John Cruz of Blue Cross & Blue Shield Talks Value

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John Cruz Blue Cross Blue Shield
John Cruz, CMM, SR. corporate meeting planner of Blue Cross & Blue Shield, North Carolina

In this InFocus, Prevue had the opportunity to chat with FICP Planner Member John Cruz, CMM, SR. corporate meeting planner of Blue Cross & Blue Shield, North Carolina to learn how planners could add value in conventional and out-of-the-box ways to meetings & incentives.

Q: How does FICP deliver solid ROI for groups?

A: FICP is growing and maintaining a community of qualified planners and suppliers. The environment is conducive to learning and development both personally and professionally. FICP provides the education that prepares the beginner and enhances the seasoned meeting professional to become leaders in the industry.

Q: How does FICP deliver increased ROE?

A: The friendships, dialogues and laughter that come from FICP events make the return on experience priceless. The best part is that members have an open door policy and always welcome a new colleague with open arms.

Q: How can planners use food & beverage to increase value? 

A: Planners have the opportunity to make an event memorable with both the quality and variety of food being offered. In recent years, the focus has been presentation, but the food items themselves have to live up to the billing. Healthy alternatives also add value but need to be included as an option because at the end of the day people still want the bacon.

Q: What can planners do to add value to meetings & incentives?

A: Planners can add value by truly partnering with all suppliers of the event. This includes communicating what the overall objective or desired outcome of the meeting is and providing any touch points key attendees have that impact the experience.

Q: What are three WOW group experiences that increase ROE (Return on Experience)?

A: I strongly believe that inclusion in a group experience is the most important element of getting ROE. Once participants feel included in the process, collaboration is generated resultiing in a shared journey. Documenting the experience through pictures or video transforms the experience into a memory.

Q: How can planners use technology in creative ways to increase value?

A: Technology allows key messaging to be delivered to all three learning preferences (auditory, visual and kinesthetic). PowerPoint simply does not touch all three. Planners should implement technology tools to engage everyone like utilizing audio and video clips and promoting gamification at events.

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