I just returned from the Meeting Professionals International Southern California Chapter trade show where I hosted a booth with the intention of giving away HUNDREDS of FREE copies of “The Power of the Platform: Speakers on Success” to the meeting planners there.
I met some incredible meeting professionals who book speakers and were grateful to know that I represent some of the best in the biz. And EVERYONE was impressed when I shared that most of my speakers have agreed to waive their travel costs for this year. A little bit can mean a lot. Jack Canfield started it! He said he would cover his travel cost to Las Vegas. I asked the other speakers if they would match this offer and so far everyone has said ABSOLUTELY! They all want to work – here in Las Vegas or anywhere else you may be planning your meeting. I love making connections and building business relationships – especially when I can help meeting planners! It sounds strange, but one of my favorite parts of these So.Cal. events is getting to talk to my friends and associates who are LAS VEGAS meeting professionals and sales executives.
There is great camaradarie when we are out of town together. I don’t know why that is, but it’s very cool. I talked with Eric Brashear from AGR, Lesa Walls from the Mirage, Nicole Moen from MGM City Center and saw many other people whom I adore. The weather was great for the outdoor reception at the end of the day, when we were all ready to relax and enjoy visiting with each other. The event could not hold a candle to last year’s shindig, which had been held at the Westin Bonaventure. I could not believe it when I found myself in line in front of Portia from the Westin – as we built our own tacos. Yes, tacos. Last year, at her host property, lunch was a feast of Filet Mignon and Scallops, each with their own incredible sauce.
We were treated to the AMAZING Amanda Gore for an after-lunch keynote. I hope I didn’t embarass Portia by gushing over last year’s event and pointing out the stark contrast between the two events. Sure, I don’t go for the food, but holy cow – the Westin raised the bar last year so my expectations this year were high. I looked foolish as my fellow mentor and speaker Yasmine Bijan eyed the tacos and BBQ sandwiches and said, “I thought you said the food at these things is outstanding. What happened?” 🙂 Last year’s rooftop reception was also outstanding – and was the reason I had planned to stay overnight. Last year, I had to leave early to catch a flight home. This year, I made plans to spend the night because I didn’t want to miss another incredible reception. I wish now that I had made it a day trip, as we easily could have left the event by 7PM.
This year, the format was also different. We didn’t get to eat lunch because it was served in the exhibit hall during the trade show. This is bad for all the exhibitors – especially those who only had two people in their booth (Like US – as we couldn’t leave so we never got to eat!) All day long we thirsted for water and fought off hunger. I finally managed to get away long enough to grab two warm lemonades which we knocked back quickly as if they were divine. YASMINE BIJAN, founder of HeartNetworking.com and one of the outstanding coauthors in The Power of the Platform, was an absolute LOVE – she picked up the books at the printers and delivered them to the booth for me. She spent the day with me and I could not have had a better partner for the day. (Yasmine, I could not have done it without you – you are a GODDESS!) She offered the rare kind of support as only a genuine friend could; she worked hard to make ME look good. She is an extraordinary human being and I’m so proud that she is my friend.
We worked very hard yesterday and she made the day such a joy. I met some incredible speakers – many of whom I would love to share with you in the next edition of The Power of the Platform: Speakers on Purpose. Everyone was amazing – Jordan, Matt, Michael….I hope we get to work together soon. What an amazing day!