The Joy of Good Work
One of the goals of general session speakers is to pump up the audience. And one of the advantages of the Professional Convention Management Association’s annual Convening Leaders conference is its timing at the beginning of the new year, when attendees are fresh, upbeat and ready for a fresh start. Closing General Session speaker Bert Jacobs delivered.
The co-founder and CEO (he defines his title as chief executive optimist) of the Life is Good Co. pushed his message about the power of optimism to a packed room at the San Diego Convention Center, Jan. 11. “It’s not just what you have, where you are, what your title is, what kind of car you drive, or anything else—it’s the way you view your world,” Jacobs said. “When we see what’s right with the world rather than what’s wrong with the world, possibilities open up.”
It’s a welcome message, especially as the national media hammers away at negative news coming from the Republican primaries and continued reports about a stagnant economy. Even more heartening was Jacob’s call to find a cause and weave it into your work every day. “Selfishly, it puts a bounce in your step,” he said. “It’s the reason I want to work—because you can do something meaningful.”
Jacobs started the company with his brother, John, in Boston in 1994 with $78 in the bank, building it to the $100 million privately held business it is today, by promoting an optimistic message on T-shirts, hats and other products.
Meeting planners are an optimistic lot. (Actually, it would seem to be a requirement for a job that involves juggling many tasks while dealing with sometimes disgruntled or difficult people.) They have been in the forefront of the movement to involve event participants in activities that benefit the needy in host cities. Today, planners regularly incorporate programs or align with groups to raise money or support for worldwide causes as part of every meeting. These efforts contribute a broader meaning to the Meetings Mean Business campaign created by the industry a few years ago. What began as a marketing message to focus attention on the positive contributions of events to the economy and jobs has almost been co-opted by planners and their attendees, who have taken their events to a higher level that delivers rewards to them as well as the groups they adopt.
Read more about the giveback efforts of some meeting planners.
Looking for more optimism and inspiration to kick off your planning year? Our first-ever Cool Issue is chock-full of the wonderful, weird, exciting, creative concepts, places and trends from our meeting world in the February/March 2012 edition of Rejuvenate magazine.