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Share your experience and win valuable prizes

CIMPA wants to hear about what you do as a meeting planner. Please complete this form and you will be entered to win one of valuable prizes:

Here’s an excerpt from the diary of Andrea Sigler, PhD
President and CEO, CIMPA

The site was selected, flights booked, speakers hired, brochures and promotional materials sent out, attendees registered. Anxiety Day had arrived: the day before Opening Program.

Registration wanted to know – should they accept the Russians’ rubles? AV had an urgent message: there was no internet connection in the ballroom. The photographer was not happy with the LCD projector and accused me of tight-fistedness. The French complained that the chicken at the pre-conference luncheon was taste- free. The British could not find the registration room – and complained that this meeting was disorganized; the Americans were not happy that the pre-conference seminar was 5 minutes late. They, too, complained that the meeting was dis-organized. None of the tours suited the Mexicans and complained that the meeting was dis-organized. It seemed like everyone with an eyesight problem, hearing problem, spouse problem, boss problem, happiness problem, anal problem – any problem at all - complain that the meeting was dis-organized. The staff was distraught.

I wondered aloud – where could I buy a hitch-free, inflexibly organized meeting? Does one exist at all? The Americans looked at me with disgust in their eyes. “Too late for a refund – unfortunately”, I mumbled.

I woke up at 3 in the morning, having dreamed that I had died. I felt a dreadful anxiety – sure that nobody there loved me.

It is at this time – lying alone, staring into the darkness of the night, that you experience this terrible undefined fear. It seems all the major form of mental illness from which you have suffered – the delusions of grandeur, hypochochondria, the suspicion that the chef’s food may be poisoned and might send all the attendees to the hospital at the precise time your keynote speaker for which your sponsor has paid thousands of dollars is due to speak - suddenly looms

The alarm clock screeched and jumped – and I tumbled from the bed. Gulped a quick cup of coffee and ran to check set-ups. Miraculously, things unfolded like they were supposed to. A little delay here and there – sure, but that was because people wanted a little more from the speakers. I stopped and thought what a miracle it was that this meeting was able to bring all those people from remote corners of the world together. What a miracle that within the small, fancy hotel ballroom, people were able to share their vast, diverse worlds with each other – worlds that sing and excite; worlds that cry and comfort. People understood and connected. This, after all, is the purpose of international meetings.

Then someone smiled at me and said “Good job”. That made it all worth it.


Me - Most meeting planners I know are anal about time. They almost hyperventilate when a session goes over 2 minutes overtime. What's with these people? If a speaker has excited the audience and would like to take 5-10 minutes more, wouldn't that all be to the good?

Guru-  Aaah! But if you allow that to happen every session, your schedule will be a mess. At the end of the day, you will be running over an hour late.

Voice of Experience: It does not happen every session. Some speakers exciter and some bore. Some topics are subject to a lot of discussion and some are straightforward. Some sessions will run overtime and some will end before the allotted time. At the end of the day, it all evens out.

Jump up and down with your 2-minute sign if you must. But don't shoot the speaker with a poisoned dart. Your audience may want that speaker back.

CIMPA wants to hear about what you do as a meeting planner. Please complete this form and you will be entered to win one of valuable prizes:


December 7 - 10, 2011 -- Albuquerque, NM
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Connected International Meeting Professionals Association (CIMPA)
8803 Queen Elizabeth Blvd, Annandale, Virginia 22003 USA
Tel 1 512 684 0889 Fax 1 267 390 5193
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