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Tag: Meetings

Recently I photographed an event for a client that totally “gets it” when it comes to social media. They had a home office employee dedicated to posting pictures immediately after I took them. At first I thought this was going to be a huge pain in my backside. But it didn’t take long for me to get caught up in the excitement. Within minutes, the sales consultants at this event were checking Facebook and tagging themselves in the photos. They would then update their status with something exciting that was happening at the meeting. There was a buzz all during the conference among the consultants but more important was the affect it was having all over the country. Hundreds and eventually thousands of friends had become fans of this company. I was so intrigued by what was happening that I asked several people how they were liking it. They shared that posting all these pictures during the conference opened up many conversations about the product and career opportunity that probably would have never happened.

Mark Taulbee is a professional event photographer and commercial product photographer with over 25 years experience in the direct selling industry. Learn more about Mark and how he can help your company with photography at To view some of his work visit and

Choosing a Theme for Your Next Event

A theme is an important component of a meeting, but probably not for the reasons you think. So before you spend hours in brainstorming meetings in anticipation of your 2011 event themes, consider why themes exist and what they’re really meant to do. To do that, you need to understand 2 basic truths about themes.

Truth #1: Your audience doesn’t care about your theme. Really, they don’t. A theme is like so many other things at an event—it’s only likely to be noticed or remembered if it’s absent, weird or not working. If you need confirmation just ask anyone who attended one of your recent events what its theme was. Chances are they won’t remember, probably because they never knew what it was in the first place. And that’s fine, because the theme really isn’t for the attendees at all!

Truth #2: Your theme is for you. Regardless of your role in an event, a good theme is your best friend. It will help you decorate your room, design your logo, write your scripts and create your Powerpoints. So choose your themes thoughtfully and carefully. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  1. Less is more. The theme is the official name for your conference, so keep it short. For years it seemed as though “verb the noun” themes (Seize the Day, Leading the Way, etc.) would never go away. Fortunately these days one and two-word themes are more common and more workable.
  2. What kind of starting point does your theme present? Your theme should be versatile enough to let you go places with it, lots of places. For example, a theme like “Imagine” opens up all sorts of possibilities… creativity in business, the future, famous artists and their works, the list could go on and on.
  3. Think of your theme as the bookends for your event. Picture yourself delivering your opening and your closing remarks. Imagine what you’ll say about your theme—why you chose it, how it relates to the audience, your event, your key announcements. Then consider what your parting words will be to your audience and how you’ll wrap your theme around that. Your theme should provide the logical bookends for your event. If the words come to you naturally and quickly, you have a good theme.

Quick! What was the theme of the last event you attended?!

Dick Wilson has over 20 years experience writing and producing events for direct sales companies. Learn more how Dick can help you at

Logo Design: Dick Wilson

Think Before You Cancel

Karen Peterson

Karen Peterson

The meetings & tourism industry is under siege. Recent stories abound regarding American corporations receiving bailout monies and then spending frivolously on meetings and events. This has led some companies to cancel planned meetings and events, resulting in an even greater impact on our economy and jobs. Perhaps worse, those companies are losing the benefits only face-to-face meetings can provide.

As industry professionals we must be ready to offer alternatives to cancellations. I invite you to check out a very enlightening article by Mary Boone in the February issue of Successful Meetings, entitled “Don‟t Cancel that Meeting—Rethink It!” Mary Boone is a highly respected industry authority and author. Her insights may help you, or someone you know, save an otherwise lost opportunity.

To read the article, go to, or click here:

How is your company handling live meetings and events?  Would love to read your comments in the section below!

If your company’s plans include travel, events or incentives, Karen Peterson is the one who can make it all happen … the thoughtful way … the cost-efficient way … the right way.  Learn more at