Archive - August 2010

1
Are you planning for disaster
2
A Bunch of event twitter peeps you should follow!
3
An honor to be nominated
4
Thoughts on the Park 51 Muslim Community Center
5
What Smartphone do you use?

Are you planning for disaster

Hindenburg
I just received an email update from one of my event vendors, not a major thing on a typical day but for them, it is a very bad day. They are experiencing a major power outage at two of their facilities on the Western Suburbs of Chicago. Their phones are out, their email is down, they cannot process orders……the whole shebang.

The email details their situation, what they are doing and the fact that they are still on the ball even though they are not at 100% capacity. The email goes on to detail all of the cell phone numbers for anyone that you may need to contact.

This is the power of thinking ahead. This email was not on a whim, someone put forethought into it and had it ready to go in case there was a situation like this.

What are you doing to reach out to attendees in the event of a major power outage, storm or other disaster. Are you prepared, at a moments notice to send the emails or text messages that inform them to not head to the convention center. Do you have a plan in case their needs to be an evacuation. Are you ready for the storm on the horizon.

What if they need to reach someone, will they know how to get them or will they be making calls that go unanswered or sending emails that bounce back or sit in limbo while they fester and get angry that they are not getting a response.

Will they be confused about what to do, or will they have a leader to show them the way. Will they be scared or will they have someone with confidence and a call to action.

Knowledge is comfort, if attendees are kept up to date and informed about any situation it will help them get through it, it will help them understand. They may not like what you have to say, but they may need you to say it. You may even save a life.

Plan for success, prepare for failure, it may be the smartest thing you do.

A Bunch of event twitter peeps you should follow!

Twitter OK, why a bunch, why not 10, 20 or even 100. Well, there is a reason. I started with 10 and then went back to look at the list and said “oh crap, can’t leave them off” and the list grew to 20, then I went back and it grew to 30………..so now it is just a bunch because I am tired of counting and I must stop the madness!

So, here are some of the amazing people that I follow on Twitter. Twitter has been an great tool for me, everyone I follow has opened my eyes, schooled me on things I thought I knew and forced me to be interactive with the world that I live.

This list is in no particular order. No descriptions because it is up to you to discover why they are important!

An honor to be nominated

EventProfsBlogAward

I am honored to be nominated for an #eventprofs Blog Award in the category of Best Thought Provoking Blog.

I will admit, it is cool to think that some of the finest minds in the industry, people that I look up to and try my best to learn from would think that Event Industry Thoughts would be worthy of being included with this amazing group of meeting and event industry talent. All of the nominees are simply the best of the best.

One look at the entire group and all of the categories and you have your reading schedule set for the day. In fact, if I were going to put up a "best of the web" post, these are the people that I would include, these are some of the people that have helped me expand my horizons.

I will say one thing about the selection committee, they have really made things hard for us (in a good way), I had a hard time choosing who I would pick in all of the categories (including my own).

A final note about who you will choose and what you learn from looking at the list of nominees, I am trying my best to not have this sound hokey……While it is an honor to be nominated, I will not ask for your vote, I would simply ask that you vote for who you think is the best in every category and that may or may not be Event Industry Thoughts……Don't get me wrong, it would make my month to win, but if there is someone in my category that is more deserving, then that is who you should vote for.

What I hope that you will do is take a few minutes out of your day and visit every blog on the list and read at least one post, what you may find is that you discover a new idea, a new way of thinking or may simply have a good laugh. If you do this one simple thing, then not only are all of the people who have been nominated winners, but you are as well.

Thoughts on the Park 51 Muslim Community Center

Nohatebig I typically do not weigh in on political matters here unless the pertain to the meetings and events industry and the more that I think about it, the more I am thinking that the controversy over the Park 51 Community Center does indeed impact our industry.

I notice that our industry associations are quite quiet on the issue,
probably waiting to see which way the wind blows rather than take a
stand on something that will have profound repercussions on the United
States as a country. They really should consider coming out with a statement on the issue.

Most people who read this are American, most are meeting and event professionals. As meeting and event professionals, we deal with all races, religions, orientations and personality types in our roles and we are the great integrators. I like to think that we treat all of our attendees equally and with respect, putting everyone on the same pedestal. Where are we now that this is happening, what is wrong with us.

First, lets get a few things straight:

  • This is not a Mosque, it is a community center that will have a pool and basketball courts.
  • It will have a prayer room, much like an airport has a chapel. Get this straight, it is not a Mosque (although, that is irrelevant).

Second, lets talk about the people that are building this center and do some simple math.

  • They are Muslim, not al-Qaida
  • Being Muslim does not = al-Qaida, just as being German does not = Nazi

Newt Gingrich and his wonks are going around spouting how you would not allow the Nazi’s to build next to the Holocaust Museum and I agree, that would be inflammatory, rude and disgusting.

Go back to my equations and hold that they are true:

  • If you would not allow the Nazis to build next to the Holocaust Museum (which we all agree on), it would then stand that you would not allow al-Qaida to build next to the World Trade Center Site.
  • It would also stand that if a fine group of Germans wished to build a Church a couple of blocks from the Holocaust Museum that would be fine because German’s are not Nazis, Nazi’s are Nazi’s… although they intersect.
  • Therefore it should stand that al-Qaida is al-Qaida, Muslims are Muslims and the two, while intersecting, are not the same.

Muslims were among the first responders on 9/11, they were among the dead on 9/11 and they are certainly among the people that were outraged by what happened on that tragic day.

Some will argue that Muslims were seen cheering after the attack…..of course there were people who stood and cheered that day, there were also Germans that cheered on the day that Poland was invaded, there were Russians who cheered after the invasion of Czechoslovakia and Japanese who cheered the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The difference is CNN, CNN was not at all of these events.

What we quickly forget is that there were also Muslims who cried that day, just as there were Germans that cried, Russians that cried and Japanese that cried.

If we continue down this path, we are becoming less American, we are becoming what we despise most, we are becoming wrong and that I cannot stand for. Just because you do not agree with it, does not make it wrong.

I am an American. I am an American with Christian Friends, with Muslim Friends, with Jewish Friends, with Gay Friends, with Straight Friends, with German Friends, with Black Friends, with White Friends, with Japanese Friends, with Italian Friends and even friends that I think are idiots. All types can be welcome in my world. All of my friends can even be in the same room together and have great conversations because we respect each other.

I am not friends with Nazis, I am not friends with al-Qaida and I am not friends with any one who would spit on the spirit of America and say that one peaceful group has less rights than another. Wake up people, this is UN-American.

Our troops fight for precisely these rights, they fight for the rights of a minority to not get squashed by the majority. They fight for the 1st Amendment and all of the other amendments that we hold dear and are so proud of. They fight for the memory of all of the lives that were lost on 9/11, even the Muslim ones.

What are we to do as meeting and event professionals if this spreads. What are you going to say when someone will not sit at the same table with a Muslim, just because they are a Muslim. What are you going to say when your organization decides to exclude Muslims from speaking at a program and what are you going to say when it spreads to another group….say Jewish people, White people or Indian people. Are you going to sit there and say “I am going to go with the group because that is what they think” or perhaps you will say “This does not concern me”.

The famous quote by Pastor Martin Niemöller regarding the failure of German Intellectuals during the Nazi rise to power sums this situation up perfectly.

“THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

 

 

What Smartphone do you use?

Thomas Hallin, President of HTH Business Solutions has a question for meeting and event planners and I thought I would help spread the word as he is someone I know, the question is intriguing and it will be interesting to see the final results. 

North American Meeting Planners and Attendees – what
smart phone do you use?
Link to Take poll:
http://polls.linkedin.com/p/99867/nkuyq

So, if you have a minute, jump over and take the poll and then check out the results. At the current time, the Blackberry has an edge on the iPhone but time will tell. 

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