Tuesday, September 11, 2007

11 Random Meeting Tips from Ms Thang

Declined an instructor request to turn off lights in class -- for PowerPoint. Being in charge has advantages, like ensuring light. Several blogs include PowerPoint woes (Jamie Notter, Mikie Rops, Seth Godin). My pet peeve - expecting students to sit in the dark for hours "to see". Quote from instructor (in sportive tone): "Miss Thang says lights are on." "Miss Thang" being me -- but no clue what that meant. Online research indicates it could mean authoritative, bossy, sassy, confident, ultimate woman "at least she thinks she is" and/or attitude "for all the right reasons." Could also mean "tan, perfect hair, 2% body fat" - guessing that's not it.

"Ms Thang" has 11 random meeting tips:

1. Lights on for PowerPoint. Let students see. In future, sending hilarious YouTube link about PowerPoint to instructors when confirm (saw it on Sue Pelletier's blog)
2. Selling something at registration and want them to come by? Put out bowls of chocolate candy bars and they'll stop by 2-10 times per day.
3. If no business center or it's closed, and you need something printed (including middle of night) - email or fax front desk from your computer - have them print/bring to you
4. If part of meeting requires going outside, have umbrellas sponsored (saved us)
5. Have officers (and you) host Rookie Dinner (under 1 year in business) - very important and relevant perspective
6. Small gift bags nice for speaker sleeping rooms, even if getting paid. Travel a hassle. They appreciate it.
7. Use free/cheap clip art on name badges to identify who has what meal package
8. Cheerful people at registration desk. Bring all registration back-up - When questions, show their own forms, in own writing.
9. Consider a theme party with DJ. Not all industries have extroverts, mine does, and they're fun. This year is tie-dye/Beatles theme (pic). Other year themes include: Western, hiking (park rangers, canteens), mystery (group characters from Clue, Nancy Drew, Inspector Clouseau), flannel (pajamas, togas from flannel sheets, flannel hats), Hollywood (ten different Dorothys from Wizard of Oz), the color Red. Advantages - decorations are attendees themselves (no cost), can be fun.
10. Follow up immediately - during convention. Conventions chance for many to ask you for something. Spend half hour each night following up on requests. Immediacy of response does not go unnoticed. If time to check/answer email, likely time for that too.
11. Have instructors using lavaliere microphones take pens out of coat pockets. AV guy said it's his #1 reason when complaints about "noise" from the microphone.

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