Encore, encore! With so much on offer the past three days at PCMA’s Convening Leaders, we couldn’t possibly cover it all. Still, we’ve done our level best to capture several final insights for incentive professionals from one of the year’s first MICE events.
1) What’s really behind that comment?
Stephen Shedletzky (previously the Chief of Staff and Head of Brand Experience for Simon Sinek, Inc.) provided plenty of tips during a session on giving and receiving feedback, relevant whether you’re faced with input from a demanding boss, a thrilled tour participant, or a confused colleague.
Stephen noted that group dynamics are ultimately the product of how values are expressed through behaviors, and the alignment of the two with people’s relative power. Increase your relative power, Stephen says, and your “whisper” can quickly become a shout. We’d be wise to keep this top of mind when thinking about cultures we want to create on our own incentive programs. How power plays out likely shapes qualifiers’ experiences and their ultimate trip feedback, to at least some extent.
A final off-the-wall idea: Stephen suggested (and says he’s done it himself!) interviewing job candidates in an escape room to get a “true” sense of their work style. You heard it billed here first! Escape rooms: no longer just an incentive activity, but a possible way to find your next team member, too?!
2) Channel the passions and purposes driving newer voices
PCMA does an excellent job shining a spotlight on young leaders’ voices. CL22 was no different, with a Tuesday joint address from tech entrepreneur Mateo Salvatto and environmental justice advocate and Rhodes Scholar Wanjiku ‘Wawa’ Gatheru, both young 20somethings.
Among the lessons to be learned for us as incentive professionals here is how intentional and thoughtful inclusion of young(er) voices adds fantastic depth and variety to programs. We need to ensure the incentive programs we create are accessible for those in less senior roles, and that younger employee voices are part of the extraordinary incentive experiences we deliver.
We also need to champion young professionals building out their own MICE careers. Communities like SITE Young Leaders are vital to building an incredible incentive-filled future. Tapping into this inspiring group of young professionals will only strengthen our association!
3) Different content ingredients, same rules
Another day two highlight was Bob Hitchcock, who provided example after example of content he’s created with production teams at Walt Disney World Resort. Skeptics might be rolling their eyes, muttering breathlessly, “Well of course if we had Disney’s budgets, our promotional videos would be out-of-this-world! The things we could do…”
But Bob’s breakdown of how he approaches content creation and social sharing shows that he plays by the same simple rules we should all follow when crafting communications. There’s no reason we can’t be creating “Disney”-esque storytelling moments of our own, with whatever ingredients are in our marketing mixes.
Still, a shout-out to Bob for talking the A/V team into playing himself out with a final video providing a super cool behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into Disney’s firework displays. His final clip proved that bursts of color, light, and music are the perfect end to an evening — just a quick note for any organizers looking to end their incentives with a bang!
4) Beaming in from *wherever,* it’s…
PCMA stunned on Wednesday with a closing keynote delivered via hologram. You read that right: former PepsiCo CEO and all-around-amazing-human-being Indra Nooyi appeared live from New York via holographic technology. Watch PCMA’s feeds for a sum-up of her many excellent points, since there were way too many to list here!
This technology earned rave reviews for taking a virtual appearance many steps above your standard Zoom meeting. Apply this to the world of incentives and the possibilities seem endless. Who — or what — could you beam in, to make an incentive travel experience that much more memorable? If forced to move to virtual or hybrid formats, can we incorporate this as a tool? The future is here, and it looks decidedly holographic. Let’s get excited and figure out how to embrace it as part of incentive offerings.
Were you onsite in Vegas this week? Let us know what stood out from days two and three, or catch up with our day one review.
If you couldn’t make it to Vegas this year, we still want your thoughts! What topics and speakers would you like to see covered this year, especially at one of SITE’s upcoming events?