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Miracle Workers: A Podcast for Meeting Planners by Meeting Planners.

Miracle Workers: A Podcast for Meeting Planners by Meeting Planners.

By Amanda and Darryl

Hi, I'm Amanda and I'm a Meeting Planner. Hi, I'm Darryl and I'm also a meeting planner. We created this pod to talk about the world of meetings and events from the planner's perspective. Join us as we talk about everything from Wi-Fi pricing to last-minute requests for kosher, vegetarian, gluten-free, low-salt meals.
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EP 13: Think Inside the Box. F&B after Covid-19

Miracle Workers: A Podcast for Meeting Planners by Meeting Planners.Jun 14, 2020

00:00
40:07
EP35: How IMEX Changed Our Lives (or lessons from a tradeshow)
Mar 05, 202350:27
EP 34: Delayed: A Travel Disaster Episode

EP 34: Delayed: A Travel Disaster Episode

Once they figure out how to count to 3, Amanda and Darryl are back and discussing the fun of air travel, specifically delays. The episode focuses on the importance of being prepared for delays and how to handle them for speakers, staff, and attendees. They share their personal experiences and provide tips and strategies for minimizing the impact of delays on meeting plans. If you plan events or meetings, you'd better be ready for delays and have plans B, C, and D ready to roll so that your event isn't interrupted. You'll gain insights on being more proactive in dealing with delays and making the best of unexpected situations. As the great Kinky Friedman once said, you can't get to Heaven or Hell without passing through Dallas-Fort Worth International.

Jan 30, 202331:37
EP 33: Meetings Mayhem! with TML
Nov 02, 202237:36
EP32: Are we Recording, Don't Look Out Your Window, and Amanda's Sweater
Oct 07, 202224:58
EP 31: Hot Soup, Chewing Sounds, and Not Calling It 'Post-Covid'

EP 31: Hot Soup, Chewing Sounds, and Not Calling It 'Post-Covid'

Amanda and Darryl are back and...evidently, eating lunch?  After getting through with hot soup and chewing of salad, they settle in to talk about what events look like as we return to in-person in the coming months. Amanda tells some interesting stories about doing an event and the White House and Darryl complains about stuff.  They can both agree that it would be awesome to have a planner who works on clothing-optional events join them on a future episode to tell some stories.

Take-Aways:

1) Uncertainty is OK. We're all a little unsure of what's coming down the pike. You're not alone.

2) Your Space is Your Space and you set the rules.

3) Stick to your guns. If you (or your group/client/office) want to keep vax requirements or have everybody wear a mask, then do it. 

May 04, 202241:07
EP 30: Where the Hell Were You???

EP 30: Where the Hell Were You???

Amanda and Darryl sit down after a “break” to talk about the value of hybrid meetings. Are they really here to stay or should we just go back to 100% in-person? Our special guest, Rebecca Kane, CMP, DES, tells us why her attendees need to be there in person. Darryl, being the jerk he is, argues with her that says “pish, we shouldn’t just toss out virtual experiences.”

No matter what side of the argument you fall out on, join us as we bring back the podcast to a “semi-regular” occurrence in 2022.

Do you have a win of the week? Do you just want to argue with Darryl? Email us: miracleworkerspodcast@gmail.com  You can also follow us on the Twitter Machine @ MWthePodcast

Apr 06, 202243:00
EP 29: The Rate is Too Damn High
Jul 26, 202153:48
EP 28: Pronouns (Accommodation or Pandering?)
Jun 28, 202141:09
EP 27: Who are You and Why are You at My Table?
Jun 20, 202153:40
EP26: But How Am I Going to Budget for Hybrid??
Apr 18, 202159:60
EP25: Well That Was a Year
Mar 24, 202136:59
EP24: You're a Meeting Planner. Now What?

EP24: You're a Meeting Planner. Now What?

Are you an accidental meeting planner (like Darryl and Amanda), or did you plan...get it…” plan”...to be a planner all along?  Well no matter how you got here, you’re here now and it’s time to own it. But what happens when you want to move up or are forced to move out and onto a new position or even a new career entirely?  Our guest GiGi Blair is a professional career coach and she will walk us through some powerful first steps into making our professional visions a reality. This special “live-ish” episode was recorded in front of a virtual-studio audience from the MPI Virginia Chapter!

Takeaways:

Accept the fact that work has changed/is changing, sit with reality, and live in that truth. Take time to grieve if you need.
Think like an entrepreneur, "If it is to be, it is up to me!"
Create a vision board. Start thinking about what your core values/needs are. Also, consider joining a group of like-minded folks (a mastermind group).
Build your personal brand: A=appearance, B=behavior, C=Communication
If you are looking to make a change don’t forget about your hobbies or interests. There may be something of value that you can pull from to launch a new career.

Links Mentioned on the Show

PCMA Foundation: https://foundation.pcma.org/

Meeting Industry Fund: http://www.themeetingsindustryfund.org/

Gigi Blair, Career Coach: https://gigiblair.com/    Email: gb@GigiBlair.com

Our guests are sponsored by Bright Box Bakery (brightboxbakery.com)

Thank you to the #MPIVirginia Chapter for their questions and patience to sit through this taping!

Mar 07, 202156:12
Ep 23: Take Stock Of Your Health (Part 1: Physical Health)

Ep 23: Take Stock Of Your Health (Part 1: Physical Health)

Our focus is laser-locked on making sure our attendees have a great time at our events. Do they have enough to eat? Are they comfortable in those chairs? What can I do to make their lives better? But what about us? When did you take time out to look at your own health? In this episode, we explore just that. Our special guest, Patty Stern (pattystern.com), tells the story of how she finally took stock of her physical well-being (hint: it took a heart attack to get there). Meeting planning must be a stressful job. This is the second straight episode we’re talking about it (and not the last either).

Takeaways:

Find time to exercise, even a walk around the block can make a difference. Be that CEO that’s in the gym early. You are just as important. If you have to put it on your calendar to do it, fine!
Take responsibility for yourself, colleagues, and others on site. Make sure to give some thought about what you and your team will be eating on site.
Advocate for your health and never feel embarrassed about going to the emergency room multiple times if you don’t “feel right”.
Proactively build your medical team and take full responsibility to stay on top of your medical records.

Links Mentioned on the Show

PCMA Foundation: https://foundation.pcma.org/

Meeting Industry Fund: http://www.themeetingsindustryfund.org/

Most Stressful Jobs In America: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/10-most-and-least-stressful-jobs-in-america/

Our guests are sponsored by Bright Box Bakery (brightboxbakery.com)

Feb 23, 202152:42
EP22: React vs. Respond
Feb 08, 202158:59
EP21: DIVE Right In: Event Design Mapping

EP21: DIVE Right In: Event Design Mapping

Welcome to 2021!  It’s a new year but Darryl is still taking things too literally. Amanda talks him off the diving board and back into pants as they welcome Shawn Cheng of the MCI Group to talk about Event Mapping and the D.I.V.E methodology.

Takeaways:

Event Mapping is a great way to design your event so it follows a specific path resulting in higher attendee engagement and satisfaction
Even if you have the same meeting every year, design thinking and event mapping can help. Go back and look at your objectives. For example, has your target audience changed? How are you designing your event for them? Which Platform is the 3rd question. If you don’t have a strategy you need to create one. Then the journey then the platform. Shawns Best Engagement Idea: Give people more choice in how they engage: some like to say hello and then go back to checking email. Event planners have to use multiple options: chat, 1-1 meetings, verbal feedback, polls

DIVE System (
https://divebymci.com/)

Define: agenda, target audience, success factors (KPI)
Ideate: experience touchpoints, look at the bigger picture to find the best solution (virtual, hybrid, face to face)

Visualize: plan the user experience journey and tailor the way your events will connect with the audiences

Engage: How do you create the “WOW!” and how do you expect the audience to respond.

To connect directly with Shawn, visit him at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawncevent/

Links Mentioned on the Show

Mental Health Screening: https://screening.mhanational.org/ PCMA Foundation: https://foundation.pcma.org/  Meeting Industry Fund: http://www.themeetingsindustryfund.org/

Opening Theme: The Universe and my so-called life by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2014 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/44772 Ft: Fireproof Babies

Jan 25, 202150:04
EP20: It's a Clip Show
Dec 21, 202041:42
EP 19: We're Thank-Full

EP 19: We're Thank-Full

In this episode we give thanks to all of you out there listening, our awesome guests (yes, Derrick Johnson), and for the great community of #meetingplanners who have allowed us to do this for this first year! We wish you a happy, healthy, and especially, safe Thanksgiving this year! A special thanks to Sheli, Jan, Shameka, Terry, and Linda for calling in with your messages of thanks!
Nov 24, 202036:58
EP 18: Pandemic Compliance Advisors

EP 18: Pandemic Compliance Advisors

This week Amanda and Darryl learn all about the new Pandemic Compliance Advisor course being offered by the team over at Health Education Services (https://healtheducationservices.net/training/pandemic-compliance-advisor/). They interview the creators/facilitators: Heather Seasholtz, CMP, DES, Mary-Ann Urbanovich, MS, CMP-HC and Shannon Majewski, CMP, CMM, HMCC. Sure there's lots of talk of duty (not doody) of care but so much more goes into this new role. Listen to learn more and for information on upcoming courses.

Takeaways:
1) Pandemic Compliance Advisor is not the same as the meeting planner. You have to allocate somebody to this position.
2) Duty of care is the most important thing. Remember back to the Due Diligence section of your CMP training.
3) To get the latest guidance, look to your CVB partners, look to local health officials and take into consideration what may change between now when you’re planning and then when you show up on site.
4) Think about things that may never change. We will most likely always keep hand sanitizer on the registration desk and perhaps buffets will turn into action stations

If you need help during these tough times or if you are fortunate enough to help others, please consider these organizations for the meetings and events industry:
MPI Foundation: https://www.mpi.org/about/foundation
PCMA Foundation: https://foundation.pcma.org/
Meeting Industry Fund: http://www.themeetingsindustryfund.org/

Nov 16, 202048:11
EP 17: Using Events to Change the World (Part III - All The Colors: Supporting the LGBT Community)

EP 17: Using Events to Change the World (Part III - All The Colors: Supporting the LGBT Community)

We round out our 3-part series on "Using Events to Change the World" by taking a look into discrimination based on sexual identity and orientation.  Our guests for this rather long (but ultra-important) conversation:

David Jefferys, Executive Director/CEO of the LGBT Meeting Professionals  Association (LGBTMPA) Alex Carvalho-Lukachova, CMP; Sr. Meeting Planner with Kasier Permanente

Together we explore both overt and subverted biases against the LGBT community as well as ways to combat them using our wallets, our brains, and our collective power.  We also talk about the merits of dog pee and realize that recording this episode so late in the evening on a workday has made Darryl a little more loopy than usual.  

Takeaways:

Respect everybody and let them present themselves the way they want Be direct and ask questions, but then sit back and listen so you can learn As with other areas of inclusion and diversity, money carries a lot of weight we should make sure to be spending our event dollars with groups and cities that promote equality Conversations are uncomfortable but we have to push to have those discussions. The more you see something the more normal it becomes. And the more normal and regular we can make our guests and teammates feel. We can take the lead! Customer Service is everything Some groups you join and others you are born into. Embrace it!

Connect with the LGBTMPA: https://lgbtmpa.com/

If you need help during these tough times or if you are fortunate enough to help others, please consider these organizations for the meetings and events industry:

MPI Foundation: https://www.mpi.org/about/foundation

PCMA Foundation: https://foundation.pcma.org/

Meeting Industry Fund: http://www.themeetingsindustryfund.org/

Nov 04, 202052:02
EP 16: Using Events to Change the World (Part II - Girl Talk)
Oct 05, 202001:13:06
EP 15: What We Did On Summer Vacation
Sep 14, 202035:16
We're On a Break!

We're On a Break!

Dear Meeting Planners,

We haven't forgotten about you. We haven't left you hanging. We will be back!  

We are taking a little break and will be back with new episodes in September. 

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Planning and we love all of you,

Amanda and Darryl

Aug 19, 202000:49
EP 14: Using Events to Change The World (Part 1)

EP 14: Using Events to Change The World (Part 1)

We are launching a 3-part series on how, as planners, we can use our meetings and events to call out inequalities and help change the world. We don't always think of our events in the larger community and can easily get comfortable and pigeon-holed into doing things just one way. In these episodes, we want all planners to think in terms of race, sexual identity, and gender identity to find ways to not only hold the great events we're known for but to also be agents for change!

In our first segment, we interview Derrick Johnson, CMP, DES (Director of Event Strategy & Chief Diversity Officer with the Talley Management Group, Inc.) and Emee Pumarega, CMP (Owner, EJP Events) to get their take on how we can call out racism and work towards more equitable and caring practices. 

Take-Aways:

Diverse voices can change and elevate. Is your team diverse and representative of your community? When did “YOU” get involved? Is it a couple of months or many years?  It doesn’t really matter as long as you’re committed to positive change. Come into all situations with an open heart and mind. It’s not enough to be against racism. You have to strive to be anti-racist. Check that your content (speakers and material) applies equally across all audiences.  Your diverse audience will leave if you are not representing them or they don’t see themselves on stage. Do business with people who are trying to do good and elevate others. The power of our pocketbooks/wallets is one of the most powerful tools we have. Impact ourselves, our communities and our professional world. It takes just one person to start that conversation.

Links Discussed:

Human Rights Campaign's Equality Index:
https://www.hrc.org/campaigns/corporate-equality-index Masks R Cool Custom Face Masks: https://www.facebook.com/MasksRCool/ PCMA Foundation Relief Fund: https://foundation.pcma.org/industry-relief-fund/  Meetings Industry Relief Fund: https://themeetingsindustryfund.org/
Jul 02, 202032:31
EP 13: Think Inside the Box. F&B after Covid-19

EP 13: Think Inside the Box. F&B after Covid-19

Are you hungry for F&B news?  Are buffets dead? Can we make boxed-meals fun? This week Amanda and Darryl talk with food allergy expert and certified meeting manager, Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPM of Thrive Meetings and Events (https://thrivemeetings.com/) about what we can expect in Food and Beverage when our in-person meetings come back.  As she says, “I’m passionate in helping you not offend or kill people with the food you serve.”

Take-aways:  1. F&B will look different as we return to in-person meetings 2. Boxed meals don’t have to be boring. 3. It will be more difficult to accommodate last-minute requests 4. Communicate your plans & preparation to attendees - knowledge is key  5. Ask to renegotiate F&B minimums 6. Consider alternatives to big group meals - gift cards for coffee, vouchers for meals at local places 7. Determine if your F&B is really necessary - can you start later or end earlier and have people get their own meals?

Coronavirus and Financial Support Resources:

MPI Coronavirus Resources: https://www.mpi.org/tools/coronavirus
EIC Coronavirus Resources: https://eventscouncil.org/coronavirus
MPI Foundation: https://www.mpi.org/about/foundation
PCMA Foundation: https://foundation.pcma.org/
Meeting Industry Fund: http://www.themeetingsindustryfund.org/
Jun 14, 202040:07
EP 12: More Virtual Platforms (Less High Dives!)
Jun 01, 202030:37
EP 11: Virtual Platforms High Dive
May 26, 202043:25
EP 10-HIGHLIGHT: Annette Gregg, MPI Senior Vice President of Experience Interview

EP 10-HIGHLIGHT: Annette Gregg, MPI Senior Vice President of Experience Interview

We have gotten some great feedback on the latest episode of the podcast. Many people writing in wanted to see if we could post the interview with Annette Gregg, MPI’s Senior VP of Experience as it’s own highlight. We’re nothing if not receptive to our listeners, so here you go. Take a listen as Annette discusses her perspective on what in-person events will look like when we return.

May 07, 202018:08
EP 10: Where Do We Go From Here? The Immediate Future of In-Person Meetings

EP 10: Where Do We Go From Here? The Immediate Future of In-Person Meetings

Amanda and Darryl continue the discussion of getting back to in-person meetings and what they will look like when it’s safe to meet again. They interview Lindsay Gold, CMP Director of Meetings and Events at Associated Builders and Contractors on her group’s move of their annual meeting to September in Nashville and Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Senior Vice President for Experiences, Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA to get an industry view of our soon to be reality.

Take-Aways:

Meetings will come back but it will take time and it will look different based on location, industry, and format
Venues will need to be more flexible when it comes to contracting (cancellation and room-to-space ratios), spacing, sanitizing, pricing (wifi/bandwidth) and being empathetic to guest needs
Planners need to think about their whole audience and plan for less people in the same space and for a virtual audience.
Our professional groups can continue to support us by sharing best practices and guidelines for planners dealing with concerned audiences, increased liability, and in some cases loss of work.

RESOURCES/LINKS

Mike Dominguez, ALHI, on meetings starting up this summer (via The Eventful Podcast):

https://www.northstarmeetingsgroup.com/Podcasts/The-Eventful-Podcast/Meetings-Industry-recovery-now-michael-dominguez?fbclid=IwAR3sGMhOWlSMl_m_LeOQMh4CA8jg3Ah_2orILN33qj-_QXlrlvtYMGXMdH4

What do conferences look like post Covid-19 (via Meetings.net):

https://www.meetingstoday.com/magazines/article-details/articleid/34301/title/hotels-conferences-post-covid-19

MPI Coronavirus Resources: https://www.mpi.org/tools/coronavirus

EIC Coronavirus Resources: https://eventscouncil.org/coronavirus

MPI Foundation: https://www.mpi.org/about/foundation

PCMA Foundation: https://foundation.pcma.org/

Meeting Industry Fund: http://www.themeetingsindustryfund.org/

May 05, 202050:32
EP 09: Are You Certifiable?

EP 09: Are You Certifiable?

Amanda and Darryl start Zooming for this week’s episode. Now that they can see each other they begin to discuss the benefits, cost, and time of getting professionally certified. Then they welcome Anne to talk about her experiences getting her CMP and another certification. Get ready for some extra letters after your name and some new business cards!

Take-Aways:

Understand the different types of certifications and who offers them Is the certification needed? Is it worth the money? What about the time? What about the digital/virtual certifications especially in light of our current times.
Apr 20, 202033:53
EP 08: Let's Get Virtual
Apr 13, 202036:06
EP 07: You Are What You Read
Mar 29, 202031:35
EP 06: Cancellations...The C-Word!

EP 06: Cancellations...The C-Word!

In this episode, Amanda and Darryl practice social distancing while talking about all the cancellations in the meetings industry. They each share stories of their recent cancellations and Stacey joins to tell the story of canceling her association’s meeting. During the discussion, we learn some tips for having difficult conversations with your venue and vendors, as well as with your attendees, speakers and industry partners. Plus some lessons learned that can make our contracts stronger going forward. Amanda and Darryl also share some resources for planners who need financial help in these tough times and places where we can donate money to help.
Take-Aways:
1 Canceling doesn’t mean you failed.
2 Venues/Vendors: Use Force Majeure if you can; if you can’t try to reschedule and reapply funds. If there is no flexibility…
3 Use the money for something good: donate food to food banks or volunteer groups.
4 Communicate with your attendees. Be honest and remind them their health and safety comes first.
5 Strengthen your contracts for the future.
6 Take a deep breath and do something for you.
Resources:
PCMA Foundation Relief Fund:
foundation.pcma.org/industry-relief-fund/
Meetings Industry Relief Fund: themeetingsindustryfund.org/
Independent Meeting Planners, if you need help (or can help others), please email us so we can help organize: miracleworkerspodcast@gmail.com
World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Guidance: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Guidance: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Mar 17, 202039:55
EP 05: CVB -Y

EP 05: CVB -Y

Amanda and Darryl head down to Destinations Showcase in Washington, DC to talk CVBs. They sit down with the heads of PCMA and Destinations International as well as several planners to hear about what CVBs can do and how planners like to work with them. Plus there's an update on the great work being done by the PCMA Foundation Industry Fund and a new Win of the Week.

Take-Aways:

CVBs offer a lot of services for free They represent all the venues in an area and are not playing favorites or financial interests. They Can play a big role in setting up site visits as well as offering marketing assistance for your meetings.

PCMA Industry Relief Fund
Remember to donate to the PCMA Industry Relief Fund and help those professionals in need: http://foundation.pcma.org/industry-relief-fund

Feb 26, 202031:33
EP 04: RFP (Really Frustrating Process)

EP 04: RFP (Really Frustrating Process)

Meeting venue RFPs and the bids that they elicit are one of the things that we, as planners, hate the most. Amanda and Darryl provide some tips that planners can use to make the RFP process better focused and get more detailed bids back. We also launch the “win of the week” feature.
This episode’s takeaways are:
1. Be realistic about timing/deadline and concessions
2. Provide as much detail as possible and ask important questions
3. Know the value of your business
4. Involve the local CVB...it's free!!!
5. Make your asks now (sustainability, discounts, terms)
6. Make sure you can actually materialize the business. This is a 2-way street!
7. Respond to all hotels
Feb 10, 202031:51
EP 03: You Get a Panel. Everybody Gets a Panel

EP 03: You Get a Panel. Everybody Gets a Panel

Darryl starts by man-splaining diversity until Amand reminds him this is not a “Man-al” We all want to diversify but how do you do it and why is it so important to your event?  Also, are you just looking at the stage or do you consider the audience too?

This episode’s takeaways are:

Actively try to diversify your speakers Set a good example by diversifying your staff, board, leadership structure Set the stage for inclusion early on. Email your attendees and encourage them to come ready to share Coach your speakers and moderators so they are ready to embrace the diversity you’re setting up. Also, think about the staging Diversify your audience too. Can your sponsors set up scholarships to help those who can’t afford to get there?
Jan 27, 202030:32
EP 02: It's Not Easy Going Green
Jan 13, 202026:09
EP 01: An Audio Visual Primer for Meeting Planners (What is that thing on my bill?)
Dec 30, 201931:32
Trailer-Miracle Workers

Trailer-Miracle Workers

This is the trailer. This is only a trailer. Had this been a real episode it would have been longer. But stay tuned as we drop the first two episodes before Christmas. Listen for "An A/V Primer for Planners" and "It's Not Easy Going Green".
Dec 08, 201903:35