I found myself saying several times a day, that I was having a great time at PCMA because I was learning so much. I think this is the conference to go to for suppliers breaking into the industry. The educational sessions are great and the other attendees are incredibly open. I think the education here is actually the most valuable thing I’m taking away–which says a lot given how much exposure our product has gotten.
My favorite session for Tuesday was a panel for Maximize Attendance With Targeted Marketing. In particular, people should pay attention to what the Chicago Convention and Visitors Bureau is up to with social media. Check out their Twitter feed. The cool thing that they do is work directly with their biggest shows on social media strategy. And the strategy work they do is good–it works, they measure it, and it’s innovative. I was definitely impressed.
Return on Time (ROT)
There was some talk about how to make short heavy-impact meetings that fit into people’s busy schedules. I think of Return on Time (ROT) as Return on Investment (ROI) mixed with opportunity cost. It’s more of a concept to get people thinking about shorter meetings than it is a rigorous measurement methodology. The concept jives with the underlying goals of CrowdVine, to give more impact to time spent in networking and education by providing tools for intelligent preparation.
There’s a lot of stress between hotels and event planners due to the down economy. I hadn’t really understood until now that a lot of the facility fee is paid for with attendee hotel rooms and the event planner makes guarantees about hotel occupancy when they sign their contract. This seems sort of convoluted to me, why not have the entire facility fee be part of registration, but this is an area I really don’t know much about.
The Twitter back channel had a lot of chatter about generation differences and @jessicalevin had some of my favorite takes on this matter:
Everyone likes to mock Gen Y. Aren’t they a result of parenting by Boomers?
She also contradicted a favorite Gen Y stereotype about them being distracted multi-taskers. Maybe what looks like distraction is just an result of another Gen Y stereotype. They are demanding, and when you’re being boring, they demand something more interesting, something that just happens to be located on their phones. All this generation talk made me want to look up the definitions on Wikipedia. I’m at the tail end of Gen X, which means I have no excuse for checking my email during a slow session.
Big kudos to everyone involved in putting together PCMA. It was a huge production. I haven’t even touched on the entertainment side of the event.