First let me appologize for the longer than planned break in our postings. I have been dealing with some personal and family health issues and it's kept me away from posting here for far too long.
I'm breaking format in a few ways today, the first being that this will just be a written post and not a podcast episode, the other will be that it links out to a story that I think is very important to consider by all of us in the meetings industry. Back in August I did a podcast on Fire Marshals (Episode #10) and this relates back that information.
Just a few days ago we had another fire tragedy that has left a still unconfimed number of fatalities, with numbers of around 34 killed being reported so far. This horrible fire happened in an unliscenced venue where a music event was taking place. So, while it may not seem directly related to the meetings industry, it has relevence and resonance by the fact that it was a gathering of people...exactly what we all do on a daily basis.
CNN today had a story today discussing these numerous trageties and I thought it was worth sharing: www.cnn.com/2016/12/05/opinions/be-your-own-fire-marshal-barylick-opinion/index.html
Basically the message from the CNN piece is that we are all our own fire marshals and responsible for our own safety. For those who don't want to link over, this is what I feel is the most important message from the story:
"What does it mean to be your own fire marshal? It means that upon arriving at any venue, you must look carefully at the building. Does it look well maintained? Does the staff appear well trained? As you proceed to your seat, take notice of your route. Are there any pinch-points (areas where congestion is likely to occur) that would interfere with quick escape?
Once seated, locate the nearest exit (in addition to the one you came in) and share its location with your friends. Agree beforehand that this is the exit you'll immediately head for in the event of any emergency or threat, be it a fire, an attack, or a natural disaster.
To ensure your safety and those of your friends, go with your gut. If a building feels wrong, or dangerous, leave. No show is worth your life."
All of us in the meetings industry must go a step further than just considering our personal safety. We need to also assure the safety of all of the guests at our events. No matter what your role at an event, you must be aware of potential hazzards and address them immediately with the appropriate people.
This horrible event in Oakland didn't happen in a ballroom or in a hotel, but we all know that there have been tragic fires in traditional venues in the past. Please, work with your local fire marshals and other safety officials to assure that every gathering you are connected to is being held in a safe manner for the staff and the guests. If we all are diligent and aware, maybe tragedies like this can be prevented from ever happening again.
Please be safe and always speak up when you see something that is a potential hazzard.
Wishing you all a safe and joyus holiday season!
We'll be back with our regular podcasts again very soon!
Strategic Meeting Tech Podcast Show #27 - Roger Rickard discusses the upcoming election and how voting (or not voting) impacts all of us in the meetings industry
We recently caught up with Roger Rickard of Voices in Advocacy during the IMEX America show in Las Vegas. We talked at length about voting and it's importance to the nation as well as to our industry.
Roger publishes a great blog about politics and advocacy, as well as being a terrific meetings industry advocate and supporter. His website and blog can be found here: Roger Rickard
And here's a direct link to the blog post that we are discussing on the show: American’s have a Big Decision on Election Day (and it’s not for president)
It's an important message, and it reaches far beyond just our industry. So it's vital that we all exercise our right to vote in the upcoming election. Make sure your voice is heard, not just on the top of the ticket, but all the way down to the local offices that can have significant impact on our business, schools and city governments.
Strategic Meeting Tech Podcast Show #26 - Tracy Stuckrath discusses ways to best accommodate vegetarian attendees
On this edition of the podcast we're joined by an old friend, Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPM. Tracy is one of the leading consultants to the meeting and event planning industry on nutrition. She travels around the world speaking to industry groups like MPI, PCMA, NACE, ILEA and SGMP on a wide variety of food related topics. Tracy has extensive information and resources about all types of food and nutrition areas as they relate to planners on here website: Thrive Meetings & Events.
On todays podcast in honor of "Vegetarian Awareness Month" we talk about the various types of vegetarian classifications and some of the ways that planners can best understand and address them for their attendees. We also talk about Tracy's upcoming sessions at IMEX America coming up on October 17-20, 2016 in Las Vegas.
If you're attending IMEX and have an interest in nutrition, food waste and legal aspects of food service to your guests and attendees, be sure and seek out her sessions and visit her website for information and resources.
On todays podcast Jon talks about his upcoming webinar at "Meetings Today". On October 26th at 1pm EDT he'll be presenting a webinar on the topic of "Contracts: Audiovisual & Speakers". Here's a link: Meetings Today where you can register in advance for the webinar.
Today he gives a preview by discussing AV Quotes and the material that's presented in them. An overview of the various sections and a few pointers for negotiating before you reach the contract stage with a vendor.
Be sure and mark your calendar to join him on the 26th of October over at Meetings Today
On today's Hall of Leaders edition of the podcast we talk with John "Jack" Patronski of Global Experience Specialists (GES). Jack is being honored at the CIC Hall of Leaders Celebration coming up in October in Las Vegas.
We discussed his history and background that brought him to the industry, how he moved from law enforcement into facilities management and then to Andrew Bartlett and later GES for the past 23 years.
Jack is a PCMA Education Foundation Trustee and has been very active in PCMA, the Convention Industry Council and numerous other vital industry groups and initiatives in the Chicago and nationally over the past twenty years. We look back at the history of the industry as well as forward to the future as he's honored for his years of work advancing the meetings and events industry.
You can join Jack and all the other honorees on October 18th at the Jewel Nightclub at Aria in Las Vegas for the 2016 Hall of Leaders Celebration.
Strategic Meeting Tech Podcast Show #21 - Lee Ann Benavides previews “Trends and Shifts in Hotel Sales Landscapes”, her upcoming panel session at the CMP Conclave
On today's podcast we talk with Lee Ann Benavidez, VP of Sales Operations for Hyatt Hotel Corporation. (Or visit, Hyatt Meetings & Events) Lee Ann will be part of an all-star panel representing many of the major hotel brands at the upcoming CMP Conclave in Baltimore. She and the rest of the panel will be taking part in a session called: "Trends and Shifts in Hotel Sales Landscapes".
Today we chatted about the shifts in technology and how planners and their hotel sales counterparts are all learning to adjust and adapt to the changes that touch the processes of booking space and managing an event. We consider some of the ways that technology can provide helpful data to save time and costs while still honoring the traditional relationship model between planners and suppliers that is so valued in our industry.
We touch upon concessions and negotiations with your hotel partners. And, we also spend some time on safety, security and contingencies and how the changes that occur around us have touched the meetings industry. Including a bit about how each property deals with unique sets of conditions unique to their location when planning for the safety of their guests and attendees.
There's still time to join us in Baltimore at the CMP Conclave on September 16-18!
Strategic Meeting Tech Podcast Show #17 - Jim Clarke, CAE previews “Meetings in the Crosshairs”, his upcoming session at the CMP Conclave
Our guest today on the podcast is Jim Clarke, CAE; the Senior Vice President, Public Policy at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Jim's will be leading a session at the upcoming CMP Conclave in Baltimore called: "Meetings in the Crosshairs - Current Legislation and issues affecting your events." We previewed some of the major issues that he will cover in the session and bring some attention to topics that have the potential to significantly effect the meetings industry.
First up we look at a proposed overtime rule revision that will go into effect on December first of this year and impact organizations nationally by changing the salary level of exempt employees. There's a potential compromise bill that could alter this rule and it's very important that as an industry we let our representatives know of our support. To that end, and as mentioned in the podcast, here's a link to find your Congressional Representative: United States House of Representatives
We also discussed recent ASAE Board Policy enacted on the subject of Diversity and Inclusion as it relates to our industry and actions like recently passes RFRA laws in some states.
Lastly, we touched on recent progress for easing federal rules regarding attendance of federal employees to meetings.
Each of these topics has significant impact on the meetings and events industry. If you're interested in learning more, you can attend Jim's session at the CMP Conclave in Baltimore coming up later this month. If you can't attend you can learn more about the work ASAE is doing on our behalf at their site: The Power of A. You can also find out specific ways to become more involved in advocating and advancing our industry.
Jon Trask, CMP, CMM
A passion to improve both the meetings and Audio Visual industries by helping to create better and more effective technology conversations..