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First Day, Still Standing! (barely)

As a first time ASAE Annual Meeting attendee, my first day has been a whirlwind. I’m currently catching my breath and resting my already sore feet while my fellow ACerS colleagues are in session or maybe working on their own blogs. Actually, Laura just sent me a text message. She must have succeeded in getting a seat into her desired Thought Leaders session despite not having a ticket.

I just got out of the Business of Meetings: Family Feud for the Meetings Industry session. Suppliers and meeting planners sat at rounds and the networking started immediately. Introductions were made, business cards were exchanged, and the program was under way. Gary Hernbroth had a very energetic opening to his presentation and explained how we were going to play Family Feud (planners verse suppliers) to learn how to communicate better with each other and gain useful insight to how the other side really thinks. It was an interesting dynamic. I am not sure the Family Feud game actually played out the way that Mr. Hernbroth originally thought it would but the interactions between the supplier and planners teams really spawned some great round table discussions.

Here are some things that I noted from some of the discussions that took place that I think we all could benefit from:

- Listening is the number one desired skill across all industries. We all want to be heard.
Take the time to really listen to what your colleague is saying. Mr. Hernbroth mentioned
the 90/10 rule; 10% talk and 90% listening.
- What is the best way to communicate (email, phone calls, face to face interactions)? Well
many comments were made around the room with some preferring phone calls over email
or face to face meetings over phone calls, we decided we’re all different. It doesn’t hurt to
ask a person what method of communication they prefer best or which is easiest for them.
- A “no update” update is preferred over no update period. The suppliers all said they would
prefer us planners to touch base from time to time and let them know a decision hasn’t
been made rather than just keep them guessing and having no communication.
- Challenge your assumptions.

Well, it is off to get ready for the next whirlwind of dinner and receptions. Sometime tonight, I need to organize my plan of attack for tomorrow’s trade show time since I only made it down three aisles of CVB’s today.

Liz Roehl

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