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Keith Johnston
Chicago, IL
Meetings and Events Industry Blogger and Publisher
Interests: Meetings and Events, Biking, Movies, Politics, Technology, Books
Recent Activity
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I love a new logo and the story that goes behind it........ Last week, I decided to move PlannerWire to tumblr because I wanted to make it more fun and because I thought that it was a good idea...turns out it was probably the dumbest idea that I have ever had, but sometimes a bad idea can morph into the best thing ever. About three hours after I made the decision to switch to Tumblr, I had an epiphany.... You know, the light bulb that goes on over your head when you have a great idea.. I realized that PlannerWire... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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When you first started your event, conference, tradeshow or meeting, everything was new and exciting and bold and the sky was the limit. Everyone in the neighborhood wanted to come over and see what was going on what was happening and you were top dog. For years you smashed attendance records, there was a waitlist and you could do no wrong. To Read More of this post, Visit PlannerWire.net Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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Most events, conferences, trade shows and meetings could successfully make the transition to becoming a full blown hybrid event if they wanted, the reasons that most don't is a combination of factors that include fear, laziness, lack of understanding and other assorted irrational road blocks. Your event can have a hybrid component, it should have a hybrid component and if you do not have a hybrid component, you are going to fail at some point. Not tomorrow and not next week, but at some point it is going to bring you down. Yin and Yang, that is a Hybrid Event.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
Great song, corny video, from Robbie Robertson and yes, the background vocalist is that dude from the Bo Deans. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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This is actually a true statement according to me. This is something that I have always known in the back of my mind, but have never really moved it to the front burner to look at the "whys" before. Then Joan Eisenstodt had to send a little tweet that got me thinking about CSR: Aren't labor practices part of #CSR considerations? www.meetingsfocusforum.com and read comments & links. #mpi #pcma #pcma11 #assnchat She has been following this up with many more like it lately and it has been burning a whole in the back of my brain until I finally thought... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of the Grateful Dead, have been since my teens. I came across this quote from Jerry Garcia this morning and it kinda sums up the way that we all should approach life.... Read More at PlannerWire Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
There are so many reasons why you should have a conference or event blog.. I have covered those before. But what about the reasons not to have a conference or event blog. When does it make sense to skip it all together and just say screw it? After giving it some reasoned thought, here are the top 5 reasons not to have a conference or event blog: 5 - Your conference or event already has plenty of attendees. We have plenty! Why would we want to attract more? Our attendees and members are so loyal to us that we certainly... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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The truth is nobody, not a one, not a soul... they could not care less... does this mean that you should skip having a Facebook page for your event? Nope.. not at all. What it means is that the average Facebook user visits your conference, event, association or corporate Facebook page one time and one time only and that is to hit the like button. After that, they interact with you on their wall, through their newsfeed. They rarely come back to your actual page. Read More at PlannerWire.net Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
I am sure by now that you have either watched or heard about the Superbowl ad from Groupon, if you have not then have a look: Meeting and Event Planners and Professionals can learn a lot from the angry feedback that Groupon is receiving.... Here is the lesson - DON'T BE AN IDIOT... If you think that you are going to offend, denigrate, hurt, discriminate against, alienate or any other nasty thing against any group for any reason... think twice because this crap is going to bite you in the butt. Continue Reading at PlannerWire.net Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
Gary Moore, guitarist for the legendary Irish band Thin Lizzy was found dead today. Huffington Post Reports: LONDON — Bandmates say rock guitarist Gary Moore, a former member of influential Irish band Thin Lizzy, has died. He was 58. Manager Adam Parsons told the BBC that Moore was found dead Sunday at a hotel on Spain's Costa del Sol, where he was on holiday. The cause of death was not immediately known. Thin Lizzy drummer Brian Downey said Moore's death was a "total shock," and guitarist Scott Gorham said he was "a great player and a great guy." So, in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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OK, I have said (more than once) that it is very important for your conference or event to have a blog... no really, it needs one. Go here to see my post "Your Conference or Event Should have a Blog". Now that we have established this as a fact, there are some things that you can do to make that blog more effective and build on what I have mentioned in my previous post (you gotta read it first). In order to be more effective, the best thing that you can do is learn from real bloggers, the folks that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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The web is an amazing thing for meeting and event professionals, it enables us to do things efficiently and fast, especially when it comes to attendee registration. Your conference website and registration site are your lifeline and website builders like WordPress, Joomla, Weebly and others have made it possible for those on the meeting planning team to do the heavy lifting when it comes to web design. Heck, it is so easy to build quality sites now that my 5 year old has his own blog. This is all well and good but let me lay out a scenario for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
Growing up in the 80s, we were all afraid that the bombs would fall and that would be the end of the world.... duck and cover, BOOM. Back then, we did not subscribe to this slowly picking ourselves apart, one day at a time crap... we had goals back then, they were big goals..... If you were going to do some damage, make it a planet, not a supermarket, train station or simple school bus. So here is the Meeting Planner Sunday Night Music Club, 80s Cold War Edition, it can now be found over at PlannerWire.net Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
Here is the info in its entirety because information like this should be shared and I know that there are meeting and event professionals in the region (Good Luck and Godspeed, get home safely and keep your heads down): Everyone there should take note, even a enthusiastic group of people can turn violent at a moments notice so I would do my best to avoid crowds at all costs so as not to get caught in the middle... do not do the American thing and whip out your camera to get a few pics.... Continue Reading at PlannerWire.net Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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The following is a little tidbit shared a couple of weeks ago by the always awesome @heidithorn... this is a short excerpt from an article that was in the Chicago Tribune.. it took me this long to figure out what I really wanted to say after reading the article because, to be honest, I want to give him a fair shake and before today, I was not doing that, so I let this sit... I want the new CTB Chief to be an overwhelming success. Continue Reading at PlannerWire.net Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
Two of my favorite people, way back in 1990, performing at the Berlin Wall (what a year that was!). Roger Waters & Sinead O'Connor - Mother: Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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I am sitting at my desk working and watching events unfold in Egypt.. I did the same last week when Tunisia went to hell in a hand-basket. I sit here wondering what it means for the meetings and events industry and our attendees and our meetings that have to be cancelled or moved. That is when I had a thought... Why are we having meetings in countries like this in the first place? Why are we supporting regimes that oppress their people, suppress their rights and make their lives miserable. Continue Reading at PlannerWire.net Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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When it comes to using social media for meetings and events, use a little common sense. Think that you are posting too much? Pull back... if you think that you are not posting enough, get out there and get more content. If you think that an article is not right for your demographic, hold off. If you think that an article would be perfect for your demographic, post it right away. Social media is not rocket science, it is not difficult and it is not scary.... it just "is". Your group has the chance to become a social media force... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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You see some pretty strange shit as a meeting and event professional... That is a fact. From walking through McCormick place at 5 am and seeing the garbage guy empty the recycle bin into the regular trash to the unusual reasons attendees decide to undress in the conference center bathroom, the meetings and events industry is a den of weirdness. There are times though when people do things that are shocking and make you smile. Such is the case with a conference that I was privilaged to plan this past weekend in Southern California. After the keynote gave her speech,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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I just finished an event and have a bad case of PTS......... PACK, TAPE, SHIP......... When all of your friends and family tell you how glamorous our meeting and event planning jobs are, just show them this. Pack, Tape, Ship, Pack, Tape, Ship... Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
Two of the greatest things in the world on a Sunday night - Trainspotting and Iggy Pop... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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48 Years of failure. That is what the American embargo with Cuba is, plain and simple. I have never been a fan of the embargo and although it has made the plots of some James Bond and other movies spectacular, it really is the most stupid freaking thing I have ever heard of. If we want Castro gone, flood the island with good ol American currency and American tourists. The asshat will be gone before you know it. Opening up the island would also do wonders for the American meetings and events industry. We would have a whole new playground... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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The Governor of Alabama speaks for Alabamans. That is why you elect representatives and why they “represent” you. The people of Alabama should have thought about this when they walked into the voting booth and voted in their particular brand of “jerk of the week”. If you did not vote in the last election, I am probably more pissed at you than I am at the asshat in the Governors mansion. In case you missed it, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) had the audacity to say that if you are not Christian, you are not his brother of sister... Alabama... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
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As meeting and event planners, we are faced with choices everyday, do this, do that, screw them, screw you, make their day, ruin there day, be nice, be mean..... That is the nature of the business and we all do it. Today, I had a choice and I know that my client did the right thing. An attendee had to cancel her trip to my client's event for a medical reason and the client has a VERY strict cancellation policy.. very strict. Basically, there is no cancellation policy within 2 weeks of the event and I understand that and I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts
So, there was a news report over the weekend that there is snow in 49 of the 50 states and this is pretty rare and yes, it is probably related to global warming, it has to do with high pressure over Siberia that forces cold air south or something like that. I read the explanation somewhere but this is not the time or the place. After the newscaster said that the only state without snow is Florida, people went crazy, yelling that there is no snow in Hawaii. I have seen the comment section of many blogs where people are... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2011 at Event Industry Thoughts