All entries for September 2014

Speed Dating Can Work for Businesses, Too!

There’s something oddly human about sitting across the table from someone. Maybe it’s the line between their brow, and their hunched shoulders that scream a lack of confidence or the attention to detail they spend on their ensemble, their tone and their enthusiasm. In just 7 seconds, you make a first impression, now, in business and love life, I’d say this means you better act quickly and accordingly!

Let’s speak hypothetically here. You’re on date number one following several days of flirty chit-chat over the phone. Fast forward – you’re now sitting across from a spicy, little number – sipping vintage cab and ordering an impressive meal. Half way through the conversation, red flags are flying left and right and you decide to skip dessert and miss the movie – never returning a call or text. A one-date wonder. 

The same goes for business relationships.

Appointment-based events challenge a traditional trade show in the sense that we are the speed-dating of business networking. At our events, you have meaningful meetings with potential clients or providers, and can decide if you are compatible. Where a trade show is an open networking event for shaking hands and making numerous connections quickly, we focus on establishing revenue-generating business relationships based on more than just a five-second "hi" and "bye."

Whether you’re communicating via e-mail, telephone conversations or even a brief hand shake at a trade show – you will not be able to evaluate the value and philosophy of a potential partner without engaging with them during a meeting.  

An appointment-based networking strategy allows you to gauge a company’s values and philosophy quickly and honestly. By meeting face-to-face, across the table from a highly respected representative of a company (only qualified attendees are invited), you are able to judge company-to-company compatibility.

Moving Quickly: The Second Date

You may decide you are in tune with one of the representatives you meet at an appointment-based event, which means you can move forward and re-connect with them during an additional networking activity over the two-days. Perhaps, you’ll choose to discuss a future business relationship during one of the many cocktail receptions, or over the Gala dinner. There are plenty of opportunities to strengthen your connections at the event during casual networking hours.

Similar Articles: 7+ Tips for Appointment-Based Networking
  Why Attend an Appointment-Based Event
  FM Summit Round Up

Forum Events hosts appointment-based events across ten industries in the United States. Our events connect attendees with solution providers based on their own personal needs and upcoming projects. The events attract a niche-market audience and draw a select pool of qualified buyers – all of whom share their company profiles with us. We then introduce these buyers to leading solution providers to make numerous quality connections in just two days. 'Above and beyond,' that’s our philosophy, so we host events at award-winning venues with upgrade after upgrade, suitable for our executive-level attendees.

Why Attend an Appointment-Based Event?

Facts About Our Events:
55% of attending Delegates do not attend
any of the major national trade shows. 
96% of attending Vendors say a Forum is a more 
effective way of meeting potential buyers.
95% of Vendors say attending a Forum saves their
company time sourcing and meeting new buyers. 
40% of Vendors attend 4-7 of our events.
62% of all Delegates say they will do business with
1-3 Vendors they met at our event. 

Our niche networking concept develops a pool of potential clients who are qualified and seeking new services. All attendees are senior-level executives with decision-making abilities and sourcing responsibilities. In a traditional setting, a meeting with these clients could take several months to confirm. That’s months of empty calling that may never result in a face-to-face introduction. At a Forum, you meet with up to 30 end users who have indicated they need your service – 62 percent of whom say they plan to do business with 1-3 Vendors they connected with at a Forum! 95 percent of past Vendors report attending an appointment-based event with us saves their company time sourcing and meeting new buyers (consider this cold calling, emailing, travel and maybe – a meeting with a decision maker).
We are able to boost your numbers by generating a pool of hot leads under one roof,
guaranteeing a return on investment! 

Don’t believe us? Here’s what past attendees have to say:

"I received excellent leads; contacts I wouldn't have been able to make were it not for these quality meetings!" -Elkay

"This event was well worth my time and investment." -Kimberley-Clark

"This is an event that provides vendors the chance to really connect with potential clients without the hassle of a trade show booth!" -Detex

"Productive day and a half!" -ISS

"Very effective process in meeting with interested customers!" - Container Store

“Easily the most beneficial summit/conference I have attended. Very well organized and to the point.” –ABM

And You Know What Makes Successful Business Deals? Satisfied Clients…

Here’s What Past Delegates Are Saying:

"I was pleasantly surprised about the number of new or improved products I learned about that I can use. I can think of three suppliers whose products I will begin using immediately!" -Innovative Senior Living

"I was very surprised: This gives you the opportunity to have one-on-one contact with the vendors which allows you to get a better feel for their product unlike conventions where they are talking to several people at one time. I really like the one-on-one experience." - Bolivar Medical Center

“Summit was a success.  Vendor array across many trades and lines.  Thorough, well-presented workshops. Very well organized, productive, fun event. One-on-one sessions timed perfectly.  Food, awesome. ” 
- Burlington Stores

"As a first time participant in this Forum - I sincerely appreciate the pace, schedule and enthusiasm of the team! The event was a tremendous help to my company."

"It was a wonderfully organized event and very relevant to our business needs…and yes we also enjoyed ourselves. Thanks!"
- West Coast Security Operations Team, The Walt Disney Company

"I have only high reviews for every aspect of the conference.  I made some outstanding contacts and will likely be partnering with one or more of the attending vendors. The event was nothing less than outstanding.  You guys did a great job!!"
- VP Security and Transportation, Valley View Casino and Hotel

7 Tips for Appointment-Based Networking

Appointment-based events challenge a traditional trade show in the sense that your presence matters. While sitting across from a potential client or solution provider, your interactions are vital to build a working relationship that will benefit you both. Event organizers work diligently to make meaningful introductions with the potential to build future business relations – we make the connection, the rest is up to you. Here are just a few tips to make your networking at these events a success:

1. Attend Your Meetings!

You wouldn't sign up for speed dating, and then stand up your date, so attend your business meetings as though your love life depends on it. Standing up a potential client or solution provider is not only rude, but it’s also a bad representation of your company. At an appointment-based event, you are meeting face-to-face with elite business professionals – a quality meeting like this is rare and deserves attention.

2. Ditch the Sales Pitch

Appointment-based events are a ‘no-hard sell’ zone. Networking at these events is primarily about building relationships rather than immediate sales. People do business with people they like – get to know the person you could potentially work with and their company, then pursue a working relationship.

3. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is key when meeting new people, especially in a business setting where you are learning about their company. The more you ask, the clearer vision you will have, and even more importantly – the better conversation you will have! The more you learn, the better advice and solutions you can give and as Joshua Krane, the CEO at Ciplex says, “If someone likes them [your ideas], chances are they will hire you to execute them.”

4. Listen!

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Listening on both sides of the table is effective in identifying needs and finding solutions. As Megan Duckett of Sew What, Inc.? said, “Not every communication is an opportunity to blow your own business trumpet. Sometimes you may find yourself sharing information about another company or service that you have heard of.” Listen, learn and find solutions.

5. Relax & Enjoy the Experience

An appointment-based event is a less stressful environment. You are not overwhelmed by booths and numerous representatives, it is an intimate and luxurious experience designed so that business executives can have productive and quality meetings. These events are also jam-packed with other networking activities, all of which take place in a beautiful venue. Enjoy it – because a month down the line, when you reconnect with your new contacts, you will have a shared experience to build the foundation of a fruitful business relationship.

6. Smile!

The energy at these events is electric – a positive attitude and approachable demeanor is vital! Again, people do business with people they like – so be likable, polite and have meaningful meetings – whether you think there’s a business relationship to be had or not, a positive representation goes a long way!

7. Follow Up If You Say You Will

If you tell someone you’re going to email them, email them. If you say you’ll reach out to them via phone, call them. From beginning to end, leave a lasting impression – make your attendance work for you and follow up with your new business connections promptly. 


FM Summit Round Up

VP of Global Security & Facility Operations
at ESPN attends the Facility Management
Summit in Philadelphia. September, 2014. 

Keynote speaker Rick Abbott, Vice President of Global Security and Facility Operations at ESPN, gave the opening presentation following the 35th anniversary of the sports broadcasting legend. His speech set high expectations for the day, highlighting key moments in sports history and the work behind broadcasting them.Just last week, the Facilities Management Summit Team returned from Philadelphia following another successful event. From the pre-event drink reception on Sunday evening, to the casino night on Monday night, to the ending luncheon – the crowd of attendees was focused, energetic and fun!

The main ballroom at the Summit was buzzing at the first introductions on day one – this atmosphere continued throughout the entire event as guests started to laugh, joke and really get to know one another. By the second day, all attendees were on a first-name basis and prepared to continue their business relationships.

Eight-hours of consecutive meetings can be exhausting, but this crowd didn’t hesitate to enjoy another round of networking at the Gala dinner, which was intimate and delicious! Following this, attendees got extra competitive around casino tables where they battled it out over games of roulette, blackjack and poker.

The next day, everyone was back in the swing of things, continuing their meetings and introductions. During the final luncheon, everyone bid farewell following a successful two-days of meetings.

The Forum Team wants to thank everyone who attended this event and hope to hear many stories of new connections and better business!


10 Ways Social Media Can Improve Change Management

Learning from The Best: Change Management

Change management is a restructuring strategy within an organization to achieve a desired outcome. Change management is people oriented and requires all levels of leadership – from executives to line leaders – to welcome change. When the process of change management is executed skillfully, the entire workforce moves toward a common goal as seen when new CEOs took over global giants like Yahoo!, Coca-Cola and Kodak.

In 2010, the Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) interviewed nearly 300 organizations worldwide about their redesign initiatives taking place over 18 months. After undergoing a reorganization, the companies reported only 60 percent hit their employee performance goals. The companies concluded these results were due to a workplace with an unclear decision-making authority, reduced collaboration or poor alignment between an employee’s interest and their new job. Similarly, a recent Bain & Company study of 57 reorganizations found that less than one third of the changes produced any meaningful improvement in performance.

Undeniably, change is difficult – especially when success requires all hands on deck. Below is a basic process of change management that when applied to an organization, will drive results.

Phase 1: Preparing for the change.

Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company 2006-2014, led
Ford through restructuring during his tenure. 

Leaders should define a strategy and consult with the management team to develop a plan. The outcome should be a central goal that betters the organization. One company that prospered in this phase is Ford Motor Company who, under Alan Mulally’s control (Mulally retired from his position at Ford on July 1, 2014 following an 8 year tenure), developed a plan that not only mapped progress, but also listed the key decisions at each stage of the plan and the infrastructure needed to execute solutions effectively.

Phase 2: Managing change.

Implementing the plan is one of the most difficult phases – it requires stern inflexibility along with constant analysis, attention to detail and a system for identifying red flags that could potentially derail the organization. Again, Ford took to reorganization without fail. Ford moved through the entire company, transforming its structure from regional business units to a widespread global enterprise. This new system made the entire company more fluid, allowing leaders to make crucial decisions more effectively.

Ford did not head into change blindly though. As CEO, Mulally was hands on throughout the entire change process. He met weekly with his team to track progress and analyze the execution of decisions. By continuously meeting and analyzing the decision process, Ford was able to offset unnecessary brands, reduce spending and consolidate areas of the business.

Phase 3: Reinforcing change.

The final phase of change management requires analysis, instrumental diagnostics and celebration. Leaders, along with their teams, should collect and analyze feedback – consider employee surveys, brainstorming sessions, etc. This form of collective data allows an organization to diagnose gaps and implement corrective actions. Finally, given the effort and involvement of every leader within the company, there should be a celebration of change – whether it be a change in productivity, money or culture. A company that has successfully reorganized, like Ford, will still face obstacles, but using a well-planned, implemented and analyzed structure, it will transform into a more resilient powerhouse which will thrive in its industry.


Healthcare Facilities Management Forum; Are You Coming?


OCTOBER 27-28, 2014

What to Expect:

  • One-on-one meetings with solution providers based on your upcoming projects and facility plans.
  • Relaxed, all-inclusive environment with no 'hard sell' approach. 
  • Networking with both solution providers and other professionals in your field.


Not just meetings:

  • Attend seminars by industry experts.
  • Attend networking events including luncheons, coffee breaks and networking breakfasts.
  •  Your registration includes attendance at a Gala dinner and fun Casino night along with intimate cocktail receptions.


What does it cost to attend?:

Nothing. We cover:

  • Itinerary of one-on-one meetings
  • Attendance at seminars and networking events.
  • All meals including a Gala dinner.
  • Overnight accommodation at the Marriott O'Hare.

Register Here

October 27-28, 2014
Chicago, IL 

FM Philadelphia Testimonials

Philadelphia, 2014

Delegate Testimonials 


“Enjoyed the one-on-one conversations with the vendors.  Almost like interviewing a new employee. I met some extremely knowledgeable people during the couple days.” 
- SEI Investments

“Summit was a success.  Vendor array across many trades and lines.  Thorough, well-presented workshops. Very well organized, productive, fun event. One-on-one sessions timed perfectly.  Food, awesome. ” 
- Burlington Stores

“This summit was the best that I have attended. The attention to details specified by the delegates was spot on and perfect!”
- Victoria Mehmel, Hamilton-Madison House, Inc.


Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
November 17-18, 2014
Register here 

Join us for the Facilities Management Summit at the award-winning Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota - all at no cost to you! You'll meet one-on-one with solution providers based on your facility's own needs and upcoming projects. The concentrated two-day event also includes attendance at industry seminars, networking events and a full schedule of appointments. 


We cover your hotel accommodation at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, all of your meals, your full itinerary of meetings, attendance at seminars led by industry experts, all meals & attendance at drink receptions - including a gala dinner and casino night.


Manager's Guide: Coping with Loss in the Workplace

Today marks the 13th anniversary of 9/11/2001, a day marked by terror and grief. Coping with a loss in the workplace often impacts other employees and during this hard time, managers need to take the right steps to help their coworkers recover. 

Here are just a few short tips on how to maintain order following a loss: 

  1. Stay in charge. Researchers at Duke University recommend managers acknowledge a loss in the workplace and take charge of representing the organization’s compassion and sympathy. As a manager, it is not necessary to be outspoken or say anything profound, instead, just offering assistance, and a token of your condolences can make a difference. Also, consider being more present in the grieving employee’s lives during this time – making sure that they remain levelheaded while recovering.
  2. Share information as soon as you know. Supplying coworkers with knowledge after a loss of a team player is important. If you can help obtain information, you should. Also, be understanding of staff member’s time needs to attend the funeral.
  3. Ask for support from higher management. Consider extending deadlines for employees impacted by the loss. You may have to consult higher management to issue extensions but keep an open line of communication throughout your company until the environment returns to normal.
  4. Be open. Communication must be at an all time high during times of grieving. Giving people time to mourn requires a mutual understanding and teamwork is required to prevent the sad loss from negatively impacting business.
  5. Be aware of the healing value of work. While many assume grieving requires rest and quiet time alone, some people bury themselves in work to overcome losses. Don’t try to limit a person’s work unless they indicate they are overwhelmed and need a break.
  6. Be aware productivity may change. Emotions run high after a loss and often impact the rate of work or level of accuracy. You may want to communicate with a grieving employee to make sure they are overcoming their loss and able to work as normal. Do not be caught off guard if they ask for a lighter workload or time off.

Coping with a loss in the workplace is a delicate matter. As a manager, communication is key to boosting morale and lending your condolences. Don’t be afraid to take charge of your organization in offering condolences and be aware of the changes in workloads that may occur.


Rants & Raves: Are You Running on Empty?

By Kathleen Peterson of Powerhouse Consulting
Guest Speaker at the Contact Center Summit 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota in Florida. 

"Running on, running into the sun ... but I'm running behind" Jackson Browne

If your auto is running on empty, the gasoline gauge has passed that red line used to show that you're almost out of gas. The term "running on empty" is used when you have drawn on all your resources and are barely struggling through, or when you have used all your energy and are exhausted.

We all know that when our gas gauge is heading towards E, we had best get to the station to refuel or we will be stranded ... unable to carry on. Despite this clear indicator there are times when we do run out of gas and face the consequences of the distraction that led to it! Too bad that as humans we have no such gauge to indicate we are running on empty.

There are many references to this phrase, including Jackson Browne's hit song "Running on Empty" where he croons:

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I'm running behind

Clearly this song was not written about the tank of gas in our car. It speaks to the demands we all place on ourselves; we wind up simply running blind and running behind. We are more doing than being; we are more busy than productive. There is a kind of bravado existing in the workplace - the bravado of "doing" - donning the "busy" badge as if is a testimonial to our own importance or commitment. I am here to say that I think it is time to check your life's fuel gauge!

As professionals we are challenged to maintain a full tank - that level of energy sufficient to tackle all the activities associated with our collective "deliverables." Lately I have seen far too many folks seeming beaten down, exhaling as if they simply have nothing left. There is no fight and no energy left for innovation. What remains is just unadulterated aggravation. If you see yourself in this scenario it is time to stand up, shake off the blues, and refuel!!

In their book, The Power of Full Engagement, Loehr and Schwartz write, "We're wired up but we're melting down." They write about how we "fuel up with coffee and cool down with alcohol ... we become short tempered and easily distracted." So are we more productive?
As a leader you might be tempted to measure an individual by how many extra "hours" they put in. If you come in early and leave late, are you setting an example? Let's rethink these productivity indicators. The best leaders are balanced; they are able to recognize the value of rest and renewal and set that example. Of course, when we work on a special project or major initiative there will be times of great demand. We will work the extra time required to fulfill the objectives. However, if your new norm is "overwork," you are on a very slippery slope.

We have equipped ourselves with devices whose initial offer was to keep us in touch, up to date, and more productive. In reality, we spend all kinds of valuable fuel just trying to locate them! A friend recently had a near breakdown when she couldn't find her phone. In fact, she refused to leave the premise until it was located. As it turns out, the phone was found and a great relief washed over my friend as she brought herself up to snuff on all the nothingness that had occurred in the relatively short time the device was "missing." She even experienced resentment toward her own attachment and beat herself up for the time and effort involved in the search. What a waste of time and energy! Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.

What kind of energy do you really have to invest in your profession and in yourself? If you are involved in your company's Customer Experience effort, running on empty is a hazardous condition. And this condition puts the objective at risk. Leaders that are out of gas often don't even know it. Unlike our vehicles that simply come to a complete stop when out of fuel, our bodies and minds do not! We will continue to spend fuel we don't have until we blow out some part of us that might just stop us in our tracks!

Here are a few tips to monitor "refueling" and the management of your most precious resource ... your energy! Think about clever ways to build breaks into your day.
(1) Take breaks at least every 90 minutes. According to Loehr and Schwartz, this is one spectacular way to re-energize. You might take a brief walk, have a complete workout, or simply go to lunch. Renewal is the objective of intermissions every 90 minutes.

(2) Take your vacation and make it restful. We have all embarked on vacations that are more work than work. In some cases, these adventures are also designed to demonstrate to others how "cool" or "crazy" you are. If your vacation plans will not yield a renewed you, RETHINK the plans!

(3)  Eat right (and consistently). Avoid the trap of crap foods we draw from when we are running. Grab an apple, eat some fresh summer veggies. Reducing junk by any measure and replacing it with energizing foods is a deliberate step! And that is the true key ... being deliberate

I could go on, but let's leave it at this. Take the time to inventory your fuel and your fuel sources to assure that you are not running on empty. To be a great leader and fulfill your organization's Customer Experience objectives, you must have the energy it takes to facilitate organizational energy and action. For now, just take care of yourself, maintain your good nature, and gain peace of mind.

Kathleen Peterson will host a seminar on Backstage at the Customer Experience at the upcoming Contact Center Summit at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota on November 17-18, 2014. Kathleen is the Founder and Chief Vision Officer of PowerHouse Consulting.




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