Posts filed under ‘Events’

Thoughts on improving the attendee experience where it matters. By John Toner

As we head into the fall Tradeshow season, the article below, from the Wall Street Journal, reminded me that all cultures love fairs. Trade events are a part of the fair industry. It is our duty, our calling, and at the end of the day our paycheck responsibility to keep that love alive for the event industry. We all need it and crave it. You can find the article here:

Our Love Affair with the Fairs

That brings me to the next article that I read in the retail industry trade press over the weekend. It talks about the front end of the store (think about our registration areas):

The Front-End Checkout: A Micro-Economic Model of the Store

What can we as young professionals do to challenge conventional wisdom and make the registration areas of our events the greatest place to be? I know I got my start in the Tradeshow industry working United’s registration desk, and still to this day it is where I like to hang out and greet everyone and say goodbye to all the important buyers at our event. I know we like to spend our time thinking about the exhibitors, but at the end of the day what are we doing to make the life of the attendee better and more profitable? We have scaled down so much the entrance to our shows (or some of us have) that we miss out on opportunities to sell/promote items that our industries are doing. And at the end of the day can we make badge pickup more fun?

John Toner V
Office: 202-303-3424

September 21, 2010 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

Plan Meetings and Events that Appeal to the Next Generation

Jeanavive Janssen Chair of IAEE Young Professionals and IAEE Secretary Nora Johnson will both be participating in a Live Webinar on June 30th about Planning Meetings and Events that Appeal to the Next Generation of Executives/Attendees.  Here is our Power Point Presentation from the Webinar (we had a fancier version but it doesn’t print well)

For more information visit: Meeting News

Jeanavive Speaker Meeting News

June 18, 2008 at 12:44 pm 4 comments

Berkshire Hathaway – Event Review – Part 2



By: Nora Johnson

During the first weekend of May, I attended my first-ever Shareholder meeting: the 2008 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. From a meeting perspective, it was fascinating. From a business perspective, it was brilliant.

The only General Session, per se, took place on Saturday, May 3. The format was simple, yet very effective: sit, watch a clever cartoon and listen to general Q&A for the remainder of the day. I cannot speak about the specifics of the featured cartoon, but I must say that if you ever get the chance to attend one of their Annual Meetings, this was a treasure. Lessons and laughter; that’s all there is to it.

The Q&A session was unlike others I had seen. The questions were not previewed and selected prior to the meeting. In other words, the entire meeting was not scripted and staged. It was refreshing. People from across the world, across different age groups and with different motivations for attending stepped forth to ask their questions. Whether it was a question from a 12 year old boy or an international investor, all questions were treated with the same respect. Open and oftentimes humorously honest answers were given. The effect was one that bred confidence and ease.

Regarding business, I had been curious about the events that would take place around the main session. Why did I consider the business aspect of this meeting brilliant? Simple. Show the value of what you represent and offer by turning your Shareholders into your consumers. The major functions either took place at Borsheim’s (a jewlery store) that was adjacent to other store chains that fell under the Berkshire Hathaway umbrella or at the famous Nebraska Furniture Mart.

One not only became more invested in the various aspects of the company because they got to see and experience the brands and products beyond the exhibit booth, but because THEY invested IN Berkshire Hathaway as they kept the sales teams on their feet and the registers rolling throughout the entire weekend.

How simply wonderful it is to contribute to the success of your investment. Better than exhibits and traditional giveaways, attendees experienced the products and services, chose what they would take home with them to remember Berkshire Hathaway and became financially invested themselves (as they paid for what they chose to bring home with them!). Ultimately, they are bonded tighter to Berkshire Hathaway than they had been before. The best part: they are eagerly looking forward to do it all over again next year.

June 18, 2008 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment

Berkshire Hathaway Conference – Event Review – Part 1



On May 3, 2008, I sat in a large arena; just one individual of more than 31,000 individuals who traveled to Omaha to listen to the words of wisdom of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. The net worth of the individuals in the arena was staggering, particularly with both Warren Buffett and Bill Gates present at the front of the arena. However, what stood out the most was that these successful individuals, by most standards, were indeed individuals: living, breathing, talking, thinking individuals.

They seemed to wear their success easily, yet one knows that it is not always easy to carry such success. As individuals, the people in the arena had grown up, worked hard and accomplished many feats, both “big” and “small.” Impressions from looking and listening included: success, humility, goodwill, determination, fun and conviction. It was inspiring, special and humbling.

During the Q&A session, which extended from the morning into the afternoon, individuals from all over the world stepped up to the microphones to ask questions that were burning in their minds. Most of these individuals came early to sit in designated areas just for the chance to ask their one question. As this was a shareholder meeting, I had anticipated that the questions and discussion would flow towards Berkshire Hathaway and the state of the economy. I was pleasantly surprised.

While questions were asked about the company and economy, many more were asked about life. Both Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger were so well respected that people tapped into their perspectives on life, careers, politics, economics, giving and much more.

These two men were more than their company. One could argue that respect for these two men stemmed from the success of their company, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t a better understanding of the bottom line that people sought, but a better understanding of how to live and how to approach all that is around us.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to realize and remember that we are more than our jobs, tasks and performance; that we are people who are living, working, thinking and growing together? When we remember who we are, what we believe in and what we’re working for, the rest falls into place. In so many words, one recurring theme throughout the day was that if you can do what you love, do what you’re good at, work toward what you believe in and have fun, you are well on your way to being successful.

June 18, 2008 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

IAEE Robert L. Krakoff Future Leaders Institute

As a Young Professional you should really consider attending the Future Leaders Institute. I attended in 2007.  It was a great learning and networking opportunity. The Institute led me to my current role of being the Chair of the IAEE Young Professionals Committee – Jeanavive Janssen – Event Productions Inc. 2007 Future Leader Institute Alumni

An intimate learning experience, the IAEE Robert L. Krakoff Future Leaders Institute, Sponsored by ICAT Logistics, Inc. brings together 30 individuals interested in learning more about themselves so they can be effective strategists, team contributors, group facilitators, innovators, learners, coaches and much more. A highly interactive curriculum integrates theory and practice to ensure Institute participants leave capable of both thinking better and doing better.

Through your active participation gain a greater understanding of:

  • Your personal and professional values and how they affect the choices you make.
  • Your own leadership/work style and how to leverage your strengths and manage around your weaknesses.
  • How effective teams and work groups form, what inhibits groups from achieving synergy, and what desirable interventions leaders make to enhance group effectiveness.
  • What is required to “mobilize others to want to struggle for shared aspirations” (The Leadership Challenge definition of leadership) and how well you currently engage in the behaviors most associated with leadership effectiveness.
  • Processes and tools for increasing your strategic understanding of needs, trends, issues and how to create and manage processes and solutions that deliver the greatest value.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Yes No
1) What once started out as a job for you has now turned into your career and you want to become a better contributor to this profession that now is an important part of your identity.

Yes No
2) The quick fix solutions and top ten list ideas that once served you well are no longer adequate for the challenges and opportunities you face in your work.

Yes No
3) You have been around long enough that you know it is helpful to shake things up, to step away from your natural comfort zone, and to stretch your thinking about what you do and how you do it.

Yes No
4) You see the integral value that events and exhibitions offer to your organization’s stakeholders and you want to develop your ability to be more strategic and generate more innovation.

Yes No
5) While you have developed an expansive list of people you can call if you need someone else’s take on a situation, you are more interested in developing more meaningful relationships with a group of colleagues that can be a source of community for you now and in the years ahead.

If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these descriptions, then you should apply to attend the IAEE Robert L. Krakoff Future Leaders Institute, sponsored by ICAT Logistics, Inc.!

May 2, 2008 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

Table Talk: Threads & Themes from Multi-Generational World Cafe

Table Talk: Threads & Themes from table conversations amongst Multi-Generational participants:

- “The truth is best understood from multiple perspectives”
- “Consider hope as the antidote to fear”
- “To live a good life I need the other generations”
- “Now I understand career confusion can happen at all ages!”
- “What works for everyone at Multi-Gen Cafés? Everyone is a teacher, everyone is a student = collective intelligence”
- What else could happen: More humble, End of Separation, Becoming Ageless
- “Am I ready and able to re-energize the commons in my life?”
- Theology of Space – what could that look like?
- “I’m happy to be my age”
- How can we F2F and the online/texting generations, learn from each other?
- What are the challenges of being an “I.M.P.” In the moment person; in all generations?
- How might we use YouTube to connect live Café events in a region?
- Lots of interest among generations in learning more about each other
- Children are full participants in this conversation
- We see threads, themes, running from generation to generation that weave/connect us
- Age doesn’t seem like such a big differentiator
- Notice how is some cultures generations are connected, for example people known by name of father and father’s father
- Want to get together with various age groups again — noticing similarities and differences among us
- As parents some of us make a point to parent differently than our parents did –some good parenting styles were passed along, too, although many focus more on being different than their parents were.
- Multi-Generational Gatherings balance between smaller and larger community

April 2, 2008 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

MacWorld – Event Review

One of the Young Professionals programs we are developing is reviewing various events for multi-generational attractiveness. If you are a Young Professional who would like to contribute reviews contact, Jeanavive or if you have an event you would like to offer a behind the scene tour of we will connect you with Young Professionals in your community who want to write reviews.

MacWorld – by Jeanavive Janssen

Macworld T-shirtsMacWorld, well what can I say…its like a Rock Concert, my friends from all walks of life and interests were talking about this event weeks before it happened on their Blogs. People waited in line to get in, there were even tie-dye T-shirts…

JOIN THE COMMUNITY, gleams like a beacon on their website – the community provides features found in social networking sites so attendees can stay connected all year, share photos, discuss the event and much more. If your event can’t afford to create its own social networking site consider utilizing Facebook / Myspace / or Group Features (YP how-article in the works).

If you missed some of the MacWorld action you can also order a DVD set of the conference sessions or view them in your web browser for FREE – now that is a great service!

The Apple booth was clearly the height of activity; with its theater screen and sound system featuring ‘Transformer’ clips…blurring the rest of the exhibitors in comparison. Being my first time at this event I assumed all the exhibitors would have had a feast for the eyes but most echoed of a standard trade show space. There was an exhibitor that didn’t make the cut but I give him an ‘A’ for creativity, his booth furnishings were constructed from his cardboard shipping boxes taped together – perhaps may be a fun idea to utilize at a Green Event.

3 more reviews in the works by Jeanavive.
Events: MPI Meet Different, WonderCo, Carbon America

March 5, 2008 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

Multi-generational World Café Gathering – Alameda, CA

Sunday, January 20th from 1-5 PM for a special Multi-generational World Café Gathering – Alameda, CA

Our goal is to create an opportunity for people from many decades of life — teens to eighties — to experience conversation and deepening of relationships across seeming boundaries of age differences. We will discover new ways to learn from one another and find out what will emerge from our cafe conversations.

January 20, 2008 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

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