FastFive - January 2019

Donald J. Schmid, MBA, CTSM Gold, CME/H
Global Congress Lead

1) What is the most inventive meeting you have been a part of?
Going back in my career there are numerous stand outs for inventive meetings. One that stands out was with GE. The attendees were Marcom Managers and we all congregated in Paris for strategic planning and bonding.

After the first day of meetings, the second day consisted of breaking out into teams for a city wide "scavenger hunt". We were all given a number of clues for which we had to find the answers. The team with the most answers won (a nebulous distinction). This scavenger hunt had each team canvasing throughout the city for the answers. For example, one question was "What painting sits directly across the Mona Lisa?" To get the answer, we had to go to the Louvre and find the Mona Lisa and see what painting was across from her. The hunts quickly created bonding, got us out of typical meetings, and had us exploring the city. Afterward, we all gathered for awards and a nice reception.

2) Where is your favorite location for a meeting?
I know a lot of major cities by airports, convention centers, hotels, and restaurants. Typically we don't have a chance to enjoy the areas that we are in and the nuances that the cities offer. From a convention facility standpoint, my favorite city is Las Vegas because of convenience and the skilled labor standpoint. However, my favorite location has to be Vancouver. The convention center is beautiful, the city is vibrant and the surrounding area has great natural beauty for activities (hiking and biking).

3) What is your proudest career achievement to date??
The fact that I was an innovator in the event marketing world and worked my way up the ladder to become a Global Director at one of the world's most respected corporations by the age of 40. I conceptualized and grew the Chrysler Corporation (Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge) event marketing department to incorporate an internal staff of 20. We produced 1,200 global events annually with a $120 million annual budget. More importantly, during the automotive downturn, when it all came "crashing down", I was able to reinvent myself and direct my experience and skills to the health care world.

4) What strategies do you use for dealing with event stress?
I have always had a lake house in Northern Michigan where I have "retreated" to after stressful programs. I now live there full time and am able to work remote. I play sports (racquet sports, golf, ski, hike, boat and swim) which redirects my energy.

5) How do you keep up with trends in the industry and what are the trends to watch for in 2019 and 2020?
I believe in always "sharpening the saw", and beyond earning my MBA in Marketing, I earned my certifications for Certified Trade Show Manager (CTSM), Certified Manager of Exhibits/Healthcare (CME/H), and Professional Certified Marketer (PCM), as well as, graduating from the Leadership Detroit program. I try to attend various industry annual programs such as Global Pharmaceutical Medical Meetings, Exhibitor Live, PCMA, and the Event Marketing Summit where I participate in seminars (and have given seminars). I also think it is important to attend events outside of the event industry such as the CES, EG, and C2 conferences. When I cannot attend in person, I stream seminars. I also read various event publications, magazines, and books.

I personally believe that over the next few years we will see the tradeshow industry undergo major changes with the advent of personalization that is brought on by relevant data capture via new technologies such as beacon, low energy Bluetooth, RFID, and facial recognition. The typical tradeshow that we know today will transform. We are already seeing this with Festival type atmospheres replacing some traditional tradeshows.

Bonus Question:

Which social media platform is most effective for you and why?

I think that today's top social media will be tomorrow's "triviality". A few years ago, one would not consider Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter as important but now are at the top of the list. Facebook used to be the gold standard for social media, but now others have taken over and Facebook has somewhat declined. I still see LinkedIn as dominate for business, but others are emerging. Social media is an ever changing landscape, and one has to keep up with it and sort out what is relevant in today's world for your target audience.