Overheard at the September 2015 EMA
At the September 2015 EMA earlier this week at La Cantera Resort, I heard several common thoughts from attendees. From their impression of the event, the venue, and their experiences in general, here are a few notable sentiments.
“The EMA is unlike other industry event.”
For many attendees, this was not their first time attending a networking event. They have attended other events, both large and small. The EMA somehow stood out among the rest. There were familiar faces for repeat attendees and also plenty of first-time attendees to meet. It was large enough to meet many new industry contacts, but small enough that conversations and faces will be memorable.
“Education topics are helpful and the sessions are intimate. Keynotes are relevant and engaging.”
With smaller sessions, attendees had the opportunity to get questions answered, and get personalized feedback from speakers. Several planners specifically mentioned they liked the breakouts and were exposed to many new tools and resources to use when they return to the office.
“The experience is well-worth time away from your home and office.”
One planner said of her first experience at an EMA, “I was really hesitant to attend – I honestly thought about cancelling just last week. Since I already booked my flight I decided I should just go. I’m so glad I did because it was well worth my time away from home, and well worth my company’s time. I have met so many people and learned so much in a short period. It was nothing like what I expected.”
When I asked several of the hoteliers about their experiences, they seemed to echo one another. Many said they see occasional familiar faces, but have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with so many planners they’ve never met before. Not only that, when polled, 100% of the planners in attendance said they would book a program with someone they met at the EMA!
“The EMA was a great example of how a successful event operates.”
From the registration process, arrival at La Cantera Hill Country Resort and attendee check-in experience, to the flow of the event and its conclusion, the EMA served as a unique example for many planners. Planners got to experience the event from an attendee perspective and left with ideas for their future programs. Several commented on the use of a DMC after their smooth transportation experiences, the unique decor options, and their experience at the CSR activity. Food options and presentations were unique, the event was full of fun surprises, and attendees were buzzing with excitement from check-in to checkout.
Overall, the EMA seemed to be a huge hit among attendees. It’s safe to say we all left inspired and looking forward to the 2016 EMAs!
Photos: Andrew Shafer Visuals