With so much change in the meetings industry, you may wonder who is really setting the pace in the marketplace. MPI recently identified "Chief Curators" who are considered thought leaders for the future. Here is a synopsis of what they bring to the table along with my key takeaways about what this all means. 

INFLUENCER #1: Michael McAllen, Meeting and Event Production Warrior

Michael runs Grass Shack Media where he started up a website called AVForPlanners.com to help planners identify their audio visual needs and make better choices. He is also engaged in exploration of apps on mobile technologies — such as Evernote which he states, "It is an event binder in your mobile device."

INFLUENCER #2: Joan Eisenstodt, Hospitality & Meetings Industry Trainer, Facilitator & Consultant

"Joan is a mentor to so many and a real advocate for the industry. She is one of the most recognized and respected people I know, has run and contributed to the most influential email lists in the industry and is a teacher to all," stated Eli Gorin, CMP, CMM, Vice President of Global Client Relations at ABTS Convention Services. 

Joan launched the Meetings Focus Website, a networking site for meeting professionals. "My passion is connecting people through ideas," said Eisenstodt.

INFLUENCER #3: Renee Radabaugh, President and CEO at Paragon Events

"Renee taught me to sit back and look at things from every single perspective when she had to respond to unexpected construction in one hotel and complete quick negotiations with another. She made it a real 'win, win, win' for both of the hotels and our organization," said Sharon Fisher, Owner of IdeaSparker.

Renee works with 16 colleges to attract for-credit internships into her organization. She desires to recruit top talent for the next generation meeting planner.

INFLUENCER #4:  Christina Coster, Founder of EventCamp

Coster launched EventCamp after planning an"unconference" in 2009 where participants drove the event by planning what they wanted to discuss at the meeting. 

INFLUENCER #5: Ruud Janssen, CMM, Online & Offline collaboration specialist at TNOC.ch

Janssen thinks it is essential for meeting organizers to adapt to on-line and off-line events. "What's surprising to me is that a lot of companies are not noticing this change or adapting to it fast enough," Janssen said. 

He co-created a new meeting format called "The Solution Room" where he tested this concept at EMEC where participants drove their own action plans for change. Here is a brief video on this concept: 



INFLUENCERS #6 & #7: Jeff Hurt, Executive Vice President at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting & Dave Lutz, Managing Director at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
"Hurt and Lutz are getting us to rethink the way we design meetings and presentations. They have a lot of great ideas about how you can design an effective learning experience for attendees," said Liz King, Event Planner Superhero. 
"I really think that meeting professionals need to think of themselves as content curators and strategists," Hurt said. 
Lutz stated that meeting planners need to be highly content focused. "Meeting professionals who carefully consider digital participants' experience…will find themselves in demand." 
  1. Provide planners with websites to make their decision process easier, especially when it comes to renting audio visual equipment
  2. Mobile apps need to be constantly evaluated as to ways to save your attendees money and time. 
  3. Social channels set up for meeting professionals to network is important. 
  4. Continue to attract new talent into the industry through college internships.
  5. Work toward innovative meeting styles such as EventCamp. 
  6. Help individuals drive change through innovative meeting styles. 
  7. Be a curator of information that help attendees learn, network and collaborate. 

AV Event Solutions, now part of SmartSource Rentals, is your total technology trend setting partner! Give them a call today at 888.249.4903 to learn more about their offerings!