Archive for Event Marketing & Communications

See the Impossible – Educational Measures

Sponsor Feature – Educational Measures

So, you want to partner with a company who can drive innovation and improve meeting effectiveness with leading interactive event technology. After all, the main goal is to increase audience engagement, right? What if M&IW could introduce you to a leader in the industry who can not only boost audience response rates and capture more data, but also one that can take a deep dive into attendee engagement? A company with built-in analytics that provides actionable insights, measures ROI and improves meeting effectiveness.

Meet Educational Measures, a company that offers the all-in-one interactive meeting technology solution company from start to finish. We caught up with Mike Caserta and the Educational Measures team to see what they had to say about Seeing the Impossible and how it applies to this amazing technology company.

How does Educational Measures See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

At Educational Measures, we help our clients see the value of engaged meeting participants. Through data-driven insights, we create opportunities for them to achieve real value from their meetings that may have once seemed impossible. Our Array interactive meeting technology enables our clients to connect with and engage face-to-face and remote audiences anywhere in the world, with one application. Through data collection and intelligent meeting analytics, we take it further and help our clients truly understand their audience, uncovering trends from their audience engagement data that will help them improve their meeting performance.

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?

Array Hub(TM), our new intelligent meeting analytics platform, delivers powerful insights to improve meeting performance. Clients can securely view and access and analyze all of their meetings data in the cloud. They can assess overall meeting impact, evaluate engagement with content on a slide-by-slide basis, evaluate participant experience, and even uncover performance trends across their meetings. Meeting insights can be quickly downloaded and shared with stakeholders in a beautiful executive report. Array Hub (TM) provides deep value to meeting planners and stakeholders by helping them visualize their meetings data in a useful, actionable way.

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?

In my role, we are constantly educating meeting planning experts about our Array iPad Engagement Technology platform for live meetings. A very gratifying experience when meeting stakeholders see the value the Array iPad Engagement solution can bring to their meetings. Then when the meeting stakeholder uses the Engagement Technology for the first time, they tell us how significant the iPad Engagement solution made to their meeting, and they will never do another meeting without it.

Educational Measures is one company you won’t want to miss at the M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase. Stop on by to find out how Educational Measures can orchestrate all your technology needs!

Posted in: Conferences & Tradeshows, Event Marketing & Communications

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See the Impossible: Maui Jim

Diamond Sponsor Feature – Maui Jim

The onsite experiential gifting concept can be challenging. Finding a reliable vendor who has the cadence that allows you to do your job and not worry about their details is a huge undertaking unless you partner with a seasoned vendor like Maui Jim. Almost two decades ago Maui Jim Saw the Impossible when he pioneered the onsite experiential gifting concept, in that time Maui Jim has perfected their processes while continuing to evolve with new styles and service offerings.

Maui Jim will shine some light on the importance of incorporating a gifting or motivational experience into all types of events. Read their sponsor feature below to learn more about the benefit of gifting experiences and how Maui Jim 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 Maui Jim USA See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

Our main objective is to provide The World’s Most Memorable Gift Experience™. Fitting events are important because it provides that guest with the personalized instant gratification aspect of gifting that is presented to them by a full-time Maui Jim employee. There was a study done by the Wharton School that states, “When recipients receive an experience, regardless of whether they share in that experience with the gift giver, they feel more connected to the gift giver as a result of it compared to receiving a material gift.”

A fitting experience is just that, an experience. A true brand experience is something that shows that a company is investing in that guest, just as much as that guest invests in your company or organization. When you work with Maui Jim, you add that value and standard because our staff is trained to learn about the guest and their wants and needs to determine the most appropriate gift. You are leaving the guest with the memories of a tailored experience.

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?

People love choice, personalization, and quality. Guests want to pick their gift and tailor it to their needs, and they want to get the newest and best thing out there. Maui Jim sunglasses are a gift that covers a variety of needs whether it’s fashion, function, or protection. Consider what your guest will use in their day-to-day life, year after year, that will solidify the positive memory of your event. When you work with Maui Jim, you get a quick turnaround, newest styles (39 new styles released in 2018 and 23 already in 2019), and the best pricing. These are all factors that determine whether you will have a successful experience from start to finish.

In addition to choice, personalization, and quality, the obvious buzz words in the industry are technology, wellness, experiential marketing, and entertainment. We are a lens technology company, that developed the experiential gifting industry almost 20 years ago. With our lens technology, we developed a clear lens Blue Light Protection line that is now available for corporate gifting events.

Our Maui Blue Light Protect glasses help protect the eye health of those who spend much of their time in front of a digital screen, which is more and more every day. It’s reported that 60% of Americans experience blue light-induced headaches, migraine attacks, and overall eye strain. You can now tailor your event experience to include this option, allowing your guests to choose a gift that meets their needs and enhance their health. Protecting your eyes inside and out is one of the most important things you can do for your body.

Regarding experiential marketing and entertainment, that’s a natural fit! Your guests should have fun and remember their gift from an emotional standpoint in conjunction with the physical gift. People remember how they felt when they received their gift. Even after the technology is out-of-date or item out-of-style, they still remember how much fun they had at that event.

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 love always having to be changing, agile and aware of trends. That is why Maui Jim Corporate Gifts has been so successful. Great service is hard to come across nowadays and the main reason that our customer loyalty is around 93%. A gifting experience should be memorable because the recipient had fun interacting with our staff and the camaraderie they built with coworkers or other recipients while trying on their Maui Jim sunglasses. It is great to be a part of that experience onsite. To be able to answer any question the recipient has about a particular style or the brand is just icing on the cake. 

As events get more and more experiential, M&IW stays on top of the best immersive experiences. Interested in incorporating the Maui Jim experience into your next event, be sure to visit with the Maui Jim experts at the M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase.

Posted in: Event Marketing & Communications, Upcoming Events

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See the Impossible: Marriott Luxury Brands

Diamond Sponsor Feature – Marriott Luxury Brands

As we know, when it comes to meeting and incentive destinations clients are looking for new, innovative, outside of the box ideas and locations. Clients want a destination that will meet and exceed their needs, they want that “WOW” factor. We caught up with Amy Rippelmeyer from Marriott Luxury Brands to find out what Seeing the Impossible means to them.

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 Marriott Luxury Brands See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

Seeing the Impossible is thinking outside the box to help find solutions for our clients. As our businesses are booking more and more short term, it can be as simple as “putting a square peg in a round hole”, making the contracting process simpler, providing the new “it” destination, and/or finding that ONE property that will meet all the needs of the customer as well as save money.

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

Leads continue to come in in a shorter booking timeframe including incentives. It’s trying to find that perfect fit when availability/pricing can be difficult.

What does Seeing the Impossible mean to you personally?

It is what I have been trained as “radar on and antenna up.” It’s not always what is put in front of you that is important, it’s looking for ways to go above and beyond for my clients.

In your role, how are you continuing to bring new, fresh and innovative ideas to forward?

I love to brainstorm with my clients, team, and hoteliers. I love to hear what the competition is doing and think of ways where we can do it better. For a larger group of luxury brands, what will set us apart. And, I strongly believe it is our relationships and our service and will always look at ways to improve or make it better.

To learn more about innovative, engaging event technology solutions we invite you to talk with the knowledgeable Marriott Luxury Brands Team at the M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase.

Posted in: Event Marketing & Communications, Upcoming Events

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See the Impossible: Renaissance Hotels

Diamond Sponsor Feature – Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel

Time and time again, we hear the question: What is the purpose of your meeting? But how often does the person asking you that question really listen to your response? Are you tired of working with a partner who shakes their head yes, but in the end delivers another cookie-cutter meeting? If so, you need a partner who believes the best way to get the most out of work is to squeeze the most out of life! And, that company is Renaissance Hotels. I chatted with some folks at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, this year’s venue for the M&IW Annual Summit, to discuss what it means to them to See the Impossible.

Our message is about going beyond what is possible to uncover solutions to challenges and explore new opportunities. How does Renaissance Schaumburg See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

Each letter in our R.E.N. Meetings ethos is a promise we make to you. From Rlife live events to Experiential sensory meetings to Neighborhood narratives—we don’t just host conventions, we defy them. Asking the question “what is your meeting purpose” and bringing that vision to life through the talent and teamwork of our ambassadors. Each department in our hotel is comprised of a team of professionals in their given field. Their objective is to achieve your meeting goal while providing service that goes above-and-beyond expectations.

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 believe the way to get the most out of work, is to squeeze the most out of life. After all, the best ‘nine to fives’ are a reflection of how you live from ‘five to nine’. That’s what you’ll experience when you explore the many shapes and sizes of our refreshed social spaces. Step out of your meeting room, and step into our engaging and interactive lobby. Take a selfie on the Swinging Chairs, schedule a tête-à-tête under the Steel Lilies that mitigate light and sound, catch up with your boss over a puzzle at the Discovery Table, and toast to a productive day with a locally crafted cocktail by Warmth. Every business trip is an opportunity to discover something new. Our property is committed to delivering a unique experience that offers our guests a stay that inspires and resonates and provides the chance to bring home a great story to share.

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?

Seeing and developing new and unique experiences and technologies outside of the hospitality industry to enhance a hotels ability to deliver on the Renaissance guest desire for spontaneous discovery.

To learn more about squeezing the most out of life and go beyond the cookie-cutter meetings, we invite you to chat with the folks from the Renaissance Team at the M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase.

Posted in: Event Marketing & Communications, Upcoming Events

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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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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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Colombia, The Tipping Point of Change

Colombia Old City Cartagena

Written by: Nicole Raudabaugh, CMP | Sr. Account Lead, Incentive Services

I had the opportunity to join Hyatt Hotels and a group of fellow MICE travel professionals on a tour to Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia. I returned excited to see that a country which has had so much negative publicity over the past several decades is, in my opinion, at the tipping point of change. There is great optimism among the native Colombians that Colombia has a bright future ahead of them. Tourism is a key component of that and everyone I met was anxious to make this growing industry viable. It was evident throughout my trip that the Colombian people have natural hospitality about their culture and the authentic nature of these cities makes the country a wonderful new destination for all types of travelers.

The first two nights I had the pleasure of staying at the Grand Hyatt Bogota; which opened in November of 2018. This stunning new build hotel is located only 15 minutes from the airport in a newly developed area of Bogota. Beyond the sleek and thoughtful design, you’ll also find immense and versatile function space coupled with spot-on customer service. The hotel’s location is important because, as I learned, Bogota is a very spread out city with a still maturing infrastructure, so being close to where you are coming and going from is important. The hotel also offers a top floor (and top-flight) restaurant, Ushin, with views of the mountains that ring this capital city. It also has a perfectly appointed fitness center, indoor swimming pool with hydrotherapy circuit and a quiet, dark and peaceful getaway in their spa.

While in Bogota I participated in a Weaving Peace City Tour where I visited two local shops run by indigenous tribe members. For decades the rural, indigenous tribes of Colombia became one of the biggest victims of the country’s notorious drug trade. Their land was the farm that grew an illegal crop and their communities were the unwilling processors. Fast forward and many of those communities have taken a stand and moved from a cash crop to a sustainable crop often in the form of cacao and coffee beans. Through small business funding and grants, these new crops have turned into a new business model including small storefronts in the urban center of Bogota. Wuasikamas Coffee and Distrito Chocolate are two examples of these tribes transforming their future and great stops to purchase gifts to take home.

I also had the opportunity to visit the incredible Catedral de Sal (salt cathedral) in Zipaquira. Carved out of an immense, working salt mine this man-made wonder is available for private corporate events and is very popular with locals for Sunday mass. The venue is located 1.5 hours outside of Bogota and day trip can be combined with lunch or dinner and local market shopping in the small towns along the way.

From Bogota it was an easy one-hour flight to our next destination in Cartagena, a city steeped in history along Colombia’s Caribbean coastline. We arrived just as the sun was setting adding even more magic to this unique location. Founded in 1553, the city hosts the largest walled city built by the Spanish in the Caribbean. But it also has a “modern” peninsula directly beyond the city walls that features a mile of glass and steel skyscrapers. My first impression was that the city was a great mix between a San Juan “esque” colonial architecture and a Miami Beach “ish” cosmopolitan style.

The Hyatt Regency Cartagena was our host hotel for the next three nights. This beautiful hotel opened its doors in December of 2016 and starts on the 14th floor of the building. Every room has floor to ceiling windows facing the bay or the ocean, including the restaurants and fitness center! There are several infinity pools with views to the sea including a family and adults-only pool. The pool decks transform into great group function spaces at night and the hotel has easily accessible indoor ballroom space and a full-service spa. Groups looking for lots of function space can check out the Cartagena Convention Center located downtown with 215,000 sq. ft of flexible space.

On our first full day in Cartagena we took a city tour and visited the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. This fortress built by the Spanish includes a foundation built of the coral rocks that surround the city and bricks manufactured in Spain and were used for ballast on the ocean-faring ships. The ships then left the bricks behind in Cartagena and headed home with their cargo holds full of gold from the Americas. We also walked through the main corridors of the old city. Around every corner was a new Instagram-worthy picture featuring brightly colored buildings, huge wooden doors, wrought iron door knockers and beautiful bougainvillea overflowing from the balconies. Cartagena combines quaint plazas and church steeples with high-end and local shops along cobblestone streets, offering visitors a perfect combination of old and new that meld together in harmony.

The beaches right outside the high-rise hotels and condos on the modern peninsula are carved from coral rock and therefore aren’t the white sand and aquamarine waters one might expect in the Caribbean. To find that, many travelers charter a boat for the day to the Rosario Islands.  This archipelago, located approximately 1 hour off the coast, features a variety of boutique hotels and day clubs on individual islands with beautiful beaches. We visited Isla Grande and the day club at Gente del Mar.  We were treated to a freshly caught lobster lunch and comfortable day beds under the palm trees.  It was a memorable way to spend the afternoon.

Watching the sunset is an unofficial sport in Cartagena. Our group was able to capture an especially beautiful one during a sunset bay cruise on the Sibarita Del Mar cruiser. While talking with the captain and owner of this company, he shared that six new bay cruise companies have opened in the past 2 months in Cartagena. This is a prime example of how the tourism market in Colombia in general, but specifically in Cartagena, is growing.

An often-asked question is about safety. I can personally say that I felt very safe during my travels. However, as with any destination, I encourage everyone to use common sense and caution when traveling and be aware of your surroundings. English is spoken readily in the hotels, but if you are not a fluent Spanish speaker yourself, I would recommend being accompanied by a Spanish speaking guide or partner when heading out to see the sights in Bogota as all transportation, communication, and signage are in Spanish. In Cartagena, you’ll find more multi-lingual residents because the city has developed as a melting pot of tourism and international sea trade over the years.

Currently, Bogota is a relatively inexpensive city. Cartagena, on the other hand, is more well known as a vacation destination on the international scene and more expensive.

I realized I’ve only scratched the surface of all this country has to offer. Because of its diverse topography with mountain ranges slicing through the country, each of the regions of Colombia has developed their own micro-culture with foods and attractions that are special to them. The Colombian Tourism Bureau is currently working to meld and market itself as one unified, yet diverse destination, for all types of travelers.

I look forward to seeing what progress the future will bring to Colombia and to the opportunity to share all its exciting possibilities with M&IW’s incentive, meeting and convention clients in the future!  If you are interested in learning more about these or other amazing destinations, please email us at

Posted in: Conferences & Tradeshows, Event Marketing & Communications, Group Air Travel Management, Incentive Travel Programs, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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Engaging your Workforce through Corporate Responsibility

corporate giving, charity, causes, CSR, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Written by Staci Simmons | Manager, Marketing Communications and Creative Services

Over the last ten years, corporate responsibility has transformed from a single act of charity, such as sponsorships, volunteerism and community involvement to complete, brand-centric philanthropy. If done well, modern corporate social responsibility practices engrain themselves into the culture of an organization impacting employees, customers, suppliers, and even communities.

Social impact has expanded into every part of the business, by function, unit, and even geography. CSR programs can no longer afford to simply be charitable — social impact needs to be ‘built into’ a company’s strategy showcased across many aspects of operations.

Transform Your Business

  • Consider B-Corp Strategies – B Corporations build their companies around social impact
  • Encourage Influencers – Offer individual incentives for executives and employees who take social responsibility personally and mentor others
  • Create a Portfolio – Outline a portfolio of outreach programs at each level of your organization
  • Think Locally – Choose local or brand-centric activities and interest that align with corporate goals and interests
  • Promote Thoughtfully – Use consideration when sharing your CSR endeavors without diluting your message

Engage Your Workforce

The more aligned your CSR activities are with the company’s culture and values, the more they will resonate with the employees. Attendees who are personally invested will leave your meeting, conference, tradeshow or event with a sense of purpose and satisfaction. For maximum impact, we recommend starting your CSR activity in advance with some friendly competition — it is a great way to raise both awareness and funds early. Be sure to recognize top achievers and high performing teams during your event and continue to support the cause in other ways throughout the year.

Select a CSR Activity

Our clients often ask us what are the most popular CSR programs? It is a hard question to answer as the options are endless and each program is unique and customized for your group based on your objectives, attendees, location, and budget. However, below are some programs that have been a hit with our clients over the years:

  • Arrange a Scavenger Hunt
  • Build a Beehive
  • Host a Game Show
  • Run a Race for a Cure
  • Create a Charity Match
  • Build a Playground for Kids
  • Host Fitness Challenges
  • Clean the Local Ecosystem
  • Adopt a Local or International School
  • Host a Clean Water Challenge
  • Provide Packages for Rescue Animals
  • Build a Home with Habitat for Humanity
  • Pack STEM Education Kits
  • Build a Wheelchair
  • Pack Food/Medicine bags for Project Open Hand
  • Paint Shoes with Soles for Souls
  • Register for Pledge It Forward
  • Build Bikes or Red Wagons for Children

Create a Culture of Giving

As part of our corporate Global Giveback, every year we select a different charity to support and theme our CSR activity. This year we are supporting the fight against hunger. At our annual company event, our employees packed more 26,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. Each month, we designate specific food items which makes it easy for individuals to participate and we track our collective impact. Additionally, our M&IW family is supporting a local pantry through monetary donations, food and hygiene items, and volunteering our time.

Corporations with sound CSR practices have access to many benefits — intrinsic and extrinsic. This incentive drives the implementation of corporate programs at meetings and conferences and events. More so, event marketers see that initiatives are good for business and good for the connectivity of their shareholders.

For more information about best practices in selecting, designing and executing a CSR program for your next event, contact us at



Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Group Air Travel Management, Incentive Travel Programs, Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Program Management & Event Design, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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Top 3 Benefits of Partnering with a Women-Owned Business

Meetings & Incentives Worldwide (M&IW) is honored to be a trusted certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the WBDC-Chicago, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) for the seventh consecutive year. M&IW owned by sister team, Jean Johnson and Tina Madden, are committed to a diverse work environment that backs its words with accountable actions.

“We are very excited to offer this additional value to our current and future clients committed to supplier diversity programs,” said Jean Johnson, CMP, Co-CEO and Chief People Officer. By including women-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations, and government agencies, organizations demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier/vendor diversity programs.

While there are many benefits of working with diverse suppliers, there are three that stand out as being the most impactful to a business’s bottom line.

Top Three Benefits of a Supplier Diversity Program

  1. The Federal Government Offers Tax Incentives

Partnering with diverse and minority-owned suppliers, including WBENC provides many tax incentives from the federal level. Not only does a business receive a tax break, but they also may be able to take advantage of reduced tax liabilities if minority vendors and suppliers are being used for federal or state-funded grants or loans. As a certified organization, we can provide you with all the information needed to leverage this opportunity.

  1. Diverse Partners Can Increase Procurement Channels

Diverse suppliers have deep relationships with other vendors that may provide additional saving across your business. The strength of these relationships and their commitment to quality and innovation often leads to a tangible increase in savings and resources for obtaining goods and services.

3. Strategic Diversity Aligns Revenue & Economic Impact

Supplier Diversity programs offer an impactful and marketable way to differentiate yourself from your competitors to shareholders, employees, and consumers, which may increase business opportunities. Diversity-leading organizations know they need leaders who both understand and reflect the needs of their customers. Women-owned businesses are also one of the fasted growing sectors of our economy. Showcasing your company’s commitment to doing business in diverse markets increases economic growth in many communities.

Why Diversity Matters to Us

We live in a deeply connected and global world. It should come as no surprise that more diverse companies are achieving better performance. “We need to attract, develop and retain diverse leaders who both understand and reflect the needs of our customers,” said Tina Madden, Co-CEO and Chief Customer Officers. Additionally, as a certified WBE, we are dedicated to a supplier diversity strategy that seeks out and utilizes women-owned and minority suppliers internally and within our customers’ events.




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

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Top Tips to Streamline Your Conference Marketing Plan

How to Market Your Conference

Written by Staci Simmons | Manager, Marketing Communications & Creative Services

You may be scratching your head and asking yourself what on earth is holistic marketing and how does it pertain to my conference? Holistic marketing is a strategy which considers the business as a whole and not as an entity with various parts. All communication and activities are aligned and integrated throughout all departments to create a uniform and impactful experience. Many companies do not consider the impact of an aligned strategy and many times, only do what they think is vital, creating an agenda, organizing speaker and other tasks associated with operations.

Marketing alignment is a part of your business strategy and just like top organizational goals, a little consideration makes a large impact on experience and your return on investment. Consider the following key marketing strategies for your next conference to bring your message to the forefront of your targeted audience.

Six Marketing Strategies for Your Conference

1. Event Websites are vital. Your website is your online salesperson. You want to target audience to find and engage with your materials.

Encourage readers to spend more time on the website by:

  • Build a mobile responsive website—In today’s market there is a 90% chance your target audience will view your website from their mobile device. If they find this difficult, you may lose their interest.
  • Hyperlink pages throughout the website—Inpage and off-site hyperlinks add to the legitimacy of your webpage and offers useful information for your audience, ensuring you resonate with them as a thought leader.
  • Set up the registration link to open in a new window—This gives the readers easy access to the last web page they were viewing if your registration process takes them off of your website. Pro-Tip: Use a website builder that seamlessly integrates the registration process.
  • Outline an agenda—Even if it is a basic outline. It can be updated and enhanced as speakers commit to sessions and breakout topics. Showcasing that the agenda will update may encourage users to return to the site again and again.
  • Consider SEOs (Search Engine Optimization)—Help improve your website’s ranking in search results by writing your copy with the natural keywords and phrases that your target market is searching for online. (i.e. location, topics, speakers).
  • Create Content —Blog articles, Podcasts, videos will create additional SEO opportunities for your website. So produce content as often as you can while remaining consistent. Post content that centers around your conference, the speaker’s topics, the industry and hot topics your potential attendees may be interested in.
  • Create Shortcuts—If the conference website is separate from the company website, consider promoting the conference on the company’s homepage with a banner that links to the conference website.

2. Marketing Automation is your best friend. According to a 2018 Radicati Group study, there will be more than 3.8 billion email users before the start of 2019.

Here are some tips on email marketing:

  • Build a mobile responsive email template—Do not risk losing a registering attendee because they can’t read the email from their mobile device.
  • Create clear CTAs—Always have a call to action. Make sure it is clear what the intent of your message is and what action you’d like your audience to take. Make sure links and buttons clearly say Register Now, Learn More, View Agenda, Meet Speakers, etc.
  • Be Creative—You have a short time frame to get your point across. Capture your reader’s attention by simplifying your message, adding short videos or linking to more information so you can track interaction.
  • Be Considerate—While email is still one of the highest forms of communication, be sure you respect the inbox and space your emails out accordingly. Spread out your emails by at least a week as to not annoy your audience.
  • Give Thanks—If this is a repeating conference, send emails after your event thanking people for attending. Include a Save the Date for the following year and offer a survey to see where improvements can be made.

3. Social Media is a great place to promote your event, interact with attendees & followers, and drive traffic to the conference website. Like content marketing, post about the conference, but post other topics as well. Keep posts simple and encourage team members and industry influencers to like, share and comment on event posts.
4. Event Hashtags can boost impressions and improve the searchability of your conference. Create a conference hashtag and use it every chance you get. Hashtags are individually searchable and on some social sites, can be followed. They increase social media engagement and attract new followers.
5. Geofencing and Retargeting may help you reach your audience. Due to the General Data Protection Regulations and other data protection privacy laws, gone are the days of purchasing a list of leads to increase conference awareness and registration. Target users by location or interest using these paid search advertising techniques.
6. Post Conference Marketing can be extraordinary. The conference might be over, but there is still marketing to be done. It is very important to gather and file all the collateral collected during the conference. This includes; photos, videos, testimonials, survey results, etc. This year’s collateral is next year’s promotional material.

Promote your Conference with Confidence

Each conference is as unique as the audience that attends. It is important to try a variety of marketing tactics and track its impact on registration and engagement. The key is to ensure you have a dedicated distribution and content plan for your website, email marketing calendar, social media, paid advertising and post-conference goals.

In conclusion, do not over commit. Choose a few of these elements and go all in. Do not spread yourself too thin or you may lessen your impact on your audience. Marketing is an art; not an exact science. The key is to test and measure and then focus on what works for your event, target audience and geographic location. If you are interested in learning more about our conference and event marketing services, please email us at


Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions

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