30 episodes

The Strategic Meeting Tech and Better Meetings Podcast is your source for news and discussion of the meetings and events industry. Listen to us for the latest discussions on industry news, interviews, technology, meeting design, AV and other topics that affect all of us the meetings and events industry.

Strategic Meeting Tech & Better Meetings Podcasts Strategic Meeting Tech

    • Management
    • 5.0, 2 Ratings

The Strategic Meeting Tech and Better Meetings Podcast is your source for news and discussion of the meetings and events industry. Listen to us for the latest discussions on industry news, interviews, technology, meeting design, AV and other topics that affect all of us the meetings and events industry.

    Show #3 - A special episode discussing depression & anxiety in the meetings industry

    Show #3 - A special episode discussing depression & anxiety in the meetings industry

    Episode three of the Better Meetings Podcast take us in a different direction than originally envisioned.  Still to come will be the delayed interview with Paul VanDeventer of MPI.  That will hopefully be along next week along with some additional episodes recorded in September at IMEX America.
    This episode is the most personal one thatI have ever done, but I think it's a topic that many of us hide from and are unwilling to discuss because it's uncomfortable and can be misunderstood.  I have been dealing with some depression over the past year to a point that it inhibited my ability to create this podcast, something that I take great joy in doing.  There's a terrible cycle of guilt when you promise something that normally would be an easy task and you're unable to follow through.  
    My usual reaction is to stay behind a wall and pretend nothing was wrong.  But, as time passed and I was unable to face the simple task of posting a few episodes I reached out for help.  To some friends, to a mentor...even to a celebrity that I'm lucky enough to have corresponded with.  I spoke with my doctor, I worked with him on medication...and I did some research to try and better understand what I was dealing with.
    I found that in a given year 7.1% of American's are dealing with some form of depression or anxiety.  I spoke to someone in the industry privately and learned of the challenges they had had.  I began to realize that in a business where we have huge expectations placed on yes, where you have to be completely in control and never showing weakness, where a high number are type A and high performing people...I knew I can't be alone in the struggle.  This podcast is my soapbox, my platform and the place where I have a voice.  So I decided the conversation should start here.
    That's the reason I've recorded this episode, and the conversation that I hope people might begin to take away from it.  Realize that someone you know or work with may be struggling inside.  Be there for them to support and help.  
    Open up if you are struggling and trust your friends, family and co-workers to support you.  Don't feel that you're alone, you're not.  
    Our jobs allow us to bring people together to create wonderful experiences and events.  But as good as we are at doing those jobs, we are also still human and we need to be there to lift each other when someone beside us falters.
    Here are a few places I did research with information and help for those in need.
    https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm
    https://www.verywellmind.com/depression-statistics-everyone-should-know-4159056
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007
    https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/physical-symptoms-of-depression#1
    https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/recognizing-symptoms
     
    And this most important one:
    https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 
     
    TRANSCRIPT:
    Everyone deserves better meetings. So, we created the better meetings podcast is a place where meetings and events industry professionals can gather to discuss, analyze and report on the latest trends, challenges and news from within the meetings industry.
    Welcome back to the better meetings podcast.
    This is not going to be the third episode that I had planned for the better meetings podcast.  That episode, which will hopefully be posted eventually and hopefully soon, is a very interesting and informative interview with Paul Van Deventer of MPI.  It's also not going to be the 4th to about the 12th one, which we're all done in IMAX America back in September.  They discuss a wide range of topics with a really fascinating group of industry suppliers and thought leaders on what this is…it's going to be a pretty serious topic that I never really expected to talk

    • 24 min
    Show #2 - Sherrif Karamat, President & CEO of PCMA and Greg O'Dell, Chairman of the 2019 PCMA Board of Directors talk to us at PCMA's EduCon in Los Angeles

    Show #2 - Sherrif Karamat, President & CEO of PCMA and Greg O'Dell, Chairman of the 2019 PCMA Board of Directors talk to us at PCMA's EduCon in Los Angeles

    To continue with the podcast relaunch on our second show, we were able to meet for a second time with Sherrif Karamat, President & CEO of PCMA as well as with Greg O'Dell, Chairman of the 2019 PCMA Board of Directors.  We caught up with them at PCMA's EduCon in Los Angeles.  
    This time we covered a wide range of topics, but we focused on two important topics in both the world and within the meetings industry today.  First was a discussion of diversity and inclusion, and the benefits of diverse skills and points of view in creating successful events.  The second topic was human trafficking, and how raising the awareness in our industry and can provide a huge increase in opportunities to recognize and stop this serious international issue.  
    TRANSCRIPT:
    JON: Welcome back to the podcast. I'm Jon Trask, I’m your host and I'm here with Sheriff Karamat, the President and CEO of PCMA, and Mr. Greg O’Dell, the chairman of the 2019 PCMA Board of Directors. So welcome, gentlemen.
    GREG: Thank you, Jon.
    SHERRIF: Thank you for having us.
    JON: I'm very happy to see you again. We talked recently up at WEC in Toronto, and now we're down in Los Angeles at your EduCon.
    SHERRIF: Yeah, the world we live in is exciting, isn't it? So now in Los Angeles, wow.
    JON: We're just jetting all over. And that's one of the things that I've actually always appreciated about our business is the opportunity to travel and see places and get to go, places I might not normally get to go to on my own.
    SHERRIF: Yes, and experience many different cultures, different cities.
    JON: Absolutely, yeah, it's been a great part of the business for me. And you guys are having a great event here it seems. Just to touch on that briefly before we dive into the real topics.
    SHERRIF: Absolutely. I, you know, I love EduCon. It's event that we actually really get to visit with people. It's just a manageable size. And this year, bit larger than normal. Our largest EduCon in history. About 950 participants
    JON: Very nice.
    SHERRIF: And we've been creating some really interesting experiences. And I've been enjoying LA as well. Look at this city, it's vibrant. So, I have this thing that I'm comparing PCMA to LA. And so, here's my comparison…I absolutely think there's a renaissance, there's a transformation, there's a revival going on with the city. And I think it mirrors with all the exciting things that are happening at the PCMA. And so that's, that's my comparison is to, to a city and an organization that's on the move.
    JON: Both of them coming together.
    SHERRIF: Absolutely.
    JON: Yeah, this this area, I mean, I'm a native of Southern California. And this was not an area that you would necessarily want to visit around the convention center. Even a decade ago, it doesn't seem. And so what they've done here, with the expansion and growth and the hotels, and all of that is really, really changed the whole complexion of this part of the city,
    GREG: I would just echo two (of) Sherrifs comments from LA’s perspective and all the partners. You know, it's interesting before PCMA EduCon started, they had another major event here with the BET experience. And so, the transformation that happened from that event to ours was seamless. And I think, you know, hats off to the LA team. And they've been amazing and supportive hosting this event as well.
    JON: They're very good, very accustomed to large, high profile events and working through them. I know, I did something at the event deck over here at LA Live a few years back, and it was the same time as a basketball game, and the Disney Radio Awards going on in the theater. And yet, you know, everything flowed smoothly and worked out really well.
    GREG: That's right.
    JON: So, what we were really going to talk about today, though, is when we were in Toronto, we talked about like numbers and data and things around the meetings, and I wanted to

    • 24 min
    Show #1 - An Interview with Sherrif Karamat, President & CEO of PCMA

    Show #1 - An Interview with Sherrif Karamat, President & CEO of PCMA

    To begin things on show number one here on the Better Meetings Podcast.  We were able to meet up with PCMA President and CEO, Sherrif Karamat during MPI's WEC event in Toronto.  He shared with us his thoughts on the state of associations, big data in our industry (including news about PCMA's Beam Project) and some inspirational thoughts for all of us about the role that meetings, events and our industry can play in making the world a better place for everyone.
     
    TRANSCRIPT:
    JON:  Alright, welcome back to the podcast. Today we're at WEC in Toronto. And we're speaking with Sherrif Karamat, CAE.  He's the president and CEO of PCMA.  Welcome.
     
    SHERRIF: Thank you for having me.  It's a pleasure to be here in Toronto, WEC.
     
    JON: We're having a wonderful time here.  And I really appreciate you taking time out of your schedule, because we know how busy you are, to talk with us here.  So, thank you for that.  And let's just dive right into things; I really thought first we could start out with just an overview of PCMA from your perspective.
     
    SHERRIF: Sure.  So PCMA a number of years ago, we were in a very good financial position.  And we said to ourselves, now is the time to change.  And that change was predicated on the fact that we didn't want our backs to be against the wall before we start to realize that we needed to change.  This was changed on multiple levels on how we engage people in our community, what people find the value of just about everything.  And we actually hire Wharton School of Business, and went down 11 streams, and ended up with this global vision, and the vision of economic and social progress through business events. So PCMA being a platform for economic and social progress.  There were two other legs to that stool, though, beyond economic and social progress.  There was an organizational success as the second leg.  And then the third leg was about you as a human being and me as a human being about our personal and professional development.
     
    JON: Right.
     
    SHERRIF: And so, when we did that, we looked at the world, and we looked at it, and not because we wanted to be exclusionary to anyone, but we said, where could we have the most impact in the short term until we are able to build?  So, prioritizing our priorities.  And we look the three regions Asia Pacific, obviously very large.
     
    JON: Yes.
     
    SHERRIF: The Americas, but primarily in North America.  And then Europe.  
     
    JON: Sure.
     
    SHERRIF: And so those are it, we would not exclude Africa, of course; and we will not exclude certain parts of Latin America.  But looking at how not the act of a business event.  And by the way, notice that I use business events and not meetings, because its outcome focused.  And we believe that any meeting or any event should have an outcome.  So what we were doing is looking at how event organizers were being viewed.  Were they being viewed just for logistics? Or were they being viewed for bringing the objectives of that meeting or that event to life?  And how does that tie to the organization strategy?   We absolutely know that business events make incredible difference economically in communities.  But business event should also make a difference socially for people. You know, the old saying is when we meet, when we meet face to face, we meet eye to eye.
     
    JON: Yes.
     
    SHERRIF: We should.  And we must use business events to drive economic outcomes, but social outcomes as well.  And social outcomes has nothing to do with socialism.
     
    JON: No, no.
     
    SHERRIF: I couldn't care less.  But I do care of you as a human being.  And I do care that when we get together, that we can see that both of us are progressive.  And so events should be that part of that.
     
    JON: Lifting people up?
     
    SHERRIF: Absolutely.  Well, another part is, let me touch a little bit on the personal basis, an

    • 27 min
    Strategic Meeting Tech Podcast Show #27 - Roger Rickard discusses the upcoming election and how voting (or not voting) impacts all of us in the meetings industry

    Strategic Meeting Tech Podcast Show #27 - Roger Rickard discusses the upcoming election and how voting (or not voting) impacts all of us in the meetings industry

    We recently caught up with Roger Rickard of Voices in Advocacy during the IMEX America show in Las Vegas.  We talked at length about voting and it's importance to the nation as well as to our industry.
    Roger publishes a great blog about politics and advocacy, as well as being a terrific meetings industry advocate and supporter.  His website and blog can be found here: Roger Rickard  
    And here's a direct link to the blog post that we are discussing on the show: American’s have a Big Decision on Election Day (and it’s not for president)
    It's an important message, and it reaches far beyond just our industry. So it's vital that we all exercise our right to vote in the upcoming election.  Make sure your voice is heard, not just on the top of the ticket, but all the way down to the local offices that can have significant impact on our business, schools and city governments.

    • 29 min
    Strategic Meeting Tech Podcast Show #26 - Tracy Stuckrath discusses ways to best accommodate vegetarian attendees

    Strategic Meeting Tech Podcast Show #26 - Tracy Stuckrath discusses ways to best accommodate vegetarian attendees

    On this edition of the podcast we're joined by an old friend, Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPM.  Tracy is one of the leading consultants to the meeting and event planning industry on nutrition.  She travels around the world speaking to industry groups like MPI, PCMA, NACE, ILEA and SGMP on a wide variety of food related topics.  Tracy has extensive information and resources about all types of food and nutrition areas as they relate to planners on here website: Thrive Meetings & Events.
    On todays podcast in honor of "Vegetarian Awareness Month" we talk about the various types of vegetarian classifications and ways that planners can best understand and address them for their attendees.  We also talk about Tracy's upcoming sessions at IMEX America coming up on October 17-20, 2016 in Las Vegas.
    If you're attending IMEX and have an interest in nutrition, food waste and legal aspects of food service to your guests and attendees, be sure and seek out her sessions and visit her website for information and resources.

    • 31 min
    Strategic Meeting Tech Podcast Show #25 - AV Quote Tips and news about a webinar later this month

    Strategic Meeting Tech Podcast Show #25 - AV Quote Tips and news about a webinar later this month

    On todays podcast Jon talks about his upcoming webinar at "Meetings Today".  On October 26th at 1pm EDT he'll be presenting a webinar on the topic of "Contracts: Audiovisual & Speakers".  Here's a link: Meetings Today where you can register in advance for the webinar.
    Today he gives a preview by discussing AV Quotes and the material that's presented in them.  An overview of the various sections and a few pointers for negotiating before you reach the contract stage with a vendor.
    Be sure and mark your calendar to join him on the 26th of October over at Meetings Today

    • 11 min

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