January 2014

Cover Story/CMP Series

How Big Data Makes Meetings Smarter

Big data is the big buzzword. But what can it do for you? Help you figure out where your attendees are coming from and what they're interested in and better negotiate and track your expenditures.

Michelle R. Davis

Cover illustration by Eric Frommelt


 20 in Their Twenties

PCMA's 20 in Their Twenties: The Future of the Meetings Industry

They're 29 or under. They work in meetings, conventions, and business events. And they're proven leaders. Presenting the winners of PCMA’s first-ever 20 in Their Twenties program.

Christopher Durso


How Location-Based Technology Can Take Your Event to the Next Level

Seventy-four percent of smartphone users today enable location-based services, according to a recent Pew Research Center report.

Sarah Beauchamp

 Event Design

How One Planner Performed Reconstructive Surgery on a Meeting

Planner Tina Squillante took a standard classroom-style medical meeting and, by applying lessons she learned at PCMA Convening Leaders, blew it out of the water. This is how she did it.

Barbara Palmer


Doris Kearns Goodwin: Living With the Presidents

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, presidential historian, biographer, and political commentator Doris Kearns Goodwin has spent her writing career meticulously excavating stories that reveal the talents and foibles of the leaders who helped forge the United States.

Susan Sarfati, CAE


 Working Smarter

The New Rules of Event Photography

Now that most attendees have the ability to snap and share photos instantly, the rules to event photography are changing. Here's what you need to know to protect attendees’ privacy, aggregate crowdsourced content, and secure the rights to your multimedia.

Sarah Beauchamp

 Meeting Management

Go Beyond the Blurb With Your Content Marketing Strategy

Conference planners have long relied on written descriptions to sell educational content to potential attendees. But meeting sessions aren't delivered in book format, so why would planners confine their descriptions to text?

Traci Browne

Supported Article  Innovative Meetings

How One Journalist Created a Conference to Suit Her Needs

A successful journalist, frustrated with the lack of events targeted to her specific needs, decided to start her own technology and media conference. Here's how she built the first-ever KEEN Digital Summit.

Jennifer N. Dienst

 Forward Thinking

4 Ways to Prove Your Organization's Worth to Sponsors

Across nearly every industry, exhibit-booth footprints are shrinking. However, there is a silver lining: the opportunity to develop fruitful strategic partnerships. Just be ready to prove why a sponsor's dollars are well spent on your organization.

Dave Lutz, CMP


3 New Ways to Engage Webinar Attendees

We've trained webinar audiences to be passive bystanders, says an e-learning expert. That can change — if we change how we think about webinar design.

Barbara Palmer

 There's A Meeting for That

The American Sheet Music Conference

The theme of this year's meeting was the Civil War.

Christopher Durso

 Giving Back

How A Little Extra Planning Helped a Meeting Give Back

From yoga at an executive summit to a wellness program at a public high school, how a simple group activity is helping create a healthier community.

Christopher Durso


 Big Ideas

PopTech's Andrew Zolli: How To Remain Resilient In Times of Constant Disruption

To survive and thrive in the midst of constant disruption, a meeting professional needs to be resilient. For advice and insight into exactly how, we talked to Andrew Zolli, executive director and curator of the PopTech conference.

Christopher Durso

 AV + Connectivity

10 Tips for Evaluating Facility Wi-Fi

Who doesn't like free Wi-Fi? But proceed with caution.

Katie Kervin

 Convene On Site

Long Beach Transformed

The cold air was biting, but I could barely feel the sting through my thick, blue winter coat. Surrounding me, floor to ceiling, was glistening, solid ice — 10-feet-tall princesses, towering castles, and humongous lollipops.

Sarah Beauchamp

 Career Path

'Don't Be Afraid To Share Your Ideas'

What's more challenging than running one huge international hosted-buyer show for the meetings and travel industry?

Christopher Durso

 Career Path

Brad Gessner: A Master's Degree at Age 58

In the midst of a 35-year career in the meetings and hospitality industry, Brad Gessner was ready for a change.

Katie Kervin

 Post Con

Putting Patients First at ASTRO 2013

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) held its 2013 Annual Meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on Sept. 22-25.

Sarah Beauchamp

 Pre Con

Brewers Association's Annual Conference Comes to a Head

The Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America will be presented by the Brewers Association (BA) at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver on April 8-11.

Sarah Beauchamp

Also In This Issue


Make Your Event Photos Even More 'Like'-able

In addition to using an event photographer, the Instagram photo app is a great way to share the story of your conference.

Sarah Beauchamp

 Behind the Scenes

Where the Meetings Industry Needs to Catch Up

Every meeting generates tons of information. So when it comes to big data, why does the industry lag behind?

Michelle Russell

 To the Point

3 Ideas to Inspire Your New Year

Look at 2014 as being full of new possibilities.

Deborah Sexton

 To the Point

Do Your Educational Offerings Resonate With Your Audience?

There's a lot to be gained by looking at adult education in a new way.

Deborah Sexton