Monthly Archives: April 2022

Data Power Unleashed

Do you have a data strategy? I ask that question of many organizations. Typically, the answer is “no.” When we start to peel back the onion a little, it’s clear that contact data accuracy is an issue. Organizations were not overly effective before COVID-19 with the quality of their prospect and client records. It’s an issue for many companies now as they start to develop new sales strategies.

Just think about how many times your organization has exhibited or participated in an event and had your sales representative download unqualified lists into your CRM. Did you reduce administrative staff during COVID-19 that were dedicated to CRM activity? How confident are you with new sales plans for 2022 and beyond?

Stepping back and looking at a new data strategy can be a key move in helping your sales team be more productive. Data input leads to great data output. Making decisions using solid data is essential to organization growth strategies. If you were in a room with 20 stakeholders, could you answer all the questions they have about your data?

Analytics are part of our daily lives. Whether you are starting your day with a look at your Dashboard, CRM, Traces, Notifications, To-Do Lists or any other strategic or tactical necessities, you are seeking clean and accurate data.

There is an old saying “If it was easy, everyone would do it” that applies to analytics. Using fact-based data to assist with decision making is imperative in today’s world.  Things change so quickly that organizations must be nimble and find ways to get feedback quick.

Errors are prevalent within any CRM and especially lists that could be 2-3 years old. How many records do you have in your CRM? Do you have a strategy that highlights target markets and those potential clients that have a keen interest in your products and services?

Here are five “must do tactics” to drive data accuracy and improve sales productivity when it comes to driving revenue and profitable growth.

  1. Assume your data is old, not accurate and in need of a renovation. That 1990’s house needs a full walk-thru and you should assume your data base is a fixer-upper
  2. Don’t admire what you had in terms of information on potential clients, active clients, and your own high performing salespeople. You are starting a new journey and need to look at “What If” rather than “What Is.”
  3. It takes about eight minutes to validate a record. Make sure you are dedicating trained research coordinators or outsourcing the task to provide your sales team with accurate client records to solicit.
  4. Marketing is important. Use your stakeholders to help develop messages that resonate with potential clients and why current clients use your company for products and services. Use a human voice to provide distinction on why your organization is different. Identify these voices in your CRM and with one-page testimonials. There is a product called Gather Voices that makes it easy to capture video testimonials.
  5. Use a dashboard that is transparent and that team members at all levels have access to.  Highlight and celebrate your top performers in research, sales & marketing.

Act sooner than later.  Turning data into decisions is a purposeful exercise. Business Intelligence is a key indicator for organizations to increase productivity. What does your dashboard look like?

Dashboards allow report consumers to create a single artifact of directed data that is personalized just for them. Dashboards can be comprised of pinned visuals that are taken from different reports. Where a Business Intelligence report uses data from a single dataset, a Powerful BI dashboard can contain visuals from different datasets:

A Power BI dashboard is a single page, often called a canvas, that tells a story through visualizations. Because it’s limited to one page, a well-designed dashboard contains only the highlights of that story. Readers can view related reports for the details.  Being engaged with data proficiency, analytics agility, and community are pillars that can be part of your data strategy plan.

The seven key thoughts for driving action might include a thought process that asks many questions:

  1. Measure: if you can’t measure it, is it important? Will what you measure drive growth? Will it help you stop doing unproductive tasks? Are you measuring meaningful things?
  2. What are the questions you are asking of team members and stakeholders? Do you ask questions and listen, or do you just assume? How transparent is the access to your data? Self Service Models provide data that an on-demand world can find and leverage.
  3. Is segmentation part of your plan? Do you have strategies for your best clients? What is your new sales strategy? Do you have clients that need to be sunset? Are there target markets or verticals that could be easily accessed?
  4. Do you have stories that can be related to prospects that parallel the problems and issues you’ve solved for others? Can you highlight innovation and new ideas in industry publications or presenting at events?
  5. Are you training team members in Six Sigma, Experience Design and Advanced Sales Skills? Do you have the best performing, highly trained and polished sales and marketing teams?
  6. Where does storytelling fit in with your data driven insight strategies? Data Driven Insights involves everyone in your organization.
  7. What are the platforms you are using to gain customer feedback/ Do you have short succinct surveys, Customer Advisory Boards and Trusted Advisors that are your stakeholders?

How are you approaching your biggest challenges and opportunities? Are you in the Red Ocean or striving for the Blue Ocean? Blue Ocean Strategy – Wikipedia

New Vantage Partners recently reported that 98.6 percent of executives indicate that their organization aspires to a data-driven culture, while only 32.4 percent report having success. A 2018 IDC study also noted that organizations have invested trillions of dollars to modernize their business, but 70 percent of these initiatives fail because they prioritized technology investments without building a data culture to support it. What would these statistics look like four years later after the pandemic?

So what? Does it really matter to have a handle on one’s data? Whose responsibility, is it? IT, Sales, Marketing or Senior Executives? Ask yourself the question and the answer probably is that data driven decisions touch everyone in an organization. Working smarter, more productive and driving more revenue can be a result of fact-based data decision making. “Plan the Work, Work the Plan” is a simple way to integrate data into simple and complex decisions. If you can’t measure it, ask yourself “WHY”?

Gary Schirmacher, CMP

Chief Executive Officer

Total Hospitality Industry Solutions (THIS)

With 36 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Schirmacher has led the team at Total Hospitality Industry Solutions (THIS) since OCT 2020. Previously, he led Experient’s strategic plan development and implementation, as well as industry presence for Maritz Global Events for 25 years. He was awarded the company’s highest honor, the Pinnacle Award, in 2005, and was inducted into the Colorado Meetings Hall of Fame in 2011 with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He served as Chairman of the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado from 2001-2007. Schirmacher is the 2022 Chair for the MPI Global Foundation Board. He is a Past Chair of the Meetings Industry Fund. Gary is a member of the EIC APEX Commission for Business Recovery Task Force. He is a member of PCMA, MPI, IAEE, ASAE, Association Forum and CSAE. Schirmacher is a Past Chair of the PCMA Education Foundation Board of Trustees and a frequent speaker at major industry meetings and events. Schirmacher is a graduate of the Worldwide College of Auctioneering and Owner of Big Top Auctions USA


An unforgettable experience with business and human connections at its heart: IMEX in Frankfurt returns 31 May – 2 June

“While doing business and powering our sector’s growth sits at the core of the show, IMEX in Frankfurt stands for so much more. Inspiration is one of our core values and we’re set to deliver this through a creative and cutting-edge show experience. An unforgettable experience that helps attendees reconnect and revive, supercharge their skillset and – importantly – have fun! By coming together – and celebrating 20 years of IMEX in Frankfurt – our community is set to create many memorable moments.” Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, outlines the plans for the return of IMEX in Frankfurt, taking place 31 May – 2 June.

Global exhibitors announce major launches

An international range of exhibitors – destinations, venues, technology providers, incentive companies and more – are currently planning their participation at the show. Suppliers from Europe – Germany, France, Spain and Croatia; North America – Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas; and Asia – Philippines and Taiwan; are among the dozens of destinations who have confirmed their participation in the past few weeks alone.

Parts of the business events sector have forged ahead in the past two years with investments in refurbishments, new venues and enhanced experiences. IMEX in Frankfurt will be the stage for some major launches such as Ethiopia’s new convention bureau, new venues, new professional development programmes and new industry partnerships.

Well over 2,500 buyers from 70 countries have registered to date, and hundreds of global buyers continue to register each week. An international mix of buyers from agencies, corporates and associations, plus independent professionals have all confirmed participation at the show.

Bespoke education for associations, corporates & agencies

IMEX is supporting specialists with dedicated learning for association, agency and corporate executives taking place the day before the show, on Monday 30 May. Exclusively Corporate is set to welcome experts from SAP, Bolt Financial and Siemens Healthineers (as well as a former Premier League Footballer!) for case study-led education and peer-to-peer discussions. Agency planners can shape the focus of IMEX’s co-created Agency Directors Forum, choosing what best fits their needs from subjects including: growth opportunities; lessons learned from the pandemic; adapting to a changed event landscape; trends and technology impacting business strategy, and reconsidering staffing options. Separately, Association Focus will deliver learning and networking exclusively for association professionals of all levels. The collaborative programme offers insight, inspiration and real-world recommendations and resolutions to the challenges facing associations across the world today.

Building connections to support business recovery

It has never been more important to upskill for the new world of work and 150+ educational events onsite cover Professional Development and Upskilling; Creativity in Communication; Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; Innovation and Tech; and Purposeful Recovery.

Team dynamics and roles have shifted since the lockdown leading to a new approach to recruitment strategy. In ‘Where’s my team?’ Tanesha Moody, Former Director Field and Events Marketing at Bolt Financial, will provide guidance on building an evolutionary team from scratch. Her professional theatre background gives Tanesha a unique take on planning and delivering events.

Robert Kenward, Fitability® Recruiter at You Search and Select and Founder of The Hub, is holding a workshop to help event professionals deal with ‘the great resignation’. He says: “As the industry rebuilds, the focus for many businesses is to scale-up by recruiting the right talent. This session will enable delegates to supercharge their recruitment strategy which in turn will have an immediate and positive impact on how they attract, select and retain talent.”

‘One of Europe’s leading business networking strategists’ according to the Financial Times, Andy Lopata, moderates a panel session unpacking the strategy behind ‘Building back together’. Event professionals from Farnborough International, DRPG and Enited Business Events join Andy to discuss the vital role strong relationships played in supporting them during the pandemic, and in their business recovery. Andy explains: “Relationships underpin the success of our businesses and the events we’re involved with. Yet it has become harder to nurture those relationships, let alone meet new people, during the pandemic. My goal is to arm attendees with new ideas, practical advice and, most importantly of all, the confidence and energy to actively pursue a strategy of building, nurturing and leveraging the relationships that will drive their businesses forward.”

Wellbeing moments

Experts from the Listening Collective will bring their own powerful brand of coaching with a dedicated space, The Listening Lab, which will help attendees develop their own ‘listening superpowers’. “When we’re skilfully listened to and challenged, we hear ourselves better – then change follows,” explains Listening Collective founder Jon Barnes.

The focus on wellbeing continues at the Be Well Lounge. Brought to you by Inner Sense and supported by Costa Rica DMC and Weichlein Tours, the Lounge offers a space to pause, unwind and recharge. Attendees craving an energetic start to the day will enjoy the 5km IMEXrun, developed by VOQIN – a bright and brisk walk, jog or run along the banks of Frankfurt’s River Main.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, says: “With our worldwide roster of suppliers and confirmed buyers, we’re confident the show floor will be a hub of activity where the industry can comfortably and effectively do business. We can’t wait to get back to business in Frankfurt and celebrate the sheer joy of being back together – our industry lives and breathes face to face business events and from what we’re witnessing, it’s raring to go.” Carina shares more detail about what to expect at the show here.

IMEX in Frankfurt takes place 31 May – 2 June 2022 – the business events community can register here. Registration is free.

IMEX in Frankfurt 2022 will take place at Messe Frankfurt from 31 May – 2 June 2022.
wFor further press information, please contact:
Emma Blake:

A collaborative approach…the future of business event planning

Valerie Sumner


VRS Meetings & Events, Inc.

Business event strategy is now, more than ever, the driver for our team and clients.  Measuring data metrics, determining the unique program opportunities, carefully evaluating each program (financially and programmatically) to determine the most effective delivery platform (face to face, hybrid or virtual) is key for all events.

Business event strategy is now, more than ever, the driver for our team and clients.  Measuring data metrics, determining the unique program opportunities, carefully evaluating each program (financially and programmatically) to determine the most effective delivery platform (face to face, hybrid or virtual) is key for all events.

Taking that information and digging into the value and cost benefit for each audience is crucial. Making these determinations will be the “secret-sauce” for organizational event strategy moving forward.  Utilizing this information – along with continued re-evaluation – will be a priority over the next 2 – 3 years.  

IMEX Frankfort Announces Germany COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted

On 2 April Germany lifted ALL Covid-19 restrictions (known as 3G) on live meetings, events and trade shows. This milestone marks a turning point for the economic regeneration of the global meetings and events industry and, importantly, for the German market. 

The IMEX team knows you want to feel productive at IMEX in Frankfurt this May, and you also want to feel physically and psychologically safe. So, we’re KEEPING our health and safety plan in place. (Read about it here). 

  • Generously-sized aisles 
  • Use of multiple outdoor spaces 
  • 2 entrances to Hall 8 (our exhibit hall) to minimise queueing or over-crowding 
  • Home badge printing 
  • Widely-spaced, plentiful seating areas 
  • 2 Messe Frankfurt halls – 8 and 9 

You can also choose to wear a mask and keep your distance all day long and, rest assured, Messe Frankfurt’s own hygiene standards include fresh air ventilation, disinfection stations and enhanced cleaning. 

So, whether you’re an exhibitor, buyer, supplier, partner, student, journalist or speaker, remember the thrill of a shared experience and know that you’re in safe hands with IMEX.