Category: Front Page
Interview with TechCon 2015 Chair, Devin Lindsey, CMP-HC
What would you like meeting planners and suppliers to know about TechCon 2015?This is the event to attend if you would like to learn about various event technology solutions and how to incorporate them into your event. All attendees will have the opportunity to experience the hottest industry technologies in action while getting some valuable CEU credits!
What can returning attendees expect to be different from last year’s event?I think the committee went a different route this year. We listened to the feedback of attendees and understand the importance of practical takeaways. Learning about future technology is always interesting, but people want to know what technology they can add to their meetings today, on a predetermined budget, that can make a difference.
What is the best advice you can give to someone who is exploring new technologies?Come to TechCon! It’s also important to keep an open mind when incorporating new technology to your association or company. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ mindset. If you’re going to move your association or company into the future, open yourself up to the possibility of changing your environment. Find solutions to issues that arise with new modifications and help lead your team mates who may be more adverse to change. TechCon is excited to be hosted this year by the Holiday Inn, Chicago Mart Plaza, located in downtown Chicago’s exciting River North area. TechCon provides event planners, event suppliers, marketing professionals, brand advertisers, agencies, and business leaders with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the ever changing social and digital landscape. TechCon was designed for you by industry thought leaders and innovators, our instructional program was designed to cut through the noise and deliver you the knowledge needed to use these new tools effectively. Registration for TechCon 2015 is open to members of MPI, as well as, nonmembers regardless of industry. While the event is targeted toward the event industry, the education and experience is also ideal for marketing teams, CEO’s, social media strategists, anyone who plans/supports events or meetings, and individuals interested in how digital media can help develop relationships that lead to a return. To register, click here!
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MPI TechCon 2015 – Save the Date!
Meeting Professionals International Chicago Area Chapter invites YOU to joinTechCon 2015 Thursday, February 19th at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North at the Merchandise Mart Chicago. New digital technologies permeate every crevasse of work and non-work environment. Whether you subscribe to a cyber optimists or cyber pessimist perspective we need your assistance in building the best content for the MPITechCon 2015. Let us know your ideas for topics and speakers by clicking the following link: http://bit.ly/1CjsSoW
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Curing the Tech that Ails you
Have you been diagnosed with the TechSick bug? This viral condition is akin to a hangover. The means of catching the bug is unfortunately far too easy and widespread. Wooed by the excitement and promised solutions of a new technology, meeting planners spend a significant portion of their budget on the tech. Upon implementing and using the new technology, their condition rapidly deteriorates and the bug takes hold. Most common symptoms include headache, frustration, and occasionally a total abandonment of their investment. So, to avoid contracting the ailment, I have a simple AVGirl remedy and it revolves around one idea: strategy.
All jokes aside, if there’s one thing I hear most often from meeting planners, it’s that dealing with the AV and technology is the worst part of their job. They often feel intimidated to ask questions and/or frustrated with the headache of managing the technology. I have a few friendly AVGirl tips to help protect against the TechSick bug.
Start with an understanding of why you want to use (or are using) a designated technological tool. Are you trying to enhance an attendee’s experience? Is it to make your workflow smoother? Always, always keep in mind that unless technology serves a purpose, it’s just a toy.
Education and Research
Once you’ve identified why you want to use a technology, begin your discovery process. Ask every question you can of manufacturers and distributors, don’t be afraid to pressure them to provide simplified explanations of how their technology functions (right down to the digital 0’s and 1’s). Read industry publications, attend educational sessions, have conversations with peers. I’ve observed that many planners seem to operate in their own organizational bubbles; too often forgetting that they have thousands of peers who share the same pain points, goals and creative vision. Join LinkedIn discussion groups, sign up for Meco and MiForum Google groups, follow the #eventprofs on Twitter. There is a dynamic and supportive community out there waiting to help you!
One of my favorite topics is how to help planners end up with the right solution. I have a few concrete suggestions. First, you’ve learned a bit about the technology through research. Now is the time to marry your goals and new education with your creative ideas. Put an RFP together that is like a job description. What skills and outcomes must the technology possess? What would you love for the technology to do? Focus on providing a descriptive RFP on the vision for your event/attendee experience, rather than a checklist driven list of features or needs.
Based on your reasons for using the technology, set some associated goals. Keep them simple for your first attempt. If you need to wow international delegates, perhaps you measure their level of satisfaction or ask them if they would be willing to send you testimonials (maybe even video) of what they thought about the experience and evaluate if that correlates to the new technology. Perhaps it’s branding you seek, and you have a goal to have photos of your event appear in trade publications. Measure and report your results and include in your event debriefing what did and did not work for you.
Above all, remember that if you know why you’ve engaged a certain piece of technology, have educated yourself on the basic functionality, and have associated goals for using it, you should feel every bit of confidence in managing it. Just because it plugs into a wall and has electronic components does not mean it’s unlike any other part of your team.
You can catch Midori Connolly at MPITechCon February 20th 2014 at the UIC Forum in Chicago.
About the author: Midori Connolly is the Principal at AVGirl Productions and former co-owner of an AudioVisual company. She is best known for producing the first set of best practices for Sustainable AV Staging. Now Midori produces and consults on meetings and events around the world, with specialties in her turnkey hybrid meeting solutions and green(er) AV production. Recently appearing in Wired Magazine, she is also recognized as a Platinum Speaker by Meeting Professionals International and a Best-in-Class Speaker for Professional Convention Managers Association.
Learn more about Midori at http://mpitechcon.com/breakout-speakers/