Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 05 2013

What Meeting Professionals Can Learn From Jay Z

By David McMillin, Staff Writer

Some people look up to Jay Z for his musical talents. Some people look up to the man for his business success. Some people look up to him because he managed to “put a ring on it” of the finger of Beyonce Knowles.

Right now, meeting professionals should look up to Jay Z for one reason: his failure.

The hip hop legend recently released his new album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail”, through a partnership with Samsung. In a move that flipped the music business upside down, he essentially sold 1 million copies of his record before it was ever released as Samsung launched an app that gave Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners first dibs on the record. A win-win, right? Jay Z made money, and Samsung continued to outpace Apple in the realm of coolness.

Not so fast. The partnership has come under serious fire due to its data collection tactics. Many customers complained about the need to basically turn over all of their phone’s information, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, an advocacy group, is even asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the program.

SEE ALSO: What Meetings Can Learn from the Music Business

So what do the issues surrounding a hip hop record have to do with the meetings industry? Well, pretty much everything.

At the first-ever PCMA Global Medical Meetings Summit, data was a hot topic. Many planners and association CEOs feared the same kind of backlash from their attendees and members. Some worried that using RFID to track their on-site activities might overstep the boundaries of privacy. No one wants a gang of angry attendees who lose their trust in an organization and worry that they may be selling their information to other parties.

SEE ALSO: 3 Questions Meeting Planners Need to Answer Now

Data represents some very big possibilities in today’s mobile-driven economy. When used properly, it can tailor an experience to meet individual needs while driving revenue opportunities. However, we’re in a sensitive time when it comes to privacy. While consumers are growing more comfortable with forking over their Facebook info and allowing apps to track their location, many of those consumers have lingering uncertainties about allowing companies to track their every move online and on-foot.

As meeting planners and hoteliers alike begin to gather more information about the preferences and activities of their attendees and guests, it’s crucial to proceed with caution.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to balance the obstacles and opportunities of big data, click here for more insights.

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