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Less Walking, More Watching: The Leader Behind an Innovative Expo Strategy

Changemaker Pamela Dallstream implemented a video-based command center that put attendees’ needs in the spotlight.

MeetingsNet’s annual Changemaker list recognizes 20 outstanding meetings professionals for their efforts to move their organizations and the industry forward in unique and positive ways. Find all the profiles here.

Pamela Dallstream, CMP, CMM

Director of Education
Society of Critical Care Medicine

For developing a video-based command center at SCCM’s annual conference that improved her staff’s problem-solving capabilities

Making Change
We were searching for ways to make event processes easier for our staff, so we started investigating how we’d manage the 2018 Society of Critical Care Medicine Congress when we’re on site. We identified the biggest area of concern: Too much time spent walking the show floor and throughout the convention center; we needed a better system to save time and steps. The “command center” was designed to allow for video monitoring of all areas of the convention center from within one room by our staff and our vendors. For example, we could quickly identify where session rooms might be overflowing or where refreshment areas needed attention, and then deploy the relevant vendors to handle the issue.

What’s Next?
We’re looking for additional sources of revenue (who isn’t?) by repurposing our existing educational content into licensed courses for sale internationally through our offices in China and, eventually, India. We will investigate bundling complementary products with the licensed courses and determine what knowledge areas still need to be developed into educational content.

Managing Change
Change is your friend, and nothing to fear. By implementing various changes at your organization, you get the juices flowing to create new plans, new products, and new programs. Some changes don’t necessarily have to be seen by the membership, but instead can be implemented to help staff better serve members.

Advice Peers Ask of You
Many organizations have asked how we created the command center, so I hope they are adapting a similar set up at their meetings. I love sharing ideas like that. (Here’s SCCM’s story on MeetingsNet).

Advice You Ask of Peers
I ask organizers about how they are changing their events and creative ways for sharing educational content. I ask how they are creating new revenue streams or updating their existing ones, and then I share those with my team.

Best Business Advice 
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you treat others—your peers and your competitors—with respect, and if you show compassion and empathy, you will be treated the same. There’s no need to fight if your viewpoints are different. It’s okay to have different opinions.  

Thinking Differently
As I have matured in the association industry, I have had to adapt to the times, to new technology, and to new ideas introduced by younger staff. You need to take those ideas, as different as they may be from how you operate, and use them where you can.

Got a Spare Hour?
I buy and sell antiques with my mother and sister at a vintage antiques store and at pop-up vintage shows in Illinois and Wisconsin. I spend some evenings in my garage setting up mock booths for upcoming shows, and then share the sets on our Facebook page. Any creative juices that I haven’t used in my day job can flow into the set up of the booths. But sometimes I’m so engrossed in how I’m designing a booth that an idea I can use in my day job will pop into my head.  


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