Archive for Event Marketing & Communications

M&IW Grants Wish and Goes the Distance

Make-A-Wish Lemonade Stand

Written by Anne Zambrano | Manager, Communications and Creative Services

It is with extreme humility and gratitude that we are publishing this article knowing that we just surpassed M&IW’s Make-A-Wish goal of granting a very deserving little girl with a life threatening illness her wish to go to the Grammy’s. It is for this reason that we are beyond honored to have the opportunity to interview Connie Nau, CMP, CRP, Senior Director of Recruiting & Administration, who brought this grand initiative to M&IW for our Annual Campus Week & Client Summit.

Connie shares her story and passion for Make-A-Wish in her thoughts below…

Why Make-A-Wish?
I have seen firsthand the incredible impact a granted wish can do for a child suffering from life threatening illness. We have a family friend that actually had a Wish granted for their child a few years ago. It was an unbelievable gift. Her Wish was to attend a Milwaukee Brewers game with her family – something that a lot of us take for granted – but to them it was so special. Since sadly losing their child, the family actually takes an annual Brewers trip in her honor every year, and her joy and the happiness she found in her granted Wish lives on in a lasting memory for all of them.

Make-A-Wish is an international organization, just like M&IW. Make-A-Wish Wisconsin is based in the Milwaukee area and a very active chapter. I think everyone at M&IW, whether they are parents or not, can empathize and want to help out a family where a child is battling a life threatening illness. There are so many causes, and I think it is wonderful that this year we are focusing on Make-A-Wish.
Getting More Involved

Just this past May, I pursued the opportunity to become a Wish Granter. I had a few business associates in the Appleton area that had become Wish Granters, and after seeing a live presentation of a child that had received a Wish, as well as having personal friends that had gone through receiving a Wish, I thought that maybe this was a way that I could personally give back. It was simple to get started – I reached out to Make-A-Wish to inquire about the volunteer and Wish Granter training schedule – and I signed up. I spent a Saturday in the Milwaukee area training facility. The training was extremely thorough, and I have been impressed through the entire process. There are very specific rules and guidelines to follow, as the ultimate goal is to make this a positive experience for the child. During that training – there were actually two volunteers there that were parents of a child that had their Wish granted. They were there because it was their time to give back. I was in awe of them and their stories and felt so blessed… so grateful for all that I had at that moment.

Granting Wishes Live
In February this year, I was at a function where we raised enough money to grant THREE Wishes. I’m not sure how to explain the level of emotion in that room when they announced what that group of about 400 people had done in just a few hours. During that function a Wish Child and her mother actually came up on stage to talk about her illness, and to talk about the Wish that they received. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place – big burly men included! To hear how this Wish can bring a happy focus to a sometimes long and difficult situation was so impactful to me. I knew at that very moment that I would get involved, and I reached out to that business colleague that same week to get the information on how they got involved and to start the process.

Taking a Global Effort Local
Make-A-Wish Wisconsin was able to locate a child for M&IW’s initiative from the Racine area – which is so close to M&IW’s headquarters! So she and her family are our “neighbors” in some respect. Our Wish Child is “Sarah”, a 12-year old who is living with a life-threatening blood disorder. Sarah enjoys reading, watching TV, going to sleepovers and singing – just like any other 12-year-old girl! She also loves listening to all kind of music. Sarah wishes to go to the Grammy’s. Our company goal was to raise enough funds through our Campus Week initiative to grant her Wish! With Campus Week still one week away, we have reached our goal! We are now setting our bar even higher to see if we can raise enough funds to grant another child’s Wish!

Everyone Can Get Involved
Make-A-Wish Wisconsin is attempting to grant 365 wishes in 2016 – one a day! If you don’t have time to be a Wish Granter, you can also just volunteer for specific short term projects or events. For people at M&IW or in the meetings industry – this is an easy one. There are many gala events, golf tournaments, and wine tasting that need assistance. So you can sign up and volunteer for a single event.

Any of our clients, vendor partners and employees can get involved in the fundraising initiative to grant this Wish. You can go out to our main page at http://site.wish.org/goto/miww and Donate to the cause, and even Join the cause. If you want to have your own fundraising page, there is a button there to Join the fundraiser. When you do that, you can build your own page within our main site, and then you can share your Make-A-Wish page on your own social media pages. All funds raised from those sites will tally into our main fundraiser. It is that simple! Read more about M&IW’s team efforts: http://racinecountyeye.com/local-company-helping-grant-middle-schoolers-wish/

Final Thoughts
“It is such a great opportunity to do something very special for a child. If anyone is interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities or how to start a Make-A-Wish giving campaign at your organization, I would be happy to share my insight and get you connected to the right people!” Connie Nau, CMP, CRP

Posted in: Company News, Event Marketing & Communications

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Comprehensive Security Training Goes the Distance

Global Security Training and Situational Awareness

Written by Anne Zambrano | Manager, Communications and Creative Services

When it comes to successful event management, every planner knows that the safety of the participants and event management team is the highest priority. The industry has made significant strides in emergency preparedness in the last 15 years. Risk management and proper preparation in understanding the risks and having a complete communication and response plan is paramount. At M&IW, we take this topic very seriously for the safety of our employees, clients and attendees. Our risk management procedures, process and resources are second-to-none and based off the best practices in events industry as well as group travel security services. What’s more, we are excited to welcome the top experts in this field to help us Go the Distance during M&IW’s Campus Week and Client Summit. As a highlight to the content that will be presented during the event, Clay Hendon, VP of Global Security for Groundwork, graciously shared some insight into his topic that he is extremely passionate about.

[M&IW] Your topic, AWARE Security Training, is very relevant to today’s meeting planner and professional. What is the goal of your training and message?

[Clay] The goal of our training is to leave the individual attendees with improved situational awareness and an elevated appreciation for the threats faced when traveling. We will give an overview of those threats, define and describe situational awareness mindset, then walk through tips and tricks for improving awareness and preparing for travel. We try to keep the training relevant and real – it’s not about fancy words and catch phrases, it’s about delivering important safety and security information to our students, and following through with the “so what” part that many classes over look: what do you do with these skills before, during, and after an incident? These individual skills not only make our attendees safer travelers, but more alert meeting professionals and event participants.

[M&IW] What does a greater understanding of global threats provide for event professionals?

[Clay] A heightened sense of individual situational awareness. Meeting professionals will have a deeper understanding of global threats, and their ability to anticipate threats ahead of time – and plan for them – will be increased. They should leave safer, more secure, and more efficient travelers and meeting professionals.

[M&IW] Why is it imperative for every meeting professional to be trained in the area of global security?

[Clay] Meeting planners have an incredible level of control over the events they coordinate. Clients rely on the advice and experience of meeting professionals in the areas of air travel, ground logistics, catering… and security. Except most clients don’t know to ask or, even worse: assume you – the meeting planner – are already addressing it. The awareness this training instills will leave meeting planners better equipped to ask the right questions, recommend the right vendors and support personnel, and ultimately provide the safest and most successful events for their clients.

[M&IW] How can meeting professionals Go the Distance with global security?

[Clay] In order to Go the Distance, you have to overcome many obstacles. In the traditional meeting planner space, this has meant vendor or venue issues, client changes, and service failures at the airport or hotel. Today’s world is changing constantly. For companies to truly Go the Distance and be successful in the coming years, they will have to be conscious of the prevailing security environment, and have plans in place to protect their attendees and staff. Groundwork AWARE training prepares your team to Go the Distance by making the path safe and secure.

[M&IW] Tell us something unique about you or your experience?

[Clay] I am a West Point graduate and US Army infantry officer with a degree in Irregular Warfare and over 24 months of combat experience. I have taught defensive pistol tactics and combat mindset to police departments, military units, and civilians. I am also a second-year MBA candidate at the University of Texas and a former management consultant to Fortune 500 companies. My experiences inside and outside the security industry allow me to see security problems from multiple perspectives. Groundwork is able to find solutions that are not only safe, but feasible and enjoyable for the principal.

M&IW is proud to partner with Groundwork for the upcoming M&IW Campus Week and Client Summit. Groundwork provides a range of services to clients, from security-trained drivers, to travel security training, to high-tech threat awareness solutions. They serve as a trusted resource when our clients encounter a travel security issue.

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

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Corporate Giving Programs are Not Just Good for Business

Global_Giveback_Image

Written by Marie Johnson, CMP | Director, Marketing & Strategic Development

Some of the world’s largest and most profitable corporations have integrated measures to promote good citizenship, corporate giving, and community involvement programs into their mission statements and business models. And, it is paying off. There is no denying that giving to your favorite charity feels good. But did you know, charitable initiatives can have a far greater and more lasting impact on your company than you may think. More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents in Nielsen’s third annual global online survey said they prefer to work for a socially responsible company. And on top of that statistic, more than half (55%) of global respondents in the same study say they are willing to pay extra for products or services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

In 2014, Meetings & Incentives Worldwide was recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in America and made the Inc. 5000 List. At the Inc. 500 | 5000 Conference, Jean Johnson, President and CEO was inspired by Adam Grant, bestselling author of Give and Take. She set an ambitious goal to create a best-in-class program that would benefit all of our employees working across the globe and started Project Global Giveback. The program provides paid time off for employees to support their charities of choice along with matching donations.

In addition to participation on an individual basis, the company also supports collective efforts throughout the year. Does your company participate in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities at your corporate events? Our experience with our clients is that attendees want to have an impact beyond the meeting or incentive program. According to Susan Cooney, founder and CEO of Givelocity, “combining efforts in charitable activities brings people together to share their voice and work jointly for a greater impact in driving change.” They want to give back to causes and communities. This year, at our annual company event, Meetings & Incentives Worldwide is supporting Make-A-Wish of Southeastern Wisconsin. We are featuring activities to engage our employees leading up to the event, a collaborative team building exercise during our meeting, and an easy way to invite family and friends to donate.

Check out our Make-A-Wish fundraising page and how we are performing on our goal to make a wish come true for a very special little girl! Interested in supporting the cause? Simply click on the link and donate today!

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

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Mindful Event Design Goes the Distance

Psychology of Physical Meeting Environments

Mindful Event Design – Andrea M. Sullivan, M.A. and Janet Sperstad, CMP

Written by Anne Zambrano | Manager, Communications and Creative Services

Good event design equates to constructing effective environments that produce measurable outcomes. Great event design is more mindful of the entire cognitive experience. Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Janet Sperstad, CMP co-author of Mindful Event Design and Program Director of Madison College’s Meeting and Event Management degree program, about just that. She’ll also be sharing her genius at M&IW’s Campus Week and Client Summit in September.

A few of the insightful points she made were…

The New Event Design Conversation

A new and innovative perspective on event design is being mindful of the psychology and physiology of how humans react to certain environments that planners create when designing programs and sessions. By bringing forth a conversation to help people look at the logistics as a means to construct and create experiences and how those experiences have a physiological impact on participants, planners will start to become more mindful of certain event design aspects. Planners are very concerned, as they should be, with measurable outcomes and constructing a good environment. That being said, what isn’t being talked about is the event design as it relates to the psychology and physiology of bringing people together from the neurological and cognitive science standpoint.

By not being mindful, planners may be inadvertently creating psychological minefields. Big room, lots of people, loud music, bright lights. Human brains have evolved to first and foremost keeps us safe and such strong stimuli triggers warnings in our brains due to the sensory overload. Another example may be having too dark of a room where a participant either can’t find their colleagues or they might be nervous to see people they are not prepared to see. Ultimately, planners are potentially putting people in a state of threat and danger.

These event design aspects are what lead people to sit at the back of a room or toward the aisle for an easy escape. It all boils down to the subconscious’ reaction to the environment that has been created.

How Can Planners Be More Mindful

One of the simplest things a planner can do to be more mindful is simply taking a look at the environment they have created and ask themselves; how am I helping the participants get the best experience and am I creating a situation that is going to provide the best outcome as it relates physiological responses? Am I putting people in a state of cognitive threat?

Changes don’t need to be big. Simple moderations to the design and logistics can have a large impact on how the mind reacts. Many times it is some of the simplest of changes, such as choosing walk-in music that you can sway to, that can change the cognitive response to a more positive one. The brain can organize music it can sway to unlike other types of music that the brain can’t organize and as a result triggers chaos in the brain. Planners can change participants’ innate chemical reactions by being mindful about the design.

How is Mindful Event Design Going the Distance?

Mindful event design clearly relates to M&IW Campus Week’s theme, Go the Distance. The topic pushes beyond boundaries of normal event management conversations and helps planners think and work differently. When planners prepare themselves to Go the Distance, they are only as good as they train, while practice helps them be the best they can be, pushing the paradigms of how they think allows them to prepare yourself to Go the Distance in event design. Ultimately, this helps planners create great mindful events that go above and beyond the norm.

In events, planners are creating temporary communities of culture. This is a perfect topic for looking at the cognitive science of human interaction in culture and collaboration to create what they want in that moment. By doing so, planners drive deeper meaning to those moments creating more impact for the culture, the collaboration and the clients who are experiencing the event.

The Evolution of Mindful Event Design

As a planner for 18 years, being fascinated with what planners do and why they do it became an obsession which led to being inspired by event marketing and thinking about the higher level of the planning process. Planners have this amazing ability to think high-level strategy and immediately equate it to tactical logistics. When measuring satisfaction, planners can survey and measure the responses, but in the end, it really all came down to one thing. How the participant felt. Perhaps an amazing keynote speaker was secured for $20,000 but it wouldn’t matter if the participant’s energy and feelings were not in a place to be receptive to the keynote’s message. And that began the mindful event design journey of how to help that participant be in a better place for them to want to network and be open to new ideas.

Not having a background in science and having a degree in criminal justice was not an obstacle. Learning science was very intimidating at first, but the drive to Go the Distance prevailed. And thus, began the idea of mindful event design and all the things that planners can bring into their world about cognitive science that will allow them to perform at their peak.

In closing, Janet shared that she is beyond excited to be speaking at M&IW’s Campus Week and Client Summit since it will provide her the opportunity to address an audience that is clearly dedicated and passionate about helping people have transformational experiences through events. She is excited to share her topic to help a culture of intelligent people think even more intuitively about what they do and how they can do it more mindfully.

Interested in learning more about this topic, read the whitepaper commission by PSAV and authored by Andrea E. Sullivan, M.A. Founder, Brain Strength Systems Media and Janet Sperstad, CMP, Director, Meeting and Event Management Program Madison College. Mindful Event Design Whitepaper

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

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7 Questions to Ask Before Implementing Cvent

Cvent Award 2016 Finalist

Posted by Dan Tarpey | Sr. Director, Strategic Solutions

Imagine this… You have finally made the decision to invest in a sophisticated meeting management technology, you have gone through training and implementation and you Freeze! Now what? How do you maximize the investment in this dynamic solution and make it relevant to your business and workflows?

From mapping the SMM process and creating the meeting request forms to reporting and consolidation of spend; to the tactical operations of website builds, attendee management, surveys and On Arrival, there are dozens of items your team will need to tackle and even more lurking around every corner.

Here are just a few things to think about after implementation and training:

  1. How to prioritize tasks for sourcing, registration, meeting management and spend tracking?
  2. Who is part of the ongoing Cvent Admin Team to manage updates and workflow improvements?
  3. Why logic should be implemented within the tool to create the appropriate workflows?
  4. How will process forms be used to help with your workflow and assignments?
  5. What metrics and data points will be needed to track ROI on the solution?
  6. Who will manage and document workflow and process improvements internally?
  7. What is the best way to customize templates for RFPs, registration sites, budgets and reports?

A bit overwhelmed after reading these initial items to consider?

Don’t fret! M&IW knows what it takes for an organization to perform at its best and Go the Distance! M&IW was awarded Cvent Plannie Awards for Savvy Sourcing and Power of the Platform. Our certified associates have in-depth knowledge of Cvent’s capabilities and what you need to know to get the most of out of your investment.

We are offering a no-cost, no obligation consultation to address your most pressing Cvent questions. After this conversation, we guarantee you will walk away with answers and new insights; what you need to know before you implement, the best way to get started, and why it is important to demonstrate the value of Cvent to your C-suite? If this sounds of interest, simply CLICK HERE to sign up.

Posted in: Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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Welcome to our New Blog — M&IW Industry Insights!!

Written by Marie Johnson, CMP | Director of Marketing and Strategic Development

We are thrilled to introduce you to our new blog — M&IW Industry Insights. This is the place where we’ll share our thoughts on ideas that will shape your business and disrupt the industry. Look forward to fresh, timely, and relevant content on our latest news, happenings, activities, and emerging trends from M&IW thought leaders.

At M&IW, we bring people together for successful outcomes. But more importantly, we believe live meetings and events transform organizations. We also know success is best achieved in true collaboration with our valued clients, talented associates and industry partners. As part of that philosophy, we are creating more opportunities for you to interact with us. Stay tuned for upcoming events, free webinars, and valuable resources.

To make sure you are always up-to-date on M&IW, we invite you to join our email list. Not ready to commit? That’s okay. Simply explore all of the great information on our website, watch our brand essence video, or connect with us on social media.

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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