Archive for the ‘Vendor Reviews’ Category



December 7, 2009

Just before Thanksgiving, I completed a lengthy project assisting Lawson Software in vendor reviews and selection for both their annual user’s conference, and for their annual incentive program.

It was a great experience, first of all, as it exposed me to a first-class organization and two teams of stakeholders that were passionate about improving their programs. They were committed to the process, readily available, respectful of the process and each other, and open and willing to push to move their respective programs forward to better serve the needs and objectives of their organization.

It allowed me to use a lifetime of experience accumulated over 40 years with incentive programs, meetings, conferences and events. At the same time, the process pushed me to focus on the latest engagement tools from new technology applications to a changing adult learning model to new ways to look at customer feedback. Along the way, I encountered what’s happening in the meetings and events industry in EMEA and APAC and learned that some cutting edge things are developing out the world that we here at home should be taking a look at.

And probably equally important for me personally, through this project, I am beginning to understand that social media is a misnomer. The term “social” should be replaced with “virtual” and viewed as a new powerful means of communication that expands our reach, our input and our understanding. It’s not a question of either live events or virtual; it’s the emergence of “hybrid” that at some point in time in the future will become the norm for all of us.

Equally rewarding, Creative Events received continual positive feedback from both the client and industry peers in the process we used. Some years ago, I was part of the APEX Best Practices review teams and specifically addressed the RFP process. So our process at Lawson started there and expanded the basics to include a comprehensive brief on the existing programs and their desired outcomes, clearly outlined not only the review process but also the specific information to be addressed and finally, included an Innovation Challenge that tested each vendor’s understanding of the client’s desired outcomes and how current trends might have a positive impact on accomplishing them.

Who among us could ask for more: to work with great people; to use the experience one has accumulated, to learn good things along the way; and to earn recognition and praise from our peers? And to get paid a fair price for our expertise as well!

So thank you Carolyn Vinup at HPSS for recommending me to this client; thank you Lawson CUE and CLUB teams for the great learning experience, and thank you to all the vendor finalists. It was a revitalizing experience. I’m renewed, inspired and ready for more!