Imex America Show Online- Smart Monday Recap IMEX America. Todays Podcast is a recap of Smart Monday. Reactions to Debra Bentons Keynote, talk about the show floor and IMEX Americas social media presence.
Mike: Welcome back to the Meetings Podcast. This is Mike McAllen from Grass Shack Events and Media. We are at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas for Smart Monday at IMEX America. I’m having a pretty good time. Jon and I have been a ton of time at an expo floor. And it’s crazy massive trade show. Everybody I know seems to be here which is pretty fun. This morning I caught the Deborah Benton keynote. And it was a really great keynote.
I just interviewed her recently so I really made the effort to get there early in the morning to see it and she really was great. But I would like to maybe share, I got some interviews from some of the planners that were in the audience about what they got out of her keynote. And I actually got to talk to Deborah afterwards too. I caught up with her and she’s going to share a few things too. So let’s get ride into it. Thank you.
DeShawn: My name is DeShawn Wynn. I’m from Los Angeles, California. I’m with Wynning Touch Event Design. I love the keynote speaker today. She was very energetic, she was funny. And the topic that she – just the things that we take for granted as far as our facial expressions, as far as how we appear to other people, just put that in perspective to be a little bit more conscious about when I approach people, how I approach them. So it was a great session.
Mike: So did you get something in particular that you were going to use? I know she had like the Cheese Whiz which I thought that I have to start saying cheese whiz.
Mike: Still trying to figure that out for myself anyway.
DeShawn: And I know that I have the tendency to not smile when I’m not directly talking to somebody. And so being more conscious of even when I’m not actively in a conversation being aware of my body language and being aware of my facial expressions because people are still looking at me and watching me, so being aware of that. So yeah, I did like that point very much.
Mike: All right. Well, thank you very much and have a great show.
DeShawn: Thank you. Thank you very much.
Mike: HI Elizabeth. How are you?
Elizabeth: Doing well, how are you?
Mike: Did you enjoy the keynote?
Elizabeth: Yeah, I really did. She was very inspiring and sort of made me be a little bit introspective and do the, OK, I need to do that differently; I haven’t thought of it that way.
Mike: Yeah. It was really fun. And why don’t you say – tell me who you are and where you’re from too.
Mike: Oh, very cool.
Mike: So did you have a takeaway from Deborah’s perfect music up in the background?
Elizabeth: Yeah. Really it is, it works well. After a fight.
Mike: What was the takeaway? Are you going to go home and do something?
Elizabeth: Yeah, it’s really I think I generally approach people with a smile but it may not come across as genuine even though I think it does. So it’s probably being more self-aware and really being more cognizant about asking more question rather than I guess judging someone based on what I think they’re communication.
Mike: Right. Yeah. I got a lot out of that too about the whole hands being at the same level with people because you do work with all sorts of people, you know, even actually said Like a panhandler or somebody –
Mike: I do live in San Francisco so I come across these panhandlers all the time. And I’m like, oh, gosh.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Same thing in Los Angeles, yeah.
Mike: It’s true.
Elizabeth: But it is certainly it’s a situation where everybody has their own unique come from and you kind of have to remember that just because you’re perception is one thing, it’ s not that they’re completely on a different level. They just have a different place that they come from and it may affect how they approach you.
Mike: Yeah. That’s great. OK, well, thank you Elizabeth. Have a great show.
Elizabeth: Thank you very much.
Mike: Hi, Tracy.
Mike: We just came out of the keynote, the Deborah Benton keynote this morning.
Mike: And why don’t you tell the folks who you are and what your company name is and how you like the keynote.
Tracy: OK. I’m Tracy Stuckrath with Thrive Meetings and Events out of Atlanta, Georgia. And I educate our industry on how to accommodate dietary needs at events. And I thought Deborah’s presentation was phenomenal. The one line that made me really think really good about it was that her mom told her when she asked her, “What do you do for a living?”
She goes, “You teach people how to be good to other people.” And that completely relates to what I’m doing with my job is because I’m trying to provide better equity in what we serve food to people who have different dietary needs. So that really resonated with me and I just had to thank her for it.
Mike: That’s awesome. And so do you have a takeaway from something she said that you’re going to do? Because I know for myself I just sorts of things, the cheese whiz.
Tracy: The cheese whiz, yeah, not frowning all the time. But I talk to – I can just talk to a wall. So I love talking to people. So the other part of that was that just continue to do that and make friends. You never know who you’re going to meet and what you’re going to get out of that relationship.
Mike: Fantastic. All right, well, thanks Tracy. Have a great show.
Tracy: Likewise, you too.
Mike: Hope to see you around.
Tracy: Yes, sir. I’ll see you on the floor.
Mike: Deborah, fantastic job. I really enjoyed your keynote this morning. I interviewed quite a few people that loved it. So I wanted to get your take on it. How about for you because you were up on stage?
Deborah: Well, I like the audience and for this early they were very awake, alert and alive which makes it wonderful for a speaker. But you know why I like this audience? These members worked so hard putting on spectacular detailed, every I’s dotted and T’s crossed events where they worked so hard, but they don’t get the respect for their work lots of times because people say, oh, that’s a meeting planner. And it’s up to you and I to make sure we get a seat at the table, figuratively speaking. And people give us the respect too. And even if they don’t, we’re not bothered by it, but at least we act that way. We walk and talk that way. And that’s what I hoped to impart with somebody’s ideas today.
Deborah: Uh-huh. Nastech CEO.
Mike: CEO and that you got the job to do. You stayed and you did the talk and then she goes, oh my gosh, I would hate that because it would ruin my budget is what she said because she was like, oh my gosh, now, you know, that would go into her budget. That’s what she thought I just thought it was a funny take. But I don’t know if you’ve thought about that because they spent all these months planning that event probably. And then here you come rolling in and …
Deborah: And you know what, the reality is this was a smaller company. It probably wasn’t a professional planned meeting. But also, it just shows you the latitude that CEOs have, there’s money there often if it’s something they have interest in. You know, life’s not fair.
Mike: That’s always the case. Yeah, but that’s part of the meeting job. Anyway, fantastic job, really enjoyed meeting you and really enjoyed the keynote, thank you.
Deborah: Thank you very much and I hope our paths cross again, Mike.
Mike: I do too.
Deborah: All right.
Jon: Yes, hello.
Elizabeth Glau: I would love to. There as a lot of good sessions to choose from today at MPI Smart Monday. But of course I would choose to go to my friend Janice’s session on social media. And she did a great job with an overview for planners who maybe want – they see the value in using Twitter in their events and they see the value in their attendees tweeting and doing other social sharing of information of their events because it’s promoting their events and you know that turns into dollars.
She’s done a great statistics that event to advertise the value of a tweet and a LinkedIn share and that kind of thing. So it was lots of good statistics and information as far as the value of your attendees sharing the information right there, that they’re learning at your conference. And the attendees of that session were vast and varied from people that were literally not on social media at all for the most part to you know, experts. Even though the session was you know, pretty much advertises kind of – it’s been social media for attendees who don’t do social media, right?
So the idea of what is, hey, hiring a social media concierge was one of her ideas so that in the use of this term in the way that she was using it is a person who would come into your conference and help your attendees get on to Twitter and send their first tweet. And really it’s more instead of taking the approach of oh my gosh, my attendees are all tweeting and I need to do something about it, it was more like, well, maybe you have attendees that aren’t doing this stuff.
And hey this is valuable information and it is good for you if they do share. So if you bring in an expert, people call them different things, but if you bring in an expert that can help your attendees get set up and share, that’s a good thing to do if you have got the resources to do that. She had a lot of interesting and again, diverse questions and stuff from the audience because I think people are just, you know, all over the map as far as social media goes.
Mike: Right. It is confusing though for people.
Mike: But that’s great. That’s a great point.
Jon: And I think for planners it’s one more thing to worry about that they’re kind of looking at it that way right now. So maybe bringing in somebody who is an expert to kind of take that away from their responsibility and just help out would be an excellent idea.
Elizabeth Glau: She did a great job though. She had you know, parts of the sessions that were interactive. You know, we worked in groups and just talked about how are you using social media, how we found it and stuff.
Mike: How long was the session?
Elizabeth Glau: I think it was like an hour.
Jon: Yeah, they were like an hour, an hour and a half, something like that.
Elizabeth Glau: It was an hour but it was a good length for that topic. It was a good amount of time. Again, putting into little interactive beds of course helps, right?
Elizabeth Glau: She’s a good presenter so she knows.
Jon: Keep people.
Elizabeth Glau: You’re up in front and talk to people. She kept it interactive and like I said there was a lot of great questions from the audience and stuff too, so people learning from each other.
Mike: And there was a full day of session. Unfortunately Jon and I we hanging out in the trade show area which was massive and it’s pretty exciting to see the different booths going up. It’s madness in there right now. So it’ll be a great thing tomorrow to see what’s going on and …
Jon: I did read a stat that it’s 25% larger than last year.
Jon: I mean last year was a big show floor. And there’s some very impressive booths going in right now, I mean lots of activity and buzzing around of people. But it’s just really amazing to see the people from all over the world.
Mike: Yeah, it is.
Jon: And so many different countries exhibiting and things like that.
Mike: Every country, it seems like.
Jon: Yeah, it seems like, yeah. So you know, I’m going to really enjoy having a chance to kind of look around in the next few days.
Mike: Yeah, I talked to – fortunately I met some friends since I’ve been down here form the Swiss and the French. Actually they came, one of them came by our booth today. It’s very interesting to have you and I walk in thru the booth and go, where is France? Anyway, and that we really – you’re going to France, you’re going to Germany.
Mike: Pretty fun. Pretty fun. It’ll be great tomorrow to see what happens. I look forward to podcasting again about it, seeing what we see and how it worked. And I guess we should talk a little bit about social media since Elizabeth is here. Elizabeth, what is happening in the social media?
Elizabeth Glau: The world of social media?
Elizabeth Glau: The hashtag in case any of you are wanting to tread along over the next couple of days is hashtag IMEX 12, the official hashtag. And my friends over at Refyner told me that the three weeks leading up to IMEX, there were already 4,000 tweets. And we’ve definitely seen a lot of activity today. Of course there’s a spike today as people start to arrive and a lot of people are really are here for the Smart Monday and sharing all the good things that they’re learning.
I love seeing – even one of the tweets that I sent out was somebody that I met in person that I of course had known on social media. And we got to take a picture together. SO that kind of thing is fine. And a lot of us that are on social media, you know, we always have these experiences.
You know, part of me thinks that one of these days, we’ll all just know each other. But I think, you know, right, like, at some point we all have met but maybe not because there was always new people coming to and that kind of thing. So potentially, we can always come to events like this and meet people in person that we’ve maybe met over social media at first.
But I will give some shout-outs here because I see that the top users of the IMEX hashtags so far have been the IMEX group of course. They are doing a great job of being involved with retreading all the good information and sharing tips of what’s going on and stuff like that. So IMEX group is first. There’s a twitter user called wwwcoach. That’s in there in number two and our very own, Mike McAllen.
Jon: Oh, how nice.
Elizabeth Glau: So Mike McAllen is at number three on this list that I’m looking at right now. I mean this is a constantly evolving list of course because you got to stay on your Twitter game and keep tweeting away, sharing good information to make it on to the list.
Mike: I’ve been trying to get on that list and I have achieved it now.
Jon: You might just fly home now. You don’t even really need to stay.
Mike: Yeah. My bucket lis.
Elizabeth Glau: You know, somebody, it was interesting Jon pointed out somebody had tweeted their Hootsuite. And I see actually from this dashboard I’m looking at that Hootsuite has been the most used platform for tweeting. So maybe that’s why.
Elizabeth Glau: Maybe they’re just getting so much activity, you know. I don’t know if it’s from the hashtags specifically or not but …
Mike: It is a cool way too for people who are like home and couldn’t come to kind of get a really, get a sense of what happens here.
Elizabeth Glau: Oh, I do that all the time.
Mike: Yeah. Just to get a sense of what’s happening.
Elizabeth Glau: If I can attend the conference, fine. There’s been conferences where I almost felt like I was there. Obviously you’re missing the face to face piece of it. But you know, I almost felt like I was there just from watching the hashtag and participating in those conversations.
Jon: Yeah. And I was thinking about something that you said, talking about meeting somebody for the first time and how you think we’re all going to sort of know each other eventually. But the purpose of the face to face meetings, that’s why we’re in this industry, is to put people in the same room because things happen that way. But at the same time, you have a different conversation with people that you know thru social media because you kind of know them already when you’re walking up to them. And so there is an element to that that’s sort of an icebreaker and sort of an interesting thing. It’s like, you already know this person. Now you’re just getting their face. And I think that’s a cool thing really.
Mike: Yeah. And that was in Deborah Benton’s keynote this morning. She was talking about that that a lot of people, the audience, the questions were all about social media because she’s all about the face to face talking about how things. And her new book actually is about using social media and how to be in line with other people and do this type of thing. It is that it is evolving. It’s interesting to see how it goes. I mean, I’ve been tweeting a lot about this stuff. I haven’t had a chance today to kind of connect with anybody because we’ve been so busy but I’m really looking forward to tomorrow to tweet in more.
Elizabeth Glau: Exactly. You’re going to make it to number one.
Mike: Because I mark my words. Everyone is listening, but no, they’ll be, it’s great now that I will be in one spot tomorrow all day, so I’m interested to see if I can get people to come.
Mike: I mean, we’ll see what the power of Twitter is.
Elizabeth Glau: Exactly.
Mike: But thank you, Elizabeth for your update.
Elizabeth Glau: M-hm.
Mike: And I can talk to you all day tomorrow, all right, guys. And we will reconvene and fire another podcast.
Elizabeth Glau: We’re looking forward to another great IMEX.
Mike: Yeah. So thank you for listening and thank you to IMEX and we will see you all there. Bye-bye.