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It is without question that IMEX America is the United States’ largest meeting industry trade show. All you have to do is take a look around at all of the attendees and see that it’s a who’s who of the entire industry. We know many people could not make it out to Vegas this year for the annual event so we decided to bring IMEX to you. We hosted a special 2-hour edition of #EventIcons live from the show floor where we interviewed more than 14 icons of the events industry back to back. We talked about everything from the hosted buyer program, to what to do if it’s your first time, and even peeked into the future of IMEX America. So, relax and enjoy our special LIVE from IMEX America episode of #EventIcons!

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Transcription of this episode:

Will Curran: Hello, everybody and welcome to another edition of Hashtag Event Icons. You might have noticed that the scenery has changed. We aren’t in our homes. There’s only one camera, and there’s a TV behind us. There’s a lot going on right now. We’re actually live at IMEX 2016.


Tara Thomas: Live.


Will Curran: In the technology area. We’ll get to that in just a second, but for all you guys who are watching right now, hop on Twitter, Hashtag Event Icons. Send in your questions. Also in the question pane over on the right hand side. I’m looking towards my screen over here. Post your questions for the Event Icons.


We’ve got two hours jam-packed of the biggest names in events for you to ask some questions. They’re coming in for 15 minute interviews and they’re on their way, so you want to stick around. Share on social media so we can get a ton of people in this conversation. We might as well just jump right in. We only have 15 minutes here.


So, I’m here with Tara. Tara is a badass from Meeting Pool. Co-founder and CMO, correct? Is that the official title?


Tara Thomas: That is the official title.


Will Curran: Tara actually was kind enough that we were looking to do the show live from the floor and we needed a space to do it, and Tara said “I got you.” She was so kind to make it happen.


Tara Thomas: No, it’s our pleasure. It really is our pleasure to be here.


Will Curran: We are so excited to have you here. Can you talk a little bit about what the technology area is at IMEX and what you’re doing today?


Tara Thomas: Sure. We work in partnership with IMEX to provide tech education, and that is from a variety of perspectives from folks on the floor here, from our perspective through these tech bite sessions in this area throughout the time of IMEX. We present all kinds of topics, to ROI, breaking your Excel habit, project management tools, planning tools, hotel apps. There’s a plethora of content for people to enjoy in a short amount of time.


Will Curran: Awesome. I’ve been noticing that a lot of sessions are packed, too.


Tara Thomas: Yes.


Will Curran: People are hungry to know. Like this is the first time you guys did a presentation on Snapchat 101, right?


Tara Thomas: Yes, we did.


Will Curran: Are you finding that a lot of these sessions that … I consider myself a really techy person obviously, being the AV guy I am. Are the sessions really, really popular? Is it just because of IMEX, or are you guys … Because you guys do these all over, right?


Tara Thomas: We do them all over at a range of types of events all over the world, from medical and pharma events to professional events for lawyers, for …


Will Curran: And they’re just equally as packed?


Tara Thomas: They’re really … No one has the time to sort of research and consume all of the options for them in a variety of, basically, personal and professional productivity landscape. So what we do is find different areas where they can perhaps make a change or an addition and we gave them some options with apps and process and some technology tips that might be useful.


Will Curran: Awesome. What do you think is the … If you had to give one tip to everyone who is coming here. Let’s say you just put on a repeater, and you just said the same thing over and over again, what would be the one tip this year that you’re telling everybody?


Tara Thomas: Use the right tool for the task.


Will Curran: Okay.


Tara Thomas: The right tech tool for the task. It’s not one-size-fits-all mobile, it’s not one-size-fits-all event management, it’s not one-size-fits-all planning. You really have to look at what your needs are and look at the options in terms of tech tools that are going to help you do it more efficiently, going to help you do it more in a workflow that makes sense for you, and going to help you drive your team to completion really successfully.


Will Curran: What’s your one cool tech tool that you’re using right now that you’re loving?


Tara Thomas: Airtable.


Will Curran: Airtable?


Tara Thomas: Airtable is … A lot of people in this industry have what I like to call the obsession with Excel. That obsession with Excel is really hurting people because it’s on a shared folder or it’s just not prudent to continue to update a spreadsheet, which is a financial tool, not a planning tool anyway.


Will Curran: Totally, totally.


Tara Thomas: So if you really need to use that kind of interface – a spreadsheet interface – Airtable is a great option, and it’s a SAAS product that allows you to do everything you want online, share that, send it off to clients, and you still retain that cozy Excel feeling, yet a cool, new, polished tool.


Will Curran: So does it add onto Excel, or is it …


Tara Thomas: No. It’s a separate tool. It’s a freemium model SAAS product.


Will Curran: Cool.


Tara Thomas: Just an ‘in the cloud’ spreadsheet.


Will Curran: Awesome. Airtable.


Tara Thomas: Airtable. That’s my big tool.


Will Curran: Well, I want to give a huge shout out to Meeting Pool.


Tara Thomas: Thank you.


Will Curran: And also to the deer, what’s this? Dancing Deer.


Tara Thomas: Dancing Deer Bakery.


Will Curran: Because they provided all the snacks for the session that everyone’s enjoying.


Tara Thomas: Brownies.


Will Curran: If you’re not here in person, you’re missing out. You want to be at IMEX next year so you can hang out with us next time.


Tara Thomas: Yes.


Will Curran: Thank you so much for being here, Tara.


Tara Thomas: Yes.


Will Curran: I really appreciate it. You rock so much.


Tara Thomas: All righty.


Will Curran: I’m sure I’ll see you very soon.


Tara Thomas: All right. Thanks.


Will Curran: All right. Next up. Man, we are moving so fast. We got someone – a surprise guest – who was able to come in at the last minute. You guys might recognize him. He’s super famous in the events industry.


Julius Solaris: Hello.


Will Curran: Mr. Julius Solaris. Thank you for being here.


Julius Solaris: So good to see you. We haven’t seen each other. Sorry if we do a little bit of housekeeping here.


Will Curran: I know, I know. I haven’t seen you since last year’s IMEX.


Julius Solaris: Yeah.


Will Curran: Event Tech of the Year.


Julius Solaris: Of course. Endless Entertainment did an amazing AV job.


Will Curran: Thank you. Thank you. I didn’t … I’ll pay you $20 later.


Julius Solaris: Of course. Only $20?


Will Curran: How’s the show been so far?


Julius Solaris: Amazing.


Will Curran: You live in Vegas now?


Julius Solaris: I live in Vegas. I’m a local.


Will Curran: You’ve been just driving in for the show?


Julius Solaris: Driving in. I have my bag with me because with the road closures …


Will Curran: Oh my gosh.


Julius Solaris: With the debate … They pulled the Rolling Stones concert.


Will Curran: [inaudible 00:05:31] at the exact same time.


Julius Solaris: Yeah, so that’s great. It’s a different vibe being here and coming to the show, but equally amazing. It’s always a great show to come to.


Will Curran: What’s the one coolest thing that you’ve seen so far? I mean, you’re a huge leader on technology, social media, everything – basically – events. What do you think is the one thing that you’ve seen so far that you think the people at home need to know about?


Julius Solaris: Absolutely. There’s nothing cool at the moment.


Will Curran: Really?


Julius Solaris: Yeah, no. Not as much.


Will Curran: Yeah. You feel like it’s just a downer.


Julius Solaris: There’s a problem right now in the industry in terms of innovation. Come on guys. Step it up, because we need more and more of that.


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Julius Solaris: I mean it’s great to be an app, it’s great to be whatever, but we need more disruption. Of course there are great people doing cool things, but do we need a little bit more of that? Do we need more participation and more innovation from the big guys? We have to be more demanding [inaudible 00:06:27]. It’s not just saying that it’s cool just for the sake of saying it’s cool. We need more of that.


Will Curran: I think last year, too, was the pinnacle of EVENT Tech. Obviously you have the award show and everything like that going on. Everyone was here, but seems like there’s a lot of people are missing this year too. Is that right?


Julius Solaris: I can’t comment on numbers because I haven’t been checking in people, I don’t know. Is it a bad number still? Yeah, of course we all feel that sometimes it may be missing … There’s not as much foot fall, but really events are changing.


Will Curran: Yeah.


Julius Solaris: I put up a picture on Facebook yesterday about this very place where we are right now, the Tech Knowledge area.


Will Curran: The Tech Knowledge area.


Julius Solaris: I was sitting right there and I was looking at all these empty booths and people overflowing here listening to content. So that tells you a message. Of course, it’s about making business and appointments with the buyers and all of that.


Will Curran: Yeah.


Julius Solaris: It’s also about creating compelling reasons why we need to be here.


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Julius Solaris: So nobody likes to be sold that. There’s 14 touch points on average before we make a sale, so are you going to step it up? Are you going to offer me content that is valuable to me as a professional? Are you empowering me to be better at the job that I do out of being at an amazing company that is going to change my life, which it most of the time doesn’t.


Will Curran: Absolutely. I was going to say, do you feel like the relationships I would make are the one thing I would learn?


Julius Solaris: I was talking about not working, okay? You don’t expect it to be in the usual places. Sometimes it’s amazing people I met through the run, high-fiving with them. That’s taking full advantage of what they offer, as well, other than just the usual stuff.


Will Curran: Absolutely. Absolutely. Or just like going out and deciding to get burgers and beers on the first night.


Julius Solaris: Of course. Or getting hammered and showing up like, “Oh, this is an awful show.”


Will Curran: And saying like, “Why are the lights so bright? Can they dim it a little bit?”


Julius Solaris: Exactly. There’s things … We have to step it up as well, but it’s exciting. There’s nowhere … It’s not depressing, which is a good thing. They said that the tech carrier here is sold out and that there are new companies coming up as well.


Will Curran: Awesome.


Julius Solaris: It’s a positive message for the industry.


Will Curran: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, is there anything else that you want to share with the people at home that aren’t here at IMEX that you want them to know about with the show? Anything coming up on your end that you want them to know about? It’s your chance to share anything you’ve got.


Julius Solaris: Not really. I’ve learned that I have to detach myself because I’m already out there a lot.


Will Curran: Yeah.


Julius Solaris: You’ve got to see the things that we do. If you read Event MB or whatever, you’ll find a way to engage with us. Make sure to find the time to be at these events if you’ve never been there. It’s a great experience to have. Even if you circulate around as a supplier, it’s a great place to be at.


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Julius Solaris: Make time for that.


Will Curran: Absolutely. Keep up the crushing on the content. You guys are doing phenomenal. I’m loving all the content you guys are pushing out.


Julius Solaris: Likewise.


Will Curran: Thank you. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Awesome. We’re just so honored to have you here.


Julius Solaris: Thank you for having me.


Will Curran: Chatting with us and I’m so glad to see you. I’m sure we will catch up again soon.


Julius Solaris: Of course.


Will Curran: Don’t go back home quite yet.


Julius Solaris: Oh no, not yet. I’m going to stay for the night.


Will Curran: Awesome.


Julius Solaris: MPI Rendezvous.


Will Curran: Yes. Rendezvous. That’s the one place to be.


Julius Solaris: Exactly.


Will Curran: Exactly. Exactly.


Julius Solaris: I’ve been there.


Will Curran: Thank you so much, Julius. We appreciate you being here.


Julius Solaris: Thanks for having me.


Will Curran: You’re a busy man. I know you’ve got other things to get to.


Julius Solaris: I do.


Will Curran: We will see you very soon.


Julius Solaris: Thank you very much.


Will Curran: All right.


Julius Solaris: Is that it?


Will Curran: Yeah, you’re all good to go. Thank you Julius.


All right. Next up …. They’re busy. They’re coming in hot and fast for these wands. Watch out for the cables. Yeah. You gotta watch out. We MacGyvered this webcam up here. We’ve also got Mr. Mike, correct? Yeah. They’re all talking. They’re all so popular. The first one … The first guy we’ve got up here, you may recognize this one.


Aaron Kaufman: What’s up?


Will Curran: Is Aaron Kaufman. Aaron is a regular of the show now.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah, I suppose, right?


Will Curran: This is your third time on it?


Aaron Kaufman: This is like my trifecta.


Will Curran: Third time on the show. Make sure you’re switched on too.


Aaron Kaufman: I want to know how you’re doing.


Will Curran: How am I doing?


Mike McAllen: Yes, we want to know how you’re doing.


Aaron Kaufman: We’re interested in what you’re thinking.


Will Curran: See, I knew this would happen. I was going to put the two biggest troublemakers-


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah, absolutely.


Mike McAllen: Absolutely.


Will Curran: Aaron Kaufman and Mike McAllen together and I knew I was going to be in trouble.


Aaron Kaufman: First question, Will. How many styles of Endless Entertainment shirts do you own?


Will Curran: Four.


Aaron Kaufman: Four.


Will Curran: Four plus … Hold on.


Aaron Kaufman: Well, you have the standard black golf.


Will Curran: I have the lime green shirt like this, then I have the opposite. Black with lime green.


Aaron Kaufman: Okay.


Will Curran: Then we have the special edition shirt we did for our Emerald City Comic-Con when we did their event that are blue because their colors were lime green and we couldn’t wear the same colors. Fun fact.


Aaron Kaufman: Okay, cool. All right. What’s your take on that?


Mike McAllen: I think it’s dynamite. The thing I wondered is who does your hair, Will? It always looks dynamite.


Will Curran: I actually do my hair myself. I can’t afford a stylist quite yet.


Aaron Kaufman: A hot shave. Do you go for a hot shave every now and again?


Will Curran: Occasionally, but mainly dry razer.


Aaron Kaufman: Okay, that’s interesting.


Will Curran: Very interesting [laughter].


Mike McAllen: [inaudible 00:12:04]


Will Curran: Yeah. You guys were prepared for this one. Real quick, before we jump in any further … Audience, all you guys out on the interwebs, you guys are starting to use the chat feature pretty well.


Mike McAllen: Live audience.


Will Curran: Yeah. The live audience. We would love for you guys to ask questions. We have Mike and Aaron here. You have 15 minutes with these guys to ask them anything you want to know. Let’s kick it off. Mike, I know you’re up to a couple different things. Do you want to talk a little bit about some of the awesome stuff you’ve been up to with the content? I’ve been noticing the podcasts have been doing some epic new stories every week, as well.


Mike McAllen: It’s doing a lot of podcasts. We do five podcasts a week now.


Will Curran: Five podcasts a week?


Mike McAllen: Yeah. We do five … They’re five to 10 minute podcasts called the Meetings podcasts. I know you’re a big listener.


Will Curran: Absolutely. Every week.


Mike McAllen: Basically, it’s news from the internet. We cover other blogs. Your blog. Do you have a blog? I don’t know. I haven’t [crosstalk 00:12:53].


Will Curran: I do now.


Mike McAllen: Do you have a blog?


Will Curran: Yeah. Yeah. All of a sudden. Absolutely. I appreciate that.


Mike McAllen: Its five to 10 minutes every morning so you can get a little news on what’s going on in the industry. This looks back to all of these … To Endless and other companies that we’re featuring.


Will Curran: That’s cool. Very cool. Aaron, I know you’re really, really actively involved in reading a lot of the content [inaudible 00:13:12].


Aaron Kaufman: Sure.


Will Curran: What cool content have you been seeing out there on the interwebs, other than obviously Mike’s awesome podcast?


Mike McAllen: Thank you.


Aaron Kaufman: One of the neat things is I get to spend a lot of time doing research and it’s part of what I think makes a good professional in the industry. I’m happy to read all sorts of content. The thing that was super interesting to me was a couple of weeks ago the Penton sale. I’ve been reading a lot about that inside of the industry. I don’t know if that is something that –


Will Curran: Can you explain what that is for those who don’t know, aka me?


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. Penton owns Special Event Magazine.


Will Curran: Oh, yeah. That’s right.


Aaron Kaufman: And of course Special Event shows, amongst other things. A European company has bought the company.


Will Curran: Wow.


Aaron Kaufman: They bought Penton. That should be an interesting change for the North American market considering that TSE is one of the biggest event shows.


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. I’d like to know what do you think of Laura Lopez as a podcast partner?


Will Curran: Laura has been awesome, actually.


Aaron Kaufman: She doesn’t show up, right?


Will Curran: She’s been doing awesome. I feel bad. Because I’ve been traveling so much, Laura has actually been hosting the show more than I have.


Mike McAllen: How did you meet Laura?


Will Curran: I met her online. We actually have never met face-to-face and we just –


Mike McAllen: Really?


Will Curran: Run the whole podcast together.


Aaron Kaufman: Interesting.


Will Curran: I see Sean all of the time because obviously he’s in Phoenix, too.


Mike McAllen: I didn’t know that. I’ve heard that [crosstalk 00:14:23].


Will Curran: Yep. We’re taking over. Us Arizona people. We’re bringing burritos to you.


Aaron Kaufman: Did you know that Laura is a DJ? She DJs with 45 [inaudible 00:14:32] records – which is really interesting – and she is in a gold onesie, generally. Yeah.


Mike McAllen: All of the time? Just for recording, or just in general?


Aaron Kaufman: I think she records in it and I think she sleeps in it.


Mike McAllen: Interesting.


Will Curran: Yeah. Yeah. All right. You guys are outrageous right now. The question I wanted to ask you, Aaron, is –


Mike McAllen: It’s my turn, actually. You already asked him a question.


Will Curran: We bounce around. We bounce around. You’re throwing me off. We’ll go back and forth. Go ahead, and then we’ll go to you next. Okay. Aaron, we had a whole discussion about this, whether we call them planners, designers –


Aaron Kaufman: Sure. Yeah.


Will Curran: All of these things like that.


Aaron Kaufman: Yep.


Will Curran: [inaudible 00:15:07] event planners episode, which all of you guys should check out.


Aaron Kaufman: Absolutely.


Will Curran: [inaudible 00:15:10] episode.


Aaron Kaufman: Cool.


Will Curran: Well, whatever you want, we will call you. You’re here as a planner for the event. How has the experience of IMEX been for you as a planner? Whether it’s being able to have all of the suppliers in one spot being able to talk to them or fellow event planners to talk to, what’s been the highlight for you as an event planner?


Aaron Kaufman: Sure. What do you think about that, Mike?


Mike McAllen: I don’t like that question at all. I would like you to get a different question, if that’s okay.


Aaron Kaufman: I’d like to pass on that question. Can I have another one?


Will Curran: That was my one question that I had lined up here in the 15 minutes. What kind of podcast are you? Okay. While we’re waiting for the audience.


Aaron Kaufman: For questions to come in, and they’re not coming in so that means we’re not doing a very good job. Come on, people.


Will Curran: What are you guys doing right now?


Aaron Kaufman: Here’s the thing. Honestly. Honestly, I think there’s still a huge divide in the industry, right? I did a podcast very early on Tuesday morning. We talked a lot about collaboration being really a big key to 2017 and going forward. I find that when I’m sitting down in a lot of the meetings here as a planner and a producer, I want to talk to them about their destination. I want to understand how to bring people to their destination, but I also, as somebody who is a professional in a fairly large city – go, Toronto – I want to know what is the best way to also work with them on bringing business into the city. I think a lot of people go to the CBB and suppliers and they want to say, “Where should we go? What should we do?” Right?


I think one of the things that I find about this show is you’re just being sold to constantly. As a hosted buyer, I’m supposed to go to eight meetings a day for three days. One of the shady parts about that is that I sit down with a technology company, 30 minutes later, I’m with a CBB. 30 minutes later, I’m with some random association person –


Will Curran: You know, I forgot about the guys so we’ve got to go.


Aaron Kaufman: I’m fucking exhausted.


Will Curran: Yeah.


Aaron Kaufman: Right. You get tired, right? I heard you did the walk.


Mike McAllen: Yeah, I did.


Aaron Kaufman: I heard you were tired.


Mike McAllen: I run.


Aaron Kaufman: The run. Walk.


Will Curran: Me and Joyce were just talking about that. Congrats, [inaudible 00:17:11].


Mike McAllen: [inaudible 00:17:12].


Aaron Kaufman: That’s my take on it. I love seeing everyone get together. I just wish there was more opportunity for people who are exhibiting to get together ahead of time and talk about strategy. There’s no strategy.


Mike McAllen: No.


Aaron Kaufman: Right? It’s just bullshit. Sit down. What can I do for you, what can you do for me? Okay. Thanks. My 30 minute meeting is generally 10 minutes.


Mike McAllen: Yeah.


Aaron Kaufman: I’m finding there are a couple of good contacts here and there, but ultimately –


Will Curran: Shallow.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. Yeah.


Mike McAllen: It’s hard. It’s really hard, because this is the first year we haven’t had a booth.


Will Curran: I was going to ask you.


Mike McAllen: Yeah.


Will Curran: This is the first time you haven’t had one.


Mike McAllen: Yeah.


Will Curran: You’re used to having host buyers coming, too.


Mike McAllen: Just exactly like he’s saying, it was just like the person would glaze … After they’ve talked to other people and then you pitch to them, they kind of glaze just from being exhausted the second day. You’re right, it was hard to get a good strategy involved to really nail these people because they are running around all over the place. Half of it is them running up sweating trying to find you.


Will Curran: Yep. Yep.


Aaron Kaufman: Did you find that most of the people just really didn’t know a lot about what they were talking about?


Mike McAllen: Yeah.


Will Curran: They kind of sucked.


Mike McAllen: This is not a knock on people in other countries, but a lot of these Chinese companies would have no idea what you’re doing and you’ve taken up … Now you’re explaining it, but there is no way you’re going to … I’m saying Chinese companies, but it was these two Chinese companies that came and they had no idea. They thought we were something totally different. They did no research on their own while they were making their appointments.


Will Curran: They were just really disconnected. Wow.


Aaron Kaufman: When I went to my hotel earlier, I met a nice young lady by the name of Omarosa. I’d really like to know what the both of you think of Omarosa.


Will Curran: I don’t know who Omarosa is.


Aaron Kaufman: You don’t know who –


Mike McAllen: Is she the one who –


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. Omarosa. Yeah.


Mike McAllen: Is that Trump?


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah.


Will Curran: Oh, yeah. That’s right.


Aaron Kaufman: You know I’m supporting from Canada, right? I’m being hosted at the Trump Hotel.


Will Curran: You’re staying at the Trump Hotel.


Aaron Kaufman: Yes. My new friend Omarosa was there.


Mike McAllen: Really?


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah.


Mike McAllen: That’s funny.


Will Curran: You don’t know it at home. We know about it because we’re having to deal with it, but as Julius mentioned, the debate is happening here as well as the Rolling Stone concert as well as this.


Mike McAllen: The Rolling Stones concert was canceled, though. Did you hear that?


Will Curran: They canceled it?


Mike McAllen: Yeah.


Aaron Kaufman: Really?


Mike McAllen: Mick Jagger has laryngitis.


Will Curran: Oh, no way. One less big event. There’s still the people probably in town for it.


Mike McAllen: Yeah, exactly.


Will Curran: So it’s still [inaudible 00:19:25]. Those people must be pretty pissed off.


Mike McAllen: Yes, they must be pretty pissed off.


Aaron Kaufman: That’s not going to help with [inaudible 00:19:30].


Will Curran: I heard they got free tickets to the debate.


My question is what have you guys been –


Mike McAllen: [inaudible 00:19:39]


Will Curran: Have you guys been seeing the effects of these three massive events happening simultaneously?


Mike McAllen: I have not.


Will Curran: In the city.


Mike McAllen: Because I’ve been here.


Aaron Kaufman: I’ve been staying at Trump, right? I just left there and your next Vice President, Mr. Pence, was there.


Mike McAllen: Yeah. Is it full of Trump supporters?


Aaron Kaufman: Oh, it’s like Secret Service and everything. Yeah.


Mike McAllen: Interesting.


Aaron Kaufman: Yesterday I met a great group of people who are trying to make America great again. That’s what they told me. Nick [Brol-ee 00:20:13] is on the show after. He’s trying to make IMEX great again.


Will Curran: Yes. It’s all right.


Aaron Kaufman: With a little bit of locker room talk. He’s grabbing IMEX by the good old vagina.


Mike McAllen: You can’t say that.


Aaron Kaufman: I can’t say that?


Mike McAllen: You can’t say that.


Aaron Kaufman: I can’t say that.


Mike McAllen: [inaudible 00:20:33] you can’t say that.


Aaron Kaufman: Sorry.


Will Curran: It’s okay. It’s my phone that I didn’t mute.


Aaron Kaufman: Wait, you didn’t turn your phone off?


Will Curran: I didn’t turn my phone off.


Aaron Kaufman: That’s incredibly rude.


Will Curran: I’m an incredibly horrible AV person. We’re going to mute it right now so I stop getting calls.


Aaron Kaufman: I could do this for a very long time, but can you give me a 10-second warning before we’re done so I can drop the mic?


Will Curran: Please don’t. Those are very nice mics that I bought for this show.


Aaron Kaufman: Okay. You bought these for the show?


Will Curran: Yeah. I bought them for the show.


Aaron Kaufman: Is that why the price tag is still on, so you can return it after?


Will Curran: Yeah. Exactly.


Aaron Kaufman: Okay. Cool.


Will Curran: Exactly.


Mike McAllen: [inaudible 00:21:02]


Aaron Kaufman: They are very nice. Yeah.


Will Curran: I’ll tell you a secret. If you forget something, go to the store and buy it and return it after.


Aaron Kaufman: Absolutely. Absolutely.


Will Curran: No one from Best Buy is –


Aaron Kaufman: Will Curran, what are you seeing as a top trend going into 2017?


Will Curran: I’m not going to talk about that until December because I’ve got so much … I’ve got to get through this year first.


Aaron Kaufman: You don’t have an answer for that.


Will Curran: I have an answer. I think it’s been relationships now at this point. We’re getting to a point where Twitter might be gone soon, social media, everyone is spanning across multiple social networks but maybe it’s about relationships.


Aaron Kaufman: It’s back to old school business. IRL.


Will Curran: Yep. IRL.


Aaron Kaufman: IRL.


Will Curran: Yep.


Mike McAllen: Do you guys use Twitter?


Will Curran: We use Twitter. We have a live Twitter stream right here. If you guys are watching right now and you use hashtag Event Icons on Twitter, it will go up on the screen.


Mike McAllen: Do you use Twitter normally? I mean, just back and forth with people during the day or is it more things like this?


Will Curran: It’s more so like, hey, share the cool information that you got.


Mike McAllen: Yeah. Yeah.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah, for sure. I’m not generally chatting via Twitter, I don’t think.


Will Curran: No. No. That’s not my thing.


Mike McAllen: [inaudible 00:22:03] so much more. It’s changed so much. I’d ask a question on there and I’d get 10 answers.


Aaron Kaufman: Right.


Will Curran: Exactly. Yeah.


Mike McAllen: Now it’s nothing. It’s just –


Will Curran: Yeah. I think people don’t even read each other’s Twitters.


Aaron Kaufman: No.


Mike McAllen: It’s just this constant stream, but it’s great for this kind of thing.


Aaron Kaufman: I just press the heart a bunch of times to keep my Klout score up.


Mike McAllen: Oh. That’s a good idea.


Will Curran: That’s how you get the free stuff.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. Absolutely.


Will Curran: Speaking of free stuff, what’s the coolest free stuff that you have found. Wow. I can’t talk. Anything really cool?


Mike McAllen: Nothing really that exciting.


Will Curran: I was at the Australia booth and they had these ginger beers and this grape drink. I had this grape drink.


Mike McAllen: Oh, oh booths and stuff. Oh.


Aaron Kaufman: Cool.


Mike McAllen: Yeah. I had some bourbon over in the Kentucky.


Will Curran: Free drinks.


Mike McAllen: That’s good.


Will Curran: Yep. Yep.


Mike McAllen: I got one of those chargers. They’ve got this little phone charger.


Will Curran: I heard the airlines have all the chargers.


Aaron Kaufman: IALEIA has them, too.


Will Curran: IALEIA has them.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah, so everyone head over to IALEIA.


Will Curran: Head over to the IALEIA booth.


Mike McAllen: I got one from Event Collab, actually.


Will Curran: Oh, cool. Event Collab. So the tech area is a great place to get all the cool tech stuff.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah, absolutely. I got some Garrett popcorn yesterday, which I was super excited about. I got a buy one get one free to Jamba Juice.


Will Curran: Do they even have Jamba Juice in Canada?


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. We have a couple.


Will Curran: Okay.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. We also some [inaudible 00:23:09] Juice and a bunch of other juice type related stores.


Mike McAllen: That’s beautiful.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. Juice, right?


Mike McAllen: Yeah. Juice.


Aaron Kaufman: It’s good juice.


Will Curran: These guys are out of control over here.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. So what’s your next question, sir?


Will Curran: The question I want to end on is is there any cool resources or anything that you guys want to share? Anything cool you’re working on that you want to share with everybody out there on the interwebs?


Aaron Kaufman: What do you think?


Mike McAllen: You can go.


Aaron Kaufman: No. You go.


Mike McAllen: We’ve kind of rolled out … I’m doing more with my production company and stuff. We have been rolling out more of a morning announcement kind of thing at an event. You go to an event and you’re creating all this content, but it kind of dies. I’m working with etech. You know etech? Tom Brant?


Will Curran: No.


Mike McAllen: They’re out of Florida. They network the whole event. We want the plasma screens to be more what’s happening right now so when you walk by it, you actually can see what’s going on right now.


Will Curran: It will show you valuable information.


Mike McAllen: It’s actually real valuable information. We’re trying to build within the agenda where you can come in and there will be videos, stuff that’s happening right then. If you’re standing in line, you’re not just walking by and seeing some eye candy. It’s actual information.


Will Curran: They have it out in the entrance way, the news channel that is going on.


Mike McAllen: Yeah.


Will Curran: It looks like they have a conference TV or something like that.


Mike McAllen: Yes.


Will Curran: They have an IMEX TV channel.


Mike McAllen: CNTV. Yeah.


Will Curran: Yeah, and showing that. What are your thoughts on that? Is that very similar to what you guys are trying to pull off?


Mike McAllen: They’re very good. They’re really good. They are. They are.


Will Curran: But it [inaudible 00:24:33] way more production.


Mike McAllen: It’s just different. It’s the same, actually, but different.


Will Curran: Okay. Yeah.


Mike McAllen: I’ve actually talked to them a little bit about it. It’s shooting shorter things for the screen that is actual stuff. When you’re doing interviews, say hey, let’s do a couple little nuggets of … Short information that we can show. Do it in advance when you get on site, then there’s stuff that you could push out later. I think that’s a lot of later pushing, but they do stuff for the hotels, right?


Will Curran: Cool.


Mike McAllen: That’s their main thing.


Will Curran: Very cool. A ton of hotels. Oh, those conference TV people. I had never seen it before.


Mike McAllen: They’ll go into the host hotels and they’ll run the DVDs every night and it plays on all the channels.


Will Curran: Ah, see, that’s clever. It would be good for it to go on the TV channel, too, so you could get a recap of what happened at the conference. You’re in your hotel room and you want to see what happened that day. Boom. That would be cool.


Mike McAllen: Yeah. Yeah.


Will Curran: I’m just helping them with their product development apparently.


Mike McAllen: That’s what they do. They do that. It’s what happened that day and not what’s happening tomorrow.


Will Curran: I don’t know. I don’t know. For tomorrow?


Mike McAllen: Yeah.


Will Curran: I remember they showed [inaudible 00:25:35]. Maybe they’re using it to promote more things happening in the future rather than things in the past.


Mike McAllen: Yes.


Will Curran: They have to add an ad roll


Mike McAllen: Yeah.


Will Curran: More ads. More ads.


Aaron Kaufman: More ads.


Will Curran: What about you, Aaron? What’s coming cool you want to share with the interwebs?


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. A couple of things. Number one, I want to thank Laura Lopez for having us.


Mike McAllen: Yes. That was great of her.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. Absolutely. She did a great job. She’s awesome.


Mike McAllen: Is she here?


Aaron Kaufman: She’s here. Sort of. She’s writing LOL LOL OMG.


Mike McAllen: Oh.


Aaron Kaufman: Stuff like that.


Mike McAllen: I’d like to meet her.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah, I’d like to meet her too, one day. I’ve never met her. She says I’m her favorite somewhere on here.


Will Curran: She says, ‘so sad to be missing this episode. Talk about people being interviewed.’


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah, but she did say I was her favorite on there. That’s really nice.


Will Curran: I think that’s probably a typo.


Aaron Kaufman: Someone new will follow me.


Mike McAllen: That’s totally [inaudible 00:26:23].


Aaron Kaufman: That’s nice. Thank you, Laura. Number one. Number two, I just want to say I know that you have a lot of high profile people coming on this show, so thank you for having me. However, I feel a little ripped off because you got a big furry black hat thing and I don’t have one.


Will Curran: If you want to trade mics, that’s not a problem at all.


Aaron Kaufman: Yeah. Actually, I’d like to do that. Yeah. Yeah.


Mike McAllen: That’s a fancy mic.


Aaron Kaufman: Right?


Mike McAllen: What’s this icicle thing for?


Aaron Kaufman: I don’t know. Why is the bottom vibrating?


Will Curran: Shout out to Bran Cougar. Bran gave me his mic. We needed a mic because we had so many guests.


Aaron Kaufman: I’m touching Brant’s vibrating mic.


Will Curran: It’s not vibrating.


Aaron Kaufman: All right. Thanks, Brant. What am I looking at right now?


Actually, to be honest with you, I’ve stopped looking at stuff because there’s too much to look at. I think one of the things that I’m noticing right now is when I talk to technology people and all sorts of people, that it’s all the same old shit, right? People are doing it a little bit different, but I’m sitting down with people now and I’m not asking what does your platform do. I’m asking what is the thing that it doesn’t do, right? When they’re separating themselves from each other, it’s not the things that they’re doing.


For example, all of the sites are doing registration and they’re doing all of this and that. They’re all doing the same thing. I don’t need to follow that anymore. What I need to know is, if I’m going to use one of them, what is the fundamental thing that it can’t do that other ones are doing. Right?


Mike McAllen: That’s interesting.


Aaron Kaufman: They’re all doing the same thing. The thing that I’m really focused on right now inside the industry is watching people. Right? A lot of the people that you’ll have on over the next couple of hours, I’ve been watching closely, obviously. I think it’s people that are about to –


Will Curran: Okay. I think we’re back. We’re working now. You gotta love five shows and running off of … Fun fact about the WiFi here, by the way, is that there is literally 300 WiFi networks in the span of two feet. If this show goes down again, please hang in there audience. We love you guys.


Back to the show. We have two amazing guests today, one of which has been a long-time viewer of the show.


Alex Plaxen: Long-time viewer, first-time guest.


Will Curran: I’m so excited to have you here, Alex. Alex Plaxen.


Alex Plaxen: Thank you. Thank you for having us.


Will Curran: And Mr. Xander Castro in the house, as well.


Xander Castro: Hello, hello, hello.


Will Curran: Fun fact about Xander is Xander actually used to write content for Endless, too, so I love him very much. He has a very brilliant mind.


Xander Castro: Great times.


Will Curran: Really quickly, if you guys can give an idea of what you guys are up to. What are you guys doing these days? What is your big thing that you’re working on?


Alex Plaxen: I started my company in January. We’re coming up on our one-year anniversary. I have a company called Little Bird Told Media. We do social media strategy and implementation for conferences and trade shows. We’ve got a really big show coming up next month in New York at Javits Center with 12,000 attendees, so that’s going to be pretty wild. I’m excited about that. I’m getting a lot of speaking engagements. I’m here at IMEX. I’m speaking. I just finished up –


Will Curran: You’re speaking like every single five minutes.


Alex Plaxen: Every five minutes. If I’m not speaking, I’m tweeting. I’m also going to be speaking at [inaudible 00:31:54] Making Community Leaders, the Special Event coming up in January. Both of them, back to back. It’s very exciting.


Will Curran: If you guys ever need an amazing live tweeter, this guy live tweets like nobody’s business. I’m sure he’s even live tweeting the [inaudible 00:32:08] as we [inaudible 00:32:09].


Alex Plaxen: I’ve been live tweeting.


Will Curran: Definitely call Alex. He’s the man on Twitter. Then we’ve got the man, Xander Castro. Xander, I know you kind of took a different spin with your company.


Alex Plaxen: Yeah.


Will Curran: Everyone else is focusing on the big guys. They want the IBMs, the Dreamforces.


Xander Castro: The [inaudible 00:32:23]. Right.


Will Curran: You decided to go a different route. Can you tell everybody what you’re up to?


Xander Castro: Yeah. I own a company called Startup Event Solutions. I work with small businesses and startups to produce events that they want to incorporate either into their marketing or operations portfolios. We do events that range from five to 10-person corporate retreats, talking about C-level executives that are interested in throwing together some … You all good? Are you good?


Will Curran: Yeah. Yeah. You’re good.


Xander Castro: I was like, oh no. Did it go out again?


Will Curran: No, you’re good.


Xander Castro: All right. Throwing together some … So corporate retreats, along those lines. I do a lot of educational conferences, client-facing conferences, product launches. I chose to go the small route to kind of inform my niche, because as you said, everybody is really gunning for the top. I hate to claim the term of racing to the bottom because we’re seeing a lot of that lately.


I have a unique passion for people who are really eager to get something launched and get something moving. I think that’s one of the great parts about working with startups is that the energy and the passion that they have, you can wrap that into an event and share it with their guests and attendees and it doesn’t need to be this massive, massive production.


There are other companies that are doing masterful, masterful massive events. While I am more than happy to take on projects like that, I see my competitive advantage is that I am able to work with my clients on a really intimate, intimate level and really get into the nitty-gritty of why they want to create an event, how it’s going to change their startup, and live events are a really significant portion of their marketing strategy.


Will Curran: I think from a business perspective, it’s brilliant because, like Google started somewhere. Facebook started somewhere.


Xander Castro: Ding, ding, ding. That is the other side of it, is that as I have just launched … I launched this company in 2014, so I am still personally in startup phase right now. As I’m working with the client base that I have, I’m able to really work as a partner on producing these events that, in the future, we’re looking to make expansions. You start finding those Googles and those Ubers who started off in a garage and you start realizing, oh, I am your preferred partner in producing your event. That has been part of the goal, as well.


Alex Plaxen: I will also work with startups.


Will Curran: There you go. There you go. My question for you guys is, obviously with you guys both being 30 under 30s and being really awesome in [inaudible 00:34:53], what has your perspective been of IMEX and coming to this convention? Is there something that they are doing really well to attract our kind of audience or is there something that they need to improve on? What are your thoughts?


Alex Plaxen: This is my second time at IMEX. My first time was three years ago and I came as a student. That was a really unique perspective to come as part of the Future Leaders Forum and then now to come as … Someone said, from being a student to now being a teacher and actually speaking here, is a unique experience. I think one of the things that they do really well is if you’re attending, they don’t care what size your event is or how big or how small or how old your company is or how old you are. We’re all business professionals. We’re all working together to make our events better, to be partners with each other, and I think that’s one of the really unique things. They aren’t separating, okay, well, these are the young professionals. These are the seasoned professionals. We’re all just professionals.


I think as Millennials, that’s one thing that we try and strive for. We’re not different. We’re not that different. We’re just younger. I think that’s one of the things that IMEX does really well. They don’t highlight your age, which I think is pretty unique in this industry. I think a lot of people are trying to go in the other direction of creating unique content specifically for Millennials. I don’t always think that’s necessary.


Will Curran: Xander, what are your thoughts?


Xander Castro: I think that one of the things they do really well, is that they pay for their hosted buyers to be here. I am lucky enough to be a hosted buyer here for the program. The reason that I love IMEX is just that it really serves as a one-stop-shop to produce an entire event on an international level. I came here last year and was able to source an entire program that I was hosting in Barcelona in one day. I was able to meet with certain vendors who already had my RFP, so that was amazing. That is less about our generation and youth but I think that’s obviously one of the main benefits of coming to IMEX.


Will Curran: Awesome.


Xander Castro: I think one of the things that they do really, really well when it comes to … They’re really offering opportunities for folks in our generation to either offer input into the way that the industry is being shaped or the way that the industry interacts with both audiences and planners, suppliers, that are our age is that they – as Alex said – the exhibitors here and the other attendees don’t really give regard to age. It’s not something that comes up in a conversation. Nobody is walking up to me and saying, “Hey. How old are you? Okay. I can’t talk to you.””Hey, can’t you put your age on your badge?” No. Nobody is doing that. That’s obviously a nice perk. It’s a societal norm to not do that. That’s not really as innovative as we’re looking for. I think that IMEX has a great ability to open young professionals eyes as to how expansive this industry is, and I think that they do a fantastic job of creating opportunities for those eye-opening moments.


Will Curran: Absolutely. Awesome.


Alex Plaxen: I also think that IMEX recognizes how intimidating a show like IMEX can be for someone who is new to the industry.


Will Curran: I was going to ask you guys about that. You guys have both been to this now twice. Multiple times.


Xander Castro: Yeah.


Will Curran: What are your thoughts for newcomers? Maybe some people in their 20s who want to come and they’re newbies to IMEX. What are your recommendations for navigating this huge massive event?


Alex Plaxen: Yeah, absolutely. For starters, if you’re a student, if you’re in school and you’re studying event management … Which for some people in this industry that’s a novelty in itself. They’re like, “We didn’t have that when I was your age.” As a student, to have the opportunity to come to something like the Future Leaders Forum and get a taste of what the show is like, they walk you through it. They help you. They show you how to navigate the show floor. Things like that. I think that’s really unique in itself.


For someone who may be new to the industry or had a job and is now in this industry who is also a young professional, I think finding a mentor is something that is really going to help you. I see a lot of people walking around the show floor with each other. Go on Twitter. See who is tweeting about the event this year and then reach out to them. Say, “I’m new to the industry. I’m going to IMEX for the first time this year. I would love to talk to you about your experience. Any tips and tricks or ways to navigate the show floor? I would really appreciate it. Most people will say yes. That’s one tip.


Xander Castro: Almost everyone is going to say yes. I completely agree with that. I think reaching out to either people that are within your own city … I think one of the great things about IMEX is that almost every major city in the country and even minor city in the country in at least the U.S. is represented. Then you have the entire expanse of the international network that are attending, as well. You have the ability to reach out to someone who is in your network in your city. Using your associations that you are a part of locally, whether it’s IALEIA or MPI or PCMA or SITE or any of these amazing organizations that are offering great student programming, you have mentorship opportunities there, as well. It’s likely that at least one person from either your local chapter or a chapter that is nearby is going to be willing eager to work with you and introduce you to the beast that is IMEX.


Will Curran: That is awesome. Would you guys say that you would consider yourselves open for people to reach out to you guys to say hey?


Xander Castro: No.


Alex Plaxen: No.


Will Curran: [inaudible 00:40:35].


Xander Castro: No. Not at all. No. Of course. Of course. I think one of my historic passions in this industry – and historic being the eightish years that I have been in it and the three that I have been in business – is the opportunity to mentor up-and-coming leaders within the industry. It’s something that I had a lot of passion about when I was in college, doing student programming and working with fellow students to put together these great experiences that our student body is able to have. Really building up that experience and creating opportunities for young professionals to do better, I think, is something that I am extremely passionate about. Do give me a call. Tweet me. I would be happy to meet up with you, for sure.


Alex Plaxen: Absolutely. I would not have been able to start my company if I had not had the mentors in this industry to help me out. I’m very active with the MPI and PCMA. A lot of those people helped me out. Also, I have had the opportunity to mentor, as well. One thing that people have to realize with mentorship is age is not a factor. I have had mentees who are younger than me. I’ve had mentees who are older than me. I’ve had mutual relationships with a mentor/mentee where we’ve taught each other things. It’s really figuring out what you want from a mentor and then finding the right person to do it. That’s actually something that I’m very passionate about, which is why my session at the Special Event is on mentorship. It’s not on social media. It’s on mentorship.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. We’ve only got a couple more minutes left, so my question to you guys is what cool resources or anything like that you guys want to share with the interwebs? Any cool tools? Any cool articles, companies, or things you’ve seen on the show floor that you want to share with everyone? It seems like Xander has got one in his head.


Xander Castro: No, to be honest, I have gotten so many amazing resources from Will specifically that I have now integrated into a couple of my processes. I know that he has talked about plenty of these before, so you have that repository well available. Yeah. You are pretty masterful when it comes to the utilization of tools to improve processes.


Some of the amazing things that are available on the show floor or industry-wise, one of the things I love to talk about is the Search Foundation, which I think is something that a couple of people that have spoke on this have addressed. The Search Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports meeting and event professionals in crises. The work that they do is really just to support you as an event professional if you ever run into something that is out of the normal or that causes some sort of financial distress or emotional distress that you need support along. It’s run by some of the top leaders of the industry and they are doing incredible work to really support folks within the industry.


On a less wonderful level, I would say that one of the cool products that I saw that I am really interested in learning more about is around the corner here. I believe it’s called Markin. It’s an automation tool for hotel sourcing. It’s intelligent automation. It automatically goes through negotiation processes. I will have to get the actual name of that for you. Unfortunately, I did not commit that one to memory.


Will Curran: We will post it in event resources. For those who don’t know, we will record this and throw it on the blog. Check that out. We will put the official link.


Xander Castro: Just a caveat. I haven’t used it, so it may be awful. I’m doubting that it is. It looks great. It looks like a really, really awesome platform. I’m excited to explore that a little bit. Similarly, I really enjoyed a booth that was right over in the tech corner here called Bisley, which is a small meeting venue sourcing platform. It’s an integration with hotel inventory on small meeting spaces. It lets you select them. Their entire interface is based off of Uber’s interface, so they say it feels very familiar. It’s a really cool tool.


Will Curran: Awesome, awesome. Alex, what about you? What would be your resource?


Alex Plaxen: The Twitter search function.


Will Curran: Going old school here.


Alex Plaxen: To be honest, I think people use it incorrectly or don’t use it at all. I think it is a great resource for connecting and networking with people. If you know of an industry event that is going on and you can’t make it, search for the hashtag and start connecting with people who are there. I have participated in events that I have never gone to, and people are like, “Awesome. Can we meet for lunch?” I’m like, “I’m not there, but I would be happy to have a phone call with you after the show.”


Will Curran: Cool.


Alex Plaxen: Doing that to network with other event professionals using the event process and then Icons hashtag, things like that, to find out who else is out there. For social media, for myself I use Buffer. I use Mentions, which is really great. For my clients, I use EventCollab, which is fantastic. They are here on the show floor. Those are just some of the resources that I use to do my business in the events world.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. While we are out of time, I know we’re going to get you guys back on for your own episodes real soon. We look forward to that. Thank you guys so much for joining us today. We are so honored to have you both here.


Xander Castro: Absolutely.


Alex Plaxen: Thank you for having us.


Will Curran: I hope you guys have a good show.


Alex Plaxen: Thank you.


Xander Castro: Thank you.


Will Curran: All right. Awesome. We’re on to the next group. This one, we decided to spin it up a little bit. We’ve had a little bit of suppliers, planners, we’ve had a little bit of everybody. This time I thought we would talk a little bit to the people who share the news with you [inaudible 00:46:12]. In the house, we have Marin Bright from Smart Meetings and Adam Parry from [inaudible 00:46:20] Industry dot co dot uk.


Adam Parry: That’s it.


Will Curran: Awesome. If you guys want to grab the mics and make sure you guys are switched on and good to go. I hope you don’t mind, I grabbed you at the last minute.


Adam Parry: No, it’s no problem.


Will Curran: Yeah. You just want to plug it on in right here. Let’s see. It’s all good. As long as we get you good to go. Here, you want to test it real quick? You know what? Let’s see. This is the live [inaudible 00:46:51] of doing this show. This is why it’s good that we have an AV guy in charge, too. All right. Go ahead and test it real quick. [inaudible 00:47:02]. [inaudible 00:47:04] back and forth. We’ll get that figured out in just a sec. All right.


My question to you guys. You guys obviously both run two huge event industry media companies, right? You guys are covering pretty much everything that is here. What have you guys been seeing that has been a highlight for you through the entire show.


Marin Bright: It’s getting record attendance, which is awesome. I think that the industry is still very strong and the appointment matched is taking off. It’s big in Europe and now in America. At the start, us Americans weren’t really embracing being corralled and having appointments and doing all of that, but we’ve come around. I think that there is a great buzz. It’s really exciting. How about you?


Adam Parry: For me, I think that what’s great about IMEX is how [inaudible 00:47:59] it makes the whole process. For me personally, I’m from the UK and to try and see everybody that I know out in the U.S., it would take me weeks to travel around. To get everybody here under one roof for three days really makes that process efficient. Generally, it’s a huge amount of just peripheral networking opportunities and [inaudible 00:48:21] people be able to meet in different places at different events and different bars that surround the event, as well.


The trade show, I’m a tech guy at heart. I love the technology here. It’s great to see this area growing and new companies coming in and the companies that found it developing that technology that they use at events. That’s the sweet spot for me with IMEX here.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. Adam, you just started up your own event tech show, as well, right? An award show.


Adam Parry: Event Tech Live and the Event Technology Awards, which are our two shows that take place next month on the ninth, they are in their fourth year now. The Even Technology Awards –


Will Curran: [inaudible 00:48:58] I thought it just started out. [inaudible 00:49:02].


Adam Parry: It’s more probably because it’s known more over in Europe than it has been in the U.S., maybe, although we’ve had companies like Double Dutch and [inaudible 00:49:09] and stuff exhibit and also enter the awards that [inaudible 00:49:13].


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. Very cool. Marin, what about you? What is Smart Meetings doing to integrate events into what you guys are doing?


Marin Bright: I actually pronounce my name Ma-rin. It’s okay. It’s all right. It’s like Marin County. I get it all the time, so I’m used to it. We started appointment-based meetings before anybody else was doing it. [inaudible 00:49:35] into this kind of [inaudible 00:49:37] appointment. We do them all over the country. One a month. We are constantly hosting buyers. We see a lot of our buyers here, a lot of our customers here. As a matter of fact, [inaudible 00:49:51] is one of our biggest customers. Events, we do TV. We do certainly a lot of digital and website and then print, as well.


Will Curran: What is your guys’ perspective? That’s been a huge buzz of this conversation. I’ve been talking to a lot of hosted buyers, and the fact that they have to get eight appointments a day and they have so much to go through. Do you guys feel like that’s a good system? From you guys completely on the outside as media evaluating this event, do you guys feel like it works really well?


Marin Bright: From [inaudible 00:50:23] who have come on their own and they can be hosted by one of the Las Vegas hotels and then go on their own schedule and do what they wanted, truly, eight appointments a day is not that rigorous. I would think that that’s pretty easy compared to Smart Meetings, but I hesitate to say that. What do you think?


Adam Parry: Over in the U.K., it’s probably not as prevalent that we have hosted buyers. For me, it’s a relatively new thing. I don’t think for me personally it would work because I like to be able to [inaudible 00:50:57] and come across people of my own volition. I suppose from an exhibits point of view, it really helps them pay for itself. Even if four of those are really good quality, they qualify, two of those turn into follow-up and one turns into a client, then the event has paid for itself [inaudible 00:51:18]. From a risk-aversion point of view, it helps with that, I think. The only downside to it, is eight meetings, eight hours in a day, [inaudible 00:51:30]. I think it works for some, not for others, but that’s a personal.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. You feel like it’s designed very much so for the exhibitors rather than the hosted buyers because obviously the hosted buyers get to go for free and everything. It’s all right?


Marin Bright: We’ve both had a good [inaudible 00:51:54]. Hello.


Will Curran: Okay. Awesome. Awesome. I’m wondering, what’s big in media right now for the events industry? I was talking to Adam and everything like that about this. We eventually wanted to do a panel where all of you guys are together talking about this. What is the big thing in the events industry media? What’s changing that’s making you guys have to stay on your toes?


Marin Bright: Oh, for sure. You have to be everywhere now. Social media is huge for us. We do so much in the way of video now. YouTubing, live broadcasting, Facebook Living. I see that happening a lot at this show. Technology is being embraced. It’s part of our world now [inaudible 00:52:34] embracing it and as a media company, we have to be able to [inaudible 00:52:42], not just print, but we have to have the event, we have to have the video, we have to have the online and all [inaudible 00:52:49].


Will Curran: It makes you a very busy person.


Marin Bright: No rest for the weary.


Adam Parry: I have to totally agree. We’re an online company, so [inaudible 00:52:59] a bit more into broadcasts and video content.


Will Curran: Do you ever feel like you need to go into print? They’ve talked about that. Like some companies went from digital print and now operating [inaudible 00:53:13] digital.


Adam Parry: I don’t feel we need to because there are some excellent magazines out there that [inaudible 00:53:18] very, very well. I’m not sure whether we can add any value by producing publications, especially in the U.K. We then put our efforts that we would put into that into our other elements such as [inaudible 00:53:29]. We’ve gone to lots of events with a crew, filmed behind the scenes, filmed the production companies, the open access. We put our efforts there, rather than … I come from a print background. It was hell for me personally. I think the thing that’s really geared to the moment in platforms like this is video. There’s more video being watched than anything else now and there’s platforms [inaudible 00:53:54] without the sound on so now everything is getting subtitled because people are watching stuff at work [inaudible 00:54:00].


Marin Bright: I can breathe really fast now. Print is not dead.


Adam Parry: No, I don’t believe it is.


Marin Bright: People are so engaged in our magazine and Smart Meetings. There are people coming by constantly talking about … I think you have to be everywhere. You have to [inaudible 00:54:18]. Content is king no matter which way you slice it.


Adam Parry: There’s been a huge generational landscape, as well. You’ve got people that are just starting out in event management [inaudible 00:54:31] the students [inaudible 00:54:32] their first roles, and then you’ve got veterans that have been in the industry for four years. You have to serve each other and how they want to interact with things [inaudible 00:54:40].


Marin Bright: That’s right. Everybody takes it a different way.


Will Curran: You guys brought up video. It’s very fascinating that you bring it up. It was obviously a big decision for us to make this a video podcast. We want people to see this is a face. This is at Event Icons versus just doing audio.


Marin Bright: Sure.


Will Curran: What do you guys see that you guys are doing to engage with video? Are you guys doing any short videos? What are you guys doing and what do you see?


Marin Bright: We have a TV show here. We started it two years ago at IMEX. We were doing IMEX live, I think, before anybody. We have Mike Lyons here, who is our TV host. He is actually a TV star in his own right and he started at MPI. We’re doing a lot of snippets. We have a game show that we’re videoing at our booth. We’ve embraced it full on. You have to to get people I think engaged in your brand. Make it fun. Give them snippets.


Will Curran: Absolutely. And give them something to watch at work, apparently.


Marin Bright: If I see anybody watching it, at work …


Will Curran: Give them the whip.


Marin Bright: That’s right. There you go.


Will Curran: What about you? What are you guys doing in video?


Adam Parry: We’ve approached video the same way that you approach editorial. You do some long form content, more in-depth stuff. You do some short, quick stuff and maybe even do some stuff that leads into a fully featured video. Especially on social media, that really works to capture people’s attention to kind of like, “Do I want to watch this?”


Marin Bright: Right.


Adam Parry: We also record on video our podcasts because people like to see the elements of people’s expression and attitude and how they’re interacting with each other. With [inaudible 00:56:10], we’ve reduced the time element of our podcasts. We started out 45 minutes. Now we’re down to 15, 20.


Will Curran: Wow.


Adam Parry: Just from an analytics –


Marin Bright: For the podcast?


Adam Parry: For the podcast and stuff. Just going over analytics, [inaudible 00:56:22]. Yeah.


Will Curran: You can cross everyone out there right now who watches this for an hour. It’s awesome.


Marin Bright: Yeah. Exactly.


Adam Parry: I think this format works [inaudible 00:56:27], because you kind of get in … It’s not just me talking for 45 minutes with you. It’s getting other people in. This is [inaudible 00:56:33].


Will Curran: It’s going really fast.


Marin Bright: [inaudible 00:56:34] engagement. I did an interesting interview yesterday with American Express, their Meeting and Events Survey. It’s a big deal. It just came out. It is out.


Will Curran: Ooh. What are they doing?


Marin Bright: They do the annual Meetings and Events Survey where it’s the industry standard, the Gold standard of what are people saying.


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Marin Bright: We got the hot trends right off the press from them yesterday. What they were saying is there is a slow down. There is a little bit of uncertainty right now with the election. Not that it’s completely flipping, but the biggest trend that they’re seeing is security and safety of people at meetings and events.


Will Curran: Ooh. That was my one trend last year, or this year, I guess.


Marin Bright: It’s huge. That’s what they said everybody is talking about.


Will Curran: Wow. Interesting. What sort of trends are you seeing?


Adam Parry: Exactly the same. Security has always been there. England itself is just coming out of Brexit, you know. The European Union. There’s uncertainty especially on travel, incentive travel, taking corporations and staff to other countries where they deliver their events and stuff, so there’s a trend towards definitely security. It’s massive in the U.K., as well. I’m seeing a lot more metal detectors up at events in the U.K., which we’ve never really had before.


Will Curran: Interesting.


Adam Parry: Our event, we’re even implementing [inaudible 00:57:57] this year.


Will Curran: Oh, wow.


Adam Parry: It’s large congregations of people, an easy target. It’s that simple.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. We’ve only got a couple more minutes left, but I want you guys to share any cool resources or anything like that that you guys have, whether it’s a new tool that you guys have found or maybe it’s a new article that you’ve published. Really, this is your chance to share anything you want with the entire audience that we have out on the interwebs. What would you guys like to share with everyone?


Marin Bright: Well, at Smart Meetings, we partner with [Polk-en 00:58:25] for the last couple of years and they are accelerating our networking process. We’re doing away with business cards and everybody who comes talks about their [inaudible 00:58:35]. We love it. That seems to be a big hit with our latest [inaudible 00:58:39].


Will Curran: Awesome. Perfect. So [Polk-en 00:58:43]. Awesome.


Marin Bright: [inaudible 00:58:43]


Will Curran: Yeah. Yeah. They’re right there.


Marin Bright: [inaudible 00:58:46].


Will Curran: That’s why you guys got to come to the show. They’re literally right over there.


Marin Bright: As far as content goes, we have a huge interview. Our next cover with Bill Marriott.


Will Curran: Ooh. Awesome.


Marin Bright: Really big news in coming out with that.


Will Curran: So look forward to that.


Marin Bright: We’re looking forward to that.


Will Curran: What about you? Anything cool you want to share?


Adam Parry: There’s so much about [inaudible 00:59:04] interesting news. Follow us on Twitter, the news blog, or sign up to one of those e-newsletters because there’s tons throughout the year. One of the things that is really exciting for me this year is we’re bringing over Scott Wilcox from South by Southwest to talk at Event Tech live. He’s a wealth of knowledge, not just on events, but on technology and the whole ecosystem and how things that we don’t even realize are going to affect the events industry because they’re ahead of the game by years. That’s going to be live streamed, so anybody can watch that, get involved. There’s going to be live Q and As. That’s all happening on the ninth of November. The U.K. time it will be kind of around 4 o’clock. I’m not sure, depending on –


Will Curran: So really, really late.


Marin Bright: A shameless commercial here. [inaudible 00:59:42] is going to be thrown at you.


Will Curran: It’s all good. That’s why I give you guys the chance to do the shameless plugs.


Marin Bright: Thank you so much.


Will Curran: Yeah, thank you guys so much for being on the show. You guys were so fantastic. It’s so good to see you both. I look forward to seeing you guys around the show floors tomorrow.


Marin Bright: I do, too. Thank you.


Will Curran: Thank you guys. Awesome. Well, I hope you guys are having some fun out there in the audience. We are absolutely having some blast time over here. Interview after interview. This one was a special request we actually had from the audience. Someone was requesting you.


Kate Patay: Oh my goodness.


Will Curran: Yeah. If you want to just grab a mic and make sure that is switched on. There you go. You’re all good to go. For all the people in the audience right now, if you’re watching at home, whether you’re in your boxers or you’re at work, whatever you’re doing, hop on the chat panel over on the right hand side. Submit your questions. We’ve got 15 minutes with each of these amazing event icons and you want to get your questions in right away. Be sure to share on social media. We’re watching you guys on hashtag event icons on Twitter and on Instagram. Be sure to plug that, but enough plugging and transition stuff. You are back for your second episode.


Kate Patay: Woohoo. It’s a big day.


Will Curran: Creative Coverings.


Kate Patay: Correct.


Will Curran: My questions for you are all surrounded around …We’ve had the media on here. We’ve had some planners on here. We’ve had some troublemakers on here and apparently you’re one of them now. Everyone is putting you in that.


Kate Patay: I’m the troublemaker?


Will Curran: Yep. Someone in the chat said you’re a troublemaker.


Kate Patay: They know me.


Will Curran: You obviously went the route … You guys don’t have a booth here, correct?


Kate Patay: We don’t.


Will Curran: You’re here to network and get with everyone, but you are not here to necessarily buy. You’re more here to meet with potential clients and things like that.


Kate Patay: Correct.


Will Curran: What has your experience been not having a booth as a supplier here at IMEX?


Kate Patay: I get to have all the fun. I get to walk around and see everyone on my own schedule here, which I’m sure IMEX is like, “Stop talking, woman, right now.” I do. I love the show and I just love everyone here and being able to have that fluidity and see who I want when I want to, it’s fantastic.


Will Curran: Awesome. How many years have you been coming to IMEX?


Kate Patay: This is my third year.


Will Curran: Third year. Awesome.


Kate Patay: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I’m a newbie.


Will Curran: You just got in today. Is that right? Or yesterday?


Kate Patay: What day is today?


Will Curran: Wednesday.


Kate Patay: Wednesday. Yesterday.


Will Curran: Yesterday.


Kate Patay: Yes.


Will Curran: Awesome. Okay. You’ve had a little bit of time to get your feet wet and kind of walk around. What have you seen that’s been cool and unique that you’re like, “Wow, I really need to tell the entire Event Icons crew about it”?


Kate Patay: The technology that is out there is just so fantastic right now, seeing all of the different … These little tech cubs and who is here and what the capabilities are at this point, I’m walking through like a kid in a candy store. Like oh my gosh, you can do that? Seriously? I love seeing those. Then as a speaker, I like the apps that help along … Like Slide-O for instance.


Will Curran: Do you mind explaining what Slide-O does, for those who don’t know?


Kate Patay: Slide-O is web-based, so you add it into your presentations and people can ask live questions. In the audience, you can also like those questions which drive them up the wall, meaning more people want to hear about it so it drives it to the top of your list so as a speaker, you can address them in the order in which the audience wants to actually hear them.


Will Curran: Oh, wow. It’s kind of taking away a little bit of the need for the microphone, the roaming microphone or the microphones in the aisles.


Kate Patay: It is. I think the great part of that is not everyone is comfortable to stand up in a room with their peers and say, “Hi, I have a question” or “Hey, I don’t understand this.”


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Kate Patay: But to have the anonymity to type it into an app and be able to ask your question.


Will Curran: Absolutely. What other cool things have you been seeing?


Kate Patay: The people.


Will Curran: Yeah, people. Okay. Talk about the people. Who have you seen and what kind of people are here at IMEX?


Kate Patay: I love seeing all of the different DMCs that are out here. There’s a few different partners that we have here that we work with a lot, so getting to visit all of them. Seeing the planners walking around is a ton of fun for it. There’s been some awesome classes. There’s two I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning.


Will Curran: Which ones are you taking?


Kate Patay: Nick [inaudible 01:03:20] is going to talk about Instagram, which I love.


Will Curran: Awesome. Is Nick still back here? No. Nick is gone.


Kate Patay: Nick had to go. Nick has meetings. He’s so important now.


Will Curran: Those hosted buyers.


Kate Patay: Hosted buyers. So much to do.


Will Curran: Okay, so Nick is doing a class on what?


Kate Patay: On Instagram.


Will Curran: Instagram.


Kate Patay: My favorite other disruptor, Aaron, is going to be standing out doing one of the classes, too.


Will Curran: Awesome. You call him a disruptor.


Kate Patay: Totally. Let’s be real.


Will Curran: We’re going to rename the show from hashtag event icons to hashtag event disruptors.


Kate Patay: Disruption.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. For someone who is coming to this conference for the first time and they want to meet people like you, what do you recommend? Do you recommend that they email you beforehand or do you just recommend that they bump into you? What are your recommendations for people who don’t know you but want to meet you?


Kate Patay: Email is always great. It’s just Kate at Creative Coverings dot com. It’s easy to find me and we can plan a meetup, but I try and post where I am all the time, too. I’m following along the hashtag to see where everyone else is.


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Kate Patay: There’s a great meetup tonight for the organizations. It’s [WHIPPA 01:04:17] and [NACE 01:04:17] and [IALEIA 01:04:18] all together over at [Cees-bers 01:04:20]. I try and make sure I stop at all of those and just visit everyone.


Will Curran: What do you do when you can’t choose what you want to do? Like being at this event, everyone is saying hey, come to the one event tonight and then come to the other one and then everyone is saying come in all of these different directions. How do you choose where to go?


Kate Patay: Cameos.


Will Curran: Cameos. You make a little stop in.


Kate Patay: Yeah.


Will Curran: Okay. Okay.


Kate Patay: Why do you have to choose? Would you like this or that? Yes.


Will Curran: I love it. I love it. There’s no reason to say no to anything.


Kate Patay: Correct.


Will Curran: Do you think there is a time where the show gets overwhelming? How do you pace yourself through it? It’s four solid days. You’re hanging out with everyone, talking to everyone, my throat already is getting tired. Do you recommend a slow pace or do you recommend just going in and going hard?


Kate Patay: I kind of go for it. I don’t know if that’s the way to go, though, because I see some people tucker out after day two and they’re like, no. I’m tapping out. I can’t roll.


Will Curran: I’m not going to lie. I’ve been in bed by 9 o’clock.


Kate Patay: But I also hit the point – like last night – with ghosting. You come in and you’re like, all right. I made my appearance. I said hello. Now I gotta go. And lots of water.


Will Curran: Lots of water. A lot of people aren’t used to this sort of climate, too. They come from where it’s really cold. I’m obviously from Phoenix, so it’s actually cooler here somehow.


Kate Patay: I’m coming your way next week. I forgot about that.


Will Curran: Yes. Okay. Burritos.


Kate Patay: Sold.


Will Curran: If you ever come to Phoenix, we’re going to take you to Burritos.


Kate Patay: Sold. Tuesday. Let’s roll.


Will Curran: Tuesday. Okay. Awesome. What do you recommend for people on a health side for preparing for the heat out here?


Kate Patay: Always have a lot of water. Do your workouts early when you can. That’s how I always start the day off, so it makes it easier to –


Will Curran: Did you do the run?


Kate Patay: No. I thought they said rum.


Will Curran: The rum. She shows up with her glass [inaudible 01:06:00].


Kate Patay: So let down.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. All right. Cool. Let’s see. Let’s think of some other good questions. Audience, if you’re out there, we’re waiting for your guys’ questions in the questions pane, so get them on in there. My question to you is, for someone who maybe wants to do what you did. They don’t have the money to buy an expensive booth.


Kate Patay: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Will Curran: They want to still come here as a supplier. Someone like myself, right? I’m not doing a booth. I’m here as a supplier. What are your recommendations to making the most of your trip, if they have to fly across the country or whatever they have to do to get the best ROI out of IMEX?


Kate Patay: I would say study ahead of time. See who is going to be here, who you want to talk to. Part of me not exhibiting is the fact that I work through many of these companies already here because I wholesale. Creative Coverings is already in a lot of the booths and we have contracts with them already. I don’t want to go compete against my own clients, basically.


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Kate Patay: Look to see who is here, who you might want to meet, make your game plan. I always walk the show floor first before I really hone in on any one thing. Just a brief overview and I figure out where I want to go back to. I do that with every convention show, though.


Will Curran: Awesome.


Kate Patay: Get the lay of the land and then figure out what struck your interest, instead of finding something the very first day and getting stuck on aisle 1800 and never getting past that.


Will Curran: Never moving.


Kate Patay: Exactly.


Will Curran: Yeah, because everyone wants to have a conversation with you, right?


Kate Patay: Yep.


Will Curran: What other shows are you going to this year?


Kate Patay: Oh my gosh. Can I make a list of what I’m not? It will take less time. All of them. It’s such a great industry and we have such a good time together and we’re celebrating live events and being in person. I will get to all of those, between TSE and I went out to ARA and then over to Catersource.


Will Curran: Awesome.


Kate Patay: All the way through. You gotta. The NACE Conference I always love.


Will Curran: The NACE Conference. Yes.


Kate Patay: Yeah.


Will Curran: Do you think that getting out to conferences is really … Like if you want to be in this industry, you’ve got to be at all the conferences?


Kate Patay: I wouldn’t say you have to be at all of them, especially depending on what you want. I work in all realms of the industry with Creative Coverings, we do cover all of them. You might be a little more niche in what you want to do. I would say check them out, see what suits you best and where your people are. I always encourage you to find your people. When I walked in on my first national conference, I was still a catering director at the time doing events, and I walked in. I was like, I found my people. They get it. They’re going through the same things I am every single day. They understand. These are my peers. They’re people I can learn from. Then in turn, as I grow, bring up others with me.


Will Curran: They connect better with those people, as well.


Kate Patay: You get it. When you show up in person and you’re there, it clicks.


Will Curran: Absolutely. What do you think that IMEX is doing really well this year and then we’ll flip that again real soon. What do you think they’re doing really well this year?


Kate Patay: They always do great as far as their education. A really good job of that. They have such quality vendors that are here and everyone is so well screened. The buyers they bring in. This business model is fantastic. It really works for them. They’re doing a good job with it. Yeah. They get the best of the best here to come see everything.


Will Curran: What do you think they can improve on?


Kate Patay: I didn’t speak this year, so maybe next year. I went there. I’m that person.


Will Curran: Well, I guess because you’ve spoken before.


Kate Patay: Not at this one.


Will Curran: Not at this one. Okay. You’ve gone to sit in a couple of speaking rooms.


Kate Patay: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Will Curran: Is there a room that they should go to, an area that they should hang out, or is it go everywhere you can go?


Kate Patay: Check it all out. See what clicks with you. Everyone learns different and absorbs things in a different way and they have different formats for it, so go and do what clicks with you, what resonates.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. The seating at some of these is really outrageous. They have bean bag chairs in some places.


Kate Patay: I love those. When I went to my first TED Talk and I sat in the very front in a bean bag chair because I was running a few minutes late – which is so not like me – it was the only chair left, and I was like, oh my gosh. I’m a college kid right now. I go up front and I sit down and I was like, this is amazing. I’ve never been so engaged in a presentation in my life.


Will Curran: You would think it would be the opposite because you would fall asleep.


Kate Patay: Nope. It was the best. I didn’t want to leave it. I want to put bean bags at every single presentation I do. I’ll buy my own. They’ll all be teal for Creative Coverings. I’ll put them all in front.


Will Curran: Good branding, too. You can say hey, these are brought to you … And then you can cover them, technically.


Kate Patay: Creatively cover them.


Will Curran: Yeah. Creatively cover them. It can’t be just teal fabric. It’s got to be special shiny fabric.


Kate Patay: It will be amazing.


Will Curran: Awesome. We have a couple of minutes left. You talked a little bit about what you found at the show that you’ve liked. What cool resources would you recommend that people check out in the events industry? You know the last question I always end on.


Kate Patay: Yeah.


Will Curran: What would you have to share with the interwebs that they got to know about, whether it’s a cool new article that you’ve read, a cool tool, a company, or something that you’re working on. What would you want to share with everyone?


Kate Patay: Actually, the one thing I always do want to share because I don’t think everyone is aware of it, is the Search Foundation.


Will Curran: Yes. You’re the second person to mention that today.


Kate Patay: Am I?


Will Curran: Yeah.


Kate Patay: Was it Nick?


Will Curran: No. Nick hasn’t been on.


Kate Patay: It wasn’t?


Will Curran: No, Nick hasn’t been on yet.


Kate Patay: Who am I following up?


Will Curran: I don’t remember. Someone has also mentioned it. Xander. Xander mentioned it.


Kate Patay: Oh, did he?


Will Curran: Yeah.


Kate Patay: Good job, Xander, wherever you went. I just love Search Foundation. I don’t think people are aware that that’s a resource for them in our event industry should you have any kind of catastrophic loss or illness. You can apply for grants through it.


Will Curran: Have you helped on the donation side or have you done –


Kate Patay: I’m on their board right now.


Will Curran: You’re on the board.


Kate Patay: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. How do people get involved with Search Foundation? I think now that people are aware of it, maybe now they’re saying, “Man. This is the second time I’ve heard this. I’m [inaudible 01:11:17].”


Kate Patay: Yes. Jump on the website. Everything you need to know is right there. If you want to email me direct, Kate at Creative Coverings dot com. I’m always happy to help answer those. They are a great resource for it. As far as education, I love following along on Event Manager blog with Julius who was on earlier.


Will Curran: Yep. Yep.


Kate Patay: He does a fabulous job. This Event Icons, of course, is one of my favorites. Just the different … your NACEs and those ones that are out there. They’re a good resource. Look at them all. See what speaks to you.


Will Curran: Cool. Very cool. Very cool. I think we are all out of time. Perfect timing. I’m getting really good at this 15 minute thing. Kate, thank you so much.


Kate Patay: Thanks for having me.


Will Curran: It’s a pleasure to have you again.


Kate Patay: Yeah.


Will Curran: I look forward to having you on the show very, very soon. Enjoy the show.


Kate Patay: Thank you.


Will Curran: Awesome. All right. For everyone out there, you want to post your questions in the chat panel over on the right hand side, because man, we have an awesome guest lined up right now. Megan Powers in the house.


Megan Powers: Hello.


Will Curran: Did I get that right? It’s not a very hard name to pronounce.


Megan Powers: It’s pretty easy. Yeah.


Will Curran: We also got Damian in the house, as well. Damian, if you want to post it on up, we’ve got a microphone here for you. Join us up on the bar … You can join up on the bar stools. Come on up. Come on up. For those who don’t know –


Damian Oracki: Bonjour.


Will Curran: There is a … Make sure your switches are on, by the way. There is an element of the event called IMEX Pitch. It’s the fifth year, sixth year, something like that, running now. Essentially they bring the coolest, newest technologies and event startups to basically come in, pitch, [inaudible 01:12:46].


Damian Oracki: Oh, sounds great. Who won?


Megan Powers: We didn’t, but we’re awesome anyway.


Will Curran: We love you guys. We’re really happy to have you guys. I watched the pitches and I loved what you guys were doing. To be honest, everyone loved what you did.


Damian Oracki: Thank you.


Will Curran: [inaudible 01:13:01] so close, the competition. I’m totally forgetting the name of the company that ended up winning. It doesn’t matter anyway because you guys are here. You actually showed up.


Megan Powers: Group won.


Damian Oracki: Group Networking.


Will Curran: Group Networking won, but these are the icons here. I especially love [inaudible 01:13:14] companies and I want to get you guys on because you guys are doing some really, really cool stuff. I especially align with the production side, but also the organization side. I plan my own events and my God, I don’t want another Google Drive or Dropbox in my life. Really quickly, if you guys can give a one sentence explainer what you guys do, and then we’ll go from there.


Megan Powers: Okay. Event Collab is event project management software. It’s a collab-based tool intended to provide every stakeholder involved in planning events one central space where they can share documents, assign tasks, track time, have discussions, take their workflow out of their email and put it into this one central place online.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. I love it. Damian.


Damian Oracki: We use [inaudible 01:14:00]. It’s a unique venue marketing platform that enables the sharing of large infrastructure costs between event organizers whilst promoting available dates around [inaudible 01:14:10] and confirmed bookings at venues.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. What do you guys think as you guys are … You guys are both first-timers here? It’s not your first time.


Megan Powers: It’s my first time in the pitch, but it’s my sixth time attending this –


Will Curran: Sixth time.


Megan Powers: Yeah.


Will Curran: It’s your first time at IMEX, correct?


Damian Oracki: It’s the first time I’ve been to the States.


Will Curran: Your first time in the States?


Megan Powers: Obviously network.


Damian Oracki: Yep.


Megan Powers: Every time you turn around, you run into someone that you know because this industry is so tightly knit.


Damian Oracki: Or you meet someone new.


Megan Powers: Yeah. Exactly.


Damian Oracki: Which is the main also point.


Megan Powers: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. You get introduced to people. It’s a great space for connecting. More than anything, it’s great to see all of the companies and the technology and everything, but it’s the people that is the absolute best part.


Damian Oracki: Anybody who is anybody comes to IMEX.


Megan Powers: Yeah. Pretty much.


Will Curran: You hear that. That means if you’re a somebody out there, you need to be here next year. We’d love to see you.


Megan, so we’ve had a lot of people who we’ve had … Kate was just on talking about what it’s like being a supplier but not an exhibitor. We’ve had event planners here talking about what it’s like being a hosted buyer. What’s your perspective being an exhibitor and having tons of hosted buyers and people coming up to you 24/7 asking you questions?


Megan Powers: It’s awesome. I exhibit all of the time with all of the other industry shows and stuff. We’re in a fairly tight spot here in the technology pavilion, so it’s kind of hard to only be able to be giving two [inaudible 01:16:08] at once and so that’s something for the future. If we get a larger space, that would be kind of nice. Yeah.


Will Curran: Get a booth. [inaudible 01:16:15] first time back, [inaudible 01:16:15] your booth next year.


Megan Powers: Maybe. Maybe. We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll see about the follow-up and the adoption that we get. Absolutely it’s quality over quantity, too, because the people we’re talking to are really looking for a solution like ours. I would rather talk to five people who are really valuable and are going to be great customers versus 10 people who are just listening to us because they want to listen to somebody talk.


Will Curran: Let’s scoot on over because we have a rival.


Damian Oracki: Alex from Event Geek has entered the building.


Will Curran: Mr. Alex from Event Geek. If you guys can share your microphone. I know the cords kind of short.


Damian Oracki: No. No.


Will Curran: You can stand up if you want to, because that’s the camera right there. We want to make sure that you are in there.


Damian, while Alex is getting ready, why don’t you tell us a little bit about … Obviously, it’s your first time in the States. Your primary business is in the U.K., correct?


Damian Oracki: Sorry. I’m in the U.K. I’m from London.


Will Curran: What is your thoughts, what are your recommendations for someone who is coming so far to IMEX America. What are your recommendations for them to make the most out of this conference?


Damian Oracki: There’s a lot of educational programs. Whether you go to the one in Frankfurt or, yeah, they are different. The educational programs, they evolve. This year is completely … Well, six months. When were we in IMEX? February?


Will Curran: Yes.


Damian Oracki: Earlier. It’s totally different from IMEX over here. It’s also different markets, different buyers. If you want to learn about anything to do with the event industry, anything to do with destinations, anything to do with technology and the future of events, this is where you come.


Will Curran: This is the place to come.


Damian Oracki: If I could afford it, I would come to both IMEX because they’re completely different.


Will Curran: Yeah. Well, we’re expecting you to be here next year. You’ll have to come now.


Damian Oracki: Well, I didn’t win, did I?


Will Curran: Well, you’re going to come back because we love you.


Damian Oracki: I’m going to exhibit. We’re going to be [inaudible 01:18:05] in the States. This is why I’m here.


Will Curran: Exactly. Exactly.


Megan Powers: For sure.


Will Curran: Awesome. Well, if you want to pass the mic over to Alex. Alex, we’re going to derail the conversation and go back to the quick question at the beginning. Can you explain to everyone in the camera what you do and what EventGeek is all about?


Megan Powers: He’s not on camera.


Alex Patriquin: Yeah, sure. I will. It’s good to see you.


Megan Powers: There he is.


Alex Patriquin: Hello.


Will Curran: There we go. Great. We’ve got some room.


Alex Patriquin: Event Geek is project management and ROI analytics for events. We help companies like Uber and OCTA plan hundreds of events a year and get more sales and signups from the events that they do for marketing.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. I’m going to pivot to a question that I have for all of you guys. What is the coolest technology other than your own – selflessly – that you have seen at the conference that you think everyone needs to know about?


Alex Patriquin: Absolutely. Yeah. I’ve got to give a big shoutout to Tim, who won the competition yesterday. I think they’re on to something for sure. Tinder for events. I’m surprised it doesn’t exist yet. It’s definitely going to be –


Megan Powers: He did say that, I noticed. 


Alex Patriquin: It’s inevitable.


Damian Oracki: It is a good idea.


Alex Patriquin: Yeah. Business Safe. Tinder. It just seems like an inevitable app that we should already have and I think that they are the team to do it, so big shout out for them.


Damian Oracki: I’m going to have to go with that. He won for a reason and his artificial intelligence that he uses is pretty good.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome.


Damian Oracki: I say that with a pinch of salt.


Megan Powers: You took my answer. I actually think that having come from the AV production world, I think what Damian is doing is awesome. There were so many times where … It’s such a quick turnaround. It’s funny, because I would have convention services managers run up to me. “It took you eight hours to set it up. How long is it going to take you to tear it down, because we have an event at 6 o’clock.”


Damian Oracki: Yes.


Megan Powers: Our keynote ended at 4:30. I’m like, it’s not going to happen in an hour and a half and P.S., who sold the space right out from under … Yeah. If we had had that opportunity to communicate, we –


Will Curran: You’d sell the same set up to both people.


Megan Powers: Right. Right. Which brings me to, can I ask you?


Damian Oracki: Yes, you may.


Megan Powers: This is my question. I had asked a question that didn’t get put to you yesterday. How do production companies and AV companies play into the mix? You talked a lot about the venue and the client, but it’s the AV company and the production company that is providing all that gear that is going to be the one involved with sharing it. How does that work? 


Damian Oracki: We are lucky enough to not be disrupting them all over the place, so they are actually quite interested in doing work for us. I was doing a sharing economy session on Monday. Two production companies in the States gave me their details because they understand this. Their overheads are cut. It’s their logistics and labor market that is unfortunate. I used to own a labor company in the events industry which I sold and now I’m disrupting, which is sad because it’s my friends but it’s technology and it’s efficiency. We just want to do things better.


Will Curran: Awesome. Love it.


Megan Powers: When does the AV company get engaged?


Damian Oracki: It’s the same as the venue. The first production is already confirmed.


Megan Powers: Okay.


Damian Oracki: The first event, the marquee is going to be billed.


Megan Powers: Okay.


Damian Oracki: It’s not a match made in [inaudible 01:21:23]. Let’s have an idea. I want to do it with you.


Megan Powers: No, I know. Who is connecting that second company with the AV?


Damian Oracki: It’s the venue or it’s our store, but it’s most of the time the venue, because the venue is making money and so is the AV company.


Megan Powers: Right. Right.


Damian Oracki: We don’t take any commission from the AV company and they put the savings back to both –


Will Curran: Oh, awesome. It doesn’t affect me at all. I just get more sales.


Damian Oracki: We could talk about it.


Will Curran: I kind of like that no commission style.


Alex. What has been one thing that you think technology companies need to be doing differently after seeing everything that’s happened at IMEX? Where do you think you see technology going for IMEX 2017?


Alex Patriquin: Yeah. Sure. I think the one thing that technology companies should be doing, especially after walking around the show floor here, there needs to be more conversations that happen, I think, between technology companies and the other companies here. The associations, the hotel companies, and the DMCs, which are the tourism boards for these various countries and cities. It definitely seems like there is a lot of opportunity there that is being left on the table to collaborate. I think that is just going to come out with more conversations from technology companies taking a really humble and earnest point of view and really listening to what these customers need and engaging them. Maybe that means bringing in some more experienced [inaudible 01:22:59] to do some research versus entrepreneurs just trying to wing it. I think there is a lot on the table and the future looks really bright if we can really start to listen to some of these companies and really understand their needs on a deeper level.


Will Curran: Damian, what about you? Where do you see technology [inaudible 01:23:16] going?


Damian Oracki: The whole time I was sitting here trying to reconstruct what he was saying to understand what the question was because I didn’t listen to it.


Will Curran: That’s okay. That’s okay.


Damian Oracki: Sorry.


Will Curran: That’s okay. I didn’t [inaudible 01:23:24] microphone.


Damian Oracki: Because you asked him, so I [inaudible 01:23:26].


Will Curran: I [inaudible 01:23:26] microphone and he got really excited. I gotcha. I gotcha. AV guys, you know?


Damian Oracki: What is the question? Sorry.


Will Curran: Where do you see 2017 going with Event Tech and what do you think we’ll see in IMEX 2017 for technology?


Damian Oracki: Ah. Very interesting. Well, it’s connectivity. I’m big into connectivity and what is it now? We have 10 billion connected devices now? Is that right? In X amount of years, you’ll have 100 billion? 80 billion? I think it’s going to go down there. It’s going to be about [inaudible 01:23:53] and analytics and using that to be more sustainable. That’s where we’re heading now. The whole discourse about the sharing economy, it’s all about sustainable, trying to consume things in a different way. I think that’s going to affect it in many, many ways. Many different platforms and apps are going to come out to use this sort of connectivity.


Megan Powers: We’re going to be chipped.


Damian Oracki: Yes.


Megan Powers: Eventually.


Damian Oracki: Hybrids.


Megan Powers: I would say integrations. We’ve had a lot of good conversations with companies that … I’ve mentioned before, Event Cloud doesn’t intend to be everything to everyone. We feel like integration is where it’s at. There are companies who are already doing things really, really well, and we’ve built our product on an open API for that very reason, to integrate with other products and get those relationships going. They’re not going to do what we’re doing and we’re not going to do what they’re doing. It’s a perfect solution. I see that happening more and more. You see that with QuickMobile and Poken and … What’s the other? I don’t know. Anyway … It’s such a cool set up that they’re both integrated with QuickMobile. Having them exhibit all together is brilliant.


Damian Oracki: Yes.


Will Curran: I’m going to steal your microphone. Earlier, Aaron posed a really, really solid point. He thinks that actually in the next year or so, we’re going to start to see a focus away from pings and technology and more so towards people, that people are going to be what’s going to be moving this industry moving forward. What do you guys have to say about that kind of counterpoint to what you guys have?


Damian Oracki: Okay. Is it going to be more human, face-to-face? What? With live streaming and hybrid events becoming cheaper and more accessible? I’m not sure if it’s going to go completely more human. Technology will always be a crutch for humanity, I believe. Therefore, if there’s another cool app like Uber that allows us to do something just as amazing as Uber, I don’t see a reason why we would try to ignore that.


Megan Powers: I think that the technology brings us together.


Damian Oracki: Yeah.


Megan Powers: I got my Master’s in Communication two years ago and I did my thesis on face-to-face communication versus online communication within the context of trade shows.


Damian Oracki: Who won?


Megan Powers: It was as I suspected. I had a hybrid of the two. Part of my evidence was I surveyed marketing executives in charge of budgets. I surveyed exhibitors – who are salespeople – attendees who may or may not be buyers, and then event organizers. We talked about relationship building and commerce as being the two pieces related to trade shows. I wanted to do it on meetings and events as a whole, but it was too big. I didn’t have enough time. There is hardly any academia out there related to this. The closest I could find was research that IT people had done on the value of it. Anyways, so my point was, I feel like – and having served in each of those roles – starting to build that relationship online and arranging that meeting, setting up that appointment, versus just trying to walk up to somebody and try to … That’s still good, too, at networking events and stuff like that, but if you can use -[inaudible 01:27:18]


Alex Patriquin: At the forefront of adopting technology.


Damian Oracki: Yes. That’s right.


Alex Patriquin: I think proof of that is that we do have so many apps and with such a fragmented market. Usually when you’ve got a healthy level of adoption, you have a couple of leaders emerge in a category, like events apps. I would suggest that the fragmentation is due to the patchwork that we’re seeing among technology adopters. We haven’t seen a company come in and really just own the events app space. I think actually that would be a good thing. I disagree with the premise of the question, but generally, I think technology and humans are kind of merging. Right? You see technology becoming more like people with artificial intelligence and people becoming more like technology. Their phones are always in their hands and it just changes who we are as people living in this really technical society. I think it’s a kind of inevitable trend. The emergence of IOT and the Internet of Things, this is just another way that things are becoming part of this technology continuum that we’re all on.


Will Curran: Awesome. Do you have a follow-up?


Megan Powers: I was going to say, I feel like the horse has already left the gate. We’re immersed. We’re using the technology. I don’t think the people have ever gone away. That’s part of the reason why I think it’s kind of an odd thing. Definitely it’s the people who are always driving the industry, anyway. The adoption of the technology and the combination of them moving forward together is … I think that’s where it’s going to continue to go.


Damian Oracki: What about virtual reality where you’re having the headset and you can actually see the person, perhaps in 3D. All of that is going to get cheaper and cheaper. Can you imagine that sort of communication?


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Damian Oracki: It’s like you’re in the same room as them.


Will Curran: There you go.


Damian Oracki: Why would you say no to something like that?


Will Curran: Awesome. You guys are absolutely awesome. We’ve had Alex on the show, but we need to get both of you guys on the show. Maybe we’ll do another follow-up to this to find out where you guys are at after IMEX.


Damian Oracki: Great.


Will Curran: I want to thank you guys so much for being on the show. It’s a huge pleasure, Megan. Damian. Alex. Such a pleasure. Thank you guys so much. You guys are good. I’ll trade microphones with you, if that’s okay. Awesome. You can just set it down. All right. Awesome. Thank you, guys. You guys are very welcome. Thank you guys so much. It is 3:30. 6:30 Eastern. I am going to scoot these chairs over and come one seat over. All right. Awesome.


Our next guest is really awesome. You guys are going to love this. This is literally from the horse’s mouth. We could not have gotten anybody better for the topic of IMEX then the CEO of IMEX. In the house. Hello, Carina.


Carina Bauer: Hi.


Will Curran: It’s good to see you again.


Carina Bauer: Nice to see you.


Will Curran: All right. Here we go. Let’s get your mic switched on real quick.


Carina Bauer: Let me just get some water.


Will Curran: It has been a very, very busy conference for you.


Carina Bauer: It has been busy. Yes.


Will Curran: We got to make sure that she gets some water. Stay hydrated in the Vegas heat.


Carina Bauer: Yes.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. Carina, it’s so awesome to have you here [inaudible 01:31:11].


Carina Bauer: Are we live?


Will Curran: Yes. We are live.


Carina Bauer: Oh, okay. Hi.


Will Curran: Everyone is out there on the internet watching right now. We are so honored to have you here.


Carina Bauer: Oh, no, you’re welcome. Thanks for having me.


Will Curran: We’ve had everyone from suppliers, exhibitors, to attendees, to planners, everybody in [inaudible 01:31:25] media were on the show today talking about your show.


Carina Bauer: Okay.


Will Curran: Where is it going, what they think is great about it, what you could improve.


Carina Bauer: Yeah.


Will Curran: From your perspective, how do you think that the show has been going this year?


Carina Bauer: From our perspective, it’s all about whether our exhibitors and our buyers are getting value from this show, whether they’re doing business, whether this is a productive use of their time, and they’re getting [inaudible 01:31:49] wise. We’ve had great feedback from buyers and exhibitors on that. For us, if they are happy, then we’re happy. Having said that, we always like to hear what could be improved, as well. That’s really how we can get ideas to make sure we keep innovating and improving the show year on year.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. Give people an idea. Some attendees just come to the event and they obviously get to enjoy all of the exhibits and all of the things going on and all of the events that happen afterwards. How big of a team does it take to plan this event?


Carina Bauer: We have nearly 60 people in our office. We do two events. The 60 people work on IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America and that’s what we do.


Will Curran: Are all 60 people here or do some people hang back and help support the office?


Carina Bauer: No. We actually bring everybody out to IMEX America and IMEX in Frankfurt, including our entire admin and accounts team. When hosted buyers go into the hosted buyer lounge and they go and get their refunds, their getting their refunds from our accounts team. Our finance director is there processing their refunds. It really is a full team effort. The people that you are emailing or calling or treating are the people that you meet here.


Will Curran: How long does it take for you to plan IMEX America or Frankfurt? Is it one of those things where you have a short amount of period because you’ve been doing it for so long? How long does it take you guys to plan this?


Carina Bauer: Yeah. No, it’s a continually rolling planning process. Even before one IMEX America … So in the summer, we are already talking about what we’ll do for next year.


Will Curran: Awesome.


Carina Bauer: Having said that, the real planning obviously kicks off afterwards. Doing events is, I think, a luxurious profession in the sense that you really see and feel the fruits of your labor. You have a chance – even if it’s a day, a week, a month, after the event to sit back and review it. You get evaluations. You talk to your customers. You can really sit back and say, “How should we do things better next year and plan for it?” There are already thing we know we’ll be changing or we’ll be planning for for next year. The rest really will be about us getting together a few weeks after the show and saying as a team what went well, what didn’t go well, what should have been better, and what can we now do for next year.


Will Curran: Awesome. As a CEO, I know you’re working like 120 hours a week.


Carina Bauer: Yeah.


Will Curran: You’re making sure everything is going good, you’re the face of the team, doing a ton of interviews. Do you get a break off?


Carina Bauer: I do, actually. Immediately after this. My family are coming out tonight, which I’m excited about. After this, we’re going to Death Valley and Yosemite and San Francisco.


Will Curran: Oh, nice.


Carina Bauer: I don’t always get a break after the show, but this year I do.


Will Curran: This year, you made it a point.


Carina Bauer: Yeah.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. I’m excited that you get a chance to break.


Carina Bauer: Yeah.


Will Curran: We’ve been talking a lot about … There’s a lot of people tuned in right now who obviously couldn’t make it.


Carina Bauer: Yes.


Will Curran: They’ve never been to an IMEX before.


Carina Bauer: Yes.


Will Curran: What would you recommend for those who haven’t been able to come to a show to experience it fully? What is your recommendation? Where should they go? What should they do?


Carina Bauer: If they were to come next year, you mean?


Will Curran: Yeah. Yeah.


Carina Bauer: Well, they should definitely come next year.


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Carina Bauer: Obviously, so make sure you come. I think there’s so much going on at the show that you can really craft and customize your experience depending on what’s of interest to you. I would highly, highly recommend anybody coming to come in on Sunday night and come in for the full day of [inaudible 01:35:31] Monday because it’s a full conference educational program that is completely free. It really gives you a huge amount of value. 86% of our sessions here are CMP-certified.


Will Curran: Awesome.


Carina Bauer: You can get great value out of that. Not only that. You meet people and you can network before you get in. We have specialist programs for association meeting planners, for senior corporate meeting planners. That I would highly recommend. Depending on your industry affiliations, I’d make sure you know what [inaudible 01:36:04] events are taking place, whether that’s Sight Night, MPI Foundation Rendezvous, [Seer 01:36:10] have their golf tournament, et cetera, et cetera. Really make sure you know what your community is doing here at the show and take part in that. In terms of the show, it’s about preparation, really. If you’re coming in as a buyer, make sure that you get into the scheduling system when it goes live a month before and plan your meetings, because the show is very busy. A lot of meeting slots get booked out, so if you want to really maximize your time and make the most of it, you have to make sure that you get those meetings booked in before you come on site. Those would really be my three key things. Also, if you’re into fitness, the IMEX run. It’s a great event, great camaraderie, lots of fun.


Will Curran: [inaudible 01:36:58] and Julius have done it. We had them on. They were talking about running it.


Carina Bauer: People just love that event. That’s another one to look out for.


Will Curran: Awesome. Which one is your favorite? What would you say if you picked one event other than the show floor? Which one is your favorite?


Carina Bauer: Gosh. That’s very difficult.


Will Curran: It’s very hard. [inaudible 01:37:13], which is great, as well.


Carina Bauer: The event that we’ve got tonight, which is MPI Foundation Rendezvous, is an amazing location overlooking the strip and that is really very special.


Will Curran: Can you tease everyone? I don’t think they know where it is.


Carina Bauer: It’s at a club called [Tray’s 01:37:30]. It overlooks the strip. It’s got an enormous terrace.


Will Curran: You can see the fountains, too.


Carina Bauer: You can see the Bellagio fountains. That’s fantastic. I do also have to give a shoutout on an equal footing to Sight Night, because I am on the Sight Foundation. That also was in a club called [Omnia 01:37:50] in Ceasers Palace, which also has a beautiful terrace overlooking the strip. The club itself is outstanding. Both of those events are so important for the industry. They both raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the industry foundation that goes into research and education scholarships. Those two events would be my favorites.


Will Curran: Go-tos.


Carina Bauer: Yeah, my go-tos.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. A thing that many people might not know is that obviously it’s free to attend as an attendee to the conference.


Carina Bauer: Yes.


Will Curran: What was the decision in doing that? Was that intentional or is it something that just kind of came throughout? What was your guys’ decision on making it free for anyone to come in and attend the event?


Carina Bauer: Yeah, that is entirely intentional because this event is for the industry. Therefore, we want the whole industry to be able to gather here. The key for this event is about delivering business for the industry, business for the suppliers and the buyers that are here. It’s not within our model to charge people to come in. We want people to come in, experience, and by doing that, we can bring all sectors of the industry together and people at all different levels together, which is really important. It means that the industry is here connecting.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. I would probably be shot by the audience. I know they are all asking the question. They all want to know what is in store for next year. They obviously all want to attend next year.


Carina Bauer: Yes, absolutely.


Will Curran: Is there anything new and exciting that they have to look forward to?


Carina Bauer: I can’t really announce here today before the show is over.


Will Curran: I was hoping I could sneak in a little exclusive right there.


Carina Bauer: Just to say, I suppose, we’re always innovating and we’re always trying new things. We like to take some risks in what we’re trying and what we’re putting on. We’re happy to take people’s ideas, as well. You can be sure that there will be something new, but I can’t say today.


Will Curran: Okay. Okay. Stay tuned. We will probably post some cool announcements in the resource section of the podcast for everyone to check out. We always end the last question for all of our guests. What cool resources do you want to share with the audience? If you have a favorite article you just read, an app that you found, or anything at all, what would you love to share with everyone who is tuned in right now?


Carina Bauer: Oh, cool resources. That is a difficult one as well, isn’t it?


Will Curran: I ask the hard-hitting questions.


Carina Bauer: Yeah. You really do ask the hard-hitting questions. I guess I do read a lot of the industry publications. The online publications. I like those meetings [inaudible 01:40:22] NMC. IMR, as well. I think some of those are great resources because they combine often video as well as great articles. Lately, I’ve been finding a lot on social media, as well. When you’re connected into people in the industry, posting articles, I just find myself actually getting my news from there, as well.


Will Curran: Yeah, absolutely. You [inaudible 01:40:48].


Carina Bauer: That’s probably what I think in terms of keeping up to date. There are loads of great apps and technologies coming up in the industry. IMEX Pitch, of course, was yesterday.


Will Curran: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep. We just had three of the contestants on just now.


Carina Bauer: Oh, did you?


Will Curran: Yep.


Carina Bauer: Great. Okay. Well, I won’t say anything about their products because they’ll say it better. That’s the other thing, I’d say, to look out for. Who has been in the IMEX Pitch, because those are the new up-and-coming technology providers.


Will Curran: Absolutely.


Carina Bauer: I think it’s always interesting to see who is coming up in the technology world.


Will Curran: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think a couple episodes we had Looped in who … Loop Tread won last year. They are definitely, they are the movers and the shakers in the industry.


Carina Bauer: Absolutely.


Will Curran: Awesome.


Carina Bauer: I don’t know if you’ve had Space Face.


Will Curran: No.


Carina Bauer: Space Face is a company that we met in Frankfurt because they’re based in Germany. They are a new kind of sharing economy site for the meetings industry. They’ve launched in Germany. They’ve just launched in America. They’re here and they’re speaking here this week. They are a really cool new company. They make really interesting spaces available for meetings and events. That is definitely one to look out for.


Will Curran: Space Face.


Carina Bauer: Space Face.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. Well, hey, I know you’re really busy. You’ve got a lot more places to be. Very busy. Thank you so much for [inaudible 01:42:10].


Carina Bauer: Thank you very much.


Will Curran: It was such a pleasure.


Carina Bauer: Thank you.


Will Curran: Thank you so much for having us at the show today.


Carina Bauer: You’re welcome. Thank you.


Will Curran: Thank you. Awesome. Yeah, you can just set that down. Awesome. All right. Last but not least, we had to bring the man, the myth, the legend. Second time on the show, too.


Miguel Neves: Yes, I know.


Will Curran: Miguel, for those who don’t know, is –


Miguel Neves: Can we bring in Garrett, as well?


Will Curran: Yes.


Miguel Neves: As a second guest.


Will Curran: Yes. Garrett, it’s your first time being on. Come on. Scoot on over. We’ve got some more seats over here.


Garrett: [inaudible 01:42:35] the high chairs?


Will Curran: Yes. Come on over to the high chairs.


Garrett: Good afternoon, Will.


Will Curran: So happy to have you here. You guys are in charge of all the social media and all, basically everything everyone is watching at home. Most likely the people that are watching online right now also watch your guys’ live streams and everything like that. What is it like putting all of that together for such a huge convention like this?


Miguel Neves: It’s pretty intense. There’s a lot of work in the background. I think the thing that is most interesting is that it’s really different. I think 50 weeks out of the year, we try to do some content marketing. We try to do some fun stuff and engage our audience. When we’re at the show, it’s just this sort of … We call it the fire hose. It just explodes. We sort of have to adjust expectations. Do we try to answer every single tweet? Do we try to capture every single moment? We have strategies. We have people out on the show floor, our social team. We have a person back home in England that is sort of covering the morning portion to try and be as responsive as possible. We have somebody at the education station. We do our Facebook Live videos. We do a lot of stuff. At some point, we sort of have to go, you know what? It’s great if people just do it themselves. That’s really, I think, where the magic happens.


Garrett: I think that is the key part of the strategy here. You’re a part of that, with your podcast here being in the show. We think a lot about how we can leverage all of the exhibitors, all of the hosted buyers, all of the attendees here, to actually get them to share on any channel that is their favorite channel. We think about shareable content. We think about photo opportunities. The Facebook videos where we tag a lot of exhibitors in. That’s all stuff that other people want to share and that brings this experience further out.


Will Curran: Awesome. Do you guys have any special initiatives that you guys are doing out on the show floor? For example, you guys have the Facebook live videos that you guys are doing. Can you talk a little bit about maybe the Facebook live videos that you guys are doing and maybe some other initiatives?


Miguel Neves: Sure. Facebook live videos are great for us because they are really spontaneous. We plan a little. We’re actually going to be doing one at 4 o’clock and that’s why we have to run a bit, but we try to showcase things that are happening at the show. We basically interrupt people and say, “Hey, we’re live. Do you have a second to just speak with us?”


Will Curran: Do you know who you’re talking to or is it completely random people?


Miguel Neves: Sometimes we see people we recognize, but other times, we literally just talk to people we’ve never met.


Will Curran: [inaudible 01:44:57].


Miguel Neves: Yeah. Sometimes people respond not in the best way.


Garrett: But that’s when it becomes funny, right? People are like, “Ah! No! Go away!”


Miguel Neves: We tried for a long time to figure out the best way of showcasing the buzz that you feel on the IMEX show floor. There’s a lot of people. There’s a lot going on. If you make it really formal, if you do a really formal interview … We have a video station in Frankfurt where we do these five, ten, 15-minute interviews, and after awhile it’s like, that’s not really capturing what this show floor is about.


Will Curran: Yeah.


Miguel Neves: These Facebook Live feeds do. We’ve actually found – or at least I’ve found – that Facebook … We do a lot on Twitter, but Facebook actually has more interaction. Probably because everybody is on Facebook or most people are, so even if you’re not super active, you will eventually … Someone will watch the video or a friend of yours or whatever. Then it just becomes a cool thing. Whilst Twitter is unfortunately still a geeky thing, you either get it and your on it or you sort of easily ignore it while Facebook is so pervasive that it works well for us.


Garrett: Yeah, and it’s developing quick because we started experimenting with this at Frankfurt when the Facebook Live was just out a couple of months and then you saw that the Facebook [inaudible 01:46:07] was really promoting Live, right? We would very easily get hundreds … Not hundreds, but in the 50s, 60s, 70s viewers. Right now, we’re going to have to work hard to keep it up to 10 or 20 [inaudible 01:46:18] viewers, but a lot more people watching the recording. That also is for us. When we make the thing, we kind of have a two-hatted thing where we both talk to a live audience but also keep in mind that people watch the recording.


Will Curran: [inaudible 01:46:29].


Garrett: Yeah. It works. What also is very nice production wise, you shoot it and you’re done. Right? The only thing we do in post-production is kind of add all the descriptions and tag all the people that we ran into which then helps the discoverability of the video.


Will Curran: Absolutely. Would you recommend that all conventions and events implement some sort of Facebook Live element right now because it is so hot?


Garrett: I would say yes, but not only because Facebook Live is hot, because it’s much more what Miguel talked about. It’s able to capture the buzz in the moment. I’m not saying you shouldn’t stretch the event with content in the phase after, but it’s very different. If you go on a holiday and then you bring back your holiday pictures and we have to go watch your holiday pics. They were awesome for you, but we weren’t there. It’s nice.


Will Curran: You just look at it real quick.


Garrett: Right. Exactly. I like the fact that you were there, but I don’t have to see it all. Now, it’s [inaudible 01:47:25]. Even for all of the folks who are not here. They see this initiative. They see their friends posting on Facebook that they are here, so for them now it’s kind of relevant to get a peace of that action. It’s much less relevant next week, right?


Miguel Neves: I think also because we’re not … We’re a trade show first. There’s education, there’s a lot of stuff happening. The core of IMEX is people having business appointments. Exhibitors pay a lot of money to be here because they want to have those business appointments. [inaudible 01:47:48] business appointments. Facebook Live, for me, illustrates that better than anything else. If we were a conference with hundreds of sessions of content coming – [inaudible 01:47:56] platform, whatever you were going to use, might be more appropriate. More formal recordings, timed sessions, et cetera. For us, Facebook Live really enables the people at home to experience a little bit of what’s happening here. It’s a good fit for us.


Will Curran: Is there a place online … Obviously, they can’t have the buyer experience without being here. Obviously, right?


Miguel Neves: Sure.


Will Curran: Is there a way for them to experience the education online as well, so if they can’t make it they can still enjoy it or is it [inaudible 01:48:26] again, they have to be here?


Miguel Neves: Strategically, we are always looking to get people to come here. We’ve been streaming the keynotes.


Garrett: Yeah, I mean, that’s [inaudible 01:48:33] set up.


Miguel Neves: You can follow all the keynotes. You can follow the keynotes. We do share a lot of the content. The speakers share a lot of blogs and content. We share that before and also we share some of the presentations afterwards so you can get a glimpse of it, but that’s a strategic choice that we’ve made, as well. We say hey, this is about doing business. We really want you to be here in person. If you can’t be, here’s a glimpse. We’re not an association. We’re not going to sell the content afterwards. It’s really about telling people, hey, it’s free. This is completely free to attend. If you can get a flight to Vegas and a hotel room at Motel 6, you can come to IMEX America for $50 bucks a day and do as much as you would do at many other conferences. There’s a big opportunity here.


Garrett: A big part of what we’re doing both Live and with social media and with the [inaudible 01:49:21], I think it’s all about leveraging FOMO, right? Making sure that everybody that is not here is very aware that they are not here and they should have been.


Will Curran: You watch the tweets. All it says is FOMO everywhere like crazy.


Garrett: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.


Will Curran: That’s awesome.


Garrett: Yeah. That’s the strategy. That’s what we’re looking for.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome.


Garrett: But [inaudible 01:49:37] after that, because that’s a great example. What just happened in our Facebook Live stream this morning. We had a group of students in Spain who had an evening course due to the time difference and their teacher, Anna, was involved in it. She saw some of the earlier live streams. She put our live stream up in class and actually took her students across the show floor with us. They loved it. They sent us a picture afterwards, a group picture, and thank you very much. It is FOMO and it’s fun, but in the end, there is also people actually getting some stuff out of it to where they say, “We have to go there next year.”


Miguel Neves: Of course. Of course.


Garrett: That’s the whole idea.


Will Curran: [inaudible 01:50:11] you got 30 people to come next year, right?


Garrett: That’s the whole thing.


Will Curran: Where do you guys see the social media going for next year? Facebook Live is obviously a big initiative this year. Where do you guys see going next year for social media? Are you guys planning new platforms that you see that you need to implement or things that you’re like, hey, we need to stop using that and move away from it? Where do you guys see it going next year?


Miguel Neves: I think streamlining, definitely. I still think we spread ourselves way too thin. We’re trying to be on all these different platforms. So streamlining. I’m a big fan of private chat groups.


Will Curran: Like Slack.


Miguel Neves: Like Slack, like WhatsApp, like Facebook Messenger. I don’t really care, but I firmly believe that every person almost that is at this conference is in a chat group with a few people here, right? In many ways, I want to be aware of that as the organizer, but I want to let people just feel free. You guys have your private chat rooms. That’s okay. If you need help, I want them to know where they can ask for help or where they can say, “Hey, I can’t find this,” or “Are there shuttles?” or “What’s happening over here?” or “Where’s the education?” I want to be able to help them.


Ultimately, I feel like there is a real … And things like SnapChat, that sort of slight backlash to we want people to be on Twitter and Instagram and share their whole lives, but ultimately most people aren’t that comfortable with that. We do the social team where initially we thought we were going to interview loads of hosted buyers and it was going to be this amazing thing, but actually the people that want to share are the exhibitors because that’s what they are here to do.


There is only so much interest online of what the exhibitors have to say. We want to amplify that message because that’s what IMEX does, but ultimately, most people that have the buying power, most people that we want to hear what they have to say, are going to share in private. I want to be aware of that and just empower them and say hey, we’re here to help. Here are some great photos if you want to share those with your friends, but you don’t have to tell us about it. Just go and do it.


Garrett: Exactly. That is all about giving them – and whoever them is, exhibitors, attendees, whatever – giving them stuff to talk about. I think if there is any big trend, it’s about less and less public. Whether it’s WhatsApp, messenger groups, SnapChat, whatever, it’s in places where we no longer can see it or be part of that conversation, so we just need to make sure that we trigger them to at least use that HD camera and internet connection in the [inaudible 01:52:31] and make sure that there is random stuff or good stuff or fun stuff going out there in those networks where we can be. On the other hand, if something is up, we need to be reachable, right, for customer care.


Will Curran: Awesome. Awesome. For everyone who is not tuned in right now, where do you recommend … I know you guys got a live stream coming up in a couple of minutes.


Garrett: We need to rush.


Will Curran: No need to rush. What do you guys recommend? Tomorrow is the last day, correct?


Garrett: Yep.


Will Curran: For them to still get a feeling, see what’s going on, where do you recommend them to go? What channels to go to, what websites to go to, all that sorts of stuff [inaudible 01:53:05] what’s going on at IMEX?


Miguel Neves: I think Facebook Live because we’re going to be doing the keynote again. We’ve got a really fun keynote tomorrow morning. Tommy Evans. She’s just a hoot on stage. She’s really funny. We’re going to end up doing some more Facebook Live, just walking around the show floor. There’s still stuff happening.


I would also just say we’re doing a few storified compilations of our favorite tweets and our favorite messages. They’re a nice way, even if you weren’t here, to just get a feeling of what everybody else was saying. We try not to make those about what we saw, but what everybody else was seeing. That’s probably the best way. I know that, for example, Smart Meetings have been doing a bunch of videos while they’ve been here. There’s a bunch of other media that are going to cover us quite a lot, so if you just keep in touch with our social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – we’re going to over the next few weeks just share all that, as well.


We’re going to pick up on those things and say hey, this is how [inaudible 01:53:54] saw at the show, or this is what these people saw. More and more, we’re seeing people make great videos just on their phones and we love sharing that stuff because it’s like, hey, we missed all this, but somebody else captured it, so let’s show you this now.


Will Curran: So they just look for IMEX America or [inaudible 01:54:08]?


Garrett: No, it’s slash IMEX Group. That’s where we do all of the live streams. If you go to either to Instagram or Twitter and look for IMEX social team, that’s where you see the live reports and the live takeaways from the educational sessions and all that stuff.


Miguel Neves: Our main Twitter account is IMEX underscore group.


Will Curran: Awesome. Is there anything else that you guys want to share with everyone out there on the interwebs who can’t be at IMEX?


Garrett: Are you going to give us the standard last question, because I just heard that so I’ve been thinking up some stuff, right?


Will Curran: So, everyone wants to know what cool resources – whether it’s technology, a blog, an article you read, what do you want to share with everybody?


Garrett: I couldn’t even pick my favorite, right? The first thing –


Miguel Neves: You get so excited about this stuff.


Garrett: Right? I’ve been walking around with a Gadget with a capital G. You saw it yesterday, I think. It’s the DJI Mobile. It’s like a gimbal device like a thing that hangs underneath the drones and [inaudible 01:55:00] technology. You put your phone in it so now you can make these awesome drone kind of shots with your mobile phone. I think it’s better than the regular Osmo because the Osmo has a pretty crappy camera.


Will Curran: Yep.


Garrett: Phone cameras keep improving, so next year you just put in your next phone.


Will Curran: It’s the Osmo 2, it’s called or something. It’s the new version, right?


Garrett: DJI Mobile.


Will Curran: DJI Mobile.


Garrett: Is the name.


Will Curran: Oh, that’s what it’s called?


Garrett: Yeah. Yeah.


Will Curran: Okay. Awesome.


Garrett: That’s what it’s called. That’s a hardware piece I would definitely recommend if you’re into creating cool content for social and my favorite app of 2016 that I’ve discovered is Quik by GoPro. Have you heard of that?


Will Curran: No.


Garrett: It’s Quik without a c. So q – u – i – k.


Will Curran: Cool.


Garrett: It’s an app formerly known as Replay. When it was still that, it kind of sucked. Can I say that on your show?


Will Curran: Yup. Yup. [inaudible 01:55:42]


Garrett: GoPro bought it and just simply pimped it. They made it completely for free. They took off all the branding, all that stuff. What you do is you feed it some video and photos and it auto-magically creates a video compilation of that.


Will Curran: Oh, awesome.


Garrett: Facebook has some of these features. Google has some of these features. This app is just 10 times better. We were talking about it. It’s almost like it’s AI. It detects which are the interesting shots and it automatically does stuff with it. The coolest thing is the editing goes extremely quick. Like if you change the music, in two seconds, it has adjusted the whole cutting to the beat. Yeah, right? Editing normally is a heavy process.


Will Curran: Is it on your phone?


Garrett: Yeah.


Will Curran: Okay. Awesome.


Garrett: It’s a mobile, but I think both on iOS and Android. It’s free.


Will Curran: Wow.


Miguel Neves: That’s pretty impressive. I’m going to be really, really boring. I was going to say Google Maps, but you know. That’s [inaudible 01:56:31].


Garrett: That’s a great app.


Miguel Neves: It is great app.


Will Curran: It saved me when I was in New York, by the way.


Miguel Neves: We use a software called SmugMug.


Will Curran: Yeah. That’s a good one.


Miguel Neves: It’s sort of similar to Flickr, but I think it’s a bit more professional. It’s software for photographers. It’s really designed for them to sell their photographs, like wedding photos or whatever. We actually use it with the show photographers. We have professional photographers who go around the whole show. I think there’s like four of them. They upload … They don’t even have access to the actual thing. They just have an upload link. They drop it into this upload link and it shows up on our system and then our press team curates a press gallery. We see all the photos. The whole company can just have professional photos coming through. It gives us great content that we can share.


For the next two days while we’re on site, it’s quite hard to have the brain space to manage all that, but over the next few days, we have some great photography material that we’re going to be able to share and illustrate all this stuff that happened at the show. It’s just a really nice tool. I think it’s $180 bucks a year for a subscription for unlimited storage space.


Will Curran: Awesome.


Garrett: I think this is a real problem that a lot of your viewers who are involved in social media at events will recognize. The phones are getting better, but any of the quick, crappy phone photos or you have the nice professional stuff, but that’s always out of date. Right? Before they’re downloaded and[inaudible 01:57:52]. The SmugMug thing really helps us make that closer to real time.


Will Curran: Absolutely. Absolutely. I love it. I love it. I know you guys got to get off. You guys have, like, negative 60 seconds to get to your [inaudible 01:58:01].


Garrett: We’re late. If you want to keep watching, join us over at slash IMEX group, right?


Miguel Neves: Yep. We’re going live.


Garrett: We’re going live in five minutes.


Miguel Neves: We’re going to see the global part of the show floor. We’re supposed to be live in a minute. I don’t know if we’re going to make that, but we’re going to try.


Garrett: We’ll probably be late.


Will Curran: Awesome. Miguel. Thank you so much. Pleasure. Thank you for making all of this happen.


Garrett: Thank you, Will. Thank you for having us.


Will Curran: Real pleasure. Hope I see you again. Thank you, guys. You guys can leave the microphones right down there. Let me see if I can grab this guy over here. Come on over here. We’re going to do a surprise interview. Really quick. We have like … I think we’re supposed to be ending right now. We’re going to get this guy in. You guys all know him by now. My co-host, Sean Holladay.


Sean Holladay: I’ve been here the whole time.


Will Curran: He has been here the entire time. He’s the one who has been wrangling all the guests and getting everyone in. I wanted to bring him on real quick just to talk a little bit about his IMEX experience. What’s the big thing that you’ve been seeing?


Sean Holladay: It was good, man. We came last year and actually won. I think the second year we [inaudible 01:58:48]. This year, not quite [inaudible 01:58:50] the buzz, but bumping into [inaudible 01:58:53] all over the place. We got a [inaudible 01:58:55] right here from [inaudible 01:58:56]. One of the booths. The CEO of [inaudible 01:58:58] big companies.


Will Curran: We have to get him on the show soon.


Sean Holladay: You bump into a bunch of people. [inaudible 01:59:04]. All the guests we had on [inaudible 01:59:06]. You wouldn’t otherwise get to shake their hand and say hi to them, and it’s free.


Will Curran: Absolutely. It’s free.


Sean Holladay: Get the ticket out, chill with the people. It’s totally worth it.


Will Curran: Almost knock over the TV.


Sean Holladay: We will definitely be back here next year. This guy is amazing. Will brought this all together. I had a little to do with it.


Will Curran: Sean helped make it happen.


Sean Holladay: [inaudible 01:59:26]. It’s amazing.


Will Curran: Awesome. Well, thank you guys all for tuning in. We’ve got to get out of here because there’s another session after us and we’ve got to tear all this down. Thank you everyone for tuning in. It’s hashtag Event Icons. If you loved everything you saw, you only saw a bit of it and you wanted to see some more, just head on over to slash blog or just do Event dash You’ll find your way.


We’ll be posting all the show notes, the transcripts, all the amazing resources that are mentioned. There were just so many. Go check that out. Tune in next week. We have an amazing episode, and the next couple of episodes are amazing. Tune in next week. Hashtag Event Icons. Every Wednesday. 5 p.m. Eastern. Yeah. We got to get out of here. If you are in Vegas right now, eTouch is going to be presenting right here afterwards, so definitely come on by. Thank you, everybody.


Sean Holladay: See you guys. Thanks.


Will Curran: We’ll catch you guys later.


Will Curran

Author Will Curran

Information junkie, energetic, and work-a-holic are just some of the words we can use to describe Will Curran. Aside from spending 20 out of 24 hours a day working as the Chief Event Einstein of Endless Events, you can catch Will ordering a chai latte or watching The Flash with his cats. He is also well known for his love of all things pretzels.

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