An Office Conversation About PYM Live and a Cubs Game

I work virtually, but this is the water cooler conversation that would have happened if I had started my day this morning at the office coffeemaker…. I use it to illustrate what is right (or wrong) with meeting and event industry events today.

In our little skit there is me and Bob, Bob sits at the virtual desk next to me. He is a good guy and a great imaginary meeting and event professional. Although Bob is a figment of my imagination, everything else in the conversation is real, including the thoughts on how what I learned can benefit my clients. Rather than having this conversation, I spent this morning sending emails and texts to my team telling them to do what I have asked Bob to do in my little water cooler fantasy. In addition, I actually emailed a colleague with another event company the details about ZED451, another exhibitor. She is looking for a place for a pharma dinner and I think that ZED would be a good fit for her group.

(Bob) How was the thing yesterday?

(Me) Good man, you should have come. PYM Live was actually cool.

(Bob) yeah?

(Me) Yeah, it started off with a mini tradeshow, not schlocky like that other one we went to. This one had some pretty cool properties and meeting spots. It only lasted and hour and a half too. Just enough time to catch what I needed without dragging it out. The session was pretty good too.

(Bob) Who was the speaker?

(Me) Ahhhhh grasshopper, this is really what made the event cool. They really did not have a speaker. Kevin Johnston and Steve Lowe moderated a discussion about “Everything you ever wanted to know about meeting planning”. What made it cool is that they threw out questions to the audience and the audience drove the conversation. Questions got answered by the moderators and the attendees. This led to new questions and surprising answers. Everything was on the table from twitter to attrition from senior planners to noobs. It was interesting.

(Bob) I follow Kevin, so not boring then

(Me) No, anything but. It actually ran over and I got the feeling it could have gone another hour. I really liked it.

(Bob) Cool, I will plan to go next time, same format?

(Me) I hope so, I’ll let you know when they hit me with the next dates. By the way, I met a couple of properties that I want you to check out. A new one, WildHorsePass in Arizona, no not the Sheraton, Some properties from the Kessler Collection and the Pier House in Key West. I’ll put their contact info on the shared site.Not sure why the Pier House has missed my radar, it looks pretty sweet and will be nice to add to the list for the Company X Proposal if it fits the program. Be nice to hit an island without having to grab a passport and Key West has directs out of Charleston which will work for Client X.

(Bob) Charleston has directs?

(Me) The Pier House guy told me yesterday……who knew?

(Bob) No prob, I’ll get on it this afternoon, I gotta get to the printer first. How was the game, Fukodome pulled it out in the ninth.

(Me) Getting there was a pain in the ass because we were running late but it was great. Vail did not do the heavy sales thing and let me bring John (A real client).

(Bob) That’s cool, how did John like it, his first Industry thing.

(Me) He kept asking me the whole time if they were going to do a presentation. I was laughing. Danielle, you know Danielle right.

(Bob) Yeah, Danielle McNare – Vail Valley Partnership, I met her at Holiday Showcase, I am not in a box.

(Me) OK, OK just checking. Danielle then came over and sat down and to us for about a half hour while we watched the game. Good play on their part, John was impressed. It would be nice to get his group off the beach for next years Presidents Club.

(Bob) Good, yes. They have to be sick of going to the same beach every year. Put the incentive back in incentive.

(Me) We’ll see, it is why John has the gig now.. He liked them and that’s the first step. You want to know what cracked me up? Evan from PYM knows Danielle and when he found out that we were skipping the PYM lunch to go to the game, they started texting. It was funny, great to know that they run in good circles


So, How was your last event? Was your attendee’s conversation something like the above or did it go something like this:

(Bob) How was that thing you went to yesterday

(Me) It was alright. Hey have you heard from the printer yet? We have to get that over to the client today (Event conversation OVER)….

Just something to think about…..

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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