Posts Tagged ‘RETHINK’



February 21, 2011

And I am enjoying it in spite of the weather!  A day off today – just for me.

You may have noticed and appreciated that I’ve been pretty quiet this month-hardly thinking about the blog, and certainly not sharing my thoughts with the world.   The Riverfront Visitors Experience and the selection of the design team to guide the redevelopment Above the Falls , tax appointments, more press interviews about CRV 2010, preparing to speak at RETHINK –and attending  the launch of that new concept held in Minneapolis, New York, Copenhagen, and Paris simultaneously, two great ISES gatherings including a field trip to Ellsworth to learn all about the art of ice carving from Chris Swarbeck, our own award-winning expert, have hardly left me time for anything. 

Then throw in the planning for the upcoming Catersource/Event Solutions Conference in Vegas and another intense experience in collaboration as the CRV team re-united to respond to an RFP that could (or not ) represent a significant series of events in 2012. It all added up not much sleep while I also battled this season’s version of the winter flu/cold that wrapped me in misery for sixteen days.

And so I spent the morning leisurely reading the Sunday paper and letting my mind wander with every article:

As I read about King Tut at the Science Museum, I was flooded with images of visiting the Field Museum in Chicago with good friends, Gene and Susie Lehner, and the awe that surrounded us as we experienced the 1970s touring version of that exhibit; I lamented about no time to see Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; and wondered why I still have not experienced Cocina del Barrio when I live in the neighborhood. 

I read the review of “The Paris Wife” and was transported, not to Paris, but to Rochester in the early 60s when Hemingway was in Rochester staying at the home of a classmate of mine.  So while I picked Archibald McLeach for my “American Author” in sophomore English, that classmate picked Hemingway.  What a wonderful experience to have the author featured in your report right there to guide you through the background and message of one of his books.  And what a learning experience to have the teacher tell that classmate that he had missed the point and the real message Hemingway was trying to communicate!  An early life lesson I will always remember.  Read a book and enjoy it on whatever level it resonates with you.  If you find a hidden meaning and second level-great; but if you don’t, don’t worry –your enjoyment at whatever level may be just what the author had in mind!

I was glad (and concerned) to see a favorite restaurant, Kindee Thai made the Strib today; I hope that does not make it more difficult to “drop in” when I am craving Thai food; and the mention of the bouillabaisse at Sea Change set off a whole chain of memories  that spanned a lifetime.  I first was introduced to this wonderful culinary experience on an early visit to Marigot, St. Martin, way back in Winnebago days in the mid 1970s…and it became a favorite pick each time I was in St. Martin, France or Monaco for the next ten years.  From there, in the 80s when traveling to Cupertino for meetings with Apple, I discovered the Italian-influenced San Francisco version, cioppino. It became a favorite dish to order at Cocolozzone’s, and eventually, I learned to make a good version myself   – and still serve it up for special occasions!

I read about the MS benefit and thought of three good friends who have made this disease personal for me; I saw that Wayne Kostroski has written a book about the origin and growth of “Taste of the NFL”. It’s on my list, as I remembered Super Bowl in Minneapolis and under Wayne’s direction, co-chairing with Carolyn Vinup that very first Taste of the NFL event.

And finally, I lamented about the Walmart advance on Target and thought of its impact on the 50th and Hwy 100 neighborhood commercial district.  The locally owned hardware store will be replaced with a Walmart; the hardware store will move to Olson’s Pharmacy and put it out of business.  Two of my favorite stores-uprooted because of Walmart.  I am saddened by that, and know that becomes one more reason to stick to my plan to leave this area and re-locate back downtown in the city near the river where I belong!

And then, paper absorbed over two double-shot espressos, I ran some errands before this snow storm got too awful.   It was quiet, and without much traffic, I tried one more time (to no avail) to see if the T-Mobile experts could get my e-mail functioning, finished the rest of my errands and was on my way back home within an hour.  By then, traffic had slowed down considerably, but I made it back…and then got stuck in the parking lot here at home!   I abandoned the car, knowing that means a lot of shoveling after the plow has come through, but like Scarlett O’Hara, decided to deal with it “tomorrow”-and this gave me one more nudge to move out of here and get back to the city.  I have to accomplish that in 2011 one way or another!


That SLOW 1st QTR, 2011

January 30, 2011

One of the benefits of the Minnesota events world has traditionally been a slow down mid December after holiday events, that extends into January and often bleeds into early February.  For me, it has been a time to recharge, reorganize, and regroup and thus a time I look forward to.  I clean out my office and prepare for the coming season; I curl up in front of the fireplace in my “library” and read – attacking the ever-growing stacks of trade publications and books that deliver not only inspiration and “what’s new” but food for thought as they challenge me to examine my own “best practices “ and incorporate new thinking. 

But here I am on January 30, surrounded by chaos.  An almost stripped Christmas tree stands abandoned in the living room; the dining room filled with crates and containers waiting for all that decor still strewn across the table and floor; stacks of books and magazines remain in my office and covering the fireplace hearth; papers and files are everywhere, and my last THURSDAY’s unfinished to-do list sits before me – where it has kept me occupied three days and promises to hold me captive all day today as well.  WHAT HAPPENED?!!!

Coming off my best year ever for Creative Events, I don’t have the excuse that the down-turned economy allowed me to get into bad habits and work less efficiently over the last couple years, and now I am out of practice…so as I headed towards that awful place of mental whining and complaining, I have had to stop and take stock.

Oh yes, we kicked off a new season for the riverfront Visitor Experience this month, and I’ve been spending some time absorbing the results of the design competition for short and long term plans for the river “above the falls” that were unveiled this week…

Oh yes, we celebrated my brother and sister-in-law’s sixtieth wedding anniversary, as well as their birthdays…acknowledging I now have siblings in their 80s…really?  I still vividly remember them both before they were married!   It’s comforting to see that my pledge to remain an active player in my own industry “until I am 80” has some credence, as they both are active in maintaining their antique store!…

Oh yes, I have devoted some fun time traveling memory lane as I have reconnected with college friends, and some BI friends, and several CMG friends via Linked In, Facebook, and several meet ups for coffee, drinks or lunch, and along the way, I’ve squeezed in some time to keep connected with new faces I met over the summer…

Oh yes, we are in the final countdown now for the Catersource/Event Solutions Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas, and I am absorbed in overcoming a bad design problem in the construction of this hotel  as I struggle, along with the Dock scheduler to figure out how we can get a load in for both conferences attended by several thousand persons, all accomplished in ONE DAY with one or two docks available only from 10Am to 4AM…

Oh yes, I am still spending time telling our success story of CRV 2010, with two new articles due out in March, as well as preparing for a live telling to influential corporate executives -TED-style -at RETHINK which launches simultaneously February 14 in Minneapolis, New York City, Paris and Copenhagen …

And oh yes, the Creative Events opportunities!  We submitted our CRV entries for the MN-STAR Awards  and now await the announcement of finalists.  We have already begun preliminary planning for CRV 2011, space is secured and we’ve begun initial discussions on design as the I AM CRV communications campaign came to a close at the end of 2010 and has been replaced by BE CRV.  This will lead us through to the second all-employee meeting in which we will reflect on how well we did and what’s still to be done to keep this new division of Boston Scientific moving forward; we’ve concentrated on looking for new opportunities and are excited about our positioning for a couple.  We have started the movement to increase our collaborative team of independents to include a few key support vendors and are polishing our collaborative skills together as we tackle some significant RFPs that have come our way.

And oh yes, the personal growth!  FINALLY, I have made the jump from talk of leaving the 20th century behind and personally started the immersion into the 21st century.  The purchase of the MINI began the process; the acquisition of not one but TWO flat screens and DVDs came soon after and this month I have now acquired a smart phone…with conversion to a new computer and probably an I-pad in the plans before the quarter ends.  I am determined to prove that even I can adapt without too much angst – a couple years late, but better than never! (Although I admit, I made the conversion only so I could personally experience the impact of its use within the meeting and event environment; as I was perfectly content with my old flip phone that allowed me to call people and people to call me  with no other complications or distractions!)

So as I review this list, I understand why my life is in chaos and realize it is all due to very good things.  I will try not to complain going forward, as I think about another Award entry due shortly;  meeting with my tax accountant on Feb 10; presenting at RETHINK; a possible trip to Boca for the NSM for CRV; and the approaching departure for Vegas on Feb 25 for Catersource/Event Solutions.  Maybe in March, I will get that Christmas evidence put away and be able to bring out the tulips and irises of Spring…and crack open some of the books still waiting.



January 8, 2011

Experiential Events are all about telling stories that resonate with the audience. So an article in the STRIB caught my attention today. The Headline read: WANTED: SIX WORD STORIES, WITH ART

The legend goes like this:  Ernest Hemingway once boasted that he could write a complete story in just six words.  His finished masterpiece:  “For sale:  baby shoes, never worn.”

This inspired two local friends, an ad copywriter and a graphic designer to launch a year-long personal arts project to write and illustrate 365 six word stories.  They did it.  Some featured in the Strib were amazing. I was inspired…and NEEDED to be.

 I am not a person of few words.  Indeed, it’s quite the opposite- which I am proving once again as I struggle through composing a couple short and meaningful entry binders for the MN STAR AWARDS-despite receiving a wonderful tip from a good friend yesterday on how to reset my brain to make that happen.

II am filled with angst over those entries and with the challenge put to me by Sam Smith to develop a 10 minute story of the CRV Experience to present at the RETHINK Forum.  The thought of four sites, Minneapolis, Paris, New York, and Copenhagen, connected globally is daunting enough.  Then add the task of condensing the story of working with a fabulous collaborative team to deliver 5000 stories for 5000 people on behalf of a well-deserving client to just 10 minutes…and I could easily panic!

So I made a commitment.  No, in 2011, I am not writing one a day; but maybe two a month.  So here is not very good first one:  Interact, Experiment, Learn, Change:  Achieve Success.

We shall see where this takes me.



January 7, 2011

Much as I did NOT want to be in Vegas last month (even though I was with good friends, enjoying good food, and confirming details for a good conference) I am SO disappointed not to be heading there next week!

From an old faithful excellent industry speaker who was “interactive” before interactive was in like Joan Eisenstodt at ACOM 2011to PCMA to the VIRTUAL EDGE SUMMIT – I am missing so much I need to know.

Not only does PCMA have Daniel Pink as one of its general session speakers, but they are upping the ante in terms of learning approaches within our whole industry of meetings and events.  It caught my attention when Jeff Hurt blogged about the “The Early Bird Gets The Learning Lounge Worm” and then proceeded to describe it as “63 speakers, 77 TED-style presentations, 49 round-table discussions, 49 facilitators, 21 emcees, seven theatres, three Supplier showdowns, one hybrid host, two social media expert bars, one livestreaming stage, one global community discussion, one speed networking session, one PCMA Chapter Challenge, and one task force with eight members.” All this in four hours time spread over three days.  His accompanying descriptions piqued my interest; his closing invitation to “Come and feed your brain, feed your body, and feed your soul” filled me with envy.

And then a friend who is attending shared the floor plan for that PCMA Learning Lounge at the MGM Grand – set in the Garden Arena pre-function in front of the general session and confirmed I made a judgment error in not planning to be there. I can see so many potential applications for similar learning experimentation with my own clients and need to see, take part, and evaluate the effectiveness of each planned element! In fact, I shared the same floor plan with a client who immediately challenged me by asking how much of the plan could be incorporated into their meeting next September?

I was already filled with regret, when the Velvet Chainsaw struck again tonight – this time to share more details on speakers and happenings at PCMA – like Chris Brogan who I also want to hear speak at some point– and then proceeded to say that the Virtual Edge Summit was one of the top five conferences for Hurt in 2010 and he expected it to be a showstopper again, as it is filled with great content, speakers and who’s who in the virtual and hybrid world.

And so here I sit….so bummed at the missed opportunities.  After all, I have to learn how to give a 10 minute presentation – I just committed to doing one on the CRV Experience at the RETHINK event on February 14.