One + October 2010 - (Page 74)
Gary Whitehill is sold on the value of regional meetings.
Two years ago, he founded New York Entrepreneur Week to bring the city’s business community together for panel discussions, networking and other events—something no one else was doing locally at the time. Now the twice-annual gathering is growing so fast, he’s using it as a launch pad for events in other cities. Next spring, Whitehill plans to hold Entrepreneur Weeks in Seattle and Washington, D.C. He expects to follow up with events in Cape Town, South Africa; Philadelphia; and eventually a U.S. Entrepreneur Week that takes place in several cities simultaneously.
“No one is doing anything close to this on a hyper local scale,” he said. “The opportunity is just there.” The interest and implementation of regional meetings is on the upswing and Whitehill isn’t alone in discovering that they offer a special opportunity to create customized events tailored to local marketplaces, giving their organizers a unique edge in delivering ROI. Ronald van den Hoff, director of Utrecht-based C.D.E.F. Holding, one of the Netherland’s largest meeting and convention center management companies, sees exponential growth in smaller, regional meetings, driven by the need for self-employed professionals to meet each other and clients—what trend watchers call “mass mingling.” “We see that the more these people participate in online networking activities, the more the need arises to meet in real life,” he said. “Regional and local events like Meetups, Twitterazzi powwows and social media club activities are exploding.” Van den Hoff says that users of the company’s social network, MINDZ.com, which targets self-employed professionals, have set up more than 10,000 local meetings averaging 25 people in the Netherlands this year. Maureen Santoro, CMP, manager of group operations for Atlas Travel, an agency that handles business travel, group, meeting and incentive travel programs, has seen the growth in her clients’ regional interests, too, with at least 60 percent of them doing more regional work.
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