into what she values, her journey and what makes her tick.

Q: What do you value most about M&IW and why?
What I value the most is our work family. Jean and Tina, as well as our leaders and peers, support all of us in our everyday work. More importantly, they value us as workers as well as people. I feel very blessed to be part of this amazing company.

Q: What’s the most interesting destination you’ve had a program at and why?

My favorite program destination is Dublin, Ireland. I feel the city of Dublin gives one the ability to experience the beauty of the countryside, the history of the city, and it offers incredibly unique evening event spaces. It’s the perfect trifecta of destinations.

Q: What is a weird experience you’ve had while working onsite?

Being chased by a monkey in Nevis while on my morning run. That was hands down the weirdest thing that I have ever experienced!

Q: Before working at M&IW, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

While in college, I attended Disney World’s College Program in Orlando, Florida. I was selected for this prestigious internship where I learned about Disney management as well as worked a full-time job at their Hollywood Studios Prime Time Café. It was an amazing learning experience.

Q: What is a quirky fact about you that not many know?

When entering college, I wanted to be a microbiology major and become a doctor.

Q: If you could go back in time and give yourself advice at 13, what would it be?

Life is short, enjoy the moment, and the people around you.

We want to thank Kristi for not only taking the time to share her passion and a little bit about herself; but also for being an M&IW Hospitality Hero. Information about joining our team can be found at

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Affordable Event Technology in an Experiential World

Written by Christina Wicklund | Event Marketing Lead

How do you create an engaging event without breaking the bank? Do you have to sacrifice quality because you’re operating on a shoestring budget? Are you feeling restricted by the limited means you have to promote your event?

When it comes to events, attendees’ expectations have increased leaps and bounds over the past few years. Participants are looking for memorable experiences. They want to be part of the event, not simply a bystander. This is where experiential marketing comes into play. Experiential marketing combines various tools that allow the audience to engage and interact throughout the entire event – pre, during and post.

Here are five engaging event technologies that won’t blow the budget but can create a whole lot of engagement:

1) Hashtags / Social Media

Although social media has been around since the late 1970s with the invention of the Bulletin Board System, it never really took off until almost 30 years later. Over the past 10 plus years, social media has transformed the way the world communicates, interacts and shares content. Hashtag campaigns have added a new dimension, that appeals to the emotional side, which in turn creates engagement and memorable experiences. Great examples of this are the #ShareACoke by Coca-Cola and Lay’s #DoUsAFlavor campaigns.

Hashtags can boost impressions and improve the searchability of your event. Create an event hashtag and use it every chance you can, think of it as Frank’s hot sauce for the social world, put it on everything including printed materials. Hashtags are individually searchable and on some social sites can be followed. They increase social media engagement and attract new followers.

Social media is a great place to promote your event, generate excitement, interact with attendees & followers, and drive traffic to the event website. Encourage sharing, likes and comments. If the budget allows, use the event social media platforms for gamification, offer rewards or bonus points for each interaction that will apply to a final tally and the possibility of winning a reward at the end of the event.

2) Event Mobile App

A mobile app is a digital guide to your event, offering real-time information and updates, nowadays the various uses of event apps are only limited to your imagination. Apps can notify attendees of start times and agenda updates by pushing notifications through. When connected to the event’s social media sites it gives attendees the ability to share their thoughts, ideas and snapshots. Well programmed event apps allow attendees to search, connect and schedule meetings with like-minded peers. They offer the ability to create and manage a personal schedule. In addition, mobile apps can be used for gamification, live polling, and instant feedback.

A properly engineered event mobile app will generate excitement prior, during and after an event.

3) Gamification

Gamification brings attendees together and provides them with memorable, quality experiences. It elevates the emotional experience of your attendees by presenting challenges and point systems. It gives players the ability to complete challenges and adds a competitive, interactive element to your event. Gamification works because it accesses the emotions and motivations of attendees. It can even be incorporated into the event app and applied to social media sites. When using gamification at an event think about the expectations of the audience and what you want to achieve from the gaming experience, is your goal to have attendees gain additional knowledge, perhaps it’s to offer extra networking time or maybe it’s to add a bit of fun to your event. Regardless of what your intent is, you must keep the participants engaged and active throughout the event. Two great ways of achieving this are big screen leaderboards and public shout outs during meals. These are guaranteed to keep attendees in the competitive mode and make your gamification a success.

4) Live Audience Polling

This is another great use of experiential marketing and can very easily be incorporated into an event app. What’s great about live audience polling is how versatile it is. It’s a great way to interact with attendees and offers instant gratification and feedback to the event owners and audience. When using live polling think outside of the box, yes, they are amazing at breaking up the long drawn out PowerPoint. But have you ever considered using them for ice breakers? Ice breaker questions are a great way to welcome, spark conversations and create interaction between attendees. Live polling is also a great way to help ensure all attendees have the opportunity to participate equally. Participants’ answers and questions are anonymous, therefore offering a voice to everyone, including those that are less likely to speak in front of a crowd.

5) Live Stream Event

Reach a larger audience at a low cost. A Live stream provides value and engages audiences. Plus, experiential marketing can be applied easily by simply offering a chat box. The opportunity to interact with influencers and live polling increases engagement to those viewing the event from afar. These points will boost your online audience engagement and assist in keeping the focus of the viewers.

The evolution of event technology is rapidly changing, with these changes prices that were once through the ceiling are more affordable. This gives the event owner the ability to organize a budget-friendly impactful event.

Experiential marketing combines various tools that allow the audience to engage and interact throughout the entire event. The use of any or all the event technology ideas will increase attendees emotional experience and can assist in making events better.

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International Incentives—When to Get a Little Bit Exotic

Written by: Mary Enke | Creative Lead & Senior Buyer, Incentive Services

The best incentive programs are built around the personas of your individual travelers. Is your team repeat winners, well-versed in the intricacies of international travel? Are they hustling Millennials searching for a little bit of adventure? For both of these groups your typical European vacation is either within reach, or a bit ‘basic, motivation-lacking, and routine.’ Perhaps, you can get a little bit exotic by hosting your incentive program just off the beaten path—a short distant from the more standard European vacation destinations of England, France and Italy.

The following locations offer unique options as well as an idyllic, picturesque location that offers adventurous activities for the active traveler as well as a healthy serving of sand and surf for those who prefer the peace and solitude of an island vacation.

Sardinia, Italy

Located in the Mediterranean Sea between the shores of Spain, France, and Italy

Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is beautiful Sardinia. This is not a “cookie-cutter” tropical island. With near-alpine oak, dazzling white sand beaches and crescent-shaped bays backed by limestone cliffs, Sardinia is an exotic, eccentric island adventure… one of Europe’s last!

While visiting, guests have a multitude of activities to experience including water sports galore, sailing, snorkeling, and sea safaris. Or, take on coastline horseback riding…maybe jaunt to the different villages for shopping or secluded beaches. Definitely a destination with a lot to offer to a seasoned traveler or a first visit to Europe.

High Season               July – August                                             Crowds, but great days for the beach

Shoulder Season      April, June, September, October           Lower room rates, weather is changeable

Low Season               November – March                                  A bit colder and wetter, many sights closed

Maldives, Asia

Located in the Indian Ocean off the costs near Sri Lanka

This is truly the ultimate escape for an exotic getaway.  A very non-traditional and different destination. Sure, many destinations boast white sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, but how many can say that every resort is on its own island – all 105 of them? No island has two resorts. The only way to get around is by boat or plane.

Some would call this a “drop out” destination – in the best way. Drop out of reality and celebrate the holiday of a lifetime. A pure beach destination. No roads. No off-site venues.  No cultural attractions.  Activities vary from resort to resort. This is heaven on earth … the water, the food, the spas, the resorts … all add up to an experience one will never forget.

High Season              December – February                          Best weather, little rain, low humidity          

Shoulder Season      March – April                                          Good weather, end of April hottest

Low Season               May – November                                   Storms more likely, but only for short periods

Hvar, Croatia

Located in the Adriatic Sea off the costs off the southern coast of Croatia just North of Greece

One of the most beautiful Croatian islands is Hvar. This intoxicating heaven, clouded by the fragrances of lavender, rosemary, and heather and surrounded by the azure sea, is a true year-round destination and inexhaustible treasure chest of sights, experiences and adventure.

Croatia is growing in popularity with individuals and incentives. Be part of the “in crowd”. The entire Dalmatian Coast is buzzing. Split European programs are the ultimate experience and there are so many destinations to consider along this enchanting coast.

High Season              July – August                                          Best weather, followed by Split & Dubrovnik

Shoulder Season     May – June & September                      Great time to visit, Adriatic is warm

Low Season               October – April                                       Storms & rain a bit more likely, lower rates

Madeira, Portugal

Located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of North Easter Africa nearest to Morocco.

Right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is Madeira Island. Geologically dramatic and bursting with exotic color and warmed year-round by the Atlantic sun, Portugal’s most enchanting island is a place that keeps all its subtropical holiday promises. This is definitely the pearl of the Atlantic.

Embark upon the ultimate diving, big game fishing, jeep safaris, or get up close and personal with sea life in the open waters – not to mention the food and wine scene. This tiny volcanic island has so much to offer … and more!

High Season             December & July- August                      Higher prices

Shoulder Season     April – June                                                Weather is best, main tourist season

Low Season              January – March                                       Most rain


Located in the Indian Ocean off the coasts of South West Africa between Madagascar and the Maldives.

Scattered across the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is made up of 115 idyllic islands. Spellbinding beaches are the main attraction. Exquisite strips of white sand lapped by turquoise water and backed by lush hills.

Sailing, diving, fishing and relaxing are the main activities for visitors. This is, without a doubt, the perfect spot to go to invoke in your inalienable right to engage in the lovely art of doing nothing at all… or do as much as you like. Mother Nature was generous with the Seychelles, a fabled paradise.

High Season              December, March, July, August           Spikes in European holidays, can be humid

Shoulder Season      April – May/October – November        Great weather for swimming & excursions

Low Season               January – May                                           Lower accommodation pricing, comfortable

Langkawi, Malaysia

Located in the Andaman Sea off the coast of northwestern Malaysia near Singapore.

Discover a faraway island and a true tropical paradise in Langkawi. Alluring and idyllic in its natural beauty. Majestic and spectacular in its culture. Langkawi is synonymous with blond beaches, sandy beaches, and jungle-cloaked valleys. Truly an exotic getaway.

Nature is literally at your doorstep. The recreation options are unbelievable from boat trips to bat caves, bike outings to waterfalls, plunging from a cliff to a pool below. Through all of these adventures, the monkeys are watching and enjoying the show.

High Season               January – March                                     High tourist season, lots of sun and activities

Shoulder Season      April – August                                          Fewer tourists, great weather

Low Season                September – October                            Rainy – but only 2 hours per day

The Choice is Yours

While these destinations may require an extra leg to get to from all US gateway cities, we feel that the experience they provide is well worth the extra travel time. With creative and unique planning and consultation with professionals who know how to incentivize these destinations, one of these may be the most ideal fit for your next program.

“A journey is not about the places you visit, but the stories you bring home to share.”


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An Inside Look at the CMP Governance Commission

CMP Exam, CMP Governance Commission, Steve Lorenz

Written by Christina Wicklund | Event Marketing Lead

M&IW’s very own Steven Lorenz, CMP, HMCC, Senior Account Lead, and 2017 Chair Exam Development Committee, CMP Governance Commission 2015-2019; along with Liz Dombrowski, Certification Manager, Events Industry Council were approached by the Events Industry Council to co-author an article titled “Why did they ask me that? How a question gets on the CMP Exam.”

In reading this article, it sparked a few questions in my mind about what goes on behind the scenes during the creation of the CMP Exam, what’s the process, how do they come up with the exam questions, and how does it all work? So, I interviewed Steve to find out more about the CMP Governance Commission and how he was selected to serve on this prestigious board along with many other interesting questions about Steve’s journey and how it all links together. It was a thought-provoking conversation and his answers are very insightful.

  • What exactly is the CMP Governance Commission? The CMP Governance Commission is the governing body that oversees the CMP credential. It works to ensure the credential truly reflects the important work of meeting professionals and that the International Standards are current. It also oversees exam development and that all test items pass through a strenuous review process to ensure best in class certification through rigor, relevance, and value.
  • How long have you served on the CMP Governance Commission? It has been my pleasure and honor to serve since 2015 with my esteemed colleagues from all sectors of the events industry, including planners and suppliers. Read more at 2019 Events Industry Council Board of Directors.
  • When did you land this opportunity? One of my CMP mentors reached out and shared with me the structure of the CMP Governance Commission about five years ago. She thought it would be a great fit and suggested I put my name in the ring to serve on the Commission.
  • Why are you passionate about your role with the CMP Governance Commission? I am very passionate about the industry. Serving on the CMP Governance Commission is one of the ways I can give back to the meetings and event industry to keep the CMP current and relevant. It is an important function and I am thrilled to be part of it.
  • What is a unique story you have about volunteering on the CMP Governance Commission? There are so many things I have learned participating on the CMP Governance Commission. I had no idea the amount of effort and work that goes into maintaining a credential. I also had never heard of psychometrics (the science of measuring mental capacities and the key guidance practice of developing the CMP certification) before. I didn’t know this field of study even existed prior to joining the Commission.
  • As a mentor to event professionals looking to sit for the CMP, what are three pieces of advice you have to offer? Participate in educational opportunities, especially those areas that you don’t necessarily work in every day to stretch your learning outside of your current job or role. Study, study, study: the exam is rigorous, but if you accept the challenge, earning the credential and joining the CMP is well worth the effort. Don’t put it off; the application to sit for the CMP can be daunting at first glance, but if you review and start to complete it, you can see the areas that will need more of your attention or surprise yourself that you already meet the requirements to sit for the exam.
  • Give us one last item you’d like to share with regards to your experience with the CMP Governance Commission? Sitting on the CMP Governance Commission has been an incredible experience and a high point in my career. It is amazing to me that I am allowed to participate in the program at this level and I have learned so much. It is an honor to participate and advance the recognition of the CMP Community.

The CMP isn’t just a prestigious set of letters. This test is challenging because being a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is more than knowing how to plan productive meetings, execute exciting events, or even being a subject matter expert. It is also about inspiring and mentoring the next generation of event planners. When you take the CMP exam you know how much thought and care your fellow event professionals put into it and their passion for the industry. The CMP Governance Commission is always there rooting for you!

Read the full article Why did they ask me that? How a question gets on the CMP Exam. It was published on the Events Industry Council website to uncover the CMP Exam creation process.

Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Event Marketing & Communications, Program Management & Event Design

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