VIDEO: Same Meeting in a Different Destination? Not the Same Meeting!

Posted by Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki on 04/28/2016

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We’re excited to introduce our newest guest blogger, meetings industry expert Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki.

Check out her insightful vlog on the importance of meeting locations, how to keep your meetings dynamic, and how to make your destination work for you.

Video transcript:

Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki on making your meeting destination work for you

Each time you take your meeting to a new destination, it fundamentally and dynamically changes the meeting possibilities; however your awareness and ability to tap into destination resources determine just how much you will benefit from your meeting’s location.

As the meeting’s business changes and adapts to the demands of our marketplace, our stakeholders and our attendees, we are all challenged to make better decisions and to take advantage of more opportunities.  The cost of doing business is steadily growing.  Our stakeholders are more demanding than ever and our meeting attendees are beginning more and more to mirror leisure travelers.  

So, what does a changing marketplace essentially mean to the meeting planner?

It means it is prudent to begin to explore the ways you can use the changing landscape of the destination and actually put it to work to enrich and differentiate your meeting.

The most obvious choice is tapping into what there is “to do” in the city in which you plan to meet. But a random listing of restaurants, shops and museums isn’t what you need to find.  You need a filter that helps you identify the specific type of offerings your attendees will be excited to explore. Many websites are beginning to catalog specific kinds of travelers on their websites and this type of interaction is very cool indeed!   

How to figure out what your attendees want from your meeting location

It is possible to bring this kind of selection criteria to the meeting’s process as well. Profile your attendees’ behavior and align it with destination offerings.

This is exactly the type of work that DMAI is fostering with their support of The Experience Institute and the Behavioral Profile Template.

Understand what influences your attendees to come to your meeting

Check out this blog on the attendee’s decision to attend, or this video to learn more.

I think this work is very exciting and it opens the door for greater collaboration and more conversation between planners and Destination Marketing Organization experts. I love advocating for the planner/DMO relationship because I truly believe it is one that can change the look and feel of a meeting each time it occurs. And that prompts the continued growth of the meeting’s market, satisfies our stakeholders and keeps attendees eager to meet and learn. After all, that’s why we are all in business, isn’t it?

About the Author:

Shimo has been named as one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” by Successful Meetings and a “Meeting Trendsetter” by MeetingsFocus.

She earned her Master's Degree in Business Administration at San Diego State University. She has served the tourism industry as a board member to PCMA, co-chair of the Performance Measures Initiative for DMAI, and chair to DMAI’s Accreditation Board.

Currently, Shimo serves on the Convention Industry Council’s (CIC) APEX Standards Review Committee as Chair of eRFP Efficiencies Workgroup and authored the Event Room Demand Study, which quantifies for the first-time the volume of rooms booked outside the contracted room block.

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