Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 16 2014

How To Help Everyone On Your Team Get The Meetings Education They Need

By David McMillin


It’s a challenge that every conference-goer faces. You spend three days absorbing high-level education. The insights are groundbreaking, and the speakers are full of wisdom. You take home your key takeaways, and you’re ready to tackle your routine with a new level of passion. There’s just one problem: your team members didn’t hear the same lessons or participate in the same compelling conversations.

When Dan Berger, CEO, Social Tables, and Trevor Lynn, CMO, Social Tables, attended PCMA’s Convening Leaders in Boston in 2014, the two leaders returned to the Washington, D.C. offices of their rapidly growing event software company feeling better than ever about their roles in the meetings industry.

“They both came back so energized about everything they learned, and they wanted everyone else on the team to feel the same level of inspiration,” Sarah Ghessie, Operations Manager, Social Tables, says. “They were quoting different sessions they had attended and wanted to share the takeaways with the entire company.”

Rather than let that enthusiasm slip away, Ghessie used PCMA’s OnDemand Rewind Package from Convening Leaders 2014 to arrange the company’s first ever internal conference. The company’s 28 employees (since the conference, Social Tables has grown even bigger) each picked a session from the OnDemand package to watch and share with the rest of the team. To maximize learning and time, Ghessie says presentations were done Pecha Kucha style.

“For about an hour each day for one week, the entire team gathered to learn about the key trends and issues impacting our industry,” Ghessie says. “As we continue to grow, the internal conference provided an opportunity to make sure everyone is up-to-date on how meetings are evolving.”

The conference did more than give Social Tables employees a chance to listen to their peers share their thoughts on the industry. It also fueled new efforts within the company to do more than simply work with clients.

“We want to share information with the planning community,” Ghessie says. “After the conference, we created committees that will help us shape the resources we want to take forward to the industry as a whole.”

One of those new resources will be available for planners very soon. Social Tables is currently working on a mobile app with the Convention Industry Council that will conveniently calculate a wide range of needs based on the number of attendees. From the number of gallons of coffee to to the number of staff to fire and safety information, Claire Harrington, CMP, Public Relations, Social Tables, says the app is designed to help give planners additional time and energy to think more strategically.

Social Tables most recent resource, “Meeting Design 101: Defining Goals & Format” is available for the friendly price of an email address right here.

Want To Share Meeting Education With Your Team?

It’s clear that the Social Tables inaugural internal conference was a great success for the company. If you want to help your colleagues gain a deeper understanding of how to plan and design powerful meetings and events, click here to access the Convening Leaders OnDemand education package and plan your own conference at your office. Read more about how Social Tables extended the internal conversation outside the company walls using Twitter here.

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