The sounds of slot machine bells are still ringing in our ears after an amazing Elite Meetings Alliance (EMA) in Atlantic City, New Jersey! Luckily, everyone came out a winner after Cvent’s three-day event, which brought together qualified corporate and association event professionals with leaders in the luxury hotel and hospitality industry.
Caesars Entertainment hosted the more than 75 attendees at Harrah’s, which offers world-class amenities in a beautiful marina district setting. As we reflect on all the fun, new friends, and business successes, here are four lessons to remember.
1. GDPR is still a big deal globally.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in May, but in this digital age, we’ll continue talking about it for a long time. Any business — regardless of location — that collects Europeans’ data has to pay attention. As Cvent’s Chris McAndrews, vice president of Hospitality Cloud marketing, explained at the EMA’s opening session, we know it’s a big deal and have worked extensively with our planner and hotelier customers to make sure they have what they need to comply (while staying compliant ourselves!). Learn more about GDPR and how Cvent can help.
2. Everyone can benefit from a little inspiration.
Especially in the meetings and events industry, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and forget to look at the big picture. The lineup of speakers at the latest EMA took care of that by offering great ideas and thought-provoking discussions on a variety of topics. MPI’s Jessie States took a hard look at the future of meetings and what the influx of technology means for the planner profession. Industry veteran and author Gregg Herning talked about focusing on event experiences, which will in turn drive return on investment. And finally, Bonnie St. John — an accomplished Paralympic skiier, Fortune 500 business consultant, Rhodes Scholar, and author — shared her practical strategies to combat stress, increase resilience, and succeed.
3. There’s no substitute for face-to-face interactions.
Yes, digital marketing is important. Yes, online sourcing platforms are integral for both hotels and planners. But ultimately, the biggest advantage of technology is that it facilitates in-person connections. At the EMA, those connections are made not only at the social events, but also during nearly eight hours of one-on-one appointments. During that time, attendees get the incomparable opportunity to build and cultivate long-term business relationships.
4. Pool parties aren’t just for kids.
Harrah’s gave us indisputable proof of this fact at our planner reception, which kicked us off on the first night of the EMA. The party was held at The Pool, a year-round tropical entertainment paradise for unforgettable group events. The delicious spreads of food and free-flowing drinks made it even better, allowing everyone to break the ice, talk shop, and relax.
Sad you missed out?
Lucky for you, Cvent’s Elite Meeting Alliances happen three times a year! Event professionals can still register for the last one of 2018, at the Kimpton Epic Miami on Nov. 4-7. While that event is sold out for hoteliers, stay tuned to hear about the 2019 lineup — we’ll be announcing dates and locations soon!