Meeting News - November 10, 2008 - (Page 40)

Live from the Forum @ TOPIC: Interviewing convention managers for the job M y client has asked to interview CSMs at the hotel where it will hold its annual Do you have a burning question to event. I have never heard such a request, although I agree that it’s not a bad idea. ask your peers? Log on to the She asked me to join her in the phone interviews. There are five CSMs to choose MeetingNews Forum to get answers from. I thought I would prepare a list of questions (in the event she does not), and I have fast. come up with several, but I am unsure what to ask. I would like to get some insight on the individual with regard to flexibility, temperament, attention to detail, work ethic, etc, as well as logistical things like “will you be on site during all three days of the meeting, and how long will it take you to re-set a room for 400?” If you were choosing a CSM via interview, what are some questions you would ask? Hannah Greenberg, CMP, Director of Conference Services, Meeting Mavericks, Cherry Hill, NJ Great suggestions, Jennifer. The hotel was very receptive to the idea. Before the interview idea came up, I asked the director of sales to assign the group the hotel’s most experienced, diligent, pleasant CSM. The DOS gave me two names. But then, my client asked to interview them, and I think the hotel was relieved not to have to take full responsibility for the final choice. It is a pretty interesting concept. As planners, we automatically take who they give us, right? Sometimes, you get someone good, and sometimes not. I never considered having control over who was chosen, although I have asked for the same person when I go back to the same venue. Hannah Greenberg I believe CSMs are usually assigned to groups based on workload. I always ask for the same one for meetings that go to the same hotel year after year. But one year, the CSM couldn’t do it because the meeting was too close to another very intensive meeting that she had managed for many years and longer than she has worked on my meeting. Anne Carey, CMP, Chicago What an interesting idea. Once, I went through three CSMs at a hotel after contracting because they all were just out of school or planning a wedding. When the first 10 minutes of the phone conversation were about how the CSM was excited about the job or how she just selected her wedding gown, it was time for me to move on to the next person. I’d probably like to know how long they’ve been at the property, with the company or brand, and in the industry. I’d like to know about their experience with programs of the same size and scope as mine. I think their timing on turning a room is very prudent, as well as if they will be on site for the duration. I’d ask their experience or feelings about going off-menu with the chef but within the budget. (I try to do this a lot because I feel I always select the same menus.) I’d ask what led them to the industry (to get some interesting insight) and what they enjoy about their job. Jennifer Beam Johnson, CMP The Johnson Meetings Group, Raleigh, NC TOPIC: Ideas for generating annual conference topics D oes anyone have a new or a unique way of getting member/attendee education topics and/or speaker ideas? I have done pre-meeting surveys but am looking for other ideas. Monica Myhill, CMP, CRP should have been covered?” We get a lot of great ideas. I make a list and send it to our committee when we are doing the next agenda. Liza Wentworth, Director of Meetings National Society of Compliance Professionals, Cornwall Bridge, CT I think there is a distinct difference between issues that people say they want to hear and issues that they would be willing to pay for. I advise organizations I work with to look at two types of topics: G Topics that are unsolvable or near-impossible to master. These include leadership, customer service, politics, world affairs. G The trendy issues. Currently, these include sustainability/green business practices, Web 2.0, social networks, recession economics, etc. Look at cutting-edge conferences like Pop-Tech and World Economic Forum, at industry publications, current-event magazines, etc. Michael Humphrey, Vice President, Lavin Agency, New York City We go back to prior meetings and see which sessions, speakers, and topics were most popular, and see if there were suggestions. Also, it’s good to be topical. For example, sustainability, politics, disaster preparedness, health insurance, globalization, and a weak economy affect all our industries in one form or another. Cheryl P. Heiks, Director of Communications and Events LLuminari Inc., Wilmington, DE In our final evaluation, we ask, “Were there any topics that you thought MEETING NEWS (ISSN 0145-630X, USPS No.356-010, November 10 2008, Vol. 32, No. 19 is published semi-monthly except for June, August, November and December, which is monthly, by Nielsen Business Media, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-9595, tel. 646-654-5000. Subscriptions are offered free of charge to individuals actively engaged in planning meetings or conventions in the U.S. and Canada. The cost of a subscription to non-qualified subscribers is $79 in the U.S. and $95 in Canada (Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40031729). The cost of a foreign subscription, payable in U.S. dollars, is $195. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. MeetingNews is a trademark owned exclusively by Nielsen Business Media. Copyright © 2008 by Nielsen Business Media Inc. All rights reserved. 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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting News - November 10, 2008

Meeting News - November 10, 2008
MN Exclusive Research
%20%20%20%20%20Green & Social Responsibility: The Year that Was in Meetings
Incentive Special: Recovering from AIG
What's Up @
Letters to the Editor
Inside the Meetings Industry
South Africa Supplement
Newsmaker Q&A
People Making News
Hotels & Resorts
%20%20%20%20%20Starwood Hopes E-Portal is Small Meeting Utopia
%20%20%20%20%20Intercontinental O'Hare Puts Art at Forefront
Convention Centers
%20%20%20%20%20Dallas and Philadelphia Move on Their Projects
%20%20%20%20%20Jacksonville Markets to Medical, Cultural Groups
%20%20%20%20%20Jamaica's Rose Hall Area Blossoms with Resorts
%20%20%20%20%20EIBTM Puts Together an Ambitious Program
Transportation & Services
Meeting News South
Green Beat
Destination Insider
%20%20%20%20%20Fort Lauderdale
Incentive Report
MN Webcast Report
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Live from the Forum

Meeting News - November 10, 2008