July 2013

Cover Story/Trends

How They Meet, Inc.

A real-estate investment trust, a luxury hotel brand, a financial-services firm, a software giant, and an online shoe retailer are among this year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. It turns out their meetings are pretty great, too. Here are five reasons why.

Hunter R. Slaton

Cover illustration by Chi Birmingham


 CMP Series

These Chefs are Meeting the Challenge of Attendee Dietary Restrictions

The rapidly expanding and sometimes exhausting number of dietary requests made by meeting attendees is not likely to slow down any time soon. What do convention-center chefs and culinary staff say is the most important ingredient for dealing safely — and gracefully — with them? Communication. 

Barbara Palmer

 Innovative Meetings

Show Cases: 5 Unique Meetings

From a carefully designed maze of an expo hall, to a super-sized sustainability program, to a data-driven approach to exhibitor prospecting — the art and science of exhibitions are on full display at these five different shows.

Convene Editors


The Power of Word of Mouth

Why do we talk about, imitate, and share some things but not others? Wharton professor Jonah Berger explores the science behind social transmission, including how it is that 80 percent of word of mouth still takes place face-to-face.

Michelle Russell


 Forward Thinking

5 Lessons on Offering Education on the Show Floor

Attracting and keeping quality attendees on your show floor isn’t getting any easier. The way we research and buy products and services has evolved — and so must the trade-show experience. The show of the future will focus on helping over selling, which is best accomplished by delivering valuable education in the exhibit hall.

Convene Editors

Supported Article  Innovative Meetings

This Conference Could be the SXSW of the Southeast

Charleston, S.C., and the rest of the southeastern United States have a booming digital and creative economy — big enough to support DIG SOUTH, a new SXSW-style interactive festival.

Jennifer N. Dienst

 Giving Back

Circling the Wagons

At one company summit, a combined team-building and community-service activity felt a lot like child’s play — which was exactly the idea.

Katie Kervin

 Working Smarter

Growing on the Vine

Twitter’s new six-second-video app is being used to market events and trade-show booths and to interact with attendees. But how much can you accomplish in a matter of seconds?

Sarah Beauchamp

 There's A Meeting for That

Performance Anxiety

As told by Kirsten Olean, CMP, CAE, Director of Meetings, Association of American Medical Colleges.

Convene Editors



The Knowledge Alliance

Until recently, leveraging the knowledge economy has been a mostly local initiative for the meetings industry, with individual CVBs and DMOs using the intellectual and academic assets in their immediate area to help attract group business.

Christopher Durso

 Convene On Site

Mountain History and Hospitality at The Broadmoor

A little (or, at times, a lot) of drizzle didn’t deter most of the activities scheduled on my visit to The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs as part of a media trip in early May.

Katie Kervin

 Convene On Site

Meeting Like Cavemen

In his opening keynote at the DigitalNow 2013 conference in Orlando this past April, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku painted a picture of the not-too-distant future that was both thrilling — and unnerving.

Barbara Palmer

 The Intersection

Get Attendees to Remember Your Online Content

New research suggests an easy way to help participants get the most out of your online learning programs: Give them short, regular tests.

Christopher Durso


Points of Order

If your meetings include business sessions — such as board meetings or delegate bodies that make decisions for the entire organization — then you should know about parliamentary procedure.

Jim Slaughter

 Food & Beverage

6 Questions to Ask About Gluten-Free

Even though catering staff may answer “yes” to the question of whether they’re equipped to serve gluten-free attendees, a few extra questions can go a long way to revealing how well a catering manager or sales professional understands gluten-free, said Jen Cafferty, founder of the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo.

Barbara Palmer

 The Intersection

Keeping a Pulse on Your Meeting

Grabbing audience attention, gaining their interest through interaction, convincing them to return to the conference next year, arousing their desires by giving them the information they crave, and leaving them with a valuable takeaway.

Sarah Beauchamp

 What’s Your Story

Rachel Botsman on the Rise of Collaborative Consumption

The co-author of 'What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption' is the Convene-sponsored opening keynote speaker at this month’s DMAI Annual Convention — where she’ll talk about how ‘distributed power’ is changing the meeting and travel sectors.

Christopher Durso

 Career Path

David Williams Shares the Secret to International Meeting Planning

In his travels around the world as executive director of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), David Williams has picked up a few pointers.

Michelle Russell

 Pre Con

A Patient Focus at ASTRO 2013

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) will hold its 55th Annual Meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on Sept. 22–25.

Katie Kervin

 Post Con

Material Collaboration at TMS 2013

The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS) Annual Meeting and Exhibition was held March 3-7 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

Katie Kervin

Also In This Issue

 Planner’s Notebook

Learning, Convening Leaders–Style

Here’s how our 2014 PCMA annual meeting program is shaping up.

Kelly Peacy, CAE, CMP

 To the Point

Workplace Standouts

With the economic outlook starting to improve, a good number of U.S. workers are getting the itch to change jobs. Is your organization doing all it can to retain top talent and attract new stars?

Deborah Sexton

 Behind the Scenes

Meal Plans

Nothing could be a more basic attendee need than food and beverage. Yet meeting that need has become a lot more complicated.

Michelle Russell