Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals

Northstar Meetings Group

Hosted by Northstar Meetings Group, Eventful invites you to listen in on insightful conversations about hot topics in the meetings and events industry. Tune in for interviews and analysis of the editorial coverage in Meetings & Conventions, Successful Meetings, Meeting News and Incentive.

All Episodes

The job market has swung wildly over the past two years, but as in-person meetings have returned, so have planners’ opportunities for career advancement. As demand for skilled candidates has grown, meeting professionals are likely sensing that now might be a good time to make that career move they’ve been considering.   Dawn Penfold, president and founder of MeetingJobs.com, shares her insights on the shifting market for employment opportunities on this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals. Penfold, who has been helping meeting professionals find new positions for more than 30 years, speaks with Northstar Meetings Group’s managing editor, Sarah Braley about a range of career-focused topics, including:   Which industries are seeing the strongest opportunities and what skills are in demand (2:15)   How candidates are being more creative in their benefits requests, including flex time and even loan repayment (4:00)   How much the standard salary increase from one job to another has changed (7:45)   Why the right request during an interview could make a candidate look more appealing to an employer (11:20)   What skills distinguish the most in-demand and resilient candidates (14:10) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 23

16 min 55 sec

At the United Nations climate-change conference, COP26, now underway in Glasgow, Scotland, governments and industries from around the globe are presenting the strides they've made toward reducing the carbon footprint of their respective operations. Where does the events industry stand? We asked Fiona Pelham, CEO of Positive Impact Events, to discuss the progress to date and the challenges ahead. (For highlights, see related story [LINK.]   Among topics covered:   • What is COP26 and why should it be important to meeting professionals? (1:50)   • What net zero means, and the significance of pledging to achieve net zero by a given date (3:00)   • How the Race to Zero lets small- to medium-size businesses make a commitment and provide the resources needed to get there (6:00)   • Where meetings industry associations stand on unifying members behind climate initatives (8:20)   • How simply making a commitment helps the events industry at large (11:35)   • Why this is a difficult topic for the travel and events sector (12:10)   • How to help us advance as an industry by asking your suppliers to make the net-zero pledge (21:13)   • Why sustainability awards and designations don't do anything to raise the profile of our sector in business and government (22:25)   • What needs to happen for in-person events to exist in a net-zero future (25:10) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 3

27 min 10 sec

Managing Covid tests and mask mandates can get complicated even for a small gathering—but what about a high-profile series of events across multiple venues, in which you're testing everyone from frontline workers to Lady Gaga herself? That's the situation event planners found themselves in as they prepared for the grand opening of Los Angeles' Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. To pull off this feat, health-testing company Co-Protect had to manage thousands of tests, masks and other services, ensuring the numerous galas, press events and openings went off without a hitch.   On this custom episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we discuss this event with Darren K. Green, the chief sales officer for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, and Tom Penn, cofounder and CEO of Co-Protect, as well as cofounder of the Los Angeles Football Club and a longtime sports analyst for ESPN.   We delve into the specifics of the Academy Museum opening, what lessons it offers for meeting planners, and how Co-Protect's partnership with LA Tourism is helping elevate the security and safety of every event held in the city.   Among the topics discussed in this episode:   How Tom Penn's experience in the professional sports world helped him identify the potential of customized face masks for events, including business events (2:25)   What Co-Protect and LA Tourism's partnership means for meeting planners (4:40)   How the complex and high-profile opening of the new Academy Museum was held with a high level of safety and minimal logistical challenges thanks to this partnership (7:00)   Why a consistent, comprehensive approach to testing is key for large-scale international events such as E3, Adobe and Japanese Anime, all being held in Los Angeles in the next year (14:05)   How planners can navigate the frequently shifting mandates on vaccines and testing, particularly for international events (15:05)   This episode was created in partnership with Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Oct 18

26 min 44 sec

Their turnkey solution helps event professionals ensure their L.A. events and attendees are in compliance with the latest health protocols. Working on in-person meetings these days, event professionals have had to spend considerable time ensuring the safety and health of their attendees. To help share these additional responsibilities, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board has partnered with CLEAR, creator of the CLEAR Health Pass, to give attendees an easy way to verify a range of health information, including Covid test results, vaccination status and more. This turnkey solution helps planners ensure their L.A. events are in compliance with the latest protocols and lets attendees know their health is being taken seriously.   In this custom episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we speak with Darren K. Green, chief sales officer for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, and Jerome Pickett, senior vice president and general manager of sports and entertainment for CLEAR, about this partnership. Among the topics discussed:   • How CLEAR has evolved in the last year to meet the shifting needs of meetings and events (3:45)   • How its partnership with Los Angeles Tourism helps meeting planners get their attendees to comply with health protocols (7:30)   • How this approach to attendee health can be applied to events both large and small (10:00)   • How to mitigate the challenges presented by shifting restrictions and requirements for in-person gatherings, in Los Angeles and elsewhere (11:15)   • How meeting planners' priorities around health and compliance have changed recently (14:00)   • What's next for meeting safety (18:30)   This podcast was created in partnership with Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Oct 5

22 min 54 sec

We are in a particularly crucial moment in the evolution of events and event technology. The pandemic accelerated many trends towards digitization that were embraced by the industry, because really we had no choice. But now, industry members are taking a hard look at what we've learned so far and what our strategies should be moving.   In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we share excerpts from the recent MeetingsTech Roundtable 2021. Moderated by Michael Shapiro, executive editor for Northstar Meetings Group, it includes a number of insights from top industry thought leaders, including entrepreneur and advisor Marco Gilberti, CEO of Vesuvio Ventures; tech expert Dahlia El Gazzar, the founder and force behind DAHLIA+ Agency; and marketing and events executive Cathy Song Novelli, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Hubilo.   Listen for some highlights of our discussion, or watch the full roundtable on demand at northstarmeetingsgroup.com/MeetingsTech2021. Topics from this conversation include:   How organizers are learning because they have permission to experiment and innovate with virtual events  (4:57)   Why it's key for planners to move past the desire to return to how things were in 2019 (7:00)   How we need to go beyond turning all of our events into basic webinars (10:00)   Why we should think less about "hybrid events" and more about the hybrid world (11:49)   Why 2021 is different because we should have a digital strategy in place if we cancel in person (15:42) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 28

20 min 23 sec

IMEX America, the meetings industry trade show that will take place Nov. 9-11 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, announced last week that all attendees and exhibitors will be required to be fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization. Carina Bauer, CEO of the Imex Group, spoke with Lisa Grimaldi, Northstar Meeting Group’s incentives and destinations editor, about the decisions that led to the show’s updated health and safety policy; how attendees and exhibitors have reacted to the news (mostly positive!) and how participants will be able to register their vaccination status. Bauer also discussed the hurdles caused by the U.S.’s strict entry requirements for European and U.K. attendees.   Among the topics discussed are:   • The considerations that organizers took into account before deciding to require vaccinations (2:50)   • How registrants have responded to the news (5:30)   • How the IMEX team is preparing for additional challenges related to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements (10:30)   • What visitors can expect from IMEX America this year (13:50)   • New offerings, including "walking, talking" education sessions and back-of-the-house tours throughout Las Vegas (15:00)   • How this year's show will "bring the outside in" with creative space designs (16:20) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 14

20 min 38 sec

Attorney Jonathan Howe offers advice on the latest legal questions facing the meetings and events industry. As the Covid-19 Delta variant has shaken up plans for many upcoming in-person events, meeting planners are increasingly finding themselves forced to make decisions with only the slightest idea of what the future might hold. It’s more important than ever to ensure legal protections are in place. To discuss what options are available to event planners, industry attorney Jonathan T. Howe, Esq., president and founding partner of Howe & Hutton Ltd., took questions during a Q&A session led by Northstar Meetings Group’s managing editor, Sarah J.F. Braley. For this episode of Eventful, we include highlights from that conversation, including: -Whether a “pandemic clause” exists, and where such concerns should be addressed in a contract (2:05) -How to add flexibility into your hotel agreements (6:20) -How contracts are being adjusted to take hybrid events into account (11:45) -How corporate travel restrictions will impact attrition (12:10) -What challenges are presented by having to rebook an event that was already rebooked (16:30) This episode is sponsored by Visit Long Beach. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 31

21 min 38 sec

Meeting planners are getting nervous again — with good reason, according to risk-management expert Bruce McIndoe. If we don’t act collectively to reduce the spread of Covid-19, we’ll be grappling with the virus for years, he posits. Listen to his discussion with Northstar’s Loren Edelstein in this episode of Eventful. Among best practices for meetings, McIndoe explains why everyone should be wearing masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.   Among topics discussed:   • What the virus is likely to do over the next few months (2:00)   • Why everyone should be wearing masks, whether or not they’re vaccinated (4:00)   • Challenges and solutions for meetings and events (6:30)   • Why a number of companies have decided not to hold in-person events until Q1 2022 (10:20)   • The reasons why unless vaccination rates are high globally, the virus will spread and new variants will emerge (11:30)   • The high probability of long-term health problems among those who’ve had Covid, including cognitive decline (14:30)    • Best practices for meetings and events, and common errors to avoid (18:30) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 24

26 min 51 sec

Destinations International’s Jack Johnson discusses why destination marketers should focus first on making their cities better places to live.   We generally think of destination marketing organizations as focused on bringing visitors to their destination — attracting outside business to help support the local economy. But Jack Johnson, chief advocacy officer for Destinations International, maintains that DMOs should be more concerned with how they can better their cities for the local community.   In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Johnson speaks with Northstar Meetings Group vice president and content director Loren Edelstein, discussing why it’s more important than ever for DMOs to find ways to support their own destination, serving as a local asset and viewing residents as customers. Recorded at DI’s Annual Convention in Baltimore, the conversation took place just before the organization published its updated “Community Shared Values Workbook,” laying out nine core values for destination marketers.   Among the topics discussed:   Why DMOs should be more proactive in sharing data about economic development with destination partners, ensuring everyone feels included in the tourism economy (6:45)   How the funding model for DMOs should be reformed to ensure greater security for the industry (10:30)   How funding sources could be expanded beyond hotel taxes, to include “anyone who benefits from the positive portrayal of the destination” (13:25)   The two things DMOs should change immediately in the way they do business (15:30)   Why values are going to play an increasingly important role in attracting meetings and events (17:05) This episode is sponsored by Visit Long Beach. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 17

22 min 43 sec

Jason Gewirtz, editor and publisher of SportsTravel, has been covering the Olympics for several years, but this year's Games have been an experience like no other. Even with no spectators permitted, an estimated 50,000 people will visit Tokyo for this year's competitions. All were issued extensive Covid-safety protocols to follow before and during the event.   In this week's episode of Eventful, Gewirtz shares his experience with Loren Edelstein, vice president and content director for Northstar Meetings Group, and explains how the Olympics might set an example in Covid safety for other large-scale global events.   Among the points that were discussed:   • All participants needed two negative Covid tests prior to arrival, and then were tested again at the airport — a six-hour process! (2:05)   • There was a lot of criticism about whether this event should even take place, with Covid rates in Tokyo even higher than they were last year when the Games were postponed. (6:25)   • Logistics involved an extensive transportation system connecting the Olympic venues with about 200 area hotels. Public transit was off limits, per Covid protocols. (9:40)   • Media members were required to wear masks at all times. (10:55)   • For athletes on the medal stands, the 30 seconds that were allowed for photographers to get pictures of the competitors without their masks was not quite long enough. (11:30)   • Extensive and well-organized testing throughout the event was critical to the safety plan. (15:00)   • The loss of revenue from tickets sales and spectator spending is financially devastating to the host city. (18:45)   • Planners of large-scale sporting events, meetings and conventions can learn from what worked — and what didn't — in providing a Covid-safe international gathering. (21:45)   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 3

25 min 34 sec

Event Specialists’ Mahoganey Jones shares tips for leveraging audience data, monetization opportunities and more.   The restrictions on in-person gatherings over the past 16 months gave meeting planners the opportunity to embrace digital events. But for Mahoganey Jones, founder and CEO of Toronto-based Event Specialists, her company had already been “going virtual” for more than a decade.   In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Jones discusses how she used her experience as a longtime producer of virtual events, and how the growth of hybrid is opening up new ways for planners to extend the life of their meetings. Here she discusses how to drive value before and after the event itself through smart monetization opportunities, digging in to audience data and more.   Among the points Jones discusses:   Why planners must focus on their core strengths, whether they are creating a virtual, in-person or hybrid event. (3:40)   How a “paid upgrade” approach can help planners monetize their virtual events. (5:55)   How to stand out in a crowded marketplace. (9:35)   How an affiliate model can be used to create additional funding opportunities. (10:30)   Why limiting space for in-person events can be an advantage. (15:20)   Why the post-event process is a crucial, but often overlooked, piece of the event marketing cycle. (19:15) This episode is sponsored by Hubilo, the hybrid platform built for event excellence. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 20

21 min 52 sec

The events sector must transform itself in order to address the issue of global climate change, stresses Fiona Pelham, CEO of Positive Impact Events. With COP26 — the United Nation’s 26th Climate Change Conference — just months away, the industry must take action now.   COP26, set for Oct. 31 - Nov. 12, 2021, in Glasgow, will bring parties together to accelerate action toward meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This should be of vital importance to meeting professionals, says Pelham. Coming out of a year where we saw a dramatic reduction in meetings and travel, we are now challenged to resume those activities in a much more sustainable matter.   The June 29 launch event, “Road to COP26: Events Sector Transformation,” aims to compel at least 1,000 meeting and events professionals to commit to a carbon-reduction target and begin the necessary action to achieve it. The program, which provides tailored resources and education, is ideal for small to medium enterprises that don’t already have a carbon target, says Pelham.   Among the points she addresses on this episode of Eventful, the Podcast for Meeting Professionals, are:   Why planners should now be seeking ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their events (8:35)   Why being proactive on climate change initiatives can help planners avoid having tougher restrictions being imposed on them later (10:00)   How the discussion about climate action provides an opportunity to trumpet the importance of events (12:55)   What a “sustainable event” looks likes (14:20)   The business opportunities that are created by focusing on sustainable meetings (20:35) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 13

25 min 46 sec

John Nawn explains how creating impactful hybrid and digital events requires thorough analysis well in advance of the gatherings.   Event planners must think strategically, whether their meetings are virtual, in-person or a hybrid version of the two. John Nawn, cofounder of Event Strategy Network, maintains that planners too often get caught up in the technical details of an event and lose track of the big-picture stuff: specifically, how a particular event fits into their overall business goals.   Nawn delves into greater detail on this topic in his just-released "A Planner's Guide to Digital and Hybrid Events," which can be downloaded at northstarmeetingsgroup.com/HybridGuide. In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Nawn discusses specifically what a planner should be assessing in the early stages of developing a virtual or hybrid event.   Among the points he covers:   • How to conduct a needs analysis to clarify an event's mission and value proposition (3:30)   • How to build a team that can best execute a technically complex event (8:50)   • Why selling "generic, prepackaged opportunities based on tiers" is a dead sponsorship model (14:25)   • How to apply to in-person and hybrid events the lessons we've learned about gathering attendee data during virtual events (16:40) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 6

22 min 1 sec

Pride Month is here. A time to celebrate, support and uplift members of the LGBTQ+ community. While diversity issues have taken on greater prominence over the past year, there is still much work to be done, and the meetings industry is well-positioned to lead that charge.   On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Derrick Johnson chair of the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association and chief diversity officer and director of event strategy for Talley Management Group speaks with Northstar Meetings Group's senior associate editor Elise Schoening about how planners can better support the LGBTQ+ community. Among the points discussed:   -What sets this year's Pride apart from that of previous years (2:55).   -LGBT Meeting Professionals Association's plans for the coming year (3:40).   -How planners can seek out inclusive destinations and use their influence to encourage greater inclusivity in the sites they select (12:35).   -Details about LGBT MPA's first ever educational event, Day of Diversity, taking place on June 30 (16:30). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 23

20 min 27 sec

A new white paper from ADMEI lays out ways planners can strengthen their relationships with destination management partners. One of the key resources for many meeting planners is the destination management company that helps them select a location for their event, scout venues and assist in almost every aspect of a gathering. When a planner needs local, insider knowledge they lean on their DMC partners. But the halt to many in-person events that began last spring revealed the vulnerable position in which many DMCs find themselves and the disadvantages of their current business model. This issue is the focus of “Evolution of the DMC,” a white paper produced by the Association of Destination Management Executives International. Drawing on industry research and focus groups, this report suggests best practices for adjusting the current arrangement between many DMCs and meeting planners, providing a way forward for a more open partnership that will benefit all involved. The full white paper is available at northstarmeetingsgroup.com/DMCwhitepaper. On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we spoke with two people instrumental in this effort: Lorenzo Pignatti, ADMEI president as well as CEO and founder of Italy-based TerraEvents, and Jill Tate, CEO of Corinthian Events & Newport Hospitality, a DMC Network Company and a member of the ADMEI Focus Group/Task Force. They discussed the ways the current business model often falls short and some simple measures that could create a better situation for meeting planners, DMCs and attendees. Among the points discussed: How the pandemic exacerbated longstanding problems with the model for many DMC-planner partnerships. (4:20) How a more simplified RFP process could benefit planners as well as destination management companies. (7:55) How a letter of engagement can alleviate one of the biggest weaknesses in the current RFP process. (11:37) Why now is a good time to rethink the industry’s standard approach to site inspections. (14:10) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 9

22 min 4 sec

Mary-Ann Urbanovich discusses how the Pandemic Compliance Advisor designation makes health an enduring priority. As more face-to-face events resume, health protocols should be considered in every stage of planning. Efforts to establish best practices are ensure that they are being followed bring a new set of responsibilities to the process, from the earliest stages of venue selection through post-event follow-up. This imperative led three meeting planners to develop the Pandemic Compliance Advisor certification, which trains industry professionals on the specific, practical steps needed to keep their attendees and staff safe, even as conditions are changing rapidly. On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we speak with Mary-Ann Urbanovich, MS, CMP-HC, meeting manager at healthcare education company HMP Global. Last year, Urbanovich and two fellow healthcare meeting planners — Heather Seasholtz, director of Americas operations for the Drug Information Association; and Shannon Majewski, education program coordinator for the department of pathology at Medical College of Wisconsin — saw a need in the industry for a program that provided members with an end-to-end understanding of how to ensure event safety in the midst of a pandemic. They launched the three-hour PCA course in beta form last October and more than 2,000 industry members have taken part since (the next course takes place June 4, and Eventful listeners can sign up for 15 percent discount with the code NSM15). Here, Urbanovich shares how the PCA program was developed (3:00), why organizations should include a pandemic compliance advisor as a distinct member within their planning team (9:45) and how best practices in attendee health continue to evolve as face-to-face meetings return (20:20). This episode is brought to you by Visit Long Beach. Long Beach Live. Revolutionizing the Event Industry. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 25

23 min

MeetingPlay's Joe Schwinger discusses how to get the most value from events with both in-person and virtual audiences. After a year in which most found themselves only attending events remotely, the value of in-person has never been clearer. But the meetings industry has also seen the many advantages that virtual events can provide, including greater accessibility, availability and data-collecting opportunities. As travel and gathering restrictions continue to loosen, planners are looking to create events that tap into the best of both the in-person and virtual worlds — in a word, hybrid. On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we speak with Joe Schwinger, CEO of MeetingPlay, about how his company has shifted from planning in-person meetings to all-virtual, and is now helping clients leverage a hybrid approach. He discusses how a year of virtual events has shifted audience expectations of in-person (5:20), how organizations can manage the extra costs of connecting with both on-site and remote attendees (11:25) and why there are more options than ever to generate revenue with both audiences (17:15). This episode is brought to you by Visit Long Beach. Long Beach Live. Revolutionizing the Event Industry. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 11

23 min 8 sec

The conference for online creators transformed its annual gathering into a year-long online offering.  Pulling off a successful virtual event is no easy task, especially when there are thousands of attendees to cater to, but it can also present opportunities to rethink your entire event strategy. Such was the case for VidCon, an annual conference for digital creators that typically attracts 75,000 attendees. It was one of the first events canceled due to Covid-19 last March. But rather than cancel outright, the organizers decided to transform the four-day, in-person conference into a summer-long digital program. It proved successful enough that VidCon was soon expanded into a year-long online offering. In the end, its 2020 numbers far surpassed that of previous years.  In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Jim Louderback, general manager and senior vice president of VidCon, speaks with Northstar Meetings Group’s associate editor Elise Schoening about how they created new opportunities by embracing digital. Louderback discusses the process of bringing an event of this size online, including how to generate engagement opportunities with such a large gathering (4:00), how to tailor content to a truly global audience (6:10) and VidCon’s new metrics for success (12:05).  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 29

23 min 3 sec

Global Wellness Institute’s Nancy Davis discusses how the pandemic has transformed the way we think about attendee wellness. As meeting planners navigated the Covid-19 pandemic this past year, concerns about attendee wellness transformed how events were held — or, in most cases, not held. Now, as vaccinations become more widespread and in-person gatherings are poised to fully return, it looks like one of the lasting effects of this disruptive year may be a continuing, elevated focus on the health of attendees. On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Nancy Davis, the chief creative officer and executive director for the Global Wellness Summit and Global Wellness Institute, discusses how planners’ approach to wellness at events is likely to change after the pandemic. She shares how meetings will be planned with “wellness at the core,” how planners are shifting to a more proactive approach in instituting health measures and the changes she is instituting at this year’s Global Wellness Summit. This episode is sponsored by Colombia, the most welcoming country in the world for events. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 27

24 min 29 sec

More than a year into a global pandemic, if there’s one thing meeting planners have learned, it’s that connecting with at-home attendees presents distinct challenges. In the virtual environment, every detail needs to be reconsidered, from the flow of the agenda to education formats, marketing and more. Even as in-person events return, it’s important to consider welcoming virtual attendees for hybrid gatherings. To discuss these points, we spoke with Melissa Park, a global event producer who has specialized in creating events for the tech industry, first at Hortonworks data software company in California, and now as an independent planner based in Australia. She recently launched a masterclass on 7 Steps to Event Success. On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Northstar Meetings Group Deputy Editor Alex Palmer speaks to Park about how to keep attendee eyes on screens for virtual events.  This episode is sponsored by Colombia, the most welcoming country in the world for all events. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 13

17 min 35 sec

Jonathan Howe discusses the latest legal issues facing meeting planners. Can meeting planners require attendees to be vaccinated? And what privacy issues does this raise? These are among the thorny questions that meeting professionals have to consider as they plan safe in-person events. Jonathan Howe, president and founding partner of Howe & Hutton Ltd., and the leading legal mind on meetings law, recently shared his insights as part of Northstar Meetings Group’s webcast, “Ask the Attorney: New Legal Issues for Event Planners and Suppliers.”  On this week’s episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we share an excerpt of that conversation, moderated by Sarah Braley, managing editor for Northstar Meetings Group. Howe tackled a wide range of questions from the audience, and in this episode he also discusses liability protection for event hosts and venues (7:20), how cancellation clauses differ for hybrid events (11:23) and whether planners can put language into their contract that will ensure a full refund in the case of another pandemic (14:08).  Listen now, and to view the full, hour-long webcast now, go to northstarmeetingsgroup.com/LegalWebcast. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 31

18 min 56 sec

Bizly's Kevin Iwamoto discusses why now is the time for meeting professionals to speak out. Last week, a gunman killed eight people in Atlanta, six of whom were Asian-Americans, but this was not an isolated incident; according to the nonprofit organization Stop AAPI Hate, nearly 3,800 incidents of violence and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were reported over the past year. As it has grown increasingly urgent to address these issues, members of the meetings industry have raised their voices about what actions our community can take.   Prominent among these voices is Kevin Iwamoto, chief strategy officer of the event planning platform Bizly, who spoke with Northstar Meetings Group's associate editor Elise Schoening about the recent attacks, how fear of violence might make Asian Americans less likely to travel or attend events, and the continued lack of diversity within the meetings industry.   On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Iwamoto discusses how members of the meeting industry can help support the AAPI community (4:45), his own experiences with discrimination (9:45) and why leaders in the industry must speak up about these issues now (12:30).   Listen to the in-depth conversation in our latest episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, and remember to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. And be sure to register for Northstar's upcoming webcast, Diversity Now: How to Plan a Truly Inclusive Meeting, taking place April 21 at 2 p.m. EDT. Learn more at northstarmeetingsgroup.com/DiversityNow See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 23

18 min 11 sec

Brightcove’s David Bornstein discusses how they’re helping to transform the cultural event into must-watch TV.   In normal years, the month of March means people are about to flock in droves to Austin, Texas — home to South by Southwest. The gathering has become an increasingly high-profile cultural event, a conglomeration of an interactive media and tech conference with a concurrent film and music festival. But this year it's all happening online.   One of the entities helping to execute SXSW in its digital incarnation, beginning March 16, is Brightcove, which will provide the video platform through which the content will be delivered. On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Dave Bornstein, Brightcove’s field chief technology officer, discusses how the production of this year’s SXSW will differ from much of the virtual event content we've been consuming online over the past year.   In this conversation, Bornstein tells Michael Shapiro, Northstar Meetings Group’s editor of news and technology, about how his team is creating an event where the attendee “grabs their remote, not their keyboard” (4:18), how it balances scheduled content and viewers’ choices (8:45) and the unique challenges of producing content for an event such as SXSW (12:20). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 9

19 min 48 sec

Meetings consultant Liz Warwick discusses the EIC’s Code of Conduct and how attendees play a part in creating a safe event.   A safe gathering during the pandemic and beyond now requires everyone to take some responsibility in reducing health risks – attendees included. More than ever, actions taken by individual attendees — to follow social-distancing protocols, to wear masks and take other precautions — can have an effect on every other person at the event. How can planners get participants to buy into the necessity for individual responsibility?    Discussing this challenge on this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting professionals is Liz Warwick, current chair of the Events Industry Council’s Meeting and Event Redesign Workstream, which supports EIC’s Covid-19 Business Recovery Task Force. Warwick was instrumental in designing a new industry Code of Conduct, a template meeting planners can use when asking attendees to accept their own accountability.   Here, Warwick speaks with Sarah J.F. Braley, Northstar Meetings Group’s managing editor, about how attendees are increasingly responsible for ensuring event safety (1:50), how the Code of Conduct provides a framework that can be adapted to any organization (8:30), the effect vaccines will play in bringing back face-to-face gatherings safely (10:25) and how protocols can help to manage an attendee who does not want to wear a mask (12:05). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 2

15 min 15 sec

Travelocity founder Terrell Jones says digital health apps can restore confidence in flying and meeting.   How can we restore confidence in traveling and attending in-person events? Proof of a negative Covid test is required of international travelers entering the U.S., but that’s not the rule for domestic travel…yet. As vaccine distribution continues to expand, we’re likely to see some form of a digital Covid passport required for all travel, believes Terrell Jones, founder of Travelocity, Kayak and several other travel startups. He’s now working with governments and travel leaders to establish such digital records.   In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Loren Edelstein, vice president and content director for Northstar Meetings Group, speaks with Jones about these efforts, including whether it would make sense to conduct Covid testing at airports (3:55), how a globally accepted Covid passport could work (6:50) and whether meeting planners should be prepared to require such records from attendees (14:45). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Feb 23

25 min 48 sec

IAVM’s Mark Herrera discusses how risk assessment is evolving. When it comes to identifying and reducing event security risks, planners must navigate a constantly shifting landscape. Health concerns around Covid-19 continue to dominate most event professionals’ concerns, but over the last month worries about disruptions from civil unrest have taken on growing importance. In Northstar’s recent PULSE Survey, a number of respondents mentioned, unsolicited, that civil unrest is an issue that’s impacting their events. To address these issues, we spoke with Mark Herrera, director of education for the International Association of Venue Managers. Herrera brings more than two decades of law enforcement experience to this role, and he draws on that to train managers who host large gatherings. In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, he discusses what the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol could mean for venue security more broadly, as well as the strategies he teaches to help his members ensure that events are held safely. Herrera also will be a presenter at Northstar Meetings Group’s upcoming Back to Booking digital event, taking place on Feb. 23. Learn more at www.northstarmeetingsgroup.com/BacktoBooking See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Feb 12

20 min 28 sec

Elliott Ferguson discusses the Capitol riot, inauguration and the future of event security. While meeting planners had high hopes that the new year would be one of recovery, 2021 got off to a rocky start in January. In addition to a slow vaccine rollout, the attack on the Capitol raised new fears about event safety. On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Northstar Meetings Group Associate Editor Elise Schoening spoke with Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC and national chair of the U.S. Travel Association. Ferguson discussed what it was like to be in D.C. during the insurrection and shared what the CVB is doing to address planner concerns around civil unrest. He also discussed new hybrid and virtual event offerings available at the convention center and how the city is adapting to a changing meetings landscape. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Feb 3

17 min 46 sec

CEO Carina Bauer discusses what the cancellation means — and does not mean — for the meetings industry more broadly. Earlier this month, IMEX Group announced that for the second year in a row it would be cancelling its annual IMEX Frankfurt event, scheduled for May 2021. The news came as a reality check to many in the industry who hoped recent positive news around vaccine distribution would mean a quicker return to in-person meetings. But while the cancellation of one of the biggest events in the industry is a reminder that we are still a long way from a return to normalcy, it doesn't necessarily mean other event organizers will follow suit.  That's one of the points emphasized by IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer, who discusses how her organization came to the decision. On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Bauer not only discusses: Why there are still plenty of reasons for optimism for the industry's comeback (3:45) How the decision to cancel IMEX Frankfrurt may affect IMEX America in Las Vegas (6:45) Bauer's general thoughts about how the U.S. political climate could affect the industry more broadly (8:00) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jan 25

11 min 46 sec

As coronavirus cases continue to surge and vaccines are slowly rolled out, meeting planners should be considering protocols for in-person events when they are able to return. Beyond enacting measures to mitigate risks for participants, what will you do if an attendee tests positive for Covid-19 on-site?   On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we’re speaking with Sean Murray, president of Eurofins, a testing laboratory company that provides on-site Covid testing for workplaces and corporate events — and that recently had to respond to a positive Covid test at one of its own events.   Murray discusses how his organization responded to this health emergency and how Eurofins is delivering its testing services to the wider meeting and incentive market, including through its partnership with engagement firm ITA Group, Inc. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jan 6

22 min 47 sec

Samantha Evans of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, provides specific ways every meeting planner can ensure their virtual or hybrid event is welcoming to all.   The growth of digital and hybrid events this year has removed some barriers that attendees with physical disabilities might have faced at in-person events. But while digital events provide a new level of accessibility — outlined in a recent episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals — they also present new challenges for some attendees, which meeting planners should address.   To delve deeper into creating accessible digital events, we spoke with Samantha Evans, CAE, certification manager for the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, and an accessibility advocate and specialist in certification and credentials. In this episode, she outlines why planners need to think about their events’ accessibility from the earliest planning stages, while selecting a platform provider, making staffing decisions and more. In this in-depth conversation, Evans provides actionable steps every meeting planner should take to ensure all attendees feel welcome. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dec 2020

28 min 42 sec

Jason Dunn reflects on an eventful year and how far the industry has yet to go. While lack of diversity has long been an issue within the meetings industry, the death of George Floyd in May brought a renewed focus to the matter. But six months later, it's clear that there's still much work to be done.   In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we speak with Jason Dunn, group vice president of diversity sales and inclusion for the Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau. Dunn has been leading the charge for change within the meetings industry and spent the past year serving as chairman of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals. That term ended in November and he will now serve as co-chair of the Event Industry Council's new Equity Task Force.   Here, he discusses these roles as well as where the meetings industry stands now in terms of diversity and what changes he'd like to see in the year ahead. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dec 2020

21 min 54 sec

Holding meetings virtually can open up opportunities for those with disabilities.   One of the few silver linings of 2020 and the necessity to meet online vs. in person has been the way in which digital and hybrid events allow more attendees to take part, on their terms.   In advance of the United Nations' International Day of Disabled Persons on Dec. 3, we spoke with Rosemarie Rossetti, an accessibility expert and consultant, author and speaker who travels globally to discuss Universal Design and inclusive meetings and events. She told us how the changing landscape of meetings impacts those with disabilities, and how planners can ensure their events — whether digital, in-person or hybrid — are truly accessible. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dec 2020

16 min 11 sec

Risk management expert Bruce McIndoe on when group travel will safely return.   Covid-19 has upended many companies’ plans for group gatherings, leaving planners eager for answers on when they might be able to hold events in-person again and the associated risks. During the recent Global Incentive Summit Digital, hosted by Northstar Meetings Group, attendees were able to get these insights from a risk-management expert.   Bruce McIndoe, president of McIndoe Risk Advisory LLC and founder of WorldAware, shared the latest travel facts, figures and resources to help planners confidently promote group travel to their stakeholders and clients. On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we share his insights. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 2020

30 min 20 sec

SongDivision CEO Andy Sharpe shares how his company pivoted to online events. After pivoting to virtual events, meeting planners now face a new challenge: how to keep attendees engaged and battle Zoom fatigue? One option is to add a musical component to the event, whether it be bringing in A-list talent to perform, hosting a lip-sync battle or working with songwriters to create a team anthem.   “Whenever someone comes onto a session with us, if they’re getting Zoom fatigue in their current environment, we’re going to be a shot in the arm, a breath of fresh air for them," says Andy Sharpe, founder and CEO of SongDivision, which offers interactive musical experiences for events. SongDivision has worked on more than 400 digital events since the pandemic began. In this episode of the Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, SongDivision founder and CEO Andy Sharpe discusses how the company transitioned from working on live to virtual meetings, and how music can help unite virtual terms and liven up digital meetings. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 2020

9 min 54 sec

To address these new imperatives, Northstar Meetings Group recently hosted a webcast featuring Tracy Stuckrath, owner of Thrive! Meetings & Events and an expert on food safety and allergies. She discussed the range of questions that planners should be asking, from staff training to food sourcing and room design. In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we share some highlights from that conversation.   Listeners will learn:   • Why food safety practices should no longer be kept “behind the kitchen door” (beginning at 2:30 minutes)   • Ways F&B can present risks to attendees — even though the virus is not passed through food itself (6:40)   • How the pandemic is likely to impact food prices (13:45)   • How to modify the timing and layout of your meals to ensure social distancing (16:50)   • Why it might make sense to renegotiate F&B minimums (22:50)   To view the full webcast on-demand, and earn CMP credits, visit northstarmeetingsgroup.com/FoodWebcast. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 2020

25 min 36 sec

Since Covid-19 hit, so much has changed about how we approach travel, and how individuals and organizations assess the risks of going to another city or country. Today, event planners and individual business travelers must navigate new rules and restrictions, take additional precautions and manage a number of logistical steps that would have been hard to imagine just a few months ago. During Incentive Live, Northstar’s digital event, Suzanne Sangiovese, commercial and communications director at Riskline [LINK], presented on “The New Science of Travel.” She discussed each stage of the attendee’s journey, how it has changed in response to Covid-19 and steps every traveler should take to ensure their safety. On today’s episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we share those tips. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 2020

25 min 28 sec

David Kliman discusses navigating the current crisis and thriving in a challenging environment. When the Covid crisis hit, David Kliman, president of The Kliman Group, watched his business plans disintegrate. “The day before the lockdown, I had a full calendar — it was going to be a banner year,” he says. “A day after, I had an empty calendar.” In that way, he’s like many in the industry, who faced unprecedented difficulties as the pandemic hit. But instead of mourning his lost business or idly waiting for it to come back, he picked up the phone — reaching out to industry members to ask how he could help. In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, Kliman discusses what came out of those phone calls: The Events Industry Council’s APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force — an international team of industry thought leaders helping to curate and share accepted practices to help the industry recover. He also offers other tips for navigating the current crisis and positioning your business to meet the demands of a changed landscape for meetings and events. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 2020

26 min 59 sec

Bizly’s Kevin Iwamoto explains how meeting planners can adapt to a changed world.   The meetings industry as a whole is experiencing the five stages of grief, according to Bizly chief strategy officer Kevin Iwamoto, and a lot of professionals are stuck in the denial stage. We need to fast-track that psychological process, he says, so that we can reach the final stage — acceptance.   Iwamoto, a longtime industry consultant and thought leader, says that planners should be busy preparing for the many COVID-driven realities that will reshape live events for the long term. In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, he talks with Northstar’s Loren Edelstein about modifiying meeting agendas for an online audience, and preparing both in-person and remote audiences for a very different experience. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 2020

25 min 49 sec

Legal expert Jonathan Howe on the latest legal risks for meeting professionals.   The COVID-19 pandemic has created plenty of legal issues for the events industry, from grappling with force majeure clauses to negotiating attrition terms that make sense. As face-to-face events slowly begin to resume in some form, one question continues to pop up: Can planners be held liable if an attendee contracts COVID at their event? It’s a tricky matter, and one that was recently addressed by Jonathan Howe, founding partner of Chicago's Howe & Hutton law firm and Northstar Meetings Group's longtime legal expert.   Howe spoke with Loren Edelstein, vice president and content director for Northstar Meetings Group, during Interact Independent Planners, the latest in Northstar’s new series of half-day digital meetings for planners and suppliers. He discussed liability and contract issues and answered questions from the attendees who joined the event. On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we are featuring excerpts from that conversation. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 2020

32 min 10 sec

This certification helps assure event stakeholders of their venues’ commitment to health safety.   As the meetings industry continues to grapple with the many challenges presented by the COVID pandemic, venues are revamping their hygiene practices in order to mitigate health risks for visitors. To help in this effort, a new certificate program from the Global BioRisk Advisory Council, a division of the worldwide cleaning industry association ISSA, has been introduced with the aim of providing meeting planners and attendees the assurance that high levels of cleanliness and safety are being followed. A handful of hotels, convention centers and cities have already signed on to this GBAC Star program, with many more in the process of gaining accreditation.   On this episode of Eventful, we speak with Patricia Olinger, executive director of the Global BioRisk Advisory Council, as well as Dominic Bruno, director of facility operations for the Georgia World Congress Center — the first venue to receive the GBAC Star certification. They discuss the steps required for venues to attain certification and why this kind of program is key if face-to-face meetings are to return. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 2020

31 min 58 sec

How to enhance the meeting experience for both in-person attendees and remote viewers The freeze on live-in-person events in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many meeting planners to become more comfortable creating digital meetings. As physical gatherings slowly and haltingly return, these same planners can channel their new digital experience into the design of hybrid events, combining the in-person and remote audiences to accomplish meeting goals.                                                                          On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we speak with a pair of experts about best practices for these hybrid events. Alex Patriquin, founder and CEO of events management platform EventGeek, believes we should be preparing for the fact that all events will soon be hybrid. Ashanti Bentil-Dhue, founder and director of virtual and hybrid-event production company EventMind, shares the four key elements vital to the success of any hybrid gathering. They discuss how to engage each audience in distinct ways, how to leverage venue and sponsor partners to enhance the experience for all involved, and why these meetings will be a big part of our collective future. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 2020

26 min 54 sec

Elizabeth West of the BTN Group details the current and future realities of business travel. Not many employees are on the road right now, but travel managers have had a very busy year. Even with minimal travel volume, it’s going to take a lot of legwork to prepare companies for the safe return of business travel and meetings.   Elizabeth West, editorial director of The BTN Group, has been leading regular group discussions with travel managers since the beginning of the pandemic. In her role, she oversees content for Business Travel News, Travel Procurement and The Beat.   For this episode of Eventful, we talked with Elizabeth about this odd time in the corporate travel world, what will be different as business travel ramps up again. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 2020

23 min 6 sec

While our meetings may be taking place online, they still offer many unique revenue-generating opportunities. Restrictions on face-to-face gatherings have led to a surge in virtual meetings. But while webcasts and digital networking sessions have proven popular, they have many planners concerned about the lack of revenue they are bringing in. Not all of the same engaging sponsorship opportunities associated with live events are available in the digital realm, but there are still plenty of creative ways to incorporate sponsor branding, exposure, messaging and complete virtual sponsorship packages for your digital events. On today’s episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we feature a pair of experts on virtual sponsorships. The first is Keri Mcintosh, senior vice president of events for The Castle Group, a full-service event management and PR firm based in Boston. Keri has been working with clients who had to move their events online to develop creative sponsor programs. We’ll also hear insights from Beth Surmont, director of experience design for 360 Live Media. She recently presented at a live Northstar Meetings Group webcast, “Boosting Audience Engagement at Virtual Meetings,” and took a few minutes to speak specifically about event virtual sponsorships. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 2020

23 min 39 sec

Global trend-watcher Vikram Mansharamani advises planners to consult experts when necessary, but take responsibility for the big decisions. At a time of such unpredictability, disruption and risk, it is hard for even the most experienced meeting planner to feel confident when making major decisions about when or whether to hold their next event, or what form it should take. To help explore how planners can make these choices, Vikram Mansharamani, a lecturer at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and author of the just-released Think for Yourself: Restoring Common Sense in an Age of Experts and Artificial Intelligence, as well as Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst, offers his insights. He spoke previously at Northstar Meetings Group’s SMU International at the end of February, just as the threat of the coronavirus was beginning to be understood. At that time, he told the audience of meeting planners and supplier, “This is a turbulent time, but there's always been turbulence. That’s not the issue. The issue is how you think about it." While things have changed significantly since then, that statement still seems to holds true. “We need to keep experts on tap but not on top,” he explains. “We should be using expert input to decide a path forward for ourselves, but we are responsible for understanding the big-picture story, we are responsible for understanding the context of our decisions.”  Here, Mansharamani walks listeners through decision-making strategies and describes why at this time when nobody has all the answers, planners ultimately must make big decisions themselves. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 2020

25 min 21 sec

June is Pride Month, but this year the rainbow flag that celebrates freedom of sexual expression has perhaps been overshadowed by Black Lives Matter flags, signs and banners, as the issue of racial inequality drawn heated attention and concern across the country and in many parts of the world.  For the meetings and travel business, this is a difficult and important time to assess our progress with diversity and inclusion among all oppressed groups, says Jim Clapes, events manager for the Specialty Food Association and chair of the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association (and former events manager for the Drug Policy Alliance). We’ve made some strides as an industry, Clapes says, but there’s plenty of work to be done. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 2020

21 min 56 sec

Gregg Talley discusses how associations are managing events amid the pandemic. The "glory days" of international conferences are probably over, says Gregg Talley, CAE, FASAE. As president and CEO of Talley Management Group, Inc., which manages 35 international associations, he's been helping clients launch virtual events in the short term and organize hybrid meetings in the longer term. Two months ago he told Northstar that COVID-19 would force associations to rethink their business models. Now he's helping them tackle that challenge. The pandemic is just one factor driving change. Deepening economic pressures, health concerns, political issues and civil unrest are cracking the foundation of traditional association business models. In a recent conversation, I asked Talley, "Do associations need to reinvent themselves completely?" His answer: "You hold your values in place, but yeah, I think it's all brand new now."   Talley does see a silver lining amid today's challenges: the much-needed opportunity to reset our personal priorities, rethink how we live our daily lives and reinvent how we meet. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 2020

31 min 25 sec

Black meeting professionals share their thoughts on the Black Lives Matter protests and how the industry should respond. The past two weeks have seen large-scale demonstrations in almost every major U.S. city and across the world as hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd, and the need for widespread police reform. The events have not only renewed demands for major changes, but have put the spotlight on the country’s ongoing discrimination against people of color, and black people in particular.   On this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we hear from industry insiders on the protests, their own experiences, and the need for greater diversity in the meetings industry. Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC and national chair for the U.S. Travel Association (left), and Jason Dunn, group vice president of diversity sales and inclusion for the Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau and chair of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (right), are among those who share their thoughts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 2020

27 min 5 sec

Entrepreneur and investor Marco Giberti discusses the meetings tech changes we can expect in the years to come. The rapid shift away from face-to-face events due to the COVID-19 pandemic has meant a steep drop in revenue, loss of jobs and widespread disruption in the meetings industry. But it has also created a situation that could significantly accelerate innovation in the world of event technology. That’s the opinion of entrepreneur and investor Marco Giberti, featured inthis episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals. The founder of Vesuvio Ventures and a serial entrepreneur himself in the events sector shares his thoughts on the long-term changes we might expect from this upheaval — and how our current experiences with technology could form the basis for the tools we use for years to come. True innovation and fresh perspectives, he adds, could well come from outside the meetings industry. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 2020

24 min 8 sec

Expert tips on connecting with an audience that isn’t in the room.   As planners have had to cancel face-to-face gatherings of all sizes, digital meetings have become a vital alternative. But for those accustomed to developing in-person events, it’s become clear that the rules for engaging face-to-face attendees don’t necessarily apply in the digital universe. To provide best practices for designing a captivating virtual event, Northstar Meetings Group recently hosted a webcast, “Welcoming the Virtual Attendee,” featuring a pair of presenters experienced in planning digital and hybrid events.   In this episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, we’re bringing you highlights from that webcast. You’ll hear from Elise Keith, co-founder and CEO of Lucid Meetings and Meeting School and the author of Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization; and Nancy Settle-Murphy, president of meeting facilitation company Guided Insights and author of Leading Effective Virtual Teams. Together they provide valuable insights about hosting virtual events and how to avoid common mistakes made when transitioning to a digital format. The full version of this webcast, along with additional live and on-demand Northstar webcasts, can be found at northstarmeetingsgroup.com/webcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 2020

30 min 3 sec

No mask? No problem. Based on attendee pushback, a coronavirus test at the door will be the only health safety measure for this business event. Do attendees want to wear masks and keep their distance when meetings resume, or will such practices detract too much from the experience of live events? That’s a question Bradley Metrock, CEO of Nashville-based Score Publishing, has been grappling with for months. His team painstakingly created Project Voice Series Protocols that would include COVID-19 testing, daily temperature checks and health monitoring. “It was really hardcore,” says Metrock. “We said there’s going to be masks, distancing, no food, no swag.” The 420-person capacity of the conference center at Harvard Medical School would be cut down to 200 with appropriately distanced room setups. But two factors upended that plan: Harvard will likely remain closed until Labor Day, and attendees didn’t want to come to an event so mired in health safety measures. Within days, a completely different plan was hatched. The Voice of Healthcare Summit, Special Edition, will be a one-day event at the Boston Winery on Aug. 5, 2020, with a projected 125 to 150 participants. The only health protocol will be a COVID-19 test at registration. Those who test positive will be sent home with a refund; those negative will enjoy a “halfway normal” event, said Metrock. We spoke with Metrock on May 15 about the factors that drove his decision, and how he expects to pull it off. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 2020

28 min 51 sec