Monday, April 30, 2012

Powering Sustainability through Influence and Mentorship

Recently I attended the 2012 GMIC Sustainable Meetings Conference in Montreal, Canada. As a GMIC Member, I look forward to the annual conference as a way to "reconnect, realign and reinvigorate". The energy at the annual conference is palpable, as like minded individuals gather to share information and their vision for the future of the sustainable meetings industry.

One of those individuals is Richard Aaron, President of BizBash Media (and recently appointed Vice Chair of the GMIC Sustainable Meetings Foundation). Richard brings with him a wealth of experience in the event industry and is acknowledged as "one of the foremost experts in pioneering the modern event industry". As the President of BizBash Media, Richard Aaron manages over 30 tradeshows, conferences and award shows annually in 9 markets for the organization.

Richard Aaron is an educator, lecturer and sought after speaker and I was fortunate to spend some one on one time with him during the conference.

In this interview, Richard provides valuable insight about using influence to further the message of sustainable meetings and events, and the importance of mentorship.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Control versus Influence - A Love Story

Did you miss Shawna McKinley and my session at the 2012 GMIC Sustainable Meeting Conference? Our presentation introduced Get Your Green On, a game that was created for Event Camp Vancouver and illustrated the power of influence that the industry has to change behaviour and promote sustainability. See the video where Sheldon and Cool first meet - after a rough start....they decided to work together.

Would you like the link to the Get Your Green On Report? You can find the link here

Friday, April 20, 2012

There is an "Elliephant" in the room!

Join Shawna McKinley and myself as we present the session, "Control versus Influence" at the 2012 GMIC Sustainable Meetings Conference Monday, April 23rd at 1:45

GMIC Sustainable Meeting Conference by Judylaine on GoAnimate

Make a video easily. Powered by GoAnimate Video Maker.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"CAUTION" Learning Curves Ahead

When I was little and I would screw up (which was often), my mother would say to me, “Now Judy….what did we (meaning me) learn from this?”. I would scrunch up my face and wrinkle my nose (all indicators that I had my “thinking cap” on) and try to figure out the appropriate response. I sometimes came up with a good answer, but I also developed a deep wrinkle at the bridge of my nose.

I replayed this many, many times as I was growing up. Yup....I tended to screw up often.

Recently, I realized something. Why don’t we ever ask ourselves that question when we succeed at something? Of course, we learn a lot from failure, but we learn from success as well.

Last year, I was lucky enough to work on a project with Shawna McKinley, Director of Sustainability, MeetGreen (Shawna also has a great personal blog located here) and the team from QuickMobile. We collaborated to create an interactive mobile "Sustainability" game called Get Your Green On that was embedded into the Event Camp Vancouver mobile event application. 

It was a tremendously rewarding project and I walked away with a sense of accomplishment unlike anything I have experienced before.

I thought I would share some lessons learned along with some mushy “hug a puppy”, “share your feelings” stuff…..

  1. It is more difficult than it looks: Working on a game requires a unique thought pattern and it took me a while to get my “game brain” in gear.  I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough experience gaming to be able to contribute to the project. We had to think about the game from the perspective of the player and imagine what they might be thinking as they tackled each challenge. You find yourself working backwards from the end result to troubleshoot and identify any potential problems. Definitely a learning curve for me, but one that I enjoyed immensely. 
  1. Trust is defined as “Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing; or something committed into the care of another.” Although I knew and highly respected everyone on our team of collaborators, we had never worked together on a project. We were separated geographically, which meant that much of our contact was done online, via telephone and email. We needed to have trust in one another to get the job done. We all had to be invested and committed to the end result. I don’t like to throw words like “serendipity” around, but that is what it felt like. We were brought together by Tahira Endean (Event Camp Vancouver was Tahira's brainchild) and Shawna, James and I just clicked! I had complete faith in my fellow collaborators.

  1. Share: In a project like this, you have to be willing and able to share your ideas and sometimes it can be difficult to fully articulate what you are thinking. James Hu from QuickMobile was like Yoda…..he intuitively knew what we were trying to express and he would respond back with solutions.

  1. Everyone crosses the finish line together: There is a commercial on television showing a race where a child stumbles and the others stop, come back, help the child up and then they all cross the finish line together. That is how it felt working on this project. We were determined to cross the finish line together. When we felt that there was a loss in momentum, we stopped, came back, identified the bottleneck and then moved forward. Good/bad, success/failure….we were all in it together.

  1. Yes we can! I am incredibly proud of what we accomplished with “Get Your Green On”. I will look back on this project fondly, with the knowledge that I contributed to a project with such a positive outcome and was able to create lasting friendships.

If you are interested in downloading a copy of the complete “Get Your Green On” Report – it is available for download here.