Connections - Spring 2017 - 27

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meetings thought leadership
BY AMY DREW THOMPSON

5 Questions: Are You Creating
an Event Experience?
WHAT CAN MAKE or break the best
events? The guest list! Without
attendees, there is no event. What
have you done lately to ensure their
event experience is everything they
hoped it would be? Ask yourself the
below questions and see how you
measure up.

1

Are You Social?

You can enhance the on-site
experience for your members by
using the power of social media
to connect them before the event,
essentially creating a virtual mixer
where networking can happen ahead
of schedule. Instead of just meeting
new people at the first-night
cocktail party, they can have F2F
drinks with the folks they've been
networking with in the months
leading up to the event. You can
engage members by asking questions
to start conversations and then keep
the chatter going. Select someone
on your staff to moderate and keep
things on topic and moving.

2

Are You Tech-Forward?

Maybe you were into the
Pokemon Go craze. Maybe your

kids were. Either way, it was
an undeniable sensation that
used virtual and augmented
reality-two forms of tech that
are ripe for more incorporation
into meetings. Virtual product
demonstrations, industry- or
topic-relevant scavenger hunts
(that's what Pokemon Go was, after
all!), gamification and more can be
enhanced by this new and evolving
technology.

3

Are You Making Them Think?

4

Are You Introducing Them to
New Things?

When it comes down to it, your
attendees are most likely at your
event to learn. After all, continuing
education and professional
development is one of the top reasons
that people give for attending
conferences and events. But are your
speakers bringing new ideas to the
table? Look for speakers who will
ignite and inspire your attendees-
and keep them thinking long after
they head back to their offices.

Your attendees are already
away from home and the office,

so take them even further outside
their comfort zones. Whether
it's working with F&B to offer
something new for their palates
(hello, dragon fruit!) or the local
CVB who will make sure your
evening reception takes place
at the hottest new venue, give
your attendees the chance to try
something new. It could just be that
one thing they go home and can't
stop talking about!

5

Are You Giving Attendees the
Power to Make Change?

Your attendees have a good
idea of what they'd love to see
and what they'd love to see
change. Having a place where
they can tell you that info in
real time can seriously improve
their experience-and your
team's approval rating. Give your
attendees the ability to express
their opinions with survey tools
they can access in the moment via
your event management software.
And then, where possible, make
the changes to improve their
experience while the event is
still in motion.

Venues Highlight Georgia's Southern Charm
GEORGIANS ARE LOADED with
Southern charm. So, too, are many
of its venues. Here are a few you
may not have heard of....

The Library Ballroom-Macon
Southern architectural history
meets southern rock history at
this unique and beautiful venue.
Constructed as a library in 1888,

the building went on to house what
was called the College Discotheque
in the '60s. This was where a
then-little-known band called the
Allman Brothers got their start. Today,
its warm, inviting history is bolstered
by all the modern conveniences, from
a state-of-the-art sound system to
plasma TVs. What's more, it's suitable
for events of 200-plus.

Manor House Pub at Merry
Acres Inn-Albany
Merry Acres, a 110-room
boutique property, was built
in 1952 and oozes Southern
hospitality. On its grounds, you'll
find the Manor House Pub with its
alluring double veranda, pub fare
and live music on the patio several
continued on page 30
connections >

27



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Spring 2017

GSAE News & Events
New Members
Living Legends: Tim O’Donnell, CIC, Bill Anderson, CAE, LEED AP, and Robin B. Gray Jr., JD
Georgia Partnership for Educational Excellence: A Culture of Continuous Improvement
Questioning the Orthodox Beliefs of Association Governing
The Future of Education and Employment
Building Organizational Resilience
My Internship with the Southern Economic Development Council
GSAE February and April Luncheons
Meetings Thought Leadership
Advertiser.com
Index of Advertisers
Connections - Spring 2017 - intro
Connections - Spring 2017 - bellyband1
Connections - Spring 2017 - bellyband2
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover1
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover2
Connections - Spring 2017 - 3
Connections - Spring 2017 - 4
Connections - Spring 2017 - 5
Connections - Spring 2017 - GSAE News & Events
Connections - Spring 2017 - 7
Connections - Spring 2017 - 8
Connections - Spring 2017 - New Members
Connections - Spring 2017 - Living Legends: Tim O’Donnell, CIC, Bill Anderson, CAE, LEED AP, and Robin B. Gray Jr., JD
Connections - Spring 2017 - 11
Connections - Spring 2017 - 12
Connections - Spring 2017 - 13
Connections - Spring 2017 - Georgia Partnership for Educational Excellence: A Culture of Continuous Improvement
Connections - Spring 2017 - 15
Connections - Spring 2017 - 16
Connections - Spring 2017 - 17
Connections - Spring 2017 - Questioning the Orthodox Beliefs of Association Governing
Connections - Spring 2017 - 19
Connections - Spring 2017 - The Future of Education and Employment
Connections - Spring 2017 - 21
Connections - Spring 2017 - Building Organizational Resilience
Connections - Spring 2017 - 23
Connections - Spring 2017 - My Internship with the Southern Economic Development Council
Connections - Spring 2017 - GSAE February and April Luncheons
Connections - Spring 2017 - 26
Connections - Spring 2017 - Meetings Thought Leadership
Connections - Spring 2017 - 28
Connections - Spring 2017 - 29
Connections - Spring 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover3
Connections - Spring 2017 - cover4
Connections - Spring 2017 - outsert1
Connections - Spring 2017 - outsert2
Connections - Spring 2017 - 38
Connections - Spring 2017 - 39
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