Meet Rob Hard - one of the top 10 business travel bloggers in the poll of USA Today and the person behind BusinessTravelDestinations.com. As a highly experienced event manager, who has executed hundreds of corporate events in the U.S., Rob definitely knows a good event in details! Rob is part of the world-class jury of Eventex Awards.
FULL INTERVIEW How does your job relate to the event industry? BusinessTravelDestinations.com was developed to serve as an industry resource for meeting professionals who organize MICE programs and the business travelers who attend them. We review destinations to showcase why a meeting or event may wish to choose that place. We also share insights and tips to help event planners. What are your most important duties? We review a limited number of destinations each year, so it's important for us to pick a mix of cities for the unique value that each offers. While it's important to focus on the popular cities for meetings and events, it's equally important to us to uncover emerging destinations - and share that with our readers and the industry. How do you describe your work style? I tend to focus a bit more heavily on being a relationship builder and leader, but try to balance that with spending time on learning and getting the job done. What motivates you to judge Eventex Awards? I think we're in an interesting and transitional time in the industry. I'm excited to learn about the best event conferences, events, campaigns and technology that others are showcasing today. Being a judge offers me an opportunity to help recognize some of the best work that's being produced in our industry. How do you recognize a winner? I believe creativity is very important. But I think a winner is someone who successfully incorporates the event's business or organizational purpose, as well as the needs of its attendees or delegates. A winner doesn't have to be a program that spends the most money or has the largest audience. A winner is someone that demonstrates the value behind the event. What do you find unforgivable in an application? I respect any and all efforts behind an application. Your advice to contestants? Highlight the unique and small details behind the program -- they're typically what catches the attention of guests. It may be something that took only five extra minutes, but that five minutes can make all the difference. I enjoy hearing about what you did, who responded to it and what they thought. What aspect of event planning inspires you the most? I enjoy all aspects - from concept through execution and evaluation. I'd say I'm most inspired by developing strong content that benefits the guest or attendees. Without that, I think we're going to lose numbers in the future. Find out why someone wants to spend their limited time to go somewhere, and then give them the best possible experience that they could not get anywhere else.