Try This: Meeting Planner TikTok Tour

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TikTok Tour
A meeting planner TikTok tour could be just what you need to break out of your trade show rut.

Most people don’t have a great system for making the most of their time on a trade show floor. While some come armed with lists of must-see booths, and some even set up appointments ahead of time, somehow you end up wandering the show floor, meandering into random booths that seem like friendly ports in the storm, and maybe learn about what new product or service they have to offer.

That’s what sales coach, hospitality and conference expert Mandi Graziano, Vice President Global Accounts with Hospitality Performance Network, used to do, too.

That is, until she discovered the Meeting Planner TikTok tour. Graziano, who also is the Amazon best-selling author of Sales Tales: The Hustle, HumorSales Tales: The Hustle, Humor, and Lessons from a Life in Sales and founder of Facetime Coaching Company, says the TikTok tour was inspired by her friend Shawn Walchef — “In real talk, I stole his brilliant idea” — she said. She explained how Walchef wanted to meet every CEO at a conference he attended earlier this year. But instead of wandering aimlessly and hoping to find those CEOs, he walked the floor with a goal of interviewing those CEOs, and then posting each of the interviews on TikTok.

“I was so inspired by the interaction of each CEO and how much genuine fun they seemed to be having,” Graziano said. “One CEO even did a high kick. That was enough for me to be sold on doing my very own TikTok tour.”

With Meeting Professionals International’s World Education Congress coming up, she decided to launch her Meeting Planner TikTok Tour on MPI’s show floor at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Her goals, she said were to:

• Meet new clients.
• Engage with other planners like herself.
• Reunite with hotel and industry partners she has known for years.
• Learn as much as she could “about new destinations, renovations and new ways of doing old things.”

But she also wanted to do more than just interview people in the industry and post those interviews on TikTok. She also wanted to repurpose the video from TikTok and share it on LinkedIn, she said.

“I wanted to show our industry that TikTok can be used for business, and show the value of posting videos on LinkedIn. Both platforms are underutilized visual playgrounds and I wanted to illustrate the power of information sharing using both platforms,” she said. “If used right, social media is a powerful way to recruit and retain great employees, find new customers, engage existing customers and learn something new that will make you more powerful in your industry.”

Of course, planners can’t help but plan, so Graziano spent her time on the plane heading to San Francisco making a list of questions she wanted to ask planners, and another list for each type of industry suppliers. Interviewees had 20 seconds or less to get their points across, she said.

“Shorter is better with social media videos and I wanted each answer to be a quick hit of info. Some were shorter than 20 seconds, and others approached the minute length but each question and answer were impactful.” If anything went wrong, that just adds to the experience, she said. “The beauty of the TikTok tour is that it is 100% authentic. It’s OK to make mistakes and the audience prefers authenticity — the more real, the better.”

Among the questions she came armed to video people answering were:

• What is something that excites you about our industry right now?

• What is something about your destination that people don’t know?

• What will you do to make your program special this year?

• What item should conferences have during their breaks instead of coffee?

• What can hotels do to earn your business?

• What are the top two clauses you need to see in your contracts?

• What do you do to promote creativity in your day?

• How do you give yourself a break?

• What do you love about planning meetings and events?

“The answers were spectacular,” she said. “I learned, shared and have the pics and videos to prove it.” Scroll through her TikTok page, @mandigraziano, to see for yourself.

She recorded the videos in a batch, saved them for later and posted them on TikTok at the end of the day. “I then shared the videos on LinkedIn to show that old business people like me use TikTok too. There is a business case to use TikTok, and I wanted to make that visual and share it,” she said.

“I loved all the breakouts, general sessions, networking events and labs that MPI WEC offered. Adding the TikTok Tour to the show sped up my networking and education in ways I couldn’t have imagined. It added a dimension of enjoyment to the experience and built a knowledge base even further than I knew it could,” she added. It also provided little “digestible snacks” of the conference for those who could not attend in person

“Next time you go to an event, I double dog dare you to add a TikTok tour of some sort — meeting planner, CEO or whatever fits into your industry bubble,” Graziano challenges. “It will enhance the experience, allow for information sharing and grow your industry.”

If you have any questions about how to do a TikTok tour for your business as you attend your next meeting or event, contact Mandi Graziano.

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