Mickey Schaefer, President, Mickey Schaefer & Associates
A veteran of the meetings industry for more than 30 years, Mickey Schaefer, founder of Tucson, AZ-based Mickey Schaefer & Associates, has recently launched a new project, The Experience Institute, which provides destinations with continuous visitor research that will enable communities to consistently deliver positive experiences.
“In today's consumer-driven society there was no consistent way for destinations to gauge the visitor experience across the destination. So we researched and developed standards and measures to help destination leaders and stakeholders see how they are doing in the eyes of the visitor. No one else is in this space so we are very excited and it fuels the CTA program too,” explains Schaefer.
The Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program trains frontline hospitality employees and volunteers to work together to improve the visitor experience at destinations. To date, more than 100 CVBs and DMOs have adopted the program and thousands of hospitality employees have been certified.
Her newest endeavor, The Experience Institute is three years in the making. “We wanted to make sure we were looking at the holistic experience and that everyone in the destination knew it was their job to make sure that all visitor experiences are good which in turn results in positive word-of-mouth.”
Schaefer worked with four cities, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Spokane, and Baltimore, in a pilot study before rolling out The Experience Institute.
“This program will help increase attendance at meetings and help more attendees have a better time,” adds Schaefer.
to find out more about the Certified Tourism Ambassador program.
Aug. 13, 2012:
Deborah Sexton, President and CEO, Professional Convention and Management Association
Aug. 6, 2012:
As president and CEO of PCMA, Deborah Sexton has a lot on her plate! She was a key player in the Economic Significance Study for the U.S. Meetings Industry, conducted with PricewaterhouseCoopers and released last year.
Now Sexton and her team are celebrating the success of AIBTM 2012 and their organization's partnership with the trade show. "By partnering with PCMA, AIBTM ensures attendees will get the best of both worlds — innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance their organization's face-to-face connections, as well as a show floor featuring over 1,000 global and domestic companies," Sexton said of the show in May.
Christine Shimasaki, Managing Director, empowerMINT.com
Christine Shimasaki, the managing director of empowerMINT.com, is not one to rest on her laurels! After successfully launching empowerMINT.com, an all-in-one planning web portal that aggregates information from destination marketing organizations.
Last September empowerMINT made some upgrades under her direction. "The new destination profile was created with direct input from several focus groups with planners identifying the key challenges they face when choosing a meeting destination," she says. "One of the resonating issues was that planners often find it difficult to know which destinations offer which services. Our new destination services checklist directly responds to this concern, making it easy to see exactly which services each destination provides."
Now Shimasaki has gone ahead and started her own blog, Shimo’s Corner
July 30, 2012:
Angela Smith, Communications Solution Architect, InVision Communications
Want to plan a killer virtual event? Angela Smith, communications solution architect for InVision Communications, practically wrote a book on the subject. Two years ago she organized a massive virtual event for CiscoLive then went on to shine with INXPO and InVision.
July 23, 2012:
Amy Spatrisano and Nancy J. Zavada, CMP, Principals of MeetGreen and Co-Founders of the Green Meetings Industry Council
As the brains behind MeetGreen, a meetings industry environmental watchdog organization, Amy Spatrisano and Nancy Zavada work tirelessly to get the word out on sustainability and sustainable development. The pair has helped to shape what we think of as a "sustainable meeting," and to take the guesswork out of planning meetings that are environmentally friendly as well as productive.
The MeetGreen site offers a fantastic calculator
that will help planners integrate aspects of both the APEX/ASTM Green Meetings and Events Standards and the British Standard for Sustainable Events into their planning. The tool even scores an event based on measures whether specific practices related to air quality, waste management, water conservation, energy efficiency, and environmental purchases were implemented.
Learn more about Spatrisano's and Zavada's philosophy by watching this video about sustainability
July 16, 2012:
Kirsten Strand, Co-Founder, MeetingApps
As creator and co-founder of MeetingApps, Kirsten Strand is
more than comfortable with technology. She’s on a mission to narrow the field
for professional planners looking to take their business mobile.
"We are all driven to prove the
value of meetings and to work more efficiently,” says Strand. “For years I have
had the pleasure of working directly for a few select clients.
My vision is to also help other planners and hospitality partners easily
access useful tools that will make a difference in their day-to-day business
The site aggregates apps for Android, Blackberry and iPhone,
and allows planners to submit their own apps for inclusion. Strand and her partners are looking to
grow their directory of apps even further, and invite planners and developers
to submit apps directly through the website.
“I believe that by using apps, each industry pro can save a
substantial amount of time. Also, newly developed apps will replace other
higher priced meeting technologies, saving money for corporations and
associations. Our goal was to to create a useful tool that can
immediately make it easier to conduct business in today's ever-changing
landscape,” says Strand.
July 9, 2012Shawna Suckow, Founder and President, SPIN
Shawna Suckow, the founder and president of SPIN, the Senior Planners Industry Network, is busy gearing up for her organization's SPINCon 2012 Hosted Buyer Program, taking place July 11-13 in Telluride, Colo. In past years, SPINCon has attracted attendees from more than 50 percent of the Fortune 500 companies in the United States, as well as top associations and independent planning companies from across North America.