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Newsletter September 2010
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Meetings mean business


The recent Meeting Professionals International (MPI) World Congress, gathering almost 3.000 professionals in Vancouver confirmed two important facts: meetings are back and Meetings mean business.

Meetings and Events are more than just nice relationships with customers. The new business cycle developed by our Industry positioned the Meeting as a critical tool to increase sales, improve customer’s relationships, develop brand integrity, bring innovation, motivate and develop the main asset of any company: PEOPLE.

A meeting means Business and is strategically used to leverage Company’s performance. It is developed to bring concrete execution of the organization’s objectives, measurement of its impact, post-meeting process, participants’ feedback and reinforcement of key messages.

Developing content, connecting and engaging people are the main roles of the Meeting and Events Industry.

More than ever, face-to-face meetings transform knowledge into behavioral changes.

Georges Yana
CEO & Partner
Swantegy


Join the Blue Ocean

In which ocean do we want to swim? Evoke a lack of visibility, tight budgets, ever tougher decisions to take: they are all symptoms of a red ocean. In this ocean, the market gets smaller, the competition gets harder and negotiation leads to a drop in prices. For W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, the authors of the Blue Ocean Strategy, sharks and piranhas are struggling to snatch clients from one another, in a market in which clients become a rare species. This leads the ocean to turn red, competitive and frenetic.

On the other side of this negative vision, we discover the strategy of the blue ocean: it aims to reposition the company in its environment. This positioning is based on the strengths of the company, potential customer demand and it questions all prerogatives that prevent us from thinking out of the box. It chooses the side of creativity and innovation and allows the company to reinvent itself and to open new areas of development, where energy can be used to satisfy the client instead of using it to fight the competition or the prices. A really exciting read!

The official site of the Blue Ocean Strategy.

Two well-documented summaries of the strategy.

The blue ocean blog

Ideas worth spreading


TED (Technology Entertainment Design) was founded in 1984 and is a propagator of ideas that welcomes top-class personalities during yearly conferences, who give speeches on their own domain of expertise. There is just one to-do: incite people to think!

All TED conference speakers are media figures such as Al Gore, Bono or Bill Clinton or top specialists. Their speeches are an inexhaustible source of inspiration and reflection. Videos of the best conferences, which last 20 minutes, can be viewed on the TED website. They are free of charge and subtitled in eight languages.
For example, something new about electric cars ? Click here.


www.ted.com


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What do companies such as Cisco, SAP, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Wells Fargo, Microsoft and so many other Fortune 500 companies have in common? They all strategically make use of Meetings & Events!

An example: last May, SAP invited almost 50.000 clients and staff to SapphireNow, their yearly event. Almost 5.500 guests were in Frankfurt (with Richard Branson among others), and over 10.000 in Orlando (with Al Gore). And almost 35.000 guests followed the conference and the 28 sessions in streaming on the Net! The first results: delighted clients who have found answers to their problems and sales, marketing and communication departments who are now familiar with the company’s strategy and who all work together. Who can do better? Thankfully, you don’t need this kind of event nor such a large budget to benefit from the impact of meetings.

A whole range of possibilities

Meetings clearly and directly influence the performance of companies and allow all kinds of organisations to meet their strategic objectives. They are also a catalyser for training, motivation and professional development. There is nothing more efficient than the face-to-face to transform content into behaviour. Companies seem to be rediscovering the fact that their intrinsic value is indeed the sum of all motivated talents within their company and meetings can significantly help to retain these talents.

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Everybody is talking about the book Blue Ocean. We have asked Bruce MacMillan, President and CEO of MPI, to share his experience on how he has applied the principles of Blue Ocean Strategy to transform his organisation.

Swantegy: Which ideas have you taken from reading Blue Ocean Strategy?

Bruce:
The most important takeaway for me is to constantly anticipate where the open space is forming OUTSIDE your organization. Every time business or competitive conditions change your organization's place in the business landscape changes as well. Determine where that space is going to crystallize and then design your value-innovation accordingly. It is a constant process that is even more crucial with the incredible pace and depth of change we see right now. With all the disruption, incredible open spaces are being created. (…)

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Eric Rozenberg appointed Chairman of MPI. This is the first time that this position has gone to a non North-American

Swantegy, a Belgian SME specializing in improving the performance of companies, is pleased to announce the appointment of its President Eric Rozenberg, as Chairman of MPI, the world’s largest organization of meeting and conference professionals: its has more than 23.000 members in 80 countries and a buyingpower of 16,9 billions dollars.

This is the first time that the powerful organization has entrusted this prestigious position to a non-American. Eric Rozenberg, aged 43, took up his position on 1st July 2010 for a one-year period. In accordance with the procedure of Meeting Professionals International, he has been Chairman Elect since last summer: during that period, he was able to accompany the current Chairwoman and thus prepare to take up his future responsibilities.

"This is the result of a lot of hard work, and a healthy dose of good luck, smiles Eric Rozenberg. In the last few years, I was very active in the European organization of MPI, whose membership rose from 1100 to 2500.

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