Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Our Interns Never Give Up

As we head into fall, we're reminded of one of just one of the things that makes summer so great here at The Hub: our interns.
In fact, our interns make working here great year-round, because we ensure that there's space on our team for interns year-round. Why? Well, because of interns like Rachael Pignotti, who joined us at the beginning of the summer and will be with us part-time during the fall.
Meet Rachel, one of our talented interns.

Rachael's a student at Temple University, from which she'll graduate in December. Her major, International Business and Marketing, put her on our radar, but it was her interest in sustainability in business that made us perfect matches for each other. She's an officer in a student professional organization at Temple called Students for Responsible Business, and she happens to manage green event planning for the group.
"The first thing that attracted me to The Hub is that it's LEED certified," she says, referring to our silver designation from the U.S. Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
But Rachael quickly learned that Hub Sales Director Stephanie Koch and CEO John New wouldn't let her work with just the aspects of business that she was familiar with. They set her to work on a critical side of business she hadn't yet been familiar with: web sites and Internet outreach for our clients. "This is such a great place to grow," she says. "I've learned so much over the past months, and these are things I was always going to have to learn anyway."
Rachael also works in an area of The Hub that's more germane to her position at SRB: marketing promotions. "I’m learning how The Hub likes to brand themselves, and I combine that with my ideas, and it’s been turning out really well," she says.
Part of that success is Rachael's dogged pursuit of sustainability in the meetings and events industry. "We're adamant about green here at The Hub, and making it a part of our company, but I'd love to see more companies be more aware of choosing places that are sustainable, like The Hub. Sooner or later, the marketing of that is going to be beneficial, if not critical," she says.
While Rachael identifies with all five of our Core Values, the one that's closest to her heart is Never Give Up. "I'm incredibly stubborn," she says, "Mostly to myself. I've had some opportunities to opt out of projects that I'm unfamiliar with, and I think it's important to just keep on working."
We agree, Rachael. We'll miss you when you graduate, but we're so happy we got to meet you.
For more information on interning at The Hub, click here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Revolution in Philadelphia for Event Camp Twin Cities!

Mindy Holahan, our business support manager and one of the handlers of our Twitter feed, was on-deck to experience the magic of Event Camp Twin Cities' Philadelphia pod. Here's what she learned about hybrid events.


A Revolution in the Meetings Industry? There’s a Room for That.

Two weeks ago, the meetings industry took a big leap forward. Did you feel it? That’s when the second annual Event Camp Twin Cities took place in Minneapolis. We hosted the Philadelphia pod in our Revolution room.

But wait! What's a "pod"? And how can an event in Minneapolis have anything to do with Philadephia?

A hybrid event brings off-site participants into an on-site meeting and allows them to participate in the meeting. Off-site participants gather in a pod for real-time streaming of meetings that are going on at the home site. Guests can ask questions and give immediate feedback, just as if they were at the main conference. This year’s event had pods in Philadelphia, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Silicon Valley, and Hawaii.

All we needed was a steady internet connection, but we like to do things a bit fancier in the pods. Traci Browne of Red Cedar Publicity and Marketing organized the entire Philadelphia pod experience from top to bottom. Jeffrey Halligan from Dyventive made it so that the feed went both way: participants in Minneapolis could see us, as well. And we wired secondary monitors that allowed the pods to interact with each other (that led to some friendly competition, especially with the Silicon Valley pod).


Event Camp Twin Cities uses Twitter, and the hashtag “ectc11,” for better real-time discussion flow. Followers of the #ectc11 stream sent along questions and comments, and Emilie Barta, the virtual emcee, represents the off-site audience.

What makes Event Camp so special?

Event Camp Twin Cities is the first hybrid event lab—a conference specially designed for event professionals to experiment with technology and social media together, rather than risking failure with their own events. Failure was a welcome partner in the event: The motto for the event was “If we’re not breaking things, then we’re not innovating.”

In the Philly pod, we threw ourselves into the experiment. Some of the tools failed. We had some trouble connecting with the Facebook app that streamed the secondary sessions. We had moments when the incoming flow of information was more than we could handle. But overall the event was a resounding success. We learned how to better use social media to bring together people across the globe—and we formed new friendships with our pod-mates.

I missed it! Do I have to wait another year?

No! Event Camp Europe is this Friday! You can check out the full list of Event Camps here.