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Dana's Meeting Minutes: Three Tips and One Awesome Idea for Innovative Planners

Posted By Dana Saal, CMP, CAE, Saal Meeting Consulting, Friday, April 28, 2017
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017

The most difficult part of change can be convincing stakeholders that it’s needed. You’re working with people who see the meeting through their own filters, including long-held beliefs (beef for Thanksgiving, anyone?). This allows for healthy debate, but can be a stumbling block when consensus is the goal.

How can you manage the conversation without tearing out your hair?

Tip #1

Know your audience

  • Know your supporters and detractors.
  • Pre-wire key influencers.
  • Determine how your stakeholders best accept change—managing the scope (not all at once); demonstrating the new practices (see it in action); hearing it from an outside expert (they always know more than you, right?!); etc.

Tip #2

Prep them

  • Identify strategic goals in advance so everyone starts on the same page. The goals are not part of the discussion, they are the basis for it. Support this by listing them on your agenda.
  • Provide examples of:
    • successful use elsewhere
    • measurable benefits
    • potential outcomes if change is not accepted
    • additional material needed to support objections you’re likely to face

Tip #3

Allow for time acceptance

  • Build in time to ponder the proposals. Don’t expect full acceptance at the first meeting.
  • Get feedback, asking for their likes, concerns and suggestions.
  • Consider a phased-in approach by introducing changes over several years instead of all at once.

One Awesome Idea
Make them feel the change, not just think about it
Your stakeholders’ responses are loaded with emotion. To sort that out, assign each stakeholder a role that represents one participant perspective (e.g., young professional, seasoned exhibitor, one discipline, etc.). Coach them to put themselves in that person’s shoes as you verbally walk through your meeting, asking them to think about how they feel as they “attend” the meeting.

You need to be a great storyteller. Stay neutral by focusing on the outcomes. They need to shed pre-conceived notions and to stay in their assigned personas.

When you get to “happily ever after”, discuss their reactions to determine if you’ve built consensus, need to tweak some things, or try a new approach.

Want More?
There are many resources about persuading stakeholders. Check out a few based on the Google search “how to persuade stakeholders.”

Source Credit:
Aimee Gabel, Solar Energy Trade Shows, LLC and David Saef, GES MarketWorks, who presented the awesome session, Win Stakeholder Support for Cutting-Edge Programming at PCMA’s 2016 Convening Leaders.

Dana’s Meeting Minutes is based on the Meeting Planning Triangle©. Click here for a link.

Tags:  association  events  isae  Leadership  marketing  meeting planners  meeting tips  meetings  social media 

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Why Periscope?

Posted By Destiny Nance-Evans, Friday, October 2, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Why Periscope?

Periscope’s tagline is, “Explore the world in real time through someone else's eyes”. That pretty much sums it up!

Why would an Association Professional use Periscope? What can you use it for?

Answer: Lots of things!

Why and how could an organization use it?

This live streaming app works with Twitter. An organization must have a twitter account to utilize Periscope. Periscope is still new to the social media world and not everyone is using it. Also, that means there are still some tech kinks to work out. Anyone remember Facebook back in 2005 vs. now?


The opportunity to become the expert and leader in organizations who are using Periscope is there. Get ready to stand out! Periscope offers a new way to engage your attendees, members and potential members.


By using periscope you can, engage not only those at your events, but those who could not attend.

Some ways to utilize periscope are (I have narrowed it down to a few that I think are definitely easy to implement into your current marketing/social media strategy.):


How-To Videos. Live demonstrations and informational videos are a great way to use Periscope to connect with your customers, members and clients.


Example: How to access your members only section or how to register for an event.


Q and A sessions. If your organization is putting together a large event, releasing a new product, or simply wants to open the door to questions, Periscope is a great way to do it. Invite your community to tune to your broadcast and then answer questions as they appear on your screen.


Example: No time for Q & A at your event? Have a Q & A with a speaker on Periscope.


Behind-the-scenes footage. In our current environment, Internet users crave an inside look of anything (including your refrigerator). Give the people what they want by live streaming some of the everyday realities of your organization’s life. You might be surprised at how fascinating others find the simple acts such as unloading a new shipment, chatting before a meeting, or going to happy hour.


Example: Set-up of an event or tour of your office.


The great unboxing. “Unboxing” is the act of opening and unpacking a new product/service live. This practice has recently become popular among consumers, because it shows them exactly what they can expect from a company when they order something online. It also helps generate excitement around a new product. You can start the trend for your organization by unboxing a product live on Periscope, and encouraging others to do the same.


Example: “Unboxing of a new program or announcement of a new event”


Note: These videos can be saved and then uploaded to your YouTube Channel – this is a good way to build your YouTube Channel and access videos at a later date. You must save them because after 24 hours your video is no longer accessible through Periscope.


I hope you will take the time to see what you think about Periscope and if you can implement this live streaming app at your organization. Give it a try! I learn by doing so that is exactly what I did! My first periscope was a tour of the ISAE Office. Beware when you are walking – it gets a little blurry…so go slow if you do a tour.


Want to chat more about it? We can Periscope!

Or you can just give me a call or stop in for a cup of coffee!










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Tags:  periscope  social media 

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Why Instagram? Why not?

Posted By Destiny Nance-Evans, Friday, December 12, 2014
Updated: Friday, November 14, 2014

We recently had an ISAE Round Table that covered the basics on social media and went into how to manage all of the social media platforms as a small staff organization. Some questions were asked about Instagram and I thought this would make a great blog post!

Well, first let’s ask ourselves what is Instagram?

Instagram is an online  mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms.

Members, non-members, event attendees and really anyone who has an Instagram account can take pics and “tag” you, therefore, creating your very own story. Storytelling is powerful especially when told through pictures and different perspectives. Others might capture events, memories that you as the meeting planner or staff member may have missed. Hashtags are used the same way as with Facebook and Twitter.

With Instagram, you have the opportunity to change the filter on your actual picture, zoom and create a one of a kind image.

More and more people are using Instagram with continued growth where growth with Facebook is still growing, but at much slower pace.

Some ideas to use with Instagram are hosting a photo campaign, building your brand and telling a story. Learn more here.

I do not claim to be an expert at all. I learn by trial and error and by trying new things. Instagram can be a great social media tool for organizations when thought out and implemented correctly.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

Happy Blogging!




Tags:  association  instagram  social media  social platform  storytelling 

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