EMA Insights & Takeaways 4: January 2015 EMA

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Attendees launch into the Sunday activities with fresh faces and a well deserved good night’s sleep! We gathered for breakfast at 8:00 am and headed into today’s Education Sessions.

The Education Sessions began with speaker Debra Zabloudil’s session titled “Jagger, Madonna, Beyonce and Bieber: Setting the Stage for All Generations to Shine.” This Education Session provided insight on how to better understand our
demographic in the workplace and the marketplace. I personally was hanging on Debra’s every word. Debra launches the session with the question “If we could select one of these celebrities (Jagger, Madonna, Beyonce, or Bieber) to join us here at the table today, who would we choose?” Who would you choose? Each celebrity represents a generation and their set of characteristics and values. Debra comments on how in this day and age, the workplace demographic has shifted to one that includes multiple generations & age groups. Each one has specific goals, perspectives, and history that require a deeper understanding than the one we currently possess today. There’s no time like the present to educate yourself on each generation’s characteristics and way of thinking in regards to their relevance within the workplace. Debra stresses her key point: We must understand our demographic internally as well as externally. How can we effectively sell and market to our audience without understanding its structure and individual needs? Thank you Debra Zabloudil for such an important topic.1506615_10155190805880341_8156620350465966530_n

Tyra Hillard: Risk Management Five Things You Can Do Right Now to Better Protect Your Attendees, Your Meetings, and Your Organizations was next in line. This Education Session revealed how much there is to learn in regards to managing Event risk. Tyra initiated the session by asking a couple general question to the audience in regards to procedureand protocol used to minimize risk. The answer revealed the giant go-go gadget tool belt Planners must wear at all times in the case of potential event disasters or catastrophes. Tyra is THE very person to educate these planners as to which tools they need for what. She was incredibly insightful and spoke on many topics including event insurance. She gave such wonderfully clear-cut advice (including suggested companies, tactics, etc). I know each planner walked away today with the realization that there are always improvements we can make to manage risk and minimize an event’s unexpected challenges.

Attendees took a quick break and had some lunch. There was also a property tour at 1:30pm that many attendees took full advantage of. After lunch, Planners attended Tracy Stuckrath’s Education
Session titled: “The H.U.N.G.E.R Games: Helping Us Navigate Guests’ Eating Restrictions. Tracy is such an excellent speaker. This topic, among the rest, I found to be very perceptive and forward thinking. We are so lucky to have these ladies’ professional insight! What I found particularly admirable about Tracy’s session is her way of taking a topic that represents a minority of people (although progressively increasing in numbers) and framing it in a way that makes us put an end to that very unhelpful way of thinking – us and them. Our guests deserve the very best experience we can offer them & dietary restrictions, allergies and food preferences need to be addressed as a primary concern. Tracy also provided wisdom as to what other countries are doing and how we can implement their strategies to progress. Thank you Tracy, Tyra and Debra for your advice, wisdom and forward thinking.

After the education session the attendees had a quick break followed with the Event Kickoff: Games
out of Border. Attendees chanted team songs, participate in team building exercises and tipped their hats off to Team Lucia – The Champions of the night! After the kickoff, the guests attended the A Boonoonoonoos Welcome to Jamaica Dinner. By that time, everyone was letting loose and enjoying the night to its full extent. The entertainment provided by Jackie Jackson Entertainment – included Silver Birds Steel Band and Western Dance Group. What a spectacular day of Education Session and Night Activities! Tomorrow the One on One Appointments commence!

Deanna Graves

Deanna Graves

Deanna Graves worked at Elite Meetings International as a Senior Marketing Associate. When she’s not writing for Elite, you can find her hiking or snowboarding in the Colorado Rockies, spending time with family, and enjoying a Sunday beach barbecue when visiting her old Santa Barbara stomping grounds.

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