Miracle Workers: A Podcast for Meeting Planners by Meeting Planners.

Miracle Workers: A Podcast for Meeting Planners by Meeting Planners.

By Amanda and Darryl
Hi, I'm Amanda and I'm a Meeting Planner. Hi, I'm Darryl and I'm also a meeting planner. We created this pod to talk about the world of meetings and events from the planner perspective. Join us as we talk about everything from Wi-Fi pricing to last-minute requests for kosher, vegetarian, gluten-free, low-salt meals.
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EP 08: Let's Get Virtual

Miracle Workers: A Podcast for Meeting Planners by Meeting Planners.

EP 08: Let's Get Virtual

Miracle Workers: A Podcast for Meeting Planners by Meeting Planners.

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EP 14: Using Events to Change The World (Part 1)
We are launching a 3-part series on how, as planners, we can use our meetings and events to call out inequalities and help change the world. We don't always think of our events in the larger community and can easily get comfortable and pigeon-holed into doing things just one way. In these episodes, we want all planners to think in terms of race, sexual identity, and gender identity to find ways to not only hold the great events we're known for but to also be agents for change! In our first segment, we interview Derrick Johnson, CMP, DES (Director of Event Strategy & Chief Diversity Officer with the Talley Management Group, Inc.) and Emee Pumarega, CMP (Owner, EJP Events) to get their take on how we can call out racism and work towards more equitable and caring practices.  Take-Aways: Diverse voices can change and elevate. Is your team diverse and representative of your community? When did “YOU” get involved? Is it a couple of months or many years?  It doesn’t really matter as long as you’re committed to positive change. Come into all situations with an open heart and mind. It’s not enough to be against racism. You have to strive to be anti-racist. Check that your content (speakers and material) applies equally across all audiences.  Your diverse audience will leave if you are not representing them or they don’t see themselves on stage. Do business with people who are trying to do good and elevate others. The power of our pocketbooks/wallets is one of the most powerful tools we have. Impact ourselves, our communities and our professional world. It takes just one person to start that conversation. Links Discussed: Human Rights Campaign's Equality Index: https://www.hrc.org/campaigns/corporate-equality-index Masks R Cool Custom Face Masks: https://www.facebook.com/MasksRCool/ PCMA Foundation Relief Fund: https://foundation.pcma.org/industry-relief-fund/  Meetings Industry Relief Fund: https://themeetingsindustryfund.org/
32:37
July 2, 2020
EP 13: Think Inside the Box. F&B after Covid-19
Are you hungry for F&B news?  Are buffets dead? Can we make boxed-meals fun? This week Amanda and Darryl talk with food allergy expert and certified meeting manager, Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPM of Thrive Meetings and Events (https://thrivemeetings.com/) about what we can expect in Food and Beverage when our in-person meetings come back.  As she says, “I’m passionate in helping you not offend or kill people with the food you serve.” Take-aways:  1. F&B will look different as we return to in-person meetings 2. Boxed meals don’t have to be boring. 3. It will be more difficult to accommodate last-minute requests 4. Communicate your plans & preparation to attendees - knowledge is key  5. Ask to renegotiate F&B minimums 6. Consider alternatives to big group meals - gift cards for coffee, vouchers for meals at local places 7. Determine if your F&B is really necessary - can you start later or end earlier and have people get their own meals? Coronavirus and Financial Support Resources: MPI Coronavirus Resources: https://www.mpi.org/tools/coronavirus EIC Coronavirus Resources: https://eventscouncil.org/coronavirus MPI Foundation: https://www.mpi.org/about/foundation PCMA Foundation: https://foundation.pcma.org/ Meeting Industry Fund: http://www.themeetingsindustryfund.org/
40:14
June 14, 2020
EP 12: More Virtual Platforms (Less High Dives!)
We were going to just give you an extra segment on virtual platforms but got so many messages from planners who wanted to share that we turned this into a bonus episode!   This week we interview Nancy and Amanda (another one) who tell us about their experiences with vFairs, Facebook Live, Zoom, and Remo.   Do you have an experience with a virtual event platform that you'd like to share with your fellow meeting planners?  Drop us a line at: miracleworkerspodcast@gmail.com and let us know about your search for a platform and how your event went and we'll get you on a future episode! 1
30:43
June 1, 2020
EP 11: Virtual Platforms High Dive
Amanda and Darryl talk with several meeting professionals who have pivoted their in-person meeting to a virtual one and we discuss the platforms they used and how they made their selection. Take-aways: 1. Determine your needs before you start looking; 2. Check out a variety of offerings; 3. Don’t buy more then you need – there are plenty of options out there; 4. Know that there are different ways to accomplish the same goal – one-stop-shop or putting together a few products; 5. Check references & actually speak to people who have used the platform; 6. Don’t be afraid to negotiate Platforms mentioned in the show: Innovia (https://innoviapro.com/) Freeman: (https://www.freeman.com/solutions/by-expertise/digital/onlineevent) Coronavirus and Financial Support Resources: MPI Coronavirus Resources: https://www.mpi.org/tools/coronavirus EIC Coronavirus Resources: https://eventscouncil.org/coronavirus MPI Foundation: https://www.mpi.org/about/foundation PCMA Foundation: https://foundation.pcma.org/ Meeting Industry Fund: http://www.themeetingsindustryfund.org/
43:39
May 26, 2020
EP 10-HIGHLIGHT: Annette Gregg, MPI Senior Vice President of Experience Interview
We have gotten some great feedback on the latest episode of the podcast. Many people writing in wanted to see if we could post the interview with Annette Gregg, MPI’s Senior VP of Experience as it’s own highlight. We’re nothing if not receptive to our listeners, so here you go. Take a listen as Annette discusses her perspective on what in-person events will look like when we return.
18:07
May 7, 2020
EP 10: Where Do We Go From Here? The Immediate Future of In-Person Meetings
Amanda and Darryl continue the discussion of getting back to in-person meetings and what they will look like when it’s safe to meet again. They interview Lindsay Gold, CMP Director of Meetings and Events at Associated Builders and Contractors on her group’s move of their annual meeting to September in Nashville and Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Senior Vice President for Experiences, Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA to get an industry view of our soon to be reality. Take-Aways: Meetings will come back but it will take time and it will look different based on location, industry, and format Venues will need to be more flexible when it comes to contracting (cancellation and room-to-space ratios), spacing, sanitizing, pricing (wifi/bandwidth) and being empathetic to guest needs Planners need to think about their whole audience and plan for less people in the same space and for a virtual audience. Our professional groups can continue to support us by sharing best practices and guidelines for planners dealing with concerned audiences, increased liability, and in some cases loss of work. RESOURCES/LINKS Mike Dominguez, ALHI, on meetings starting up this summer (via The Eventful Podcast): https://www.northstarmeetingsgroup.com/Podcasts/The-Eventful-Podcast/Meetings-Industry-recovery-now-michael-dominguez?fbclid=IwAR3sGMhOWlSMl_m_LeOQMh4CA8jg3Ah_2orILN33qj-_QXlrlvtYMGXMdH4 What do conferences look like post Covid-19 (via Meetings.net): https://www.meetingstoday.com/magazines/article-details/articleid/34301/title/hotels-conferences-post-covid-19 MPI Coronavirus Resources: https://www.mpi.org/tools/coronavirus EIC Coronavirus Resources: https://eventscouncil.org/coronavirus MPI Foundation: https://www.mpi.org/about/foundation PCMA Foundation: https://foundation.pcma.org/ Meeting Industry Fund: http://www.themeetingsindustryfund.org/
50:46
May 5, 2020
EP 09: Are You Certifiable?
Amanda and Darryl start Zooming for this week’s episode. Now that they can see each other they begin to discuss the benefits, cost, and time of getting professionally certified. Then they welcome Anne to talk about her experiences getting her CMP and another certification. Get ready for some extra letters after your name and some new business cards! Take-Aways: Understand the different types of certifications and who offers them Is the certification needed? Is it worth the money? What about the time? What about the digital/virtual certifications especially in light of our current times.
34:06
April 20, 2020
EP 08: Let's Get Virtual
Amanda starts off by explaining to Darryl that the show is being recorded virtually, which he eventually comes to understand. Then they go on to talk about how the industry is pivoting to virtual meetings. What are the differences and how should planners take on virtual events? Plus an interview with Heather S. on how she took her client’s event virtual and what she’s learned from the process.  NOTE: We apologize for the audio quality during this show as we work out some of the technical challenges in recording remotely.  Take-Aways: Understand what works well in a virtual setting and what doesn’t but don’t be afraid to disrupt. Come prepared with a full list of questions for any vendor you speak with. Including how you can keep sponsorships and create new opportunities to feature your partners. Make sure your speakers are comfortable with the format. Test. test. test. Quality is key. Save everything Links: How to Create Engaging Virtual Meetings (via BCD Events): https://insights.bcdme.com/blog/how-to-create-engaging-virtual-meetings Engagement Strategies for Virtual and Hybrid Events (via The Expo Group): https://bit.ly/2V1kFr4
36:20
April 13, 2020
EP 07: You Are What You Read
Amanda and Darryl talk books, books, and more books as they try to fill their time not planning meetings during this crazy period. They interview Jillian Cardinal of the Eventprofs Book Club to hear how she created an online community of event professionals reading and sharing insights on books for the industry. Take-aways:  1) Use this time for some great reading and professional development. 2) Use book clubs to have discussions and further your understanding of the material. 3) Keep track of what you’re reading so you can share with others. 4) Don’t feel like you just have to read about your industry. Great information comes from everywhere. The Eventprofs Book Club: https://www.theeventprofsbookclub.com/ Books Mentioned on the Show: Designing Your Life: https://amzn.to/3dD16gk The Art of Gathering: https://amzn.to/3dCQ6zg Dare to Lead: https://amzn.to/3arvKat This is Marketing: https://amzn.to/3byGDXX Out of the Shadows: https://amzn.to/2wKFUUT Start with Why: https://amzn.to/2Jp62ra Let the Story Do the Work: https://amzn.to/39oMptF Heads in Beds: https://amzn.to/3dChgGt Cruise Confidential: https://amzn.to/2ykTaQJ The 48 Hour Relationship Retreat: https://amzn.to/2UsN6xO
31:42
March 29, 2020
EP 06: Cancellations...The C-Word!
In this episode, Amanda and Darryl practice social distancing while talking about all the cancellations in the meetings industry. They each share stories of their recent cancellations and Stacey joins to tell the story of canceling her association’s meeting.  During the discussion, we learn some tips for having difficult conversations with your venue and vendors, as well as with your attendees, speakers and industry partners. Plus some lessons learned that can make our contracts stronger going forward. Amanda and Darryl also share some resources for planners who need financial help in these tough times and places where we can donate money to help. Take-Aways: 1 Canceling doesn’t mean you failed. 2 Venues/Vendors: Use Force Majeure if you can; if you can’t try to reschedule and reapply funds. If there is no flexibility… 3 Use the money for something good: donate food to food banks or volunteer groups. 4 Communicate with your attendees. Be honest and remind them their health and safety comes first. 5 Strengthen your contracts for the future. 6 Take a deep breath and do something for you. Resources: PCMA Foundation Relief Fund: https://foundation.pcma.org/industry-relief-fund/ Meetings Industry Relief Fund: https://themeetingsindustryfund.org/ Independent Meeting Planners, if you need help (or can help others), please email us so we can help organize: miracleworkerspodcast@gmail.com World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Guidance: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
40:08
March 17, 2020
EP 05: CVB -Y
Amanda and Darryl head down to Destinations Showcase in Washington, DC to talk CVBs. They sit down with the heads of PCMA and Destinations International as well as several planners to hear about what CVBs can do and how planners like to work with them. Plus there's an update on the great work being done by the PCMA Foundation Industry Fund and a new Win of the Week. Take-Aways: CVBs offer a lot of services for free They represent all the venues in an area and are not playing favorites or financial interests. They Can play a big role in setting up site visits as well as offering marketing assistance for your meetings. PCMA Industry Relief Fund Remember to donate to the PCMA Industry Relief Fund and help those professionals in need: http://foundation.pcma.org/industry-relief-fund
31:39
February 26, 2020
EP 04: RFP (Really Frustrating Process)
Meeting venue RFPs and the bids that they elicit are one of the things that we, as planners, hate the most. Amanda and Darryl provide some tips that planners can use to make the RFP process better focused and get more detailed bids back. We also launch the “win of the week” feature. This episode’s takeaways are: 1. Be realistic about timing/deadline and concessions 2. Provide as much detail as possible and ask important questions 3. Know the value of your business 4. Involve the local CVB...it's free!!! 5. Make your asks now (sustainability, discounts, terms) 6. Make sure you can actually materialize the business. This is a 2-way street! 7. Respond to all hotels
31:57
February 10, 2020
EP 03: You Get a Panel. Everybody Gets a Panel
Darryl starts by man-splaining diversity until Amand reminds him this is not a “Man-al” We all want to diversify but how do you do it and why is it so important to your event?  Also, are you just looking at the stage or do you consider the audience too? This episode’s takeaways are: Actively try to diversify your speakers Set a good example by diversifying your staff, board, leadership structure Set the stage for inclusion early on. Email your attendees and encourage them to come ready to share Coach your speakers and moderators so they are ready to embrace the diversity you’re setting up. Also, think about the staging Diversify your audience too. Can your sponsors set up scholarships to help those who can’t afford to get there?
30:38
January 27, 2020
EP 02: It's Not Easy Going Green
It’s not easy going green...or is it?  In this episode, Amanda and Darryl discuss some low and no-cost options for greening your meeting and tips for highlighting your sustainability impact. This episode’s takeaways are: Get buy-in from the stakeholders in your organization/team. Start early in the RFP/site/contracting process Try some or all of our low/no-cost suggestions Think about how to celebrate your successes. Can you get more buy-in with a good track record? Bonus: From Natalie Lowe, "The Sustainable Planner", a simple checklist of the 5 R’s to audit and determine how to improve the sustainability of your event. They are: Refuse to use, Replace, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. You can download the 5 R template in Excel and customize it for your needs. Small properties are having difficulty going green via Skift: https://skift.com/2019/11/05/boutique-hotels-say-they-face-unique-challenges-going-plastics-free/
26:15
January 13, 2020
EP 01: An Audio Visual Primer for Meeting Planners (What is that thing on my bill?)
Have you ever read a quote from an A/V vendor and said, “Huh?” Yeah, we get it. Not many of us like to deal with A/V but it’s a necessary part of many meetings and events. In this episode, Amanda and Darryl break down the world of audiovisual equipment and give you some practical tips for how to better understand your bill and get that final number more in line with your budget. Session Take-Aways: Think about what you want to accomplish at your event. What A/V do you need?  What don’t you really need? Always consult with an expert when planning your A/V. Establish a relationship with an outside A/V vendor. They can help even if you don’t use their services. Think about how can you do more with less. Think about lighting and audience size instead of just the latest and greatest technology. Always push back when you get a quote. Make sure you know what you’re paying for/try to negotiate A/V bill at the same time as the hotel contract. Meetings.net Article, “An AV Crash Course for Meeting Planners” https://www.meetingsnet.com/avproduction/av-crash-course-planners Song: Fredji - Happy Life (Vlog No Copyright Music)  Music provided by Vlog No Copyright Music.  Video Link: https://youtu.be/KzQiRABVARk
31:32
December 30, 2019
Trailer-Miracle Workers
This is the trailer. This is only a trailer. Had this been a real episode it would have been longer. But stay tuned as we drop the first two episodes before Christmas. Listen for "An A/V Primer for Planners" and "It's Not Easy Going Green".
03:34
December 8, 2019