by Janet Elkins, EventWorks, Inc.

Here at EventWorks we are a multi-generational and multi-cultural crew. Each in our own way we try to stay informed about our industry and economic trends in general as best we can. Besides this blog, we read trade magazines, weeklies, dailies and more. We follow television and social media. But for all of us, balancing time between “real” production work and ongoing research and learning efforts poses a challenge. We need more than 24 hours in a day.

As an original Mid-Westerner I have come to appreciate the tweets of fellow Chicagoan Barry Moltz, entrepreneur, public speaker and book author. Barry travels to many conferences in many different industries and shares his findings on Facebook and Twitter as well as his website, www.barrymoltz.com.

According to his bio, he has “founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years.” He also authored three successful books about business and his most comforting theory espouses the idea that business ups and downs are part of life. We just have to learn how to BOUNCE”. Following his tweets has allowed me to stay informed in 140 characters or less.

Barry just returned from SXSW in Austin, Texas. I checked in with him by phone to specifically ask for advice for the event industry.

JE: Barry, what is your advice for the event industry?

BM: The event industry really has to ask itself at this point “what service do we offer”. People buy when they are in pain and nothing replaces real life meetings. That is what you offer! We talk a lot about virtual friendships but they will never take the same place. That said, of course the industry has to adjust to the new economic realities, lower budgets and different styles. There is real opportunity out there. Besides real life meetings, companies should also offer virtual meetings through communication technology and social media.

JE: Our industry has been hard hit. Our own work force is demoralized. What do you suggest we can do?

BM: Happiness is difficult to achieve at this point but the crisis has actually motivated a lot of people to try harder for whatever they want to achieve. As a company owner or manager you should communicate with your work force and find out what goals they have personally and share the company’s goals and go from there to find common ground. Many employees are looking to further their education. Many people retrain and learn new skills. Companies benefit from that. The better you communicate the better your employees are going to feel.

JE: What do you recommend if a company has already folded?

BM: Retire, hopefully! (laughing). If that is not an option, consider taking a job in another company or possibly even start fresh with another enterprise of your own. The key is networking in this situation. Get out there and let people know what you are looking for. Use the phone, social media, the Internet, mingle. Do it all.

JE: What do you think about the recovery?

BM: It is getting better. There is less bad news out there. You don’t hear so much negative business any more on the 10Pm news. People’s psyches are getting better.

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Barry’s books are: “You Need to Be A Little Crazy: The Truth about Starting and Growing Your Business”, “Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and the Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success” and the new release “BAM! Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World”.

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