One + October 2010 - (Page 22)
What speciﬁc piece of advice would you give to a corporate planner facing budget cutbacks or event cancellations?
Louann Cashill, CMP, CMM
Strategic projects StarCite Inc.
Patti Phillips, Ph.D.
President & CEO ROI Institute Inc.
Partner REvent LLC
Participation is the New Brand Loyalty
Ever since I’ve returned from the annual ASAE meeting, I’ve been thinking about what Jeff De Cagna said in one of his sessions: “If you have 10,000 members, but only 2,000 are engaged, then you only have 2,000 members and 8,000 subscribers.” I suspect this lack of engagement (or participation) is found in many organizations around the world. But why? Are most people content enough to let the minority speak for them? A lot of people say they’re too busy to participate. That’s a lazy excuse, because you can make time for the things you enjoy doing. Consider Charles Yu, a writer who finds time to write while working and raising a family. “I asked Yu how he fits in the writing between work and family time (he’s married, with two young children), and he said it’s not as difficult as one might think,” wrote Jennifer B. McDonald on the blog Paper Cuts. “‘Most days I get home around 7,’ he said, ‘play with and then put the kids to sleep, and eat dinner with my wife, and it’s 9 or 10. That still leaves a couple of hours a night, which is plenty of time [to write].’” There are thousands of people like Yu who are finding time to do the things they love. Are you one of those people? Are you showing how much you care about your organization (or association) by fully participating in it, whether at the local, national or international level? What are you doing to contribute positively to your organization’s future and growth? “Participation is the new brand loyalty,” said designer Yves Béhar. How loyal are you? —JASON HENSEL
In the instance of event cancellations, planners can transform lemons into lemonade—particularly if they’re negotiating favorable hotel
If budget cuts and event cancellations are inevitable, there is little you can do other than try to inﬂuence the depth of the cut. Pick a high-proﬁle meeting and try to obtain some indicators of success. You can do this through follow-up questionnaires—if you do, take care that you design the approach so you get credible, reliable
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agreements. Track all cancellations through one central database as well as all re-sale and rebook recoveries. Add those cost savings or avoidance metrics to your KPIs, then roll that data as far up the food chain as possible and utilize it to demonstrate strategy, leverage a business case for SMMP and show the beneﬁts of strong partnerships and contemplative thinking. Budget cutbacks impact planners in a variety of ways (stafﬁng, event budgets, lead time, etc.). Don’t panic. In terms of event budgets, suppliers are feeling the pain as well. Use that opportunity to partner more closely together to creatively achieve joint goals.
In most cases, we are not blindsided by this possibility—so try to never ﬁnd yourself in this position. Understand your environment by looking for the signs. Learn the strategic values of meetings and your importance to your company’s success. As meeting professionals, we understand these nuances—your role is to communicate this to executive decision makers. Measurement criteria determine the return on your company’s investment. Review participant satisfaction, meeting ob-
results. Also, pick an upcoming meeting and forecast the impact and ROI for that meeting, then follow-up to see if you achieved the forecast. Finally, change your strategy to ensure that future meetings and events are aligned with the business. To do this, clarify stakeholder needs for the meeting, beginning with business needs. Position the meeting through the development of objectives that reﬂect those needs. Use your objectives to guide the planning process. Evaluate accordingly, ensuring that the measures taken are the ones that matter, including the ROI.
jective achievement, new customer acquisition, increased customer revenue, performance improvements and direct revenue generation. Know how to measure; then advocate for your meetings.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + October 2010
One + October 2010
Energy of Many
Signs of the Times
Kill Your Résumé
Live in Person
Untangling the Value of Social Media
Making a Difference
Until We Meet Again
One + October 2010