Inspiration Hub
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IMEX is the heartbeat of the global business events community. Welcome to our meetings and events industry content hub where we curate our favourite content. You can experience live education sessions at our exhibitions, IMEX ( and IMEX America (
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Have You Created a Medical Contingency Plan Yet?

Have You Created a Medical Contingency Plan Yet? | Inspiration Hub |

How can you provide a safe and secure environment for your attendees in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? It begins with confidence. Many meeting planners are looking to someone else to tell them the right way to plan a successful and safe event. However, as a meeting organizer and expert at your craft, you’ll deliver a better and safer experience if you have the confidence to take the lead and instruct your venue, hotel and vendors with your own individual COVID-19 contingency planning requirements.

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4 Top Tips for Picking a Safe, Secure Hotel Site

4 Top Tips for Picking a Safe, Secure Hotel Site | Inspiration Hub |

As we watch news on TV or online, our brains hear things that scare us. If it’s not the upcoming weather forecast or flood warning, then it’s the scare of contaminated food, causing illnesses. For meeting professionals, these nerve-pulsating newscasts could be creating extra stressors, as those items might also influence our conferences, such as weather that grounds planes or sicknesses that prevent travel.

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With preparation, you can put out almost any fire

With preparation, you can put out almost any fire | Inspiration Hub |

Analyzing and assessing risks allows us to understand them so we can make educated decisions on how best to manage them. Risk consists of two components: acknowledging something can go wrong and the destructive consequences that will happen if it does.

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Five Risk Management Tips For Your Holiday Event

Five Risk Management Tips For Your Holiday Event | Inspiration Hub |

Being the person that speaks up at a holiday event planning meeting and addresses tough, valid and scary concerns around the safety and well-being of your guests, could earn you the nickname Ebenezer Scrooge, but rest assured you will soar to the top of the “nice” list when you save Christmas! How can a holiday party planner be responsible for saving Christmas?  The answer is two words:  risk management.  Event organizers and hosts are responsible for the safety and well-being of their guests and the risks associated with events, in particular the serving of alcohol can be especially daunting.

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Poaching: How Planners Can Prevent It

Poaching: How Planners Can Prevent It | Inspiration Hub |

The event planning industry has a poaching problem. Although in recent years incidents of hoteliers luring event participants outside the room block have decreased, a majority of event professionals still say they have been victimized. Fortunately, some preventative methods can be taken. But first, let’s define the challenge as explained by Events Industry Council.

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Site Selection & Emergency Preparedness

Site Selection & Emergency Preparedness | Inspiration Hub |

Emergency preparedness comes into play when planning for your event and the safety of your attendees, speakers, and event staff. It is an important piece of the puzzle. During the site selection process you will need to keep in mind the different aspects of planning for an emergency.

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Preparation is the Key to Risk Management

Preparation is the Key to Risk Management | Inspiration Hub |

Risk management is a dedicated preparedness rather than simply a mental exercise, according to Lisa Sommer Devlin, the most recent Smart Meetings webinar host. In her talk, “Risk Management 101,” she outlined strategies for dealing with the risks of the industry, as well as how to actively avoid them.

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Contract trends: What’s old may be new again

Contract trends: What’s old may be new again | Inspiration Hub |

MPI’s Meetings Outlook 2018 Summer Edition planner responses indicated that while “66 percent predict favorable business conditions, only 3.1 percent say negotiations are becoming simpler.” In contrast, 54.9 percent of respondents claim contract negotiations are becoming more complex. Today’s hotel meeting contracts are getting longer and longer and that would certainly indicate more specificity, if not more complexity. Whether contract trends are new or old, it is the meeting professional’s responsibility to read every single word of the contract carefully and seek advice from their legal counsel as warranted.

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Tips for Crisis Communications from PCMA

Tips for Crisis Communications from PCMA | Inspiration Hub |

With an unrelenting news cycle comes an unrelenting need for crisis communication preparedness. On Thursday, Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) released a step-by-step guide for business events strategists on how to effectively handle crises.

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Tips for a Successful Crisis Management Meeting

Tips for a Successful Crisis Management Meeting | Inspiration Hub |

Crisis management planning is like life insurance; nobody wants it, but everyone needs it. Business owners must budget for risk management even when there is no sign of trouble ahead. Planning for hypothetical events understandably seems like a waste of resources. But, like a life insurance policy, not having one is far more costly.

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7 Event Organisers Reveal Their Biggest Mistakes (And Lessons Learned)

7 Event Organisers Reveal Their Biggest Mistakes (And Lessons Learned) | Inspiration Hub |

Whether it’s managing worse-for-wear guests or forgetting to focus on delegates, every event organiser has learned a lesson or two along the way. Here, we speak to seven about their biggest mistakes made (and what they now do differently as a result).

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Coming to Grips With GDPR

Coming to Grips With GDPR | Inspiration Hub |

The EU General Data Protection Regulation focuses on the rights of individuals over their personal information and how companies use it. It will have a huge impact on the industry, affecting event professionals, agencies, technology providers, and associations across the globe and not just in Europe. It applies to the collection and processing of data of European citizens, which means compliance is required by any organization hosting events attended by EU citizens anywhere in the world.

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Meetings Due Diligence in the Aftermath of a Disaster

Meetings Due Diligence in the Aftermath of a Disaster | Inspiration Hub |

After the epically awful 2017 hurricane season wreaked destruction from Texas to Florida to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, meeting professionals with future events booked in affected areas are grappling with a tough question: Should we stay or should we go? Will their organization and attendees be better served by cancelling and relocating the program, or stay the course at the original destination and hope the lights will be on and the AV running by the meeting’s scheduled dates?

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The Crisis Experience

The Crisis Experience | Inspiration Hub |

There are a variety of crises that can occur at a meeting — something as serious as an active shooter situation or as silly as a skunk wandering into a convention center floor. Bob Mellinger, founder and CEO of Attainium, encountered the latter during his time working with clients on crisis preparedness. But regardless of the scale or gravity of the crisis, “a lot of people don’t think about it when they should,” Mellinger says in the latest video for The Intersection, presented by PCMA and PSAV.

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Taking your contingency plans to the next step

Taking your contingency plans to the next step | Inspiration Hub |

Imagine you’re planning an annual event. Everything has been ordered and confirmed. The event is only a few days away. Then, Hurricane Matthew hits and your supplier can’t deliver as various components of your order were in a building that now has six feet of water in it. Or you are a supplier and I-95 is shut down in key areas forcing traffic into long detours thereby causing your perishables that were ordered to arrive too late. Or perhaps a two-week-long riot (Baltimore 2015) prevents your supplier from meeting a key deadline. Or something as simple as a power outage that lasts for more than eight hours forces the venue to close just a few hours before the event.

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An Event Producer's Guide to Putting Out Fires (Literally) | ELI Blog

An Event Producer's Guide to Putting Out Fires (Literally) | ELI Blog | Inspiration Hub |

Last October, I was working at an event where the main entertainment went up in flames minutes before it was scheduled to venture out into the crowd. I’m talking full-on, “turn the sprinkler system off quick before the exhibitor booths, activity stations and high-end sponsors get soaked” flames.

The entertainment was a 9-foot robot and the event was an international conference.

After we extinguished the flames and lugged the large piece of metal outside through the dock doors (and pulled out all the industrial-sized fans we could find), I apologized to our client and assured her she would not be charged, thanked the venue profusely for not kicking me out, canceled our payment to the vendor and prepared for the onslaught of incoming conference attendees who would be none the wiser, all with an external smile.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About GDPR But Were Afraid to Ask 

Everything You Wanted to Know About GDPR But Were Afraid to Ask  | Inspiration Hub |

The General Data Protection Regulation will be enforced in May 2018. From an event planner standpoint, the time to comply is tomorrow as you may already be prepping for events occurring June 2018 and beyond. Throughout our own research, we came to a few conclusions:

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What You Need to Know About GDRP

What You Need to Know About GDRP | Inspiration Hub |

On May 25, 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect. According to the EU’s GDPR website, the new law is “designed to harmonize data-privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.” The impact on any organization that collects information from EU citizens — including associations that hold meetings in Europe or host attendees from Europe — will be sweeping. In an article written for EU-based Boardroom magazine, which has a content-sharing agreement with Convene, attorney Benjamin Docquir — head of the information-technology and intellectual-property law department at Osborne Clarke in Brussels — explains what you need to know.

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Top Tips: Crowd Management for Event Success

Top Tips: Crowd Management for Event Success | Inspiration Hub |

Crowd management is critical for maximising your event’s impact, as this is shaped through the fostering of an inviting, pleasant and safe environment that encourages networking and entertains. But, what is the right number of event attendees that pushes the ‘need’ for crowd management? Of course, looking at crowd management only through the prism of event attendance will only give you a limited overview of your event’s needs. It is the combination of attendees, venue and location that will indicate the right actions to eliminate the risk of having overcrowded areas where people might feel uncomfortable, and even worse, less secure.

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3 Things to Do if a Meteor Destroys Your Venue

3 Things to Do if a Meteor Destroys Your Venue | Inspiration Hub |

All right, so a meteor probably won’t destroy your meeting’s host city. However, recently I was scheduled to speak at a conference that just so happened to begin the same day that hundreds of people decided to take to the streets in protest. After several agonizing hours, the conference organizers decided to cancel their event.

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Venue Contract Negotiations: A Primer for Eventprofs

Venue Contract Negotiations: A Primer for Eventprofs | Inspiration Hub |

Negotiating is something you either love or hate. You enjoy the thrill of the hunt or you wish the “money talk” never had to happen. But while you may get used to negotiating payment, there are certain parts of the site contract negotiations that can be tricky for those who are used to someone else drawing them up. Here’s what you need to know when it’s time to draft your own.

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Houston After Harvey

Houston After Harvey | Inspiration Hub |

A little more than two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm. Over the course of four days, Harvey dropped 30 to 50 inches of rain on Houston, creating widespread flooding, displacing tens of thousands of people from their homes, temporarily disrupting energy and agricultural production, and causing up to $50 billion in property damage. Nearly 10,000 people ended up sheltering in place at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.

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When Disaster Strikes

When Disaster Strikes | Inspiration Hub |

The people of Texas and Florida are on my mind in the wake of Harvey and Irma. These storms and their aftermath are causing me to feel somewhat helpless. We can (and should) donate to the extent we are able, but what else can we as meetings professionals offer? I’ve lived through a handful of disasters myself, and while these storms’ wrath may be unprecedented, the lessons for our business and personal lives, as well as our role as event professionals, remain consistent

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Can Your Force Majeure Clause Weather Today’s Storms?

Can Your Force Majeure Clause Weather Today’s Storms? | Inspiration Hub |

Most garden-variety force majeure clauses specify that both parties to a contract can cancel without invoking damages if unanticipated occurrences outside the control of either party make it illegal or impossible to go forward with the event. But that’s not enough in today’s environment, says attorney Joshua Grimes, president of Grimes Law Offices LLC. With today’s 24/7 news cycle and a growing national obsession with the Weather Channel, more attendees are getting spooked by potential events—anything from a hurricane bearing down on Houston to a service workers strike that threatens to shut down an airport—and deciding to skip the meeting several days ahead of time.

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Will Hurricane Harvey Have Lasting Effects on the Hospitality Industry?

Will Hurricane Harvey Have Lasting Effects on the Hospitality Industry? | Inspiration Hub |

Global data benchmarking and analytics firm STR (formerly Smith Travel Research) has taken what it learned from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy to forecast potential effects Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath may have on the U.S. hospitality industry. 

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