The 2013 CMP Conclave is rapidly approaching. Jon Trask and Elizabeth Glau will both be attending and presenting sessions. They took a few minutes to talk about their sessions and why the Conclave is an event worth considering if you are a CMP – or why the event might be a reason to get your CMP (Certified Meeting Professional designation).
There’s still time to register so they’d love to see you in Spokane from June 8-10th.
Jon: Welcome back to the podcast! I’m here again with Elizabeth Glau from Building Blocks Social Media. Hello!
Elizabeth: Hello again!
Jon: Welcome back again. Today, we’re going to be talking about an upcoming event that we are both going to be presenting sessions at, and we just thought it would be kind of fun to talk a little bit about the CMP Conclave coming up in Spokane and maybe describe a bit about our sessions and some of the other sessions of folks we know that are going to be there and just sort of what we’re looking forward to. So first off, what is the session that you’re going to be presenting?
Elizabeth: I am scheduled to speak about using social media for your event logistics. And true to CMP form or fashion, I should say, the idea behind my presentation is to make it a little bit more strategic in the angle that I’m taking, right?
Elizabeth: So, not just talk about the different engagement tools that exist out there for planners to implement in their meetings, but really take a step back and kind of look at what are you trying to achieve, right?
Elizabeth: What is the goal and objective of your meeting or event instead of kind of getting caught up in the shiny tools or the shiny objects. That’s right. That’s what I…
Jon: Right, right.
Elizabeth: Originally, I had named my presentation. It was something about shiny objects. We like to think, “Oh! Everybody else is doing a mobile app so I need a mobile app for my meeting” or like, “Oh, I need to be more engaging, so I need an audience response system” and things like that. There are technologies now where a lot of these different tools are kind of crossing over and some mobile apps will have audience response built in to them or you can get a social media platform or dashboard that also has the programs, so maybe you don’t need a mobile app.
Elizabeth: So, anyway, my presentation is meant to just kind of help planners take a step back and look at the big picture and realize that there might be different tools that can accomplish everything they want to do or one tool that fits them all.
Jon: Well, it’s so interesting actually that tact because it’s something that I talk about a lot in technology in general. And that is we’ve always got these new cool toys coming along on the staging and audio visual side of things, but you need to have the appropriate tool for what you’re trying to accomplish. And I’ve been feeling for years those discussions don’t happen often enough within our industry. People just sort of tick the boxes off. I need this or I need that because it’s a meeting and because it’s this size, I need this, and they don’t look at the actual design or purposes behind it.
Elizabeth: Right. And a lot of times, it’s just because a lot of planners are faced with such short time frames. We do realize that that’s just kind of the detriment to the whole idea of being strategic and looking at your goals and objectives. Quite honestly, we realize that a lot of planners are just tasked with planning a meeting or event and you only have three weeks to do it and it’s like “Go!”
Elizabeth: So obviously, you only have so much time to really take that step back that I’m describing and look at trying to be strategic about what am I really doing and what do I have time to add in? Especially if it’s these things I’m talking about. Engagement tools are still kind of seen as not a necessity to the meeting, right?
Jon: Right, right.
Elizabeth: They’re a nice to have, not a need to have. So, if you are fortunate enough to be in a position where your marketing department is driving that or you do have support from the top to implement those kinds of tools and tactics, then great.
Elizabeth: Then my session will be for you, right?
Jon: Very relevant [Laughs].
Jon: And your session is on Sunday, right? June 9th.
Elizabeth: Yeah. So Sunday, June 9th. Right now, I think I’m scheduled to speak in the afternoon on Sunday.
Jon: I believe we should probably give the dates. It is in Spokane, Washington.
Elizabeth: There you go! The Convention Industry Council, is hosting this…
Jon: CMP Conclave.
Elizabeth: Right. Event called the CMP Conclave, and it’s going to be June 8th through 10th in Spokane. So, clearly there’s still time to register. It’s getting pretty close.
Elizabeth: So people may or may not be able to register at this late date, but it’s a good event to attend because it will be all CMPs. It’s only open to CMPs.
Elizabeth: People should know that upfront, I guess. But it’s one of the benefits of being a CMP, having this one particular event where you can go that is only open to CMPs. So, I’m looking forward to it.
Jon: And I’ve actually been to the last couple and I found it to be different from a lot of industry events that I had gone to, and in a positive way. I really liked the idea of the people that I met. And even people who are CMPs who are on the supplier side. It seemed to have a different conversation sometimes than you have at some industry events.
Elizabeth: Well, yeah. I mean, I’m not going to say this only because I got my CMP when I was a supplier [Laughs]. So, obviously, I have a different take on this, but any supplier that actually goes to the effort of getting their CMP, you know like as a planner, planners like doing business with them because they just know that they’re more committed to the industry and the community and stuff by taking that extra step to do that. Yeah. But I’m excited because I think I’ll be able to meet people that I wouldn’t meet necessarily like at an MPI function. Because the CIC kind of acts as an umbrella organization for all of these industry associations that we belong to, I’ll be able to meet people that are in SGMP or PCMA or all these other organizations that also belong to the CIC, but I don’t necessarily meet them at the industry association events that I typically attend.
Jon: Right. The ones connected to CMPI or something like that.
Elizabeth: Yes. Exactly. Yeah.
Jon: Well, and I guess I have to talk about my session a little bit as well.
Jon: I’m doing “Ditching the Notebook,” which is basically to help planners. And first off, I should mention I’ve got a couple of great co-presenters – Christine Faiman of Marriott and Cara Tracy of the National Speakers Association. She’s actually the planner for the Speakers Association. So Cara is going to be bringing in some very specific information because she’s already transitioned away from paper files and notebooks onsite and is using a tablet – specifically an iPad – to carry around all those information. And then Christine has information from Marriott about some new things that they’re doing to help planners. Because it struck me for a long time how inefficient it is that planners are getting electronic files, printing them out in their office, hauling them onto an airplane and taking them somewhere and carrying them around all day.
Jon: When it’s all electronic to start with. And so, Christine has these tools from Marriott. And then, I’m kind of coming in as sort of one of those on the middle type thing because I’ve worked on both sides where I’ve been both a planner and on the supplier side of things. And so, I think we’re going to get three nice interesting perspectives and I know we’re going to do a little bit of a discussion of different apps. And I know just from discussions with them, that we work in slightly different ways. And so, we’re going to try and maybe contrast some of those things a little bit. So, I’m excited about doing it.
Elizabeth: Yeah. That’ll be good because I’ve enjoyed seeing you. You’ve done a similar presentation by yourself in other places and I think you do a great job by yourself. So this will be fun to just kind of see just a little bit different format. Kind of a panel style with, like you said, the different people that you’re bringing to the session with you. So that’ll be good to get those different perspectives as well, even though you do an excellent job of covering different devices and all different apps and stuff. Jon really does do a good job of covering different options, I think, for planners and kind of testing them out on his own time just so that he can actually say what works well and what doesn’t.
We were talking about for a different podcast what kind of apps that people pay for because I, for the most part, only use free apps. And he was talking about there was one app in particular I think he paid like $20 for. And really, it was mostly for this type of presentation, just so he could kind of – it was a productivity type of app.
Elizabeth: So testing it out to see how it goes so that he could recommend it or not recommend it to people. That’s important when it comes to paying some change for some of these different apps and stuff that you might want to use, especially if you are going to ditch your binder, so to speak.
Elizabeth: I mean, this is, I hate to say it, a life or death situation, right? [Laughs]
Elizabeth: We always like to think that our events are a life or death situation, but they’re really not [Laughs].
Elizabeth: But anyway, there’s a lot riding on having access to the right information and having it secure and all these things, so you really do need to make sure that you’ve got the best technology and equipment. So it’s a great presentation. I’m glad they’re including it in the Conclave.
Jon: Yeah. And the rest of the lineup has some really fun sessions as well. Like the session I’m doing is on Sunday before lunch, and I know that like Roger Rickard is there, talking a bit about advocacy, and MaryAnne Bobrow, Sarah Michel, Mariela Mcllwraith. I know quite a number of people are going to be speaking there and there’s some really interesting good, solid topics. I actually know some of that because I helped work on the committee putting together the education for this. So, we’ve had a few months of discussions putting this slate of people together and we’re really proud of it.
Elizabeth: So if you attend and you like it, then congratulate Jon for all of his hard work. And if you don’t like it… [Laughs]
Jon: Then I had nothing to do with it.
Elizabeth: Then he had nothing to do with it [Laughs].
Jon: [Laughs] Absolutely!
Elizabeth: [Laughs] As we like to say.
Jon: [Laughs] It wasn’t me. It was some other guy.
Elizabeth: Yes. Exactly. Oh, it was a committee of people [Laughs].
Jon: Yes [Laughs].
Elizabeth: Right? No, I agree. I think the lineup is great, In fact, the three other people that are speaking at the same time I’m speaking, I wish I could go to all three of those sessions.
Jon: Right, right.
Elizabeth: That says a lot about the lineup of breakout sessions that they’ve put together. I think it’s great.
Jon: And there’s also a couple of nice social events. I know they’ve got a very nice welcome reception. Last year in Tampa, it was actually on a large boat. We went out and sailed around the bay. This year, I believe they’ve got it in a really kind of interesting-looking restored theatre downtown in Spokane. Obviously, the cities involved in this really pull out all the stops because like with any industry group, they want to show off their highlights and the really cool things about bringing your group there.
Jon: So, I know they’ve got a really nice convention center there and I believe it’s got a lot of like environmental technologies and things. The Northwest does a lot of kind of leadership in the sort of green things.
Elizabeth: Right [Laughs]. Well, all the tree huggers live up there, right?
Jon: Yes, yes.
Elizabeth: I can say that because I aspire to be one too.
Elizabeth: So I can call them that. And I think along those lines, I think the Conclave, I’m looking forward to – I’ve already seen them kind of using some best practices in the industry as far as putting this event together.
Elizabeth: So, sustainability, I would expect, is going to be right up there with the – I love that they asked us as speakers to submit either videos or articles about our topic, which they have put online so you can see on the – by the way, the website is conventionindustry.org.
Elizabeth: And then, I believe you should be able to find the Conclave from there. But I’ve seen them already using some best practices in putting this event together. So I expect a lot of them and from them and I think they’re going to deliver.
Jon: Well, and one other thing that I neglected to mention as well – besides the dates – at the very beginning was this is also where they do a lot of exam development and the mock exam. So, as a CMP, it’s a really good opportunity for anyone to give back a little bit to the community of CMPs and help the next group of people along and really make sure that they’re getting accurate information and that the tests are really covering the materials that they need to cover because we both know, and everyone out there knows, how rapidly the industry has been changing in so many different ways. Using tablets, using social media – all of these things were not an issue five years ago.
Elizabeth: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, one of the only complaints I always hear from people on this, the CIC manuals, which is the books that people use to study for the CMP exam, is that specifically in the area of technology, it seems like it’s always out of date by the time it goes to print.
Elizabeth: So, Jon and I are also lucky enough to be on that committee that’s revising the manual that will be coming out. I’m assuming it’s going to be coming out by the end of the year or whatever. Sometime this year.
Jon: Yeah. It usually comes out in the fall.
Elizabeth: Yeah. So, for us, it’s a great opportunity to be part of that process that Jon was describing. Being a part of the exam development and just giving back in that way as well.
Jon: So, we definitely encourage folks, if they have the opportunity, to attend this year. Again, it’s June 8, 2013 through June 10th. Saturday through Monday. So they’ve tried to set it up where you don’t have to miss a lot of time out of the office, and yet you get some really good solid education.
Jon: And a chance to kind of mix and mingle with a very interesting and very experienced group of people from the industry.
Elizabeth: Yeah. I’m looking forward to that for sure.
Jon: So, hopefully we’ll see you there, maybe in one of our sessions. And if you’ve listened to the podcast, come up and tap us on the shoulder and say, “Hey! I heard about it from your podcast.”
Elizabeth: Yeah. Or if any of you have any questions or comments about the CMP or anything remotely related to any of these, Jon and I would love to answer your questions too. So you can always comment or send us a message through the podcast, through the website.
Jon: Right. Absolutely. Keep those cards and letters coming [Laughs].
Elizabeth: There you go! [Laughs]
Jon: There’s an old anachronism, right?
Elizabeth: Yup, yup!
Jon: So, I guess with that, we’ll wrap up for today. Thank you again for listening. Thank you, Elizabeth, for being on today.
Elizabeth: Thank you!
Jon: And we will talk to you next time! So for the podcast, have a great week!
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