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Suckow puts a stop to fluff and boring stuff

Shawna Suckow

The title “Meetings 3.0: Enough’s Enough! No More Fluff or Boring Stuff!” is a not-so-subtle hint that Shawna Suckow’s keynote address on Oct. 6, opening day of the 2013 Small Market Meetings Conference (SMMC), will not be a sleeper.

Suckow, a 20-year veteran of meeting planning, seems to be one for shaking up the status quo on a regular basis. She’s convinced some 2,500 other planners to join her in the mission as members of the Senior Planners Industry Network (SPIN), which she founded five years ago.

SPIN is an association for planners with 10 or more years of experience — the average among its members is actually closer to 20. It is the only supplier-free association that serves senior-level planners. Through its networking and education offerings, SPIN helps planners challenge old ways of thinking, fight burnout, increase productivity, break out of ruts, re-engage and re-energize, and work with peers.

As the SPIN website says, “We have no 100-year-old mission statement that we dust off every now and then. We are constantly evolving.”

In her SMMC opening session, Suckow will discuss how the evolution of the Web has changed what audiences demand and what planners must do to meet their needs. She’ll discuss meetings 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, showcasing each style so the audience gets a hands-on feel. Participants will learn that all three delivery methods have their time and audience. She’ll also discuss how to achieve a balance depending on a meeting’s goals and objectives, and audience demographics.

Suckow has earned honors in the industry. In 2012, she was named to Successful Meetings magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential in the Meetings Industry, as well as one of the Top 10 Women Influencers in Meetings and Events. Last year, she published “Planner Pet Peeves,” followed this year by “Supplier Pet Peeves.” Personally, she thinks she is hilarious, but says her children don’t agree.