mpi meet different

MPI MeetDifferent 2010: Day 4 Viva la Business Revolution with Marty Neumeier

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February 24  |  wttc our news  |   Andrew Maxwell

MPI MeetDifferent | Marty Neumeier

Today was the final day of MPI MeetDifferent 2010. And, it started with keynote speaker, Marty Neumeier, author of The Brand Gap and The Designful Company.

Mr. Neumeier’s mission is to incite business revolution by unleashing the power of design thinking, a creative process based around the “building up” of ideas.

According to Mr. Neumeier, clearness, simplicity and utility are the three cornerstones of success. To improve your business, you have to know, make and do

Branding, says Neumeier, is the biggest barrier for competition. Brand is not a logo or trademark. Neither is brand an identity or a product.

Brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization. It’s a gut feeling because people are emotional intuitive beings who make their decisions without much logic. The brand is created in the customer’s mind. A brand is not what “you” say it is. It’s what “they” (people outside the company) say it is. This puts the emphasis on customers who are the driving force behind company’s these days.

Brand is important because people have too many choices and too little time. Most offerings have similar qualities and feature so buying choice is based on trust.

Mr Neumeier also talked about the ways that business needs to change in order to be successful.  Following “best practices” is an old idea because they are set-up to follow, which means that someone else has already done it. To be successful, business needs to be good — and different. To really start a business revolution, companies need to be radical. Neumeirer gave as the examples of Apple, FedEx, Virgin, Google, Orbitz and Dell as companies who are successful.

To sum up, businesses can start their own revolution by completing the following statement: My company is the only  _________ that _______.

MPI has posted a conversation with Marty Neumeier. You can listen to it here.

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MPI MeetDifferent 2010: Day 3 E-Mail As A Sales Tool

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February 23  |  wttc our news  |   Andrew Maxwell

MPI MeetDifferent | EMail As A Sales Tool

Just back from “E-mail as a Sales Tool: Prospecting and Building Profitable Relationships.” This was my second session of the day and I must say my favorite. Sue Hershkowitz-Coore was the presenter and she provided many good examples on how to use e-mail as a sales tool.

First, the do’s:

* Make it about them. The purpose of the e-mail is to get your clients excited about what you have to offer.
* Be concise. According to a Microsoft Office survey, 52% of e-mail users read only the first three lines of an e-mail message.
* Give your prospects full control of the message. Provide a mobile version and allow for opt-out  and forwarding to a friend.
* Encourage trust. Mention how you met them or where you got their e-mail address.
* Respect people’s time.
* Follow-up. Follow-up. Follow-up.
* Always say “thank you”.

Now, the don’ts:

* Don’t use any unnecessary or cliched phrases such as “reaching out”, “reminder”, “touch base”.
* Don’t be too cute…
* Don’t forget to include your name.
* Never use CAPS (it could be construed as shouting).

Most of the attendees at this session were sales people for the lodging-meetings industries and the rest independent event planners.

Paola Osorio (@HTOMpaola) is a post graduate student at Toronto’s Humber College and a guest blogger for “The Meeting Planner’s Best Resource.”

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MPI MeetDifferent 2010: Day 3 Software Trends for Today’s Meeting Planner

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February 23  |  wttc our news  |   Andrew Maxwell

MPI MeetDifferent | Software Trends

Yesterday morning I attended the session “Software Trends for Today’s Meeting Planner” presented by Danilo Bernal of Ungerboeck Systems International.

Danilo focused on the importance of using integrated event management systems for controlling and linking the information required for business and annual reports. While many planners still use Excel spreadsheets to track and report, problems arise when registrations and travel arrangements have to be integrated into a single report. What planners need is software that allows them to compare the bottom line of past events with present performance.

Danilo suggested looking for event management software that integrates the following activities:

* Registration
* Event planning and budgeting
* Networking
* Travel management (such as hotel rooms, airlines and ground transportation)
* Exhibition management

Before purchasing software, Danilo suggests you ask about technical support and whether it is included in the package. You might also want to ask about additional costs associated with maintenance and training. Be sure of any additional hardware requirements as this will add to the bottom line. And, as always know your budget and what you have to work with before making any sort of a financial commitment.

Some of the software vendors recommended by Danilo include: Certain, Eventsforce, Eventbrite, onPeak from TTG (Travel Technological Group) and his own company –
Ungerboeck Systems International, which sells an “all-in-one” event management software solution.

All in all before acquiring special software, you should look at your needs and goals and ensure that you get the right software for your size and expertise.

Paola Osorio (@HTOMpaola) is a post graduate student at Toronto’s Humber College and a guest blogger for “The Meeting Planner’s Best Resource.”

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MPI MeetDifferent 2010: Day 2 Meeting Management in Latin America

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February 23  |  wttc our news  |   Andrew Maxwell

MPI Meet Different | Meeting Management in Latin America

Latin America is an accessible, affordable and overlooked meeting destination, says Eli Gorin presenter of the session “Meeting Management in Latin America.”

This well attended session looked at why the countries of Latin America are excellent options for corporate meetings and events. Affordability is a key factor but transportation and improved security also play a role in considering Latin America. American Airlines, Continental, Avianca, Lan Peru and Mexicana fly to most destinations in Central and South America. While security has improved in many countries, including Colombia and Brazil.

Event planners considering Latin America as a destination were encouraged to do the research and not just assume everything works the same as in the US. Visas and vaccinations are still an issue in some countries. While cultural awareness and sensitivity is a factor for anyone planning a meeting outside North America. Planners were reminded to stick to the basics — such as knowing the objectives of the meeting and client goals.

Attendees at the session were impressed by Mr. Gorin’s knowledge of the region and by his presentation, which was very interactive.  Eli Gorin is a graduate of George Washington University’s prestigious Event Management program and President of Aventura, Florida-based gMeetings Inc. He was named one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry in 2007″ by MeetingNews and was named to The Meeting Professional’s list of “30 under 30″.

Paola Osorio (@HTOMpaola) is a post graduate student at Toronto’s Humber College and a guest blogger for “The Meeting Planner’s Best Resource.”

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