By Jan Tolle MacDonald, CMP, CMM
OK, it’s 5:00 a.m. and I need to blog about yesterday’s activities before going to the Fun Run/Walk at 6:00 a.m. What’s wrong with this picture?
When is enough enough? That was my biggest takeaway from all the sessions I attended yesterday. In short, with all the crazy and readily accessible information, I need to focus and understand when to stop, because otherwise, there’s too much information that doesn’t sink in and just makes you crazy and unproductive.
Here’s what else I learned in the opening keynote and education sessions:
- Keynote: Speaking Up and Speaking Out by Stephen Lewis. I had never heard of him, but he’s the guru for AIDS awareness and co-founder of AIDS-Free World. As a Canadian friend told me — “Bono calls him, not the other way around.” In short, he talked about how the world is in a whole lot of hurt: torture, the sexual exploitation of women and children; human trafficking, aids and hunger — the list goes on. He wanted PCMAers to make a difference. “Dig deep and do something,” he said. I hope PCMA steps up to the challenge to do something globally.
Someone asked me what this had to do with “education.” I think it goes back to what I heard earlier about PCMA and its mantra of giving back. It’s our corporate responsibility to give back and give a moment of time to help. Many hands make light work.
- Session: “How to Stay Calm Under Pressure.” This is what I learned:
- It’s rude to be on the Blackberry when talking to someone else. (Guilty as charged)
- Read the paper once a week to gather the news. It’ll only depress you.
- Don’t be accessible at all times. (Guilty, Blackberry)
- Stay away from people who are obnoxiously positive.
- And for those of us who always need to be right, ask more questions.
- Session “Advanced Solutions for International Meetings.” There was a lot of interest in Canadian meetings, trade shows and crossing the border. Canada is the most advanced and sophisticated country, with regards to getting goods across the border efficiently. Paul Griggs, president of Events on the Move did an excellent job explaining commercial invoices and bills of lading, freight forwarding and custom brokers, etc.
- Session “Home Office Troubled by Technology” with Corbin Ball. Anyone who has been to one of Corbin’s classes knows they are good. Check out Pandora.com.
Other notes: I also attended the CMP breakfast and, as always, it’s a great opportunity to connect with fellow CMP designees. This breakfast was no different — lots of people who don’t seem to mind getting up early. I appreciate the effort PCMA has made to reduce its environmental footprint. We received a jump drive (USB stick) for all the conference materials instead of handouts. FedEx gave everyone a reusable shipping envelope that acts as a handbag. When you’re ready, you can ship the information home, and FedEx will pay the shipping. How cool is that?!?
I finished the night with a Travel Alberta dinner for clients at Mulate’s and went to Party With a Purpose to dance the night away.
That’s the update for now — after the run it’s off to have coffee with Cary Bradley, CMP, CMM, director of event services, Hilton Hotels — a friend from the CMM program.
Jan Tolle MacDonald, CMP, CMM, is the regional manager, Midwest MC&IT, for Travel Alberta. This is her first time attending the Professional Convention Management Association convention, and will be blogging about her experiences for the duration of the event.