Meeting and Event Analysis Case Studies 1-7: Abstracts

Return to Meeting and Event Analysis main page>

Meeting and Event Analysis, Case Study. 1, pp. 1–5
Tales From the Trenches
978182345-58-8/11 $25.00 + 0.15
DOI: 10.3727/97818823455811X13033147356031
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Case Study 1

An Unexpected Challenge

Thomas B. Anderson

Incentive trips are rewards for hard work. They are a way for a company to motivate and reward employees for meeting sales. They are also a lot of work for event planners. The pressure is to create a “once in a lifetime” experience. Planners rely heavily on the staff to make the trip memorable. What do you do when a wildcat strike occurs the morning before the first of three large incentive trips?

Potential Questions for Discussion or Testing
1. Was there any way for the planner to have prepared for the strike?
2. What other options could have been presented to the client?
3. How would you create a staffing schedule for this situation?
4. How would you handle crossing a picket line?
5. What suggestions do you have for dealing with a strike while you are on-site?
6. How do you notify guests of a strike?
7. What would you do if you received a bomb threat?
8. Evaluate the planner’s solutions and suggest alternative strategies.
9. What effect did all the necessary changes have to the budget of the event?
10. Outline a policy for dealing with guests who were unhappy with the experience.

Thomas B. Anderson, CMP, is currently Manager of Conferences & Events for the Technology Services Industry Association, the largest technology services association in the world, with a constituency of over 60,000 members representing all the major players in technology as well as a strong SMB component. He plans and manages major events and trade shows, worldwide. Prior to joining TSIA, Tom was Division President and ran UNIGLOBE Main Events, a third-party convention and meeting planning company that was a wholly owned division of UNIGLOBE Travel International, the retail agency chain. His business background includes a variety of management positions with government agencies: Canada Tourism, Tourism Toronto; suppliers: Pala Mesa Golf Resort, Masterpiece Entertainment and The Group Planners destination management; and travel retailers: UNIGLOBE Travel International and Carlson Motivation (formerly P. Lawson Travel Canada). Tom has spearheaded the planning and execution of meetings and events worldwide for a wide variety of companies and clients, ranging from 50 to 6,500 attendees. Recognized as a leader in the meeting and convention industry for over 25 years, Tom is a Past President of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) San Diego Chapter, a member of ASAE, and has his Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) accreditation.


Meeting and Event Analysis, Case Study 2, pp. 1–5
Tales From the Trenches
978182345-58-8/11 $25.00 + 0.15
DOI: 10.3727/97818823455811X13033147356077
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Case Study 2

Newly Merged International Company Plans Meeting

Philip W. Arbuckle

Designing an event to encourage a corporate culture through team-building activities can be challenging to say the least. Add to that an international component, a recent acquisition, and a new executive with accessibility challenges and language restraints and you have a recipe for potential disaster. This case study illustrates a solution to dealing with all these issues and preserving the essence of the meeting objectives.

Potential Questions for Discussion or Testing
1. What additional considerations could a speaker with accessibility challenges require?
2. What types of team-building exercises could you create that could have been used in this situation?
3. What other meeting formats could have been used in this situation?
4. How important are symbolic gestures in a meeting of this nature?
5. Explain how you believe the changes impacted the attendees.
6. Did the changes to the event affect the meeting objectives?
7. Diagram a new staging design to accommodate accessibility issues.
8. Make suggestions for dealing with potential language problems.
9. What impact would the changes have on the budget?
10. Design a floor plan that includes a stage with a ramp and translation services.

Philip W. Arbuckle, MBA, CMP, is President of MeetingTrack Inc. and has over 20 years of experience in business communication and learning environments in the area of conference management. Philip’s experience includes international meeting and business practices in conjunction with federal, state and city governments, embassies, and consulates through trade missions, forums, congresses, business and tourism development. He has worked in television and stage production and is a published author. He has written speeches for a variety of business and political leaders. He was previously the executive director for a Switzerland-based medical association providing educational conferences and exhibitions for their world-wide membership. Philip is a member of several meeting industry organizations including Meeting Planners International and Professional Conference Management Association, the ASAE, and serves in several leadership roles. He earned a BA and an MBA from MidAmerica Nazarene University and holds several industry certifications including a Masters in Travel. Currently Philip splits his time between France and the US.


Meeting and Event Analysis, Case Study 3, pp. 1–4
Tales From the Trenches
978182345-58-8/11 $25.00 + 0.15
DOI: 10.3727/97818823455811X13033147356112
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Case Study 3

Fundraiser: Razed by Tornado

Sandy Biback

All the planning and preparation in the world cannot stop nature from happening and affecting your outcomes. Add to that a client who is determined to go ahead, against all the evidence and advice to the contrary. So how do you make the best of a bad situation? This case study offers some advice.

Potential Questions for Discussion or Testing
1. Identify challenges in this event.
2. Develop a risk management plan.
3. What challenges could have been avoided?
4. What advantages/disadvantages were there in continuing the event?
5. What advantages/disadvantages would there have been in moving the event to an alternative
date?
6. What were the legal implications of doing the event under the circumstances given?
7. What type of insurance could have been purchased to protect the financial interests?
8. How would you have dealt with the client’s insistence to continue with the event?
9. What are the financial implications for this event?
10. Develop an argument to convince your client to move the date of the event.

Sandy Biback, CMP, CMM Principal, is the owner/operator of Imagination+ Meeting Planners Inc., which managed a wide range of events. She has designed and taught event planning curriculum at George Brown College in Canada, as well as the University of Las Vegas Nevada and Centennial College in Canada. Sandy has won numerous awards, including MPI Toronto Meeting Planner of the Year, CanSPEP’s Award for Mentorship, and an Award of Excellence for Teaching from George Brown College. Sandy has been a member of the meetings industry for over 30 years. She is an active member and has served as President of the Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CanSPEP), and currently services as the Director of Student Affairs for PCMA Canada East. She was a member of MPI and SITE (Society of Incentive Travel Executives). In addition, Sandy served as the Co-chair for the Resumes and Work Orders Panel for APEX and was a founding member of the Canadian Council Advisory Committee that published Meetings & Conventions: A Planning Guide.


Meeting and Event Analysis, Case Study 4, pp. 1–6
Tales From the Trenches
978182345-58-8/11 $25.00 + 0.15
DOI: 10.3727/97818823455811X13033147356158
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Case Study 4

You’re Never Too Old to Learn

Linda M. Robson

Children’s events offer a unique set of challenges; add a volunteer-run event staffed by teenagers and you are volunteering as well. I can imagine you are probably thinking anyone who would do this has to be crazy. Possibly, but it was a tremendous learning experience and a satisfying feeling to develop something that is an important community service. Education Day at the Acton Fall Fair is an example of the importance of developing educational content, researching history, soliciting sponsorship, as well as emergency planning and staff training.

Potential Questions for Discussion or Testing
1. Identify challenges in this event.
2. Identify risks.
3. Develop a strategy for training volunteers.
4. Suggest other alternatives for increasing agricultural educational content.
5. Evaluate strategies and suggest alternatives.
6. Develop a sponsorship strategy for this event.
7. Conduct a SWOT analysis.
8. What challenges would have been present if the event was not held prior to the fair’s opening?
9. What are the advantages and/or disadvantages to having the midway closed during the event?
10. What are the advantages and/or disadvantages to having the concessions closed during the event?

Linda M. Robson, Ph.D., is an international and domestic planner and has over 20 years of volunteer experience. She has planned events in New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, the United States, and Canada. Linda has planned academic conferences, opening ceremonies, sports tournaments, and children’s events. Linda obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Waterloo and her research interests are the event industry, risk, and risk perception. She has a Master of Tourism Administration degree from George Washington University, an Event Management Certificate from George Washington University, and Special Event Coordinator designation from Ontario Tourism Education Corporation. Linda belongs to PCMA and MPI and is a member of the APEX Education Advisory Council. She was on the founding board of the George Washington University Tourism Alumni Network in 2006 and served as the President-Elect and President. Linda has been a speaker at MPI and ISES events, as well as several academic conferences. She has also written several articles for both industry and academia. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Endicott College in Massachusetts in the School of Hospitality Management.


Meeting and Event Analysis, Case Study 5, pp. 1–5
Tales From the Trenches
978182345-58-8/11 $25.00 + 0.15
DOI: 10.3727/97818823455811X13033147356194
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Case Study 5

The Dos & Don’ts of Exhibiting on a Small Budget

Molly Suzanne Wolfsehr

Venturing into the world of Trade Shows can be an exciting experience. Trade Shows allow greater exposure and the opportunity for a large ROI. Budgets and research are key elements to being successful in developing an appropriate strategy. This case study illustrates some challenges and offers ideas for designing a Trade Show strategy.

Potential Questions for Discussion or Testing
1. Identity the top three challenges of this event.
2. Identify the most glaring aspect of inexperience. How does this affect the strategy?
3. Evaluate the strategy and suggest improvements.
4. Identify the importance of budget recommendations and allocation.
5. How does the budget dictate the planning process?
6. What are the advantages of diving into a complex strategy with little experience?
7. Evaluate the metrics of success and suggest improvements.
8. How important is experience and/or mentorship?
9. Identify subject matter experts that could have alleviated the situation above.
10. Recommend an alternative strategy for the booth build.
11. What would you do differently?

Molly Wolfsehr is an event professional with 8 years of event planning experience. She has gained perspective and experience by working in a variety of event fields from catering and facility rental to event and product marketing. She has contributed to nationally televised programs, live educational and promotional online events, corporate and social affairs ranging from 10 to more than 2,500 attendees. She is currently a member of the Northern California ISES Chapter and MPI. Molly is currently an event manager at AnimationMentor.com, a global for-profit online animation school that provides online education teaching students skills to succeed in the entertainment industry.


Meeting and Event Analysis, Case Study 6, pp. 1–3
Tales From the Trenches
978182345-58-8/11 $25.00 + 0.15
DOI: 10.3727/97818823455811X13033147356239
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Case Study 6

Hot Times in Portland

Mark Yonskie

Site inspections are part of every event; there are checklists galore that list elements that must be checked. What happens when the organizing event planner cannot conduct a site inspection, either because of budget or other reasons? Read on to find out.

Potential Questions for Discussion or Testing
1. What would you do if someone else was conducting a site inspection?
2. Was this an issue that could have been identified?
3. Develop a checklist for a site inspection.
4. Evaluate strategies and suggest alternatives.
5. How important is a site inspection to the success of an event?
6. Suggest alternatives when cost prohibits a physical site inspection.
7. Brainstorm other issues that could have been a problem for this event.

Mark Yonskie is a corporate communications professional with more than 20 years of end-to-end trade show and meeting planning experience in the consumer electronics and photo industries. In addition to assisting in creating interactive corporate experiences, Mark engages various audiences via public relations and employee communications. A graduate of Bethany College and an avid volunteer, Mark thinks quickly on his feet to deliver excellent customer service to his clients.


Meeting and Event Analysis, Case Study 7, pp. 1–3
Tales From the Trenches
978182345-58-8/11 $25.00 + 0.15
DOI: 10.3727/97818823455811X13033068912149
Copyright © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Case Study 7

Where’s the Truck?

Mark Yonskie

Transporting exhibition materials can be involved. It requires that you schedule the transportation so that budget requirements are met, and that materials arrive in time for set-up. There are many factors that can affect transportation, specifically weather and traffic. This case study demonstrates how personal lives can be a factor as well.

Potential Questions for Discussion or Testing
1. What would you have done if your booth materials had not arrived?
2. What is the cost of shipping materials by air? By ground?
3. What else could have been done if there was no money to purchase new materials?
4. How could this have been avoided?
5. Draw a booth design using common, easy-to-find materials.
6. Brainstorm ideas to deal with this situation.
7. Brainstorm ideas for booth design.

Mark Yonskie is a corporate communications professional with more than 20 years of end-to-end trade show and meeting planning experience in the consumer electronics and photo industries. In addition to assisting in creating interactive corporate experiences, Mark engages various audiences via public relations and employee communications. A graduate of Bethany College and an avid volunteer, Mark thinks quickly on his feet to deliver excellent customer service to his clients.

Full text articles available: CLICK HERE>