Monday, October 31, 2011

Why The CEO Cares If You Network

Who cares if you network?  

Every now and then I run into a manager who discourages his or her employees from getting involved in their business community.  I have been told by some that if their people network, the best ones get picked off for better jobs, so they prefer leave the visible activities to the senior executives.  

While it is true that people with large networks do have more opportunities, that is true of all who excel.  Hiding people at the office will not keep them from being discovered by head-hunters and  the competition. Keeping employees is about more than putting up an iron curtain.  

Keep Your People Happy

I believe that creating an atmosphere for employees to grow as leaders inside and outside the company and making your company a destination for those seeking the best place to work is much better than trying to hide mediocre people.  When people feel rewarded, challenged, and happy.... it does not matter if they get calls to move to a new job.

Why The CEO Cares

How does the CEO feel about people networking?  I have talked to entrepreneurial leaders of companies of all sizes and most are excited when everyone in their company behaves like they are part of the Business Development team.  In fact, they are discouraged that so few people take the initiative to raise the profile of the business.  When an employee is recognized as an industry or civic leader it brings positive attention to the whole company.  

When other leaders tell a CEO they are impressed with one of their employees, it brings pride to the CEO.  If the boss notices other company's people involved, when his or her are not, it brings frustration.  CEO's have to be the "face-of-the-firm", but it can be hard work and lonely.  They want their people to care about promoting the company, as that can help drive sales and attract the best employees.

For the employee, being active in your business community will bring you both more opportunities and the recognition of the CEO.  Having both gives you job security.

What do you think?

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sales Training - Austin, Texas

As companies prepare for 2012, sales becomes a hot topic.  During years of economic uncertainty many companies put off investing in their employees.  The time has come to get your team engaged in the growth of your company.

Thom Singer is now offering sales training, coupling the proven theories of DISC, and his 20 years of experience in sales and marketing.

Everything DiSC® Sales teaches salespeople how to connect better with their customers.

Everything DiSC Sales is classroom training that uses online prework, engaging facilitation with contemporary video, and online follow-up to create a personalized learning experience.

Participants learn how to read the styles of their customers. The result is salespeople who adapt their styles to connect better — and close more sales.

Everything DiSC Sales focuses on three vital areas: 

Understanding Your DiSC® Sales Style
Recognizing and Understanding Customer Buying Styles
Adapting Your Sales Style to Your Customer’s Buying Style

Make the Program Work for You!

Everything DiSC Sales is the most in-depth and easily customizable DiSC-based sales-training solution available.

Sales-specific, personalized content creates an in-depth learning experience. Modular design and online tailoring features allow you to design a customized program that’s right for your organization.

To learn more call 512-970-0398

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Enthusiasm Goes A Long Way When You Give A Speech

I was one of two speakers at the FedEx "My Story Austin" event.  I kicked off the program with a short talk on "telling your story".  I believe that any time you know your purpose when talking to others you will have more success (this is true when giving a speech to a large group or just talking to someone one-on-one).  Too often people just spout off statistics and company history without any regard to the reason they are sharing information.

If you are not properly telling your corporate story, then you are allowing your competition to write the ending!

I shared the stage with local entreprneur Gabe Krajicek (CEO of BankVue).  I saw Gabe speak at the ACG luncheon in July 2011 and wrote about his presentation on this blog. I mentioned in that post that when he takes the stage he is like an 11-year-old kid who is telling you about his new bicycle.  He is enthusiastic, energetic, and delightfully focused on sharing his story.

Enthusiasm goes a long way when you speak.  Too often data is dumped to us via spreadsheets, graphs and statistics.  People talk, but here is no passion, purpose or reason behind their words.

Few people are inspired by charts.

Listening to Gabe talk about why entrepreneurs cannot fail was captivating.  He joked that he was worried about following a "professional speaker" on the agenda (yes, I am a "professional speaker"... and I am proud of that job title!), but he delivered an amazing and inspirational talk that touched the soul of everyone in the audience.
When you speak do you hide behind the slides and statistics?  Of do you allow your passion to be front and center?  The answer to this question will tell you if you are blah or fantastic when you open your mouth.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Three Tips For Follow Up After A Business Conference #EMRex

Business conferences are a great way to discover the latest trends, gain knowledge and to network with your peers.  The connections you make at an industry event can lead to new opportunities and have a material impact on your career.

However, a short conversation and an exchange of business cards does not make anyone part of your network.  There is a huge difference between someone you have met once, and someone with whom you have cultivated a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship.

To be sure that you will have meaningful contact after a conference you must make plans on how you will reach out to the people you met.  Sending a generic email blast to everyone you encountered does not have the power of a customized follow up.  Remember, each person is an individual who wants to feel significant. 

Here are three tips to increase your chances of cultivating a relationship after a conference:

1.  Agree to the next steps.  When you have a great discussion at a business conference, do not leave the next conversation up to chance.  Talk to the person about how much you enjoyed meeting them and discuss the purpose for why you would be following up with them.  Get agreement as to the next step.  If you are going to send them information or schedule a call, let them know when and how you will be making contact.  If you tell them you will be calling in two weeks they will be expecting your call (then be sure to take action and call them!).

2.  Send a note.  I suggest you go "old-school" and send a handwritten note telling the person you enjoyed meeting them.  Many people receive over 150 emails each day, so your email may get lost in the mix.  It certainly will not stand out.  A phone call is nice, but reaching people at a convenient time can be tough.  Handwritten notes show that you were willing to put in a little extra thought to your follow up contact than the average person.  If they met 25 people at the conference (most will not follow up at all) and received nine emails and one note via snail-mail... who do you think they will remember as the end of the week?

3. Find a way to help them.  Those you just met are more concerned with their own needs than they are with yours.  People often meet others and hope their new contacts will refer them opportunities, but never send referrals to those they meet.  Set the tone for your new friendship by letting them know you are a giver.  We live in a world with far to many who are seeking to take.  Make beneficial industry introductions or find other ways to show you are a resource.  Create the habit of asking people about the challenges they face in their career, and you will often find easy paths to be of service to their needs.

If you want to create ongoing connections with the people you meet at industry conferences you must "own the follow up".  Do not expect friendships to materialize magically.  Your efforts to forge relationships will not always lead to a person becoming part of your network.  However, if you do nothing then you can be assured that they will be a person you met once at a conference.

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cherish People With "Follow Through DNA"

People often say they will do things to help you in your quest for success.

They do not always get around to it.

It is common for business acquaintances to offer to make introductions or referrals.  They do so with the best of intentions, but when they get back to their office your career is not their top of mind priority.

These are not bad people, they are not liars, they just do not have "Follow Through DNA".

However, there are people out there who are wonderful about making good on their promises.  These people do not agree to take actions when they are not enthusiastic.  They love to see others succeed, and take pride in connecting the dots that leads to business opportunities. These unique souls are givers.

When you know someone with "Follow Through DNA" you must cherish them.  Say "Thank You", and then go one step further..... find ways to help them in their quest for success.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Monday, October 24, 2011

Telling, Gelling, and Selling

There is much said about telling your story and knowing your message.

Gurus everywhere preach about networking and the power of business relationships.

Volumes exist on sales.

But none of these alone are enough.  You have to know how to tell, gel, and sell if you want reach your highest levels of business success.  Organizations often are encouraging these separately without regard to how they work together.

"Telling, Gelling and Selling" is about integrating your communications messages with the end result of raising your profile, generating referrals, and winning more business.

Telling - A great presentation on stage at a conference rarely happens by accident.  Phenomenal speakers do not "wing it" when they speak to an audience.  The same thing is true when you are at a networking event or having a more formal meeting.  You have to know your purpose when you tell your story.  While the realities of your message should always be the same (and honest), the points you will make will vary in every situation.

Gelling - All things being equal, people prefer to do business with those they know, like and trust.  The person with a good reputation and who is known as likable and trustworthy - will often have the advantage.  Some argue against the power of business relationships, but I if you are willing to seed this arena to your competition you might face a tough road down the line.

Selling - All the story telling and networking in the world will never matter if you are not getting paying customers.  The game of business is often won by the dollars and cents.  Being able to ask for the business is often harder than it sounds, but necessary if your going to succeed.

Are you telling, gelling and selling?

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Maximizing Your Attendance at the Emerson Exchange Conference (Or Any Event) #EMRex

This year's Emerson Global Users Exchange event is going to be GREAT. The agenda is packed with captivating keynote speakers, detailed breakout sessions, and outstanding networking opportunities. This is the largest crowd of ever, and the audience and exhibitors are all people who could become important business contacts.

Wow, we have a busy few day ahead!

I will be speaking on Monday morning and conducting a breakout session on both Tuesday and Wednesday. I hope to meet as many attendees as possible. Please come and say hello.

My message on Monday is about maximizing your conference experience. A main reason that people come to industry events is for the networking opportunities, and Emerson Exchange is a phenomenal place to make powerful connections. Hopefully you will enjoy the presentation and go on to "Choose People" throughout the rest of the week.

Even though there is a lot of fun on the agenda, the event is packed with learning and high-level conversations. Get ready for the industry forums, technology exhibits, and powerful networking opportunities.

Here are nine tips to help you maximize the conference:

1. Check in ASAP. You might be tempted to wait until the morning to pick up your nametag and conference materials. However, I recommend getting registered as soon as you arrive. Immediately after you arrive a the hotel check to see if the registration booth is open. The sooner you get your nametag and conference agenda, the sooner you will start reaping the benefits of being part of the conference "mini-society".

You should also download the Exchange App to your smart phone. This will allow you to begin to review the schedule, read speaker bios, select the most appropriate breakout sessions, preview exhibitors, discover the latest conference news, and begin connecting with other attendees.

2. Review the agenda in detail. Read over the descriptions of all the keynote, workshops, breakout sessions and other activities. NOT JUST THE TITLES. I have seen many people skip out on certain sessions only to later realize they missed some powerful information that was ideal for their career. Make your decisions as to what are your "must see" presentations to ensure you will be able to be present. This way if something comes up (like you are tired or have a work emergency) you are familiar with the areas in the schedule where you have flexibility and when you cannot break free.

3. Say "Hello". Once you put on your nametag you become part of the conference community. Do not be shy in talking to others who are also attending the event. If you were in Europe and you saw someone wearing a t-shirt with your hometown or college name on it ... you would defiantly say "Hi". In the halls of the hotel and convention center there will be lots of people hoping to meet each other. Be the person who initiates conversations. If you wait for others to talk to you, it could be a lonely conference.

4. Do not check your email in the conference area. While I encourage your to utilize social media (the Emerson Exchange Twitter hashtag is #EMRex) and the conference app, do not spend the valuable break time checking email or surfing the web on smart phones. Some folks spend the breaks with their eyes focused on their phones, and not seeing the people around them. When you are looking at your phone you broadcast to other attendees that you are not approachable. People do not feel they can come and talk with you, as that would be rude, so they move on. This perception might subconsciously remain at social events later in the conference.

If you have to take a call or are monitoring an important work situation, step away from the conference area. We all have other stuff we must attend to while at a five day conference, but it can usually wait a few minutes. Simply walk a few yards away from the networking area. Twenty years ago when people attended a major industry event they were present both physically and mentally. Now many show up in body only, with their mind off in cyberspace.

This does not mean you shouldn't pull out your phone during a presentation. If the speaker says something interesting, you may want to post his comments to Twitter, Facebook, or your blog.

The key is finding the balance between technology and choosing to pay attention to the people around you..

5. Exchange business cards. There is a trend for people to not carry or ask for business cards. But without the exchange of a card - the odds of a follow up connection go down. The card is a reminder in the physical world that you met this person. Too many "Bump", "Link In", or tell the other person to "Google them" to get contact information. While some actually follow through, most contact information gets lost in the digital stew and nothing ever happens. Getting the cards, and keeping them nearby until you actually follow-up, is important. If you use the conference app to make an initial connection, be sure act on the information as soon as you return to the office.

6. Take notes. I recently listened to a keynote presentation from a person who was a lifetime business adviser and friend to Steve Jobs. This guy was actively sharing important nuggets of business advice to a room of 500 entrepreneurs. A dozen people were taking notes. While his information was interesting, he was not so captivating that his words were to be burned into the soul. Few people probably remembered this guy's insightful information (I am sure most do not recall his name). Take notes so you can review them on the flight home and you will retain more of the knowledge for use when you get back to the office.

7. Meet the exhibitors. The exhibit portion of this event is a great opportunity for you to experience the technology that will be discussed in the workshops, round tables and courses. Many people fail to invest enough time in visiting the booths and cultivating the contacts created when you share time with the sponsors. Those who work for Emerson and the sponsoring companies are the best friends you can have in your industry. They are happy to share ideas and best practices with those they have developed meaningful relationships, and they are always aware of trends and opportunities. Plan your time wisely each day and try to visit every booth.

8. Have fun. Emerson has ensured that this conference will be educational and entertaining. Take full advantage of all aspects of the event. Even if you are a bit of an introvert you can still have fun at the social activities and make connections that will have a positive and long-term impact on your career. Everyone at the conference is here for the same reason, and most want to meet interesting professionals (like you!). Networking should be fun and add to the ROI of your participation.

9. Plan for follow-up. Meeting someone at a conference does not make them part of your network. Meeting someone once simply makes them a person who you have met once. To cultivate the type of relationships that lead to future business opportunities and professional friendships there needs to be ongoing contact. Never expect the other people to follow-up with you. You must own the follow-up. There is a big difference between someone you have met at a conference and a person with whom you have cultivated an ongoing friendship. Relationships do not happen by accident.

As you make new connections be sure to take notes on the back of their business card or in your notebook that will remind you about the pertinent parts of your discussion. If you agree to a certain action item, make sure that you schedule a calendar reminder so that you will follow through.

Now, fasten your seat belt, return your tray table to its upright position, and have a wonderful time at the 2011 Emerson Exchange Conference.

Have A Great Day

thom singer

A Perfect Day

Life seems so simple when we are young.  I recently found a Monday Morning Report I had written in Second Grade titled "My Perfect Day":

I woke up and mom made pancakes.  Then I went with dad to the gas stashin and they gave me a toy turtle. Latr I rode bikes with Mike Perone.  We went to see the movie "George".  It was about a bad dog and a dam dog too.  Then my parents went to play brige and my brother Bob drove me and our dog to my cousins house.  We walked the dogs to the park.  My cousins dog is also white.  We stopped at the store and I got Pixie Stixs .  They invited us to stay for dinner but Bob said no.  We ate at the Sizlur.  

Note, I misspelled the words "station", "later", "dumb" (which I wrote as "dam" and there was a red circle saying "SEE ME" from the teacher... as she thought I was being inappropriate), "bridge", "Stix" and "Sizzler".  There was no spell check in 1973.

That was a busy Saturday for a seven year old.  And when you think about it, what could be better?  Pancakes, a free toy turtle (gas stations do not give away things any more, but it was not uncommon back then), riding bikes with best friend, movie (and I assume popcorn and a Coke?), a ride in my brother's 66 Mustang with the dog, some time with my Aunt and cousins, Pixie Stix, and dinner at the Sizzler.  WOW.

I am not sure that I could recreate that day at age 45.  First, there seemed to be a lot of activity, which might be exhausting.  Mom passed away in 1984.  My dog is long gone. The food intake does not sound healthy.  Mike Perone lives too far away to go ride bikes (we do not really keep in touch much, but we are friends on Facebook!).   And the Sizzler?  I used to get so excited to order steak from a picture menu on the wall.

This got me thinking....  What would be the perfect day for me now?  I know it would involve my wife and kids (they are great).  Would it involve speaking to a client's audience? (I do really enjoy my career, but should it include work?).  I wonder if I can count a day from a vacation? (We did have a magical day in Venice this summer). But that day in 2nd Grade was just a random day at home.  What would be just a perfect regular day?

The foreign part about the day described is I had no responsibility.  Mom made breakfast.  Dad and Bob drove me to the destinations. The bike ride had no purpose or number of miles to cover (I am sure we never left the block).  I needed no money, as others paid for the movie, the candy and the steak. There was no consequences to the calories.  I cannot be that carefree today as I have a family, a business, and a waistline.  

How about you... what makes a perfect day?

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Friday, October 21, 2011

Networking Events Can Mentally Hurt

I was the Emcee at an awards event.  My wife was away on business at the same time, so my 9-year-old came with me (as I had no other child care options).  This is not the first time the kids have had to accompany me to a speech or other business gathering, and I am understanding that this is hardly the high-light of the day for a child.

The event was in a convention center ball room.  The kid brought her homework, and was planning to sit in the back of the room while I did my thing.  Just before I started she asked if she could sit outside into the hallway.  She did not seem to be herself.  She said she felt okay, but something was not right.

As soon as I finished the program one of the organizers came and told me that my daughter seemed to be ill.  She was sitting outside, and I feared she was sick.  Within minutes of leaving the area, she perked back up and was her "old self" by the time we reached the car.

I inquired about the situation, to which she proclaimed she was not sick, but instead in pain.  I queried more to find out that she was not really having physical problems, but instead was painfully bored while all the grown ups networked.  She also said that too many of them were coming up and talking to her and asking her questions (like her name).

"Networking events hurt mentally", she said.

Have you ever felt that way?  You do not need to be nine to want to escape a business event and this feeling is not limited to those who are introverts.  Having to have conversations with strangers can be scary and make some people uncomfortable. We all get bored when the focus of the discussions does not align with our interests. There was no talk of puppies, The Wizards of Waverly Place, or ice cream.  Who could blame her for becoming lethargic!

For those of us of out of elementary school there ARE benefits to cultivating professional relationships, and just because it is not our favorite activity, it does not mean we should skip out altogether.  I admit, sometimes it is not easy.

The next time she has to come with me (and there will be a next time) I will do a better job of preparing her for the event.  Whenever one has a clear set of objectives and understanding of purpose for being present, the experience is always more enjoyable.

How about you... do you ever feel that networking events "hurt mentally"? How do you get through the event without sitting in the corner looking ill?

Have A Great Day.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ed Robinson To Speak In Austin -October 31, 2011

If you’re a speaker, author, expert, or consultant who’s ready to attract more customers and more revenue, mark your calendar now for a powerful NSA presentation you won’t want to miss. 
International speaker and recognized “Rainmaker” Ed Robinson is coming to Austin to share his powerful, proven “Make it Rain” formula with us. You’ll learn how to skillfully rethink and retool your marketing and sales efforts in ways that will help you reach and close more deals, more often and with more profit.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Design (or refine) your personal marketing plan
  • Outline specific goals and the actionable steps to achieve them
  • Measure your business success and effectiveness
  • Understand the “Magic Marketing Mix” that drives attraction to your brand
  • Learn steps for selling both simple and complex projects
  • Discover a four-step selling process that increases your closing percentage
  • Find out ways to capture more business after your programs
  • Close larger clients and win major contracts with repeat engagements.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Ed Robinson, CSP, is highly recognized internationally as an energetic keynote speaker, business growth coach and author. President .and CEO of Robinson Performance Group with over 30 years experience in professional service organizations, Ed provides unique growth strategies and leadership consulting to those businesses. Having spoken in over 35 countries, Ed is sought after globally for his speaking, coaching and Rainmaking techniques. Ed’s goal for NSA is to transform speakers in to Rainmaking machines

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hello? McFly? Your Meeting Should NOT Be A Time Machine

My butt was in a chair in a hotel ball room waiting for the program to begin.  I was questioning why I woke up early to attend.  The agenda was 7:00 AM registration followed by 7:30 welcome and sponsor recognition.  The speaker would go from 7:40 until 8:30, and then the race to get out of the parking garage would begin.  The vibe of the room was stale.  Some might argue the early hour was the cause for the "blah" feeling, but it was more than the need for coffee.

As soon as people arrived they were ushered into a room and immediately sat at tables.  There was not really any networking taking place, even though it was on the schedule.  It was dull, and there had been no thought by the hosts to do anything to encourage an atmosphere for connections.  The room was awkward.  The two men next to me, who worked for the same bank, never spoke to anyone but each other.  I tried once to engage them, but they were talking intently about something or other.

Once the program started the host spent too much time praising the sponsors and making them stand.  The two bank employees to my right did not even smile when they did a half stand and wave.  Why had their company spent money to sponsor?   These two gentlemen had no clue.  Well, their name was said from the stage, but I am not sure most people could remember who the sponsors were.

Another sponsor was allowed to come to the microphone to say a few words.  She went on for ten minutes reading prepared and boring remarks (AKA: a commercial for her organization that resonated with nobody) while the MC stood about three feet away unable to make it stop.

Then the speaker was introduced.  She started with a canned joke followed by 15 minutes about herself, her career, and all the famous people she has met.  It must be nice to have shared the stage with Colin Powell, but I am pretty sure that his bio does not mention her when he speaks!

She later remarked using 1/3 of her time to tell her personal story was building "rapport", but it was really a one-woman show.  She had the stage presence to do Broadway, and told jokes like a comedian, but her style was very much like Zig Ziglar circa 1991.  While it is not a good idea to move straight to the content, she was very "old-school" in her presentation style (this has nothing to do with age, as Brian Tracy is in his 70s and is a perfect example of engaging "with" an audience, not speaking "to" an audience).

The whole program was a time warp.  The stage set up with the risers, podium and flags could have been at any meeting in the last 100 years.  There were stacks of brochures from the sponsors on every chair.  The hotel served a plated breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs and hash-browned potatoes (oh yes, I saw the horror in the servers eye when I asked for a vegan option).  There was no part of the experience that would could not have been delivered in 1984 (except for the part about putting your cell phones away.  FYI- my belief is that if a speaker cannot keep the audience engaged, then people should be free to text and tweet all day long).

The speaker's twenty-one nuggets of information were useful, but by the time she hit number sixteen I just wanted them all to be over.  She had a flip chart with her name written in black Marks-a-Lot on the stage, but other than reminding the audience of her name for an hour, it brought no value (actually I was glad she did not start flipping paper pages!).  Even her topic had not been updated to address the changes in technology.  Her message held strong, but it appeared she had never attempted to incorporate all the tools we use in today's business world.

All this being said, the audience liked her a lot. They laughed at her jokes, seemed to understand the meat in the message, and nobody could miss her strong energy levels.  However it is my belief that she allowed her "Shtick" to dominate over content.  I write a lot about the need for style and experience for a speaker (not just content), but there must be balance.  She had both, but I do not recall her message because of her comedy club routine is all I remember.

Organizing a meeting is like art and architecture.  The appreciation one has for the event is subjective and over time the popular styles change.  Where one person sees a great work of art or a beautiful building, somebody else sees an eye sore.  This does not mean that yesterday's styles are bad, or cannot be used and enjoyed in the modern world.  It is just that if someone builds an Art Deco building in 2011 they need to acknowledge the  retro style.... and include modern amenities.

Closing with an old canned joke was what put it over the top for me.  I felt like when she hit the punch-line there was going to be a drumroll/rimshot and a voice proclaiming "Ba-Da-Bing... She is here all week!".

I know, I know.  I am too critical. If the audience liked the event, then that should be enough (and people did seem happy).  Or is it?  In a world with so many choices on where to invest our time, meetings that just stepped out of Dr. Emmett Brown's DeLorean cannot compete.

The best meeting planners are asking "why?" to everything they do with their meetings.  They are also asking "why not?" to every new idea.  These people are challenging all who fear change.  Simply doing things "same old/same old" is no longer acceptable.  Rethinking how to engage an audience long before the keynote speaker takes the stage is paramount to success.  Where you place the stage matters.  The food served has an impact.  Who introduces the speaker and what is said sets the tone.  Good technical scores are not enough.  What is the overall vibe?  It is hard to pin down, as most people say "wow" after a speech, even if they mean "it was okay" (as a speaker I am cautious of believing too much of what I hear about my own program!).  The post event survey can never tell the whole story.

Some who have seen me speak do not enjoy my style either, so I know that one who lives in a glass house should not throw rocks (note, I did not name the speaker or the organization that hosted the event, as there is no benefit to anyone to add that piece of information or attack anyone personally).  I mentioned before that a speaker is like an artist or architect, and thus we cannot blame the ills of a meeting of the style of the speaker.  But all of us in and around the Meetings Industry should always be reviewing, questioning and brainstorming how to shake things up (in a good way).  I try to review more than just the superficial parts of meetings, and seek out the ones where I can really have an experience that lasts past the parking lot exit gates.

The more people who ask "why" and why not" to the status quo of meetings, the more exciting changes will occur.  Organizers, vendors, speakers, and attendees are all on the same side and should regularly and openly discuss what is working and not working in the world of events.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Friday, October 14, 2011

Your Virtual Network.... When Someone Dies

Through social media and blogging I met Tricia Murphy in 2007.  She lived in Dublin, Ireland and was a business consultant who specialized in helping people with the power of business relationships and personal branding.  She was known as "The Networking Queen of Ireland".

She had read my book and blog, and we shared many of the same beliefs about why it is important to choose people in our crazy busy world.  We became "online friends" via email and she often gave copies of my first book, "Some Assembly Required: How To Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships" as door prizes when she spoke around Dublin.

In July 2007 my family visited Ireland and we met Tricia for a wonderful breakfast at a restaurant in Dublin.  We spent hours laughing as she told us the customs of my maternal grandparents homeland.  I blogged about meeting Tricia and the importance adding face-to-face conversations to your virtual connections.  That article also appears as Tip #19 in my book "Batteries Not Included: 66 Tips To Energize Your Career".  (Here is the photo of Tricia and I in Dublin).

We kept in touch for a couple of years, but I had not heard from Tricia in some time.  I think of her often, as she was a big personality and had a great soul.  The emails I sent bounced back, and her company website was no longer a live site.  A quick Google Search this morning revealed that she passed away from Cancer in 2010.  The last time we spoke she told me of her battle, but I had not know of her death.

Since we did not have mutual friends, and were mainly "Social Media Buddies", I had not known of her passing.  There was nobody who could reach out to me to tell me she died, and with so much information always coming at us, it is easy to not notice everything that comes past on a Twitter or Facebook stream (plus we had no mutual connections, anyway).

This experience has made me conscious of how this will become more common in years to come. I have other business connections who have passed away, and still their LinkedIn and Facebook Profiles are living on.  Each time I pass their name, I wonder how social media sites will handle this when more people begin to pass (too few in the social media population have yet begun to die, but the time will come, as we all eventually exit). I lived in the same city with these people, and was notified when they died.  But when we only know people virtually over half a world apart, how can we know when they are gone?

I am sad that Tricia died.  I do not know her friends and family, but they are in my thoughts and prayers.  Even more than 15 months since she passed away, I know she is missed.  The next time I visit Dublin the city will have a little less sparkle without her shining smile.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Networking is NOT Sales -- But Sales Without Networking Might Come Up Short

I often have conversations about the differences between marketing, sales, business development, social media, advertising, networking, PR, and branding.  Many have ideas about how to use one of these to fast track success, but I have found they all fit together into what I call "Integrated Visibility".  Each one is a pillar.  While you can remove one or two, if you take them all away the roof falls on your head.

Many people confuse networking with sales.  Networking is NOT sales.  However, sales without networking can come up short.  It is simply a transaction without any long-term meaning.  When we do business with another person it can be the foundation.  But if the purpose is simply to get the sale, and there is not investment in the person, we should not be surprised when our clients referrals and future business go to our competition.

Some argue that they do not have time to invest in the human to human side with everyone they meet.  I believe we must choose people.  Most people you will encounter have very interesting parts to their lives, you simply have to ask questions and listen to the answers.  You will not have an ongoing "love connection" with everybody, but if you are open to it, you will create some powerful friendships along the way.

Every time you are in a sales situation remind yourself that the person on the other side of the transaction is a person... .and all people have a life beyond the product or service being discussed.  If you are interested you will be amazed at what they may bring to your life.

Networking is the creation of long-term and mutually-beneficial relationships between two or more people where everyone involved gains more from the connections than they would without the connections.  It is that simple.  Key words here are "mutually-beneficial", which means you must look for ways to add value to them if you hope they can add value to you.

The best sales people I know are also amazing about sending referrals to their clients.  Hmmmmmmm.

If you are too busy to show you care, you might be missing out on opportunities.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Moneyball for Your Industry

Have you seen Moneyball?  I was impressed with the movie, and Brad Pitt will probably collect a few Hollywood award nominations this year (an Academy Award win for Best Actor? Probably not, but I could see a nomination).

The movie was an experience and it made me think.  This was not just a story about the business of Major League Baseball, but about all business. A classic tale of the underdog beating the odds and creating new ways to compete while reshaping their world (think Steve Jobs - We love us a good story of someone beating the odds and achieving great things!).

Billy Beane exited the "same old ways" and attempted something different in how to select players and forge a winning season.   As soon as he began the nay-sayers came out with the "this is not they way we have always done it" banter.  People laughed.  They shook their heads.  They predicted his failure.

He easily could have caved in and eased back into the old ways.  Instead Beane held the course and the 2002 Oakland A's made history.  While they did not win the World Series (Hey, this is not a spoiler, this is based on a true story!!!), his courage to a walk a different path changed the game.

I find "Billy Beanes" in the convention and meetings industry. These are the event professionals who are willing to try new programs, inject new activities, and create conferences and trade shows that deliver more than expected.  Like Beane, many of these mavericks achieve their greatness without bigger budgets or expensive celebrity speakers (while taking risks that and standing up to those who do not embrace the need for change).  Instead they rely on the intersection of experimentation and creativity while painting their future on a blank canvas.

There are also many who represent the "old guard" in the meetings business.  They fear that change could make them obsolete.  Instead of being champions of innovation, they hope that anything new is just a passing fad.  Their agendas look just like last year.

The world of business is changing and those who are hoping for passing fads are in trouble.

Look at your business and your industry.  Would you rather be part of the old guard or do you want to be Billy Beane?  Maybe it is time to Moneyball your company or industry!

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Monday, October 10, 2011

Business Development and Sales - ON PURPOSE!

"Hope" is not a business strategy, yet too many professionals that I speak with are hoping for more clients without taking the necessary actions to create a business development and sales platform.

Lawyers, accountants, bankers and others are often in the position of being both the person who brings in the business and services the clients.  On top of that they are the product.  This is true for those who work at large institutions, and those who are running their own entrepreneurial ventures.  People do not hire a law firm, they hire a lawyer (same for accountants, bankers, consultants, etc....).

Sales Is Not A Bad Word

Some professionals cringe at a conversation about "sales".  I have consulted with law and accounting firms who have asked me not to use the word "selling".  They are more comfortable with "business development", "client development" or "marketing".  I have never understood the deep seeded disgust with the word, as any CEO or Entrepreneur at their client companies would tell them about why a sales focus is paramount to growth of an organization.

Selling is an honorable profession. Selling is not tricking people or talking them into something they do not want.  Selling is solving problems.  Selling is helping. Selling is creating relationships (Networking is not sales, but sales without networking is comes up cold).  Selling is the only way the organization can succeed, as without clients the doors will close.

When I conduct training for professional service firms (my program is called: "Telling, Gelling, and Selling" - and yes, some do not like the word "Selling" in the title, but those are who need to hear it most!), I help organizations get beyond the stigma around the word and get them focused on a process that can be customized to work for each person's personality, and needs of their practice area.

Create A Selling Culture

Firms that cultivate a culture that openly monitors new sales will always have more success. When people at the firm have no idea where the clients come from, they get complacent that the business will always be there.  This has hit hard in the recession, as many professionals have seen layoffs they never thought could happen in their industries.

Everyone in the firm must be interested and educated about the selling process.  Discussions about new clients and prospects encourages everyone to consistently promote the whole firm.  Too often younger professionals are not included, but anyone can be the source of new business.  Moving the sales topic to the front of all internal meetings will show that this is the priority (not individual compensation or who gets which office).

One firm I know sends out an email to the whole staff every time they sign a new client.  They started this once they realized that the different practice groups had no idea what the others were working on.  Everyone  had assumed the other departments were doing less than their own.  The managing partner sends out an email each week with the new matters.  When she forgets, the whole team begins to worry about the new business.  This change in attitude toward tracking and reporting has made "sales" a more important topic in partner meetings.  Associates are included in the process, and they appreciate being in "the know".  Everyone cares about the numbers for every practice area, and the firm is doing better overall.

Leave Hope Behind

Professionals who have their own book of business are always in demand.  They make more money, and have more choices in the directions available for their careers.  Hoping you will have more business means that the future is left up to luck.  Sometimes that will work, but knowing how to create your own future will bring more career satisfaction.

Being a professional who understands how to sell has become more important than ever inside smart firms.  Promotions and other decisions are made around this topic.  The turbulent economy has proven that nobody else has your back.  Take ownership of your practice and embrace sales skills as an important part of your career.

Lawyers, bankers, accountants and other professionals are achievers, or they would never have gotten to where they are in their careers.  To go to the next level, selling must be a priority.

Anyone can learn to sell on purpose.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Create a Better Networking Atmosphere for Business Events

To get a free copy of my eight page essay on "How to Create an Atmosphere for Better Networking" email me at thom (at)

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Saturday, October 08, 2011

TEDx Austin 2012 Coming February 11th to the Austin Music Hall

I am a big fan of TED.  I keep a series of new TED Talks loaded on my iPad so I can watch them when I have that rare 18 minutes of downtime.

Two years ago I attended the first TEDx Austin event.  It was well done. The scoop on the 2011 event is that it was even better (I was speaking at a conference in Atlanta that same day, and since the transporter is the one piece of Star Trek technology not yet released, I could not be at both events).  They say "third time is a charm", so my guess is that the next TEDx Austin will be spectacular!

The local organizers of TEDx Austin have announced that the date for the next extravaganza is February 11, 2012.  The time is now to apply for a ticket, as the event always sells out.  Yes, you have to be "selected" to attend.  I am not on the committee so I cannot tell you what they seek, but they strive to have a diverse audience of thinkers who represent all of Austin.

The theme is "Beyond Measure", and the event will live up to the theme.  Hop onto the TEDx Austin website and fill out your application.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Seeking Innovative Brainstorming Partners

In December of last year I reached out to people via social media in search of a few "Brainstorming Partners" to assist me in my goal setting and action plan for 2011.  I know that as I grow my business I need innovative people around me.  The idea, which I blogged about, was to have lunch with some folks who were not those closest to me, and then help each other see the blind spots and spur fresh ideas.

I ended up meeting with four people.  In all cases they helped me -- A LOT.  I hope I also had a positive impact on their year.  One of the people has become a friend who I talk with regularly, and all are business professionals for whom I have great respect.  The meetings lead to direct and indirect business.  2011 has been the best year of my career, and I can target my innovate brainstorming partners as a partial catalyst for the boost.

Come December I will do these types of meetings all over again as I set my 2012 plans. The only difference is I will do more of them (if four was good, ten might be better). But why wait?

As we go into fourth quarter I am heavily focused on innovation.  The media attention on what made Steve Jobs great, coupled with having just read the book "Innovate You" (by Jeff DeGraff) and my own hunger to find to succeed, are inspiring me to instigate new ideas.

I am looking to chat with others who have this same desire.  We can meet for lunch or coffee if they live locally, or via Skype if they are remote.  And this is not just about my business, as I love to brainstorm about how others can succeed (and I do come up with some good ideas from time to time!).  I find we can all see the opening for others, while we miss the simple ideas for ourselves.

Are you whom I seek?  Let me know - thom (at)

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Friday, October 07, 2011

Optimistic About Austin - Leadership Austin Engage Breakfast

The Leadership Austin Engage Breakfast Series kicked-off the new season with a sold-out event on the main stage of the Long Center.  Over 200 Austin area professionals attended this informative and interactive panel discussion,  "ATXpansion: Central Texas Grows Toward the Future".

KXAN's Robert Hadlock was the moderator.

Panelists were:

Jesus Garza, Executive VP and COO, Seton Family of Hospitals
Senator Kirk Watson
William Powers, President, The University of Texas at Austin

Everyone agrees that Austin is a great place to live, but our fine city is not without challenges.  Affordable healthcare, improved education, traffic and transit solutions, environmental quality, crime reduction and improved race relations are all top priorities for all who live in Central Texas.

Take on traffic

The top issue (according to a live audience poll) is the traffic congestion that continues to plague the city.  The panel agreed.  For decades this has been a major problem facing our fast growing community.  As the city grows to the east, we still do not have the infrastructure in place to keep up with the growth.  We spend too much time in our local government bickering over things that do not fix the issues.  Our community needs to stop spending so much time focusing on what political party people belong to in local elections and other conversations (National party affiliation divides the electorate, but the issues of the national parties are of little importance to local need to solve problems).  Party membership should not be the leading factor in local issues!

As the state continues to slash budgets for roads local governments must pick up the slack.  Texas is doing better than many places in the country, but much of this is because of the investment in infrastructure that was made by our parents and grandparents.  We must continue to build for the future.  If the state will not do it, they at least need to "get out of they way" and let the local officials create solutions.  We must be forward thinking and entrepreneurial in making decisions for making Austin better in the long run.

Planning as a region is key.  We need to remove the competition between different jurisdictions and work together.  Money is an issue, and we need to get used to the reality that there will be less investment from the state.  While people do not like the option of Toll Roads, we cannot keep hoping for answers without finding solutions to raise the money needed to build the roads.

A new medical school

The panel also discussed the pending addition of a world-class medical school to be built in Austin.  The benefits of this project are increased quality healthcare, expanded options for care, an economic boost and more (and better) higher-education in the area.

Much like MCC brought with it an economic expansion in high tech thirty years ago, the medical school will have an unparalleled impact on the future of Austin.  All agreed that at few times in a community is there a moment in history where a single decision can make such a difference on the future.  The pieces are already in place to launch the program, and we MUST get this done, as it will have a positive impact for everyone.

The whole community must become aware of what the medical school means to Austin beyond the addition of more healthcare options throughout our region;  it will also ignite economic development, create high-quality jobs, spur the start up and relocation of bio-tech companies, etc....  This is more than a large, beige building with the world "Medical School" on the wall.  Senator Watson added that this project will have lasting impact and is a source of pride for the community.  He encouraged people to call his office to learn more and to add their name to a growing list of people who can find ways to be involved.

The future looks bright

All the panelist were optimistic about Austin.  When Scarborough's Department Store closed in downtown during the 1980s people debated if the downtown would ever recover.  Today Austin has a vibrant downtown that is the envy of most cities.  The need to complete MoPac was heavily debated in our community, and today nobody could imagine the city without this important road.  Austin has always found a way to rebound and tackle the tough issues.

People must become educated about the issues.  They need to know more than the casual observations and be able to talk to both sides.  We need to leave the political banter behind-- Stop talking and get things done!  This is not the time for politicians to be talking in "sound-bites".  The issues are too important.

The Engage Breakfast Series always brings thoughtful conversations, and this meeting was a great example of why Leadership Austin continues to be one of the most important organizations in Austin.

If you would like to learn more about the issues discussed, KXAN will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting on October 26th from 7PM to 8PM.  Go to for more information.

The next Engage Breakfast will be on November 1st.  More information on the Leadership Austin website.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Friday Praise Project - Allstate: The CapCity Agency - James Fitzgerald

If you read my post yesterday you know that I am sadly noticing how easy it is for people to quickly become upset with their vendors.  In our society we expect perfection from everyone, and too many people are fast to criticize and slow to praise.  I am guilty of this.. and so are so many others.

Yesterday my sister-in-law was pleasantly surprised when a customer service department from a large company called her on the phone instead of sending a cold email in response to an inquiry.  She was shocked (in a good way).  And yet good service happens every day... and I think it is time we all stand up and praise.

I want to start a movement to praise those who do good work.  I'll start.

I met my insurance broker this week.  He inherited me several years ago when he purchased another agency, but we have never met in person.  He called to set up a "Policy Review" and spent time with me explaining all aspects of my home and auto policies.  At the end of our conversation I knew I was in good hands :-).

My agent?  James Fitzgerald from The CapCity Agency (Allstate in Austin, Texas).

****I will begin praising people and companies each Friday on the Some Assembly Required Blog.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

People (and Companies) Have Flaws - Have Understanding and Be Forgiving

Are you one who can forgive others for mistakes, mis-communications, and other mishaps after the situation is resolved?  Or do you hang onto the ill feelings forever?

I am not talking about intentional acts where the there is an attempt to screw you over or inflict harm, but instead those little things that happen when you deal with other human beings.  People have flaws and I believe we find more success when we have understanding and forgiveness in our soul.

We have begun to expect perfection from everyone (except, it seems, from ourselves). I found myself really pissed-off at the shoe sales people at Nordstroms last week when I took my daughter to by a pair of Sperry's.  They were packed on a Sunday afternoon and it took nearly 25 minutes for anyone to help us.  I did not vocalize my displeasure and I was not a jerk to anyone who worked at the store (but I did vent on Twitter).  Their system of who got service failed, as more than once a person walked in and got attention quickly, but this failure was meant to treat me poorly.  They were just overly busy (**What recession??? expensive shoes were being sold left and right!).

In the end, my kid got the footwear she desired, and our life was not harmed by the extra time inside the department store.  Nobody intended to make us wait so long, and everyone extended an apology once we made contact.

John Moore wrote about this in a 2007 blog post.  His point in the article holds true today: "We are setting ourselves up for disappointment by expecting businesses to flawlessly deliver every single time".  He goes on to talk about a major problem that JetBlue faced when a series of cancelled flights and thousands of stranded customers triggered a major backlash.  JetBlue recovered, but was it realistic for customers to expect perfection? (Read John's post... it is insightful).

I talked to a person recently who said she holds grudges in such situations and wants to see the offending party suffer when they let her down.  She pulls business and tells the world when someone sucks.  The more she talked, the more I realized that we run into mishaps all the time, and she must spend a lot of time wishing ill-will.  I wondered if she had kids and if she had the same policy when they disappointed her in some way?  

We live in crazy busy times, and sometimes people drop the ball (I have failed people, but I do things to try to remedy the situation, say I am sorry, and then I cannot worry about their stink-eye if they send it my way).  If we understand that not all problems are intentional and take a deep breath we can continue to build long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.  If I had stormed out of Nordstroms and vowed not to return, I would never again have the best Oxford button-down shirts on the market (I am very fond of their shirts).

How about you?  What do you think?

thom singer

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Oh, The People You Will Meet at a Conference!

I speak at business meetings and I am known as "The Conference Catalyst".  I have delivered nearly 300 professional-level presentations in my career and have attended thousands of events over two decades.  I have seen it all.  Every event is unique, but the people you meet are the fascinating part of going to conferences.

This blog post was inspired by "thought leader extraordinaire" (and one of Australia's top public speakers), Matt Church.  Several months ago we were together at an event and were talking about the meetings industry.

He immediately understood my concept of "The Conference Catalyst", and he gave me several insightful ideas to help promote the program, but soon we were joking about all the people you meet at conferences besides a "catalyst".  He is really funny and his jokes lead me to writing this post.  I have been collecting ideas on "ists" ever since that conversation. (What other "ists" are present at events that can you add?).

(The Conference Catalyst is my program that sets the tone for a business event, - turning average conversations in the hallways of conferences into impactful networking and the creation of long-term, mutually beneficial relationships that lead to more business.  Gatherings from 200 to 4000 can be transformed when the culture is centered around connections.  Does your conference have a catalyst?) .

Here are other interesting personalities that often show up at a conference:

The Conference Pacifist -  This person does not want to witness or participate in conflict, controversy, or hands-on activities.  Anything that makes them uneasy causes them to flee the conference and seek diplomatic immunity in their hotel room.

The Conference Socialist - Wants all the power at a conference to be distributed.  They do not like it when keynotes receive more attention than breakouts.  They can't stand that there are VIP activities. These people love the new trend of the "Un-Conference".

The Conference Masochist - Finds joy listening to speakers who are not prepared, monotone, and have awful PowerPoint.  The talks most of us find painful are their favorite.  Unfortunately they have plenty of joy, as too many events highlight speakers who may or may not have good content but are totally lacking in public speaking skills.

The Conference Narcissist - They cannot stop delivering their elevator pitch - even when nobody is listening.  They enhance the story of their life and "hold court" rather than looking to make any real connections.  They lead with their business card and are sure that people will go home and remember their one-sided conversation.  If this person is a featured speaker you can expect a 60 minute commercial to by their product, service or coaching program.

The Conference Apologist - Is the speaker who starts his or her talk by telling the audience several times that they are not a good public speaker, but instead someone who will simply share their ideas or experience.  They hope to lower the expectations for their speech, but their apologizing reaches the point that nobody cares to pay attention (who signs up to listen to someone who admits they suck?).

The Conference Obstructionist - The long time attendee or board member who crushes every new idea that is proposed to enhance the conference experience or introduce new trends and technologies.  They argue against new concepts because they are not "the way it has always been done".  These people hate change and will work hard to ensure that their event organizers are not allowed to experiment.

The Conference Colonist - Attends their organization's national convention and then brings the best ideas home and implements them at their local chapter.  They spread the best parts of what they saw to new audiences, and help expand best-practices.

The Conference Educationalist - Attends the conference only for the educational opportunities.  They take pages of notes and never miss a keynote or breakout session.  However, they avoid all the meals, happy hours, breaks and anything fun. They get good information, but miss out on meeting new people. When these people are on the committee to plan events they undercut the importance of the human experience.

The Conference Receptionist - Attends all the happy hours, dinners, coffee breaks, etc... but never seems to be able to sit through an entire keynote or breakout session.  These people meet everyone they can on a superficial level, but are never a true part of the overall conference society as they are not engaged in the shared learning experience.  The receptions and parties are only part of the conference!

The Conference Aromatherapist - The person in the audience wearing too much cologne or perfume.  Need I say more?

The Conference Capitalist - Finds a way sign an new client or gets a new job offer while attending a conference.  This person naturally can make money grow on trees, regardless of their actual involvement with the event.  They do this without being pushy or obnoxious, but instead they can create opportunities in any situation.  They do not need to be a vendor or sponsor to do business while at the event.

The Conference Accompanist - The person who attends the event with their co-worker, spouse, or friend and then never leaves their side the whole time.

The Conference Hobbyist - Makes a hobby out of attending events.  They can be found at all types of conventions, conferences, trade shows and seminars.  They love the atmosphere.  They network and learn, but never seem to cultivate any long-term relationships or turn their participation into real business opportunities.

The Conference Protectionist - Often the same as the Conference Obstructionist, but under the guise of preserving traditions.  They want to keep the meeting the same as it always has been, and do not care about attracting new attendees.

The Conference Mixologist - The bartender.

The Conference Communist - Part of the "Power Clique" that is usually made up of board members and former board members.  They ride rough-shot over the professionals who plan the event, complain about everything, and do not make other people feel welcome.  They profess the need of the greater good of the conference community, but hang out in the VIP Hospitality Suite rather than mingling with the regular folk.  The real purpose of the conference to these people is as an annual reunion with their buddies.

The Conference Photojournalist - Has their camera or SmartPhone and is constantly taking pictures of everyone they meet and posting the photos to Facebook and Flickr.  Many have mixed emotions about the Conference Photojournalist,  both loving and hating them at the same time.  They don't want to be photographed, but then later get very excited to view all the cool pics.

The Conference Localist - They live in the city where the conference is held and keep leaving the venue to go to their office or home.  They miss out on being part of the mini-society that is created at an event, but they save on the expense of a hotel room.

The Conference Plagiarist - The speaker who has no new ideas, but instead only takes the stories from other people's presentations without giving credit.  They share no personal experiences, and yet take the jokes and other intellectual property from books and presentations of others and use them as their own.

The Conference Verbalist - Has an opinion about every thing that is said from the stage during the keynotes and breakout sessions.  They are the first one to the microphone during Q&A - but never ask a question.  Then keep harping on their point of view during every break to anyone who will listen.

The Conference Perfectionist - This person wants every single detail at the conference to come off without a hitch.  Wonderful trait in a hard working meeting professional -- annoying trait in an attendee.

The Conference Regionalist - The attendee who is from the area who knows where to find all the best bars and restaurants.  When visiting a new city it is great to know someone from the region if you want to experience the wonderful (and sometimes off the beaten path) gems in a city.

The Conference Chauvinist - The man, often from a traditionally male-dominated industry, who calls all the women executives "honey", "sweetie", etc....

The Conference Projectionist - The audio visual team (we all need to honor, praise and respect the AV professionals, as they are the unsung heroes of successful conferences!).

The Conference Rallyist- Person who leads the charge to ensure that anyone and everyone has a good experience, (even if the agenda is "same old / same old" and mundane).  This person improves the situation by rallying the troops to keep having fun even after the scheduled happy hour ends.  They can often be found organizing a last minute groups to go to a local restaurant, club, sporting event, etc...  (Pair them with The Conference Regionalist and you have some good times!)

The Conference Therapist - That person at the hotel bar late at night who everyone seems to want to talk with.  They listen and always have some good advice. The doctor is in!

The Conference Royalist - The person who stalks the celebrity speakers and industry experts thinking that shaking their hand is the purpose of their trip to the meeting.  They worship those with fame, and ignore all their peers.  They are so excited to meet the celebrities and stand in line for an hour just to say hello.  They find personal accomplishment from having been in the same room as greatness.  However, they miss the reality that real power is sitting next to them (it is the other attendees!)

The Conference Motorist - The attendee rented a car.

The Conference Rhythmist - The one attendee you think should NOT be on the dance floor, but who instead has "the moves".  They dance all night with everyone.  When the band or DJ stops, they want to get a group to go out dancing (see Conference Rallyist).

The Conference Revolutionist - A meeting professional who bravely pushes their company or association to try new things to transform their event into an "industry happening".  These fearless people often face risk by pushing their CEO or Executive Director to take a chance on what might seem like a weird new idea.  They rarely get the credit or recognition deserved for the impact they have on the overall meeting.  They are not scared to fail, as they have confidence in their instincts and experience.  They know that to make an omelet you must break a few eggs, and they are excited by the challenge of helping re-shape a new area of business and professional meetings.

Oh, the people you will meet at a conference!

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

Thom Singer is known as "The Conference Catalyst". He works with meeting planners and conference organizers to set the tone for a meeting. His presentations educate, inspire and motivate attendees to engage deeper in the event and make meaningful connections.