Thursday, August 15, 2013

Live Event Hangout Party Crashers

A live event was hi-jacked tonight. Kudos for streaming your live event as a G+ hangout on air. However, it was a bummer when the party crashers showed up and were very rude and crude. Honestly, I was impressed that you were able to figure out how to kick them out but I wonder how many people left the virtual event because they didn't want to listen to the disgusting and degrading attempts at humor.

video

This post isn't actually about what went wrong. I just wanted to show you how people these days are taking risks and learning by doing. How are you playing with new formats and technology?

I see tech events and meetup groups playing with innovation (sometimes without knowing what could go wrong) much more often than I see meetings and events industry professionals taking risks with their own industry events. How are you learning to provide the experience at a virtual and/or live event that your constituents are seeing elsewhere? Are you quickly losing your edge because you only want to plan a perfect event?

Why would someone need to hire you in the future if they have already figured out how to rent a venue and set out some food & beverage. Which, by the way, would be way below your standards, but I don't hear too many complaints and I don't see any comments on twitter about these setups. Most people are happy to get a piece of pizza if the price of the ticket is low. Food is no longer a requirement for meetings and events. Maybe the art of hospitality is dying, but that is a whole different subject.

The leaders of our industry associations are afraid to take risks - and part of that fear comes from the community's criticism when something does go wrong. Lighten up a bit and cut them some slack if you have identified that they are trying something new. Appreciate the learning experience and find out exactly what went wrong so that you could potentially try the same format or technology, but with success!

Combine the fear of innovation with apathy towards promoting the importance of professional meeting and event planners, and the future does not look bright. I have seen a concerted effort to get meeting and event planners to advocate for why their roles are important. Unfortunately, when I asked how we could capitalize on a gathering of 800 or 900 industry professionals last week, no one wanted to step up to the plate and take action. Many folks want to keep their heads down and hope that their jobs won't be lost.

Do you get support from your boss to take risks? Would you prefer to experience new formats and technology at meetings industry events so that you don't have to be the one to try something new to learn about it? What examples do you have of a mistake that was made and the solution was announced publicly for everyone to learn from?