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Hope to see you at the PCMA Education Conference. June 1, 2011

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This video is to promote the keynote presentation by Roger Rickard, Chief Advocate for Revent at the Professional Conference Management Association (PCMA) Education Conference, June 20 – 23, 2011 in Baltimore, MD. Click here to learn more about this event. http://www.pcma.org/Education/MeetingsEvents/PCMA-Education-Conference.htm 



This is our time video. April 7, 2011

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This is Our Time video prepared for the New York Meetings Industry Exchange (NYMix) sponsored by the Greater New York Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI).

Roger is presenting a program entitled, Meetings move Main Street. Click on this link to learn more about this event. http://wp.me/pBLDq-2j

Airline Quality Rating study – complaints up 28% since 2010 April 4, 2011

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The friendly skies?  Not according to the results of the recently released Airline Quality Rating (AQR) study, compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Airline performance complaints went up a whopping 28% in 2010, according to the study. Customers are not satisfied, even though the airlines lost fewer bags, bumped fewer passengers and flew more flights on time. Learn more from this story in USA Today. http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/post/2011/04/aqr-rating/154335/1

What are your recent airline travel experiences? What can airlines do to improve service? Share your thoughts on the state of the US airline industry.

Bravo for Baseball! May 17, 2010

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In news report from the Phoenix Business Journal last week, Mayor League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig brushed off calls to move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Phoenix because of Arizona’s new immigration law.

Coalitions of major Arizona Business Groups have written the Commissioner asking to keep the 2011 All Star game in Phoenix. “We understand the MLB is facing pressure to reconsider Phoenix as the site of next year’s All-Star Game; however, a relocation decision will equate to lost jobs for innocent citizens, including our Hispanic community,” the letter states. “Arizona has a proven track record in executing safe, enjoyable and successful major events.”

Read more: Selig has no plans to move All-Star Game from Phoenix – Phoenix Business Journal:

The Los Angeles City Council voted yesterday to boycott Arizona businesses.  The National Basketball Association Western Conference Playoff Finals pits the Los Angeles Lakers against the Phoenix Suns.  Do you think the Lakers will boycott the playoff games being played in Arizona?  Thus forfeiting the very games they worked all year to play in.  I think not. 

An economic boycott affects both those boycotting as well as the party they boycotted.  The 50 plus years of United States government economic boycotts to Cuba have not worked to topple the Castro regime.  The United Nations and United States government sanctions against Iraq didn’t change the political climate in that country. 

Oh, the boycotts will hurt.  They will hurt workers and small businesses. They will hurt 200,000 plus people who work directly in the hospitality industry. They will not hurt the state legislature. I believe we should have a serious debate in this country regarding immigration reform  –  maybe, just maybe, Arizona has stirred the debate pot enough to let it boil onto the national legislative radar.  Let’s all hope so.

My 2 cents on the AZ meeting boycott April 28, 2010

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Whether one perceives the merits of Arizona SB 1070 as good or bad, one should not prompt a cause of action against the hospitality industry. I am not taking a position on the merits of the law – my only position is that again our industry is chosen as the whipping boy for all political recourse. The travel industry didn’t take a position one way or another, for or against this legislation; but again the attacks begin with an industry that has historically embraced the involvement of foreigners.  

Congressman Raul Grijalva’s, D – AZ (AZ – 7th District), is simply out of bounds in his call for a boycott, it can only add fuel to the economic fire of an industry already in economic chaos. The tourism and hospitality industry provides great opportunities both in economic and job growth.  Check out the Arizona 7th Congressional District map http://bit.ly/bhw3oL  and you will see that his call for a boycott of meetings and conventions will not have an impact on the people of his district. This district encompasses the southwest region of Arizona, has one of the largest geographic areas for US Air Force fighter jet training and is the home of seven Native American sovereign nations. To be clear, this district is not the hot bed of meeting and convention activity.

One only needs to remember the attacks on meetings and conventions by federal representatives last year to realize that we have to be vigilant in our position that meetings mean business.  We have a voice and we need to begin speaking up to protect ourselves. This boycott has ramifications across the business travel industry.

State Dinner or Government Hypocrisy? November 30, 2009

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The Obama Administration says “do as I say, not as I do.” For an example, let’s look at the recent State Dinner at the White House. A State Dinner is really an elegant special event. Black tie and ball gowns, pomp and circumstance, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, excellent food and wine, and fabulous entertainment in an elegant White House setting.

You may be asking yourself what is wrong with an elegant State Dinner – and I agree that under normal circumstances there is nothing wrong with using this type of special event to advance our countries objectives. I really encourage the use of special events and strategic meetings to move forward one’s cause. The White House in fact said the purpose of the dinner was to create a greater strategic alliance with India and define the partnership for the 21st Century. These are commendable objectives with which I have no squabble. It’s not the objectives of the event or the event itself that I have issue with, it is the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration to regulate to certain US businesses, and recommend to others, what they can and can not do to advance their strategic objectives. The government has limited US businesses from conducting normal business practices by using one of the great strategic tools available; either a special event or meeting, to advance their tactical relationships with their employees and customers. Hypocrisy is when you do as I say, not as I do.

Why Face-to-Face Meetings Matter October 6, 2009

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Spending time away from home is not fun. I love where I live in Northern California and the life I have here. In truth, travel wears on me; the endless hours in the air, waiting in airports, the rental cars, sleeping in hotels, enough is enough. So why spend time away? Because meeting people face to face is so incredibly important. Whether it is meeting with a potential client, presenting ideas to a group of guests at a meeting or just spending time talking with people – the face to face interaction is the driving force in building lasting relationships and creates a bond that enables far greater communication in the future. Once we’ve spent time together face-to-face, both parties feel both a deeper connection and a stronger obligation to one another.

Here is an excerpt taken directly from a recent (June 2009) research study on Managing Across Distance in Today’s Economic Climate: The value of Face-to-Face Communication. Kudos to British Airways for sponsoring this research.

As the economic picture darkened during the recent downturn, companies worldwide tightened travel budgets, with many executives turning to the telephone, the web, and video conferencing to conduct business. However, according to a survey of Harvard Business Review subscribers, travel to meet in person with key customers, partners, and employees remains essential for selling new business as well as building long-term relationships. 79% said that in-person meetings are the most effective way to meet new clients to sell business. Furthermore, 89% agreed that face-to-face meetings are essential for “sealing the deal.”

Virtually all survey participants (95%) said that face-to-face meetings are a key factor in successfully building and maintaining long-term relationships, reflecting what many executives call the ‘high impact” of in-person communication.

“Face-to-face communication contact is the broadest bandwidth communication you can have in professional life.” Click here for the executive summary.

Just think if we didn’t have face to face business meetings – we wouldn’t need; airplanes, trains, hotels, rental cars, and many other services. Restaurants would close; catering companies would be limited to weddings, bar mitzvahs, and class reunions. Unemployment would skyrocket. More people are currently employed in services sector than any other employment sector baring government.

I’m in the face-to-face business – I’m in the meetings business. In today’s world the face-to-face business is hurting in a big way. In the above mentioned research, the average corporate travel budget has been cut 17%. Cut backs and cancelations are everywhere. This has to stop. We need to get back to the business of business. Get back on a plane, train or automobile and start meeting face-to-face again.

Risky Stories August 31, 2009

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I am collecting information for a new project about risk management or crisis situations at your meetings, incentives, conference or events. Here is a brief overview:

Have you ever had a risk issue at one of your meetings, incentives or events? Risk is defined as the effect, positive or negative, of an incident. Have you ever thought about what if… this or that happens? Really, what keeps you awake at night?

Here is where you come in. If you have a story you can share (see the fine print below) of a risky condition or had to come face to face with a crisis or emergency while attending or managing a meeting, incentive or event – I would like to hear from you. I want to now what happened as well as how it was handled. Here are some examples of the kind of situations I am looking for:

  • Have you ever had any medical risk or emergencies?  i.e. Food poisoning, disease, death, or accidents, etc.
  • Have you ever had an environmental risk or emergency?  i.e. tornado, hurricane, earthquake, extreme heat or cold, etc.
  • Have you ever had any crime or safety risks or emergencies? i.e. riots, protests, terrorism, fire, etc.
  • Have you ever had any security risks or emergencies? i.e. personal or property protection, non-invited guests, cyber theft, etc.
  • Here are a few more examples; communications failure, spying, media scrutiny or public opinion.

 Your experiences are priceless and may help many others deal with rick and crisis management.

Fine print: I have the right to eliminate individual names, destinations, and organizations to protect other parties. There is no guarantee of inclusion. By sending the story, you acknowledge that you have the right to share it and you’re giving me permission to use it.


DEADLINE: Midnight, September 11, 2009.  Don’t miss it!

Defining REvent August 21, 2009

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Some may be wondering what is REvent.  Well, let me begin by defining the word REvent.

REvent is a recurring explosive awakening that releases creative energy!  You say what?  OK, but what does this mean to you and me.  Well, we are about creating and releasing a new energy for business in the meetings, events and hospitality industry. Our goal and objective is to work with individuals and organizations on how to REthink, REtool and REinvent – in other words how to cope with change, create change and deal with a changing marketplace.  If you want to increase your influence as a leader in an ever-changing culture, then you will have to REthink the tools and perspectives you use today.

Watch this blog for more information to follow. Take a look at the site, REvent LLC

Hello world! August 14, 2009

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Welcome to R World a blog about the activities of REvent  and Roger Rickard.

Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to something new, that name suddenly pops up everywhere you go?  Call it coincidence, call it REcognition, call it REvent.  REvent is about change agents and being responsible in how we do it.  We are REthinking, REtooling and REinventing strategic business practices for the meetings, incentive and event industries.

I am the Chief Business Solicitor of REvent, LLC and a recognized leader of the hospitality industry. I’m and educator, writer, trainer and speaker of issues that affect the meetings, incentive, convention and event industries.

The purpose of the blog is to educate you on the issues that affect these industries and to provide a location for dialoge. Watch for additional information.  It’s good to be blogging.