Tuesday, December 15, 2015

23 Leading Events Professionals Reveal The Most Important Ingredient Going Into a Successful Event

23 Leading Events Professionals Reveal The Most Important Ingredient Going Into a Successful Event: " “Event process that creates participants rather than passive attendees. People learn, remember, and  benefit best through engagement and connection, not sitting and listening.” "

'via Blog this'

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pre MPI WEC 2015

Will Meeting Professionals International's World Education Conference in San Francisco blow its attendees away this August?  I hope so!

I am looking forward to the networking events and great education that the conference offers but I am hesitant because participatory style "un-conferences" and Event Camps were great innovative experiences that delivered amazing ROI. 

Because of the large draw of a conference like MPI WEC 2015 the potential networking and education should be spectacular.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case with large education and networking oriented industry affairs.

I will be reporting on my experience starting now, pre-conference.

The registration and hotel booking experience have been less than ideal.  Expensive hotels with very few ammenities  included .

I still need to go through my schedule.  A more clearly posted complete schedule would be handy.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Interviewing: Countering Implicit Associations

"...when corrected for variables like age and gender and weight, an inch of height is worth $789 a year in salary."  Malcolm Gladwell (Blink)

For those that interview and those that are seeking to do well in the interview process it is very important to understand implicit cultural biases and how to counteract their effects.

When you meet someone there are implicit associations that both parties make without being consciously aware.  When within moments of meeting someone are even seeing them on TV we believe someone is good looking, smart, experienced or nice our brain is making these decisions without us thinking through the actual qualifications.



You might not be tall, you may not be white, you may not be male but you can be exactly what the company wants.  Find out how they want you to dress, style your hair, etc.  Usually asking is the easiest way to find out but if that fails to deliver you a specific response find out how your superiors will be dressing and base your outfit, hairstyle, etc. on that research.


Nothing can sink a job interview quite as fast as language.  Do you understand the lingo?  Is your tone, diction and choice of words professional?  Mimic the style of language being used on the phone with you during phone interviews.


You will not be able to change a person's implicit reaction to your height, color or sex in an interview.  But, what you can do is point out your winning qualities in very clear detail.  You can document your achievements and make sure that you gather testimony of your experience.  By providing documented evidence you put the onus of merit in the mix.  Can your competition match your merits?  Very often they can not.

If you are taller, whiter or more male than your counterparts, statistically you have a better chance of landing your desired job.  That is great if you are male, white and tall.  It is really disadvantageous if you are not white, not tall and also happen to be female.  Fortunately, whether intuitively or through study, most professional folks know this.  In minority communities it could be called the "twice as good" policy.  Whether you are discussing Obama's ascendency to the Presidency or Charlotte Whitton who was the first female mayor of a major city in Canada you will find mention of these candidates having to be twice as good as their white or male counterparts.

Charlotte Whitton said "Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult." I don't think every woman would agree with Charlotte about the lack of difficulty.  It is tough both mentally and physically to feel that you must hold yourself up to a higher standard due to your outward appearance.  The only way to change people's opinions is to expose them to difference.  So fit in to get in and then broaden people's minds one moment at a time!

This post is inspired by the book 'blink' by Malcolm Gladwell.  It got me thinking about the interview training that I have done with students at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School with the non-profit SBI College and Career Preparatory Institute.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Saying “No” to Make a Profit

The customer is always right and saying no is a sure fire way to end your business success.  So saying “no” creatively is a vital skill and it is crucial to closing deals and increasing sales.

Life is a helluva lot more fun if you say yes rather than no.
Richard Branson

The answer after all is always yes because yes allows a way forward.  Can the client have everything they want at a lower price?  Yes, they usually can.  In my business (I have a staffing company) clients send me all types of requests and many of them are asking for my staff at reduced rates.  My answer is usually “Yes, if you can guarantee volume”. 

Clients sometimes want to meet the temp staff that I will provide for them before the event date and my answer is “Yes, and I will forgo the usual five hour minimum and only charge for one hour of their time to make this meeting happen.”  My other option would have been to say no. 

This meets a client’s request with a profit opportunity for my company.  It also prevents the burn out that goes along with satisfying every client request without proper compensation or terms.

I challenge you to always say yes while always setting your own terms.  From spouses, to clients to your own children it is a great example to set, because face-it, you don’t like to hear “no” either.

A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. 
Mahatma Gandhi

When your back is against the wall though and in your heart the answer is ‘no’ and you have no way of saying ‘yes’ than a clear ‘no’ is in both parties clear interest.  Saying “yes” and not meaning it is far worse than saying “no”.

Here are some great web articles on how to creatively say “no”.

Some Great No Language and Some Funny One Liners: http://thehalfwaypoint.net/2010/02/fifty-ways-to-say-no/

By Cameron Toth, Owner of Toth Event Staffing http://www.totheventstaffing.com

Sunday, August 19, 2012

6 Business Card Strategies That Work

By: Cameron Toth, Owner of Toth Event Staffing


6. Logo

You can crowd source your logo on websites such as Design Crowd and Crowd Spring.  One of the best things that you can do is find a trusted designer that you enjoy working with.  I was lucky enough to have Carlos Arias in my corner to design my logos.  Thank you Carlos!

A customized logo polishes your look and tells people to respect your brand!

5.  Vista Print

Vistaprint. Make an impression.
A great cost effective way to print your business card.  Include your logo, socialmedia info, QR code but do not forget your phone number, email and name!

Warning: Vistaprint's business model is to sell you as many extras as possible.  Beware of multiple offers and check your final order carefully.

4.  MOO

More expensive than Vista Print but for the most part you get what you pay for.  Cards are truly professional looking and you can choose from many innovative styles.

3. Card Case 

A good case that holds at least 20 cards is important to make sure your cards remain their crisp professional look.  A good case can also allow you to store the cards you receive at a networking event so that you can actually find them later.

Amazon is a great place to get one of these cases cheap.  When you order cards from Moo.com they give you a great box but it is probably better for women who carry a purse than anyone that would like to keep their business cards in their pockets.

2. Understand Your Brand

Always be selling, ask what people do and what they like.  Train yourself to pivot any conversation towards the value of using your services.  You do not need to do a sales presentation, you shouldn't, but you should be able to get a few choice words in that helps people understand what you do through a frame of their business and their interests.

To hand out your card to the right people you should not attend networking events that are not filled with potential clients.  I am not suggesting that you should be a snob but I do want you to be selective with your time and not put yourself in a position that you will feel hesitant to hand out your card.

Find your customers and ask for their information.  In return hand them your card!  Even if you do not have time to follow up on client information you have made them feel important and they are more likely to value your information.

1. Follow Up

Whether it is a quick email or a hand written mailed note you should always follow up!  Save your contacts information, file it under potential customers and send a quick note.  Reintroduce yourself, thank them for the conversation and if feasible set up the next opportunity to talk, meet or demonstrate services.  Party or event invitations are great!

Don't lose those contacts you spent money and time making.  Include follow up time in your weekly schedule.