Category: Meeting Planners

Are Meeting Planners Determined to Overcome a “Rosy” Outlook?

 

As a motivational speaker on overcoming challenges, it may be counter-intuitive for me to ask clients in the meeting planning industry if they are determined to ‘overcome’ the rosy market outlook for 2020.

Yes, but…

Most industry surveys for 2020 seem to be optimistic enough. The consensus is that attendance at industry meetings will modestly increase on a global level anywhere from 1- percent to 3-percent; that meetings should be longer and that hoteliers are projecting a resurgence in building. However, we all understand that wearing rose-colored glasses is not always a good business strategy.

Despite its general optimism, the “2020 Amex Global Meetings and Events Forecasts” does project a decrease in internal meetings; that the political outlook can’t be ignored; that meeting budget increases will match escalating costs. Of the many concerns in the forecast is that “meeting planners will continue to be required to do more with less.”

Business Travel News in their September 2019 piece “Meeting Professionals Anticipate Growth for 2020” looked beyond the good news.

The good news is that “planners expect to see room availability increase by 0.8 to 1.4 percent and available meeting space to increase by 0.8 to 1.9 percent.”

However, we all know that while planners highly favor “top-tier” meeting locations, space has not kept up with demand. The article re-quoted a highly placed meeting planner who said, “they’ve been moving to second-tier cities, which are more affordable but also may add to travel time for meeting attendees.” Traveling as much as I do, I am also aware that while meeting space in second-tier cities may be more affordable, transportation and frequency of flights may not follow suit.

Echoing the point above, business writer Chris Ryall in an article for Skift Asia Weekly entitled “Meeting Planners Anticipate Rough Year in 2020,” stated:

“Planners will be pressed to find good deals for their clients at a time when venue availability is limited. Looking ahead, all of these issues will become even more pronounced in an election year amid an uncertain global economy.”

It is a Matter of Vision

It is one thing to paint a glowing picture of what the meeting industry should look like, and another to turn the picture into reality. Every meeting planner understands this.

After the terrible accident that suddenly changed me from an athlete and martial artist to a quadriplegic, there were wonderful family members and many close friends who stopped by my room to wish me well.

Without exception, they offered rosy guesses when I’d be on my feet, or how everything would return to normal, or how good I looked. That was their vision for me, but it was a much more difficult road for me to visualize myself moving my arms, writing a note or moving my legs. I realized I would need to develop the determination and the daily grit to push myself as hard as I could to be successful.

In 2020, expect big challenges for the meeting industry, but with vision, determination and grit you will achieve success. While the outlook may seem terrific, get rid of the rosy glasses. It is up to you to make it happen.

 

To speak with Scott Burrows, Inspirational Speaker about Overcoming Challenges for your next meeting, connect with his office today by calling: (520) 548-1169 or through this website.

Are You Determined to Make a Difference in Someone’s Life?

When I deliver keynote addresses as an inspirational insurance and financial services sales speaker, I often encounter attendees new to the industry who ask me why I was attracted to the industry in the first place?

It is an easy question to answer: “I believed then, as I do now, that having the right coverage can make a real difference in someone’s life.” I carried that belief when I first sold insurance and financial services. I made it into the Million-Dollar Round Table within five years.

Now that I speak to groups across the country, I believe it more than ever!

Selling insurance is a valuable profession filled with purpose providing the sales person has the vision to help people and is determined to sell what insurance can do. In 2017, insurance broker Ryan Stewman wrote an article on his blog “Hardcore Closer” that I wholeheartedly endorse. Stewman said:

“Here’s the cold hard truth: no one wants insurance. What they want is what the insurance provides. Insurance is forced on the consumer and I’ve never heard a person say they would love to have more insurance. What they would love is for their car not to get in an accident, or their belongings not to get stolen.” I would add that no one wants to get hurt, experience a business fire or see their roof collapse either.

While some might argue that insurance is a “necessary evil,” I don’t see it as an evil at all. As an insurance and financial services speaker, I reassure everyone in the profession that what they do matters. To be successful they must possess the grit to influence every prospect that not having enough coverage or the right coverage can be catastrophic. It can be a life changer – and not for the better. Why then, are so few insurance salespeople willing to develop that grit?

Low Motivation

In 2019, the “Agent Survival Guide” website listed four reasons why so many agents walk away from the profession. These include a lack of resources, having too high expectations and poor management. However, the number one reason was low motivation. The article stated:

“As an insurance agent, you have daily opportunities to change your clients’ lives for the better. You can expect to get out of this job as much as you put in. That means if you truly care about your clients and put your best foot forward in finding a plan that will fit their needs, you can find joy in the fact that you’ve made a positive impact on them and their future.”

If you view a prospect not as an income stream, but as someone whose life you can positively impact, then you will make a huge difference. Do you have the vision to make that difference?

Finally, the Kaplan Financial Education website (March 29, 2019) gave five reasons why selling insurance is a great career. My favorite reason is that you can make a difference. KFE stated:

“Insurance policies protect people from financial loss because of unexpected events and circumstances…the research you do and recommendations you provide have a real impact on a client’s financial well-being down the road…insurance agents have the potential to help people achieve their financial and personal goals. They also prepare clients for unfortunate events and provide a measure of comfort to clients during such events.”
There are few professions that will make such a difference in someone’s life. Insurance sales is one of them. Do you have the determination to make that difference?

To book Scott Burrows, Inspirational Insurance and Financial Services Sales Speaker for your next meeting or convention, contact him through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169,

Motivational Speakers Impact Meeting Attendance for Associations

 

As a keynote speaker to national associations on the topic of motivation and overcoming adversity, I know the importance of my mission. This coming year, national association speakers will speak to nearly 207 million attendees at 1.8 million events. These events range from major keynote addresses and breakout sessions to regional workshops and seminars. Often, attendees at general national association meetings will also attend other association functions. Impressions gained from national association meetings and shows often filter down, and define the organization when attendees are thinking about going to smaller meetings.

The average low-ball estimate of the cost for attending a national association meeting is about $1,500 per employee for a three-day meeting.  This is not a decision lightly made.

If you are a meeting planner you already know that bringing in an inspirational and overcoming adversity speaker is a great way to kick off a conference. In fact, it can set the tone for the entire event.

In an article about successful meetings, Forbes magazine (February 10, 2019) explained the motivating effect of a dynamic keynote.

“What is the purpose of the guest speaker? Do you want someone to kick-off the event by electrifying the attendees? Generally, the answer will be, ‘yes.’ Your attendees will come in with high energy and high expectations — you’ll want to match this intensity with your speakers’ abilities.”

Announcing that an inexperienced non-dynamic speaker will speak at the national event almost guarantees the reverse outcome of what you expect.

In an earlier article in Forbes (October 16, 2013), communications expert Dr. Nick Morgan related, “A keynote speaker is a temporary tribal leader who can move an audience to action…people only take action because of other people, and a keynote speaker has a unique opportunity to do exactly that.”

Suppose there is no one to move that audience from the very beginning? Not enough attention is been given to what happens when a national trade association declines to hire the right motivational speaker or hires someone who does not engage the audience to help them deal with the issues they face.

Why Take the Risk?

There are at least seven general outcomes when a national association decides against hiring a keynote speaker or does not bring in a speaker who is dynamic enough to move the audience to understand key issues. These outcomes include: lower attendance; a failure to address an important industry concern; a lack of unifying message; a lack of actionable objectives; a lack of media coverage through online, print and electronic media and lower expected attendance at the association meeting the following year.

Helping to avoid disastrous outcomes are what a professional national association speaker brings to the podium. A strong keynote speaker takes the time to learn about your industry in depth; is invested in moving your audience to action; cares about your association’s success; and is accessible will assure a more successful meeting.

At a time when associations and their membership are more far-flung and remote than ever before, the national meeting may be the one opportunity to bring everyone together.

The question may not be “Can we afford to bring an inspirational keynote speaker to our association meeting?” rather, can we afford not to?

 

Contact Scott Burrows, National Association Inspirational & Overcoming Adversity Speaker today through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

“Does Our Industry Need Meetings Anymore?”

 

As a keynote speaker who works extensively with meeting planners and companies in the incentive industry, I know all too well about doom and gloom forecasts when it comes to industry meetings.

These are uncertain times for trade shows and the exhibition industry, and with it, meeting planners and incentive executives are often confused as to how to project into the future.

In March 2017, David McMillin in writing for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) fired a warning shot that too many took to heart without reading the entire article:

“All good things must come to an end. After 25 consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth for the exhibition industry, the economists at the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) received the first dose of negative news with a 0.4-percent decline…” However, McMillin continued that there was “plenty of upside depending on how international trade and modernization of the industry would unfold in 2018.” Turns out, he was right.

In March 2019, the CEIR “Total Index” showed a strong 2018 rebound:

“The growth of the [meetings] industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, accelerated from a year-over-year gain of 0.9 percent in the third quarter to 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter.”

CEIR Economist Dr. Allen Shaw, stated: “The performance during the fourth quarter shows the resilience of the exhibition industry despite uncertainties surrounding the trade negotiation with China, volatile stock markets and slowing world economic growth.”

Shaw pointed out that while there have been huge gains in the Food, Government, and Raw Materials and Science sectors, on the other hand Consumer Goods and Retail Trade, Financial, Legal, Real Estate, and Transportation have not fared as well.

As an experienced meeting planner, you understand that while the economy may change, to eliminate meetings is the wrong approach to solving an industry’s problems. In fact, the reverse may be true.

Don’t Give in to Negativity

Doomsayers are more than willing to tell meeting planners that the “trade show is dead.” They point to the power of the internet, the new media, meeting software platforms, remote workers and co-working strategies as signaling the end to meetings.

Are these critics handcuffed by a lack of vision and the determination to be successful? I think so and many meeting professionals agree with me.

Mark Goren, an expert on trade show trends, wrote (August 2018): “What will the future of trade shows look like? Think experience meets relationship-building, or essentially, engagement marketing…where consumers are invited and encouraged to participate and actively engage with a brand through an experience. When it’s cleverly employed at trade shows, engagement marketing creates powerful, one-on-one connections…”

Maura Keller, writing for Association Conventions & Facilities said, “Creating a connection with the audience is paramount, and incorporating interactive elements within trade show design is key. Not surprising, interactivity within an exhibit booth is important to create a face-to-face connection and memorable experience for show attendees.”

Despite the doubters, in this digitized era meeting attendees crave real connection and relationships. The technology may be shifting but the need to engage with your audience, whether one-on-one, or one-to-one-thousand, has never been greater.

Negativity is crippling, but the determination and vision to overcome adversity will yield unbelievable results.

Book Scott Burrows, Keynote Speaker for the Meeting Planning and Incentive Industries, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169