CRM for Social Business – Show 250

crm2 300x268 CRM for Social Business   Show 250

CRM for meetings & events


On this weeks podcast, Jon Trask of Grass Shack Events & Media and Elizabeth Glau of Building Blocks Social Media continue their discussion of CRM tools for small business owners and entrepreneurs in the meetings industry.  This programs focus is on social media connections to you CRM system and some ways to integrate social media into your customer relationships.  While there are many tools and systems for larger businesses, they cast an eye toward inexpensive or free tools and ideas that small organizations can use to engage their customers as well as their potential customers. 





Outlook Social Media 





Raven Tools Slides

How Social Media is changing CRM



[Read more...]

Consider Hiring an Event Planner

Planning an event and debating to hire an event planner? The reasons below will show you why hiring a professional event planner will be in your best interest!

Event planning services: Event and meeting planners can arrange as little or as much of the event as needed. How they bill for their services varies depending on the consultant or job. Some bill hourly, others by the project. Even though you are paying them for their time, they will more than pay for their services in most cases with their knowledge, experience, and contacts.

Why hire a professional event coordinator? People are often under the misconception that they can save money by doing it all themselves, when in fact it can cost more–not only monetarily, but also in time and headaches! The responsibility of planning an event, especially to a new planner, can be overwhelming. When you hire a professional planner, you hire the confidence that the event will run without any major problems. Experienced planners have tried it all, and have found what works and what doesn’t. You can benefit from their experiences.

Time alone is a reason for hiring a professional: If you delegate this job to an employee, that person will make this event a priority and regular duties may get pushed aside. The fees of the professional will not come near the cost for a full-time employee’s time.

Coordinator’s relationships and knowledge: Established relationships with vendors allow the coordinator to get the best quality and value within budget. Vendors will go the extra mile to make sure this coordinator is pleased, because they know potential business will sprout from a successful event.

Expertise ensures a successful event: True event expertise cannot be learned from a textbook; it comes from trial and error and experience. It is better to hire the coordinator with years of experience than leaving an employee lost in the hundreds of details that will undoubtedly surround an event. Every event has its flaws, but a good coordinator handles those problems before they become serious.

Destination Management Companies (DMCs): Out-of-State planners hire these companies. They specialize in packaging group and VIP events. They can customize local “activities” to fit the planner’s need.

Finding a convention, banquet, or meeting site: A professional planner can be very helpful in finding a site to meet your requirements. Some planners have videotapes, photographs, and specifications for various sites. Their experience in having had an event at that site can be incredibly helpful.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you are specific about the services you will need and your budget. A planner can offer a variety of suggestions to save time, money, and energy. Be sure to read any and all contracts before signing them so there is no confusion later about who is responsible for what and how much it will cost.

Build your meeting with Meeting Architecture

As we head into another pitch for Grass Shack Events & Media I was thumbing through one of the bibles of meeting and event production: Meeting Architecture and thinking in the 10 years we have been in business I can count on one hand how many times a Meeting Architect has been appointed. As meeting budgets shrink and become so much more important to business survival and growth, we as an indusrty should embrace using it.  Meeting Architecture just means someone who  has the meeting objectives in the Learning, Networking and Motivation of participants directed to influencing behaviour, leading to impact and improved ROI.  The book Meeting Architecture should be required reading for anyone who puts on an event.

Click here now! —–>Source:
Like an architect that helps the house owner to build a house, a meeting architect helps the meeting owner to build a meeting in four phases:

1 Identifying the meeting objectives: expressed known objectives and the non-expressed potential objectives.
2 Designing the meeting based on those objectives using Conceptual, Human, Artistic, Technical and technology tools. (formats, conceptual and practical building blocks),
3 Executing the meeting: producing and making sure all is done according to plan and budget
4 Assessing the measured end results and reporting  (evaluation and measuring of meeting results up to level 5 ROI).

(Hopefully we can get another interview with Maarten at the upcoming PCMA event)

 Build your meeting with Meeting Architecture

Return of IMEX Group Carina Bauer -Show 208

imex 2012 Return of IMEX Group Carina Bauer  Show 208Jon Trask and Elizabeth Glau interview the CEO of IMEX Group Carina Bauer for a second time to talk about how Las Vegas IMEX show has learned from 2011 show and the changes they are making to make the conference better for everyone.

It is free to attend, get education and network. The benefits are really great for anyone interested in the meeting and events industry.

America’s newest trade show, with unprecedented business opportunities combined with a great industry gathering. In partnership with the industry’s key associations, our unique model is complemented by extensive free education and networking. This first edition of this pioneering show was held in Las Vegas, supported by our HQ Hotel, the Venetian/Palazzo, October 9-11, 2012.  Last year over 2000 hosted buyers and thousands of visiting attendees met up with over 1800 exhibitors from 147 countries. The place for the industry’s top planners to conduct serious business with destinations and suppliers from the US and around the world.

 Return of IMEX Group Carina Bauer  Show 208

 Return of IMEX Group Carina Bauer  Show 208

How to look at a meetings venue on a site survey Primer Series (2)- Show 199

Ballroom pillars 150x150 How to look at a meetings venue on a site survey Primer Series (2)  Show 199


Jon Trask continues on the Grass Shack Events Media/ Meetings Podcast

Primer series:

“How to look at a meetings venue on a site survey.” 

Jon gives some easy tips and tricks anyone who is putting on a meeting or event can use.  If you would like a copy of the check list please email us at and we will send you one.

Meetings Podcast Show 42 The Highball Glass

meetings podcast mike mcallen meetings news Meetings Podcast Show 42 The Highball Glass
The Meeting Planners podcast source for what’s new and exciting in meetings and events industry!

Mike McAllen of Grass Shack Events & Media
Jon Trask of Alliant Event Services

MeetingsPodcast Sponsors-
Hilton Hotels Eevents- Now featuring green meetings and weddings
BlueSky Factory- Our email service provider choice [Read more...]

Extra! Jon Trask interviews Robb Thornsberry of Infinity Events

meetingspodcast interview meeting planner Extra! Jon Trask interviews Robb Thornsberry of Infinity Events

Today Jon Trask interviews Robb Thornsberry of Infinity Events

Check out the Infinity Events inc 411 Blog

The Meeting Planners podcast source for what’s new and exciting in meetings and events industry!

Mike McAllen of Grass Shack Events & Media
Jon Trask of Alliant Event Services [Read more...]

MeetingsPodcast Show 41 Is this Microphone on?

meetings podcast event planner event planning special events MeetingsPodcast Show 41 Is this Microphone on?

The Meeting Planners podcast source for what’s new and exciting in meetings and events industry!

Question(s) for next week or in the comment section below:

Jon wonders what are planners doing to drive attendance up in this economy?
Mike wonders if you have used Twitter at a meeting and how was it received? success stories, failures you can tel us about?

Transcripts (links) below [Read more...]

Texas Roadhouse Bucks The Trend And Knows Its Business

While companies are canceling their out-of-town meetings, Texas Roadhouse is in the midst of five days of meetings and fun tour package, which is crucial to business, says G.J. Hart, Texas Roadhouse CEO. These are the folks that make their business shine and are trying to grow the business. Its a great start to the countries recovery! (And good news to you meetings and travel folks)

Check out the video:

Side note: I don’t understand why CNBC lets you embed videos but the source code never works easily.

 Texas Roadhouse Bucks The Trend And Knows Its Business

Bill Marriott Says Lets Meet

202px Marriott Logo.svg Bill Marriott Says Lets MeetImage via Lets Meet

Saw this post on the cvent blog which made me happy that the industry leader are still getting out he word that meetings are important.

Bill Marriott, chairman and CEO of Marriott International, took to The Washington Post yesterday to share his thoughts on the state of today’s hotel industry, saying simply to business, “Let’s meet.”

Marriott shares that his Half Moon Bay Resort in California employs 500 people, many of whom used to be seasonal farmworkers. In the past few weeks the resort has seen cancellations from over 32 groups.

“That means we’ve lost millions of dollars of expected business, the city has lost tax revenue and, sadly, some people have lost their jobs,” he writes.

Marriott recognizes that in today’s economy, not all meetings can go on as usual. However, canceling them out of fear of media criticism will have far-reaching negative effects.

“Marriott, like many businesses, is making tough choices,” Marriott writes. “Indeed, we have scaled back on some of our meetings and travel. Making those cuts was the right thing to do. But canceling meetings and events to dodge unwarranted criticism is shortsighted and will have a detrimental effect on the U.S. economy.”

 Bill Marriott Says Lets Meet