Day three started with a quick breakfast and lively conversations about all that had occurred in the days before.
After, everyone shuffled into the main room to hear from co-Chairs Anna Kershaw (Senior Sourcing Specialist and North America Travel, Fleet & Meeting Strategy Lead, UCB, Inc.) and Pat Schaumann (Senior Director, Healthcare Compliance, Maritz Travel – A Maritz Global Events Company) as they took the stage to thank all participants for attending.
Security in Live Meetings
Kevin Mellott (President, ERASE Enterprises) held an incredibly informative session in the main conference space called Global Security and Crisis Planning for Meetings. With a background in personal, state, and federal security, Mellott had a lot to say on the topic of risk management. While this subject can be quite intimidating, Mellott shared the reality that live meeting planners face concerning attendee safety.
One statement he made seemed to resonate with the audience. “Never go without at least a million dollars of [travelers’ insurance] coverage,” for each traveler or attendee when traveling or hosting events internationally said Mellott. He stated that just getting back to the U.S. in an emergency can cost around $500,000 for an individual.
Mellott also challenged the group to truly evaluate the value of their meetings and the impact of cancellation. He recalled many tragedies from 2016, including 401 fatalities and 13,072 critically injured at events and meetings from terrorist attacks across the world. The ever-present threat of terrorism weighs on all nations, but for meeting planners, they are constantly gathering large groups of people in one place. Though the chances may be small, it is something that all event professionals should be aware of. “Don’t think ‘it’ll never happen to me,’” he cautioned. “You can always scale down. You cannot scale up,” he said when speaking about having an emergency plan in place for every event.
Cyber security was another hot topic, and is an issue for many companies and individuals across the globe. 30,000 cyber attacks occur per minute worldwide. Mellott’s resounding message to meeting professionals was that all meeting and event planners must take extensive security measures with any attendee information.
Though there are many dangers in our world, it is important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, your attendees, and your organization.
Mellott shared some key take-aways from his session with us below.
Company Team and Culture
Michael Dominguez (Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International), closed out the event with It All Starts with Team where he talked about leadership. He noted that the world we live in is more diverse than ever, with a wide range of experience level, age, competency, and work ethic. For a meeting organization, this is no different.
Dominguez says that teams are desperate for leaders who have a belief system and vision. He said that humans have five universal fears and that to be a successful leader, one must quell these fears:
- Fear of death
- Fear of being an outsider
- Fear of the future
- Fear of chaos
- Fear of insignificance
As meeting planners, you know how quickly plans can alter or become obsolete. Dominguez talks about change management and the necessity of standing beside your team as they move through the acceptance of that change. He points to the Kubler-Ross change curve to discuss how an organization and the people within it will move through any company transformations. Change is inevitable in any organization and, with meeting and event professionals, it’s imperative that you understand how change will affect your organization.
Another topic Dominguez discussed was the shift away from authoritative to authentic leadership. With social everything, be it media, or in-person, our workplace has changed substantially within the last decade. Dominguez makes the point that everyone in any organization is unique—how they process, learn, grow, and succeed can be different for each of them. “I treat everybody equally, but I approach everybody differently,” said Dominguez of being more than just a manager.
Dominguez’s overarching message was that having successful leaders in your organization, regardless of industry, may be difficult, but it is essential to the growth of any company.
Dominguez gave us an exclusive overview of his keynote and closing sessions below.
Closing Out the Event
After three days of being immersed in the meeting planning world of pharma, I walked away from the event having met industry influencers (not just specific to pharma), had great discussions with like-minded peers, and learned an incredible amount about this industry. I’m excited to see how 2018’s Global Pharmaceutical and Medical Meetings Summit.
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