by De-de Mulligan
Global Meetings Industry Day, or commonly referred to as GMID, is celebrated every April to bring together leaders from across the meetings and events industry to discuss the trends and challenges they face.
There were two excellent speakers whose focus was to help attendees plan as we move into a post-COVID-19 world. Here is a recap of what each of the presenters shared.
Laurel Wilson: Discover the Importance of a Vision
Laurel is co-author of Keep Looking Up: Transforming Grief into Hope After Tragedy.
Laurel shared her vision of attending college to be an event planner and how adversity nearly derailed it with her passing father and brother by suicide.
She quoted Andy Stanley, who said, “Write your vision in pen and your path in pencil.”
Laurel talked about developing a vision for yourself that must be clear, joyful, and flexible. She said defining your perspective is critical to your success.
She said you should take a piece of paper, fold vertically in half, and write at the top “WHAT IF” on the left side. On the other side, note “WHAT IS.” She suggested that you choose ten items that are important to you.
WHAT IF COVID-19 never happened? (What life changes would have occurred?)
WHAT IS your response to COVID-19? (Zoom meetings, shift to hybrid, change in employment, etc.)
This exercise helps you understand and appreciate your life before and develop a plan for what is.
Laurel encouraged attendees to write a vision letter dated three years from now and indicate how old they will be at that time. She mentioned this exercise would take 20-30 minutes to complete.
She said the letter should cover five areas in your life:
1. Faith or Serving
4. Fitness and
5. Foundational – what kind of person are you
Laurel stated you should write a letter to another person (it doesn’t have to be sent) stating what your life is like in these five areas, not your desires but how your life is three years from now. For example, on Fitness, it could say, “I ran three marathons with my best PR.” In other words, it’s as if you are sharing your story three years from now but writing the letter TODAY.
Laurel closed her talk by letting the attendees know the action of doing these things will help them get unstuck, identify their biggest struggles, and overcome their fears. She referenced podcaster Angie Lee who has a show titled Ready is a Lie. We must start today because we will never be ready!
Andy Christiansen: 10 Trends to Help in a Post COVID-19 World
Andy is a speaker, trainer, and author of The 40: 40 Principle: Your Road Map to Finding Life-Changing Mentors.
In the year before the COVID-19 shutdown, Andy spoke to 399 live audiences a year. He spoke at big, medium, and small meetings. Since the shutdown, he has spoken at only a few.
Andy believes the hybrid approach is here to stay and reminded attendees that churches have had this methodology figured out for a long time.
He said to prepare for the post-COVID world; we need to focus on the five Ps:
• Having the right PEOPLE
• Having a good PLAN
• Putting together a repeatable PROCESS
• Have great PRODUCTS and
• Being PROFITABLE
He asked, “What if the events industry doesn’t come back? Or doesn’t come back the way it did before?”
Andy reflected on Blockbuster versus Netflix. Blockbuster, at one point, had 9,000 stores and a heavy structure. Netflix had no rules and has remained agile over time.
He asked a question: Is your company more like Blockbuster or Netflix?
Ten Ways to Prepare for Post COVID
1. Have the Right Attitude. Andy said it’s essential to have a clear vision, a positive attitude, and laugh more.
2. Embrace change. When things change (and they will), develop a plan with the five Ps in mind.
3. Acknowledge digital adoption. Since COVID-19, there has been a 7x increase in digital from Zoom to streaming services. Older individuals have embraced Zoom and FaceTime. Netflix and YouTube viewership is way up. Individuals are getting used to technology and accepting it. Because of this, Andy believes hybrid events will be with us through 2022 and perhaps longer.
4. Experiential matters. Whether it’s Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, holograms, or something else, individuals will want to experience an event differently. They will push the envelope of technology.
5. Ask for what they need. Don’t assume people will want to meet or network in the same way they did before. Ask and adopt.
6. Safety matters. Until we reach herd immunity, have a vaccine passport, or the CDC relaxes its mandates, attendees will want to know all the ways the venue and event planner will make them feel safe.
7. Right Team
8. Hybrid is Here to Stay
9. Get Perspective
10. Innovate or Die
About De-de Mulligan
De-de Mulligan is a digital marketer, blogger, and President of Mulligan Management Group, a full-service boutique marketing agency. A former meeting planner who received the MPI Ohio Chapter’s Planner of the Year award in 2006 and 2012 brings a unique perspective to her blog posts. You can connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
She blogs regularly for Rentacomputer.com, an Ohio company that can provide PPE rentals for your next meeting or event.