Quick fire Interview with Lisa Palmeri, Vice President and Principal Consultant for Intent Strategy Group (ISG), a consulting division of Meetings & Incentives Worldwide
What keeps you awake at night?
This is a loaded question and while I will refrain from political opinion, I will say America, the world, and our fragile planet all offer me plenty of reasons for sleepless nights, although I try really hard to focus on what I can control and influence. My professional “keep me up at night” worry centers on our ability as an industry to continue this recovery trajectory without another serious bump in the road due to Covid, economic or geopolitical events. Personally, with a late May wedding on deck, that’s my immediate priority if I’m honest. I’ve had to dust off my planning skills to make the event special. Now, I’m crossing fingers that my friends and family can travel safely to be here in New Mexico for the big day, and that the wildfires are contained. While the fires don’t threaten my community, they are in our backyard with plumes of smoke visible by day and a glowing red horizon by night; it’s soul crushing.
What is your top priority for your team?
My team, Intent Strategy Group’s (ISG) top priority is staying cutting edge and ahead of the curve, especially as it relates to new strategic M&E/SMM solutions. The driving force behind this vision is M&IW’s OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) that guide us on our journey to becoming World Class. Being an innovative M&E consulting group, we must constantly anticipate client needs by proactively looking around the corner at industry data, trends and emerging technology developments to provide valued solutions. Following this multi-year period of industry disruption, many of the more predictable behaviors, norms, assumptions and baselines no longer apply so leveraging formerly trusted solutions isn’t always an option. Instead, we are looking at solutions through a lens of what’s best for today’s less predictable environment and with an eye on simplification to accommodate a higher number of newer event practitioners (professional and occasional) than ever before. For me personally, a top priority is developing and mentoring the next generation of leaders who need to be well-equipped to drive the industry forward when they inherit our positions in the future.
What should the industry be paying attention to, that they are not today?
- It’s a supplier’s market — contracting and subsequent risk favors the supplier. Occasional planners (DIYers) are especially vulnerable to contracting pitfalls when they are tasked with negotiating and signing venue and supplier agreements they don’t entirely understand. They need easy-to-use tools and support resources who know the domain to help them navigate successfully.
- There’s a premium on labor so there are more DIYers engaged in event planning activities than ever before, they are being asked to do more as their organizations may be short-staffed, so automation that enhances productivity and is designed specifically for this non-professional user type is key.
- Small and simple events represent the lion’s share of an organization’s event portfolio at approximately 80%, yet most of these occur without professional oversight. The in-person events that have been coming back the strongest during this recovery period are smaller. Inflationary pressures mean even small/simple events are coming with a more expensive price tag. Back to point #1, there’s more at stake with every transaction and professional oversight and procurement guardrails are necessary.
In collaboration with Bizly, ISG has developed an innovative, end-to-end solution to this challenge that weaves small/simple meeting technology into existing event intake processes, enabling a successful DIY experience with concierge support, resulting in comprehensive event oversight regardless of the event size, type, location or format. We’re excited to introduce this to the industry very soon.