SWS21 Jumpstart Session
A Giraffe’s-Eye View of the Brand New
The huge new Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Round Rock, a game-changer for Central Texas, must be seen to be believed. Five restaurants, 10,000 square feet of retail space, and three acres of swimming pools in a 350-acre resort for starters. To make sure attendees can see it without missing out on our quality educational sessions or face time with supplier partners, Southwest Showcase is scheduling a tour of this significant new addition to the Austin meetings scene as our Jumpstart session. Get a giraffe’s-eye view of the entire complex, from the 200,000 square foot convention center to the 975 guest rooms to the 223,000-square-foot water park. Not only will it be fun, it will be educational, which is why it will include a 1.0 hour CEU credit. And who knows, Kalahari might even have a special surprise or two for those who join the fun.
Sessions – 9:45-10:45 a.m.
It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
Mindy Price, VP Sales, J. Turner Research
Communication is key in any business, but all too often there is a disconnect. Do you ever say one thing and the listener hears something else? Do you ever wonder why your colleague is more successful than you? Did an associate get a promotion and you did not, even though you were you more qualified? Is there something you could have done better? In this session you will learn how to up your interpersonal game with your colleagues, prospects, members and customers, and sharpen your communication skills to give the right message at the right time. Becoming an active listener will help you identify opportunities and challenges. You will leave with the knowledge of how to identify and utilize active listening skills to better engage with others, to recognize nonverbal communication cues, and to skillfully navigate crucial conversations to ensure your message is not just heard but understood.
Racial Diversity – Why It Should Matter to Your Organization
Joe Bedsole, Regional Director, Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau
Jason Dunn, VP of Multicultural Sales, Cincinatti Convention & Visitors Bureau
Tanida Mullen, Manager, Killeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
According to new census data, the U.S. is diversifying even faster than predicted. The undeniable march toward a “majority minority” America means any organization that fails to tailor its outreach to a diverse audience is going to miss out. But beyond marketing, ethnic and racial diversity on staff bring about new ways of thinking, which improves idea generation and innovation. Diversity has also been linked to improved efficiency and productivity. People of different backgrounds bring novel skill sets that allow for team members to work more efficiently at accomplishing a task. Plus an inclusive workplace is one that makes all employees feel appreciated and valued. Our panel of experts will initiate and participate in a lively group discussion exploring these and other benefits and challenges of an organization working toward the goal of greater racial diversity.
The New Frontier of Contracts & Clauses in a Post-COVID World
Karen Kennard, Attorney, Greenberg Traurig
For years they have been there in our contracts: Force Majuere, Act of God, Cancellation, Arbitration, Penalties, Liquidated Damages. Important yes, but not something we expected to ever really need. Then came COVID-19, and the world changed overnight. And all of a sudden those dusty old clauses were more important than ever. In a new world landscaped by the novel coronavirus, what will we need to know for our future non-hotel event contracts? How can we protect our events and our organizations in such an uncertain time? Attorney Karen Kennard’s experience spans more than two decades and includes positions as General Counsel for the largest municipal league in the country and City Attorney for the City of Austin, Texas. She will share her insights on the many considerations, old and new, that we will need to keep in mind when working on these contracts in the future.
Dealing with Data – From Drowning to Lifeboat
Thad Lurie, VP of Business Intelligence, Maritz Global Events
Conferences and tradeshows run on tight budgets and are always looking to get more from less. Business intelligence can be critical to optimizing resources, but many organizations are still drowning in data and gaining little benefit. This session will cover not only broad strategies of how business intelligence can improve business outcomes, but also specific stories, concrete examples, and tips for how show organizers and exhibitors can start to leverage data and business intelligence to work smarter, not harder.
Sessions – 11:00 a.m.-Noon
Hotel Contracting, Future Tense
Michael Dominguez, President & CEO, Associated Luxury Hotels International
What a difference a pandemic makes. In the space of a few weeks the supply/demand paradigm for the hotel industry was flipped on its head. In this topsy-turvey new world supply may outstrip demand for some time to come, reversing years of steady growth for the industry. Planners are suddenly in the driver’s seat again after ages of hat-in-hand negotiations. In this new and very fluid situation, what advantages does the planner have, and are they real? Will they last, and if so for how long? There are more questions than answers right now in the world of hotel contracts, which makes this a good time to have the insights of a recognized expert and authentic leader such as Michael Dominguez, a man who has spent decades working in this arena. Join us for a frank discussion of the current state of the industry.
The Incredible Power of Persuasion
Mindy Price, VP Sales, J. Turner Research
This fast-paced and interactive program will cover ways to more effectively influence the people who matter in our lives. Every day we find ourselves in situations where we need to encourage others to be open to our ideas so that we can work toward common goals. There are tools, techniques and strategies you can learn that are proven to put people at ease and increase your ability to bring them around to your point of view. Learning and using them will have a direct impact on your ability to persuade others to look at things your way, while making your life (and theirs) easier. Following this session you will be able to communicate more effectively, build trust and rapport more comfortably, and win over those who can make a difference in your life. Leave with greater confidence, better persuasion skills, and a smile on your face.
Working In a Divided Nation: Navigating Opinions and Presumptions
Claude Ducloux, Attorney and Speaker
More and more, our ability to complete tasks and reach agreements is being affected by the political and social divisions all around us. Red or Blue? Urban or Rural? Straight or LGBTQ? Cops or BLM? White men or everyone else? Despite our differences in many cases our goals are still the same, and in pursuit of our common goals we can learn skills to moderate influences, to listen, and to communicate better. We’ll cover group identity and how it occurs, as well as polarization, pre-disposition and false consensus. We will even consider how to view conflict in a constructive light, and how to make our own assessments. Join us for a discussion of:
- The biology of decision-making
- Nature and sources of worldview
- The limits of our own tolerance
- Uncontrollable input (aka “info gone wild”)
- Asking ourselves the hard questions
Every member of the team has a special role – we promise to leave you with interesting ideas and positive recommendations.
What we’ve learned about meeting virtually
Jeff Rasco, CEO & Founder, Attendee Management, Inc.
There is a science to having effective virtual meetings, but there is an art to it as well. Like all of us, Jeff Rasco has had plenty of virtual meetings since the advent of COVID-19 forced everyone to start working from home. Unlike most of us, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the task. Having been involved in all aspects of meetings and technology for the past 30 years, Rasco knows how to make the best of a virtual event, whether it be one-on-one, a group of 20, or an audience of 2,000. Learn the things you need to address that you have control of, and how to tackle some of the prickly problems that are not in your direct control. A veteran of hundreds of sessions and workshops, he promises a fast-paced and lively give-and-take on what to do and not do for your next virtual meeting.