Hi, I'm Don Neal and welcome to what I hope you'll find is a fresh approach to how you think about your business, your job and, occasionally, your life. I Iook forward to hearing your questions, ideas and feedback.

Thanks, and here's to the future.

Don's Blog | What Kind of Loyalty Does Your Organization Engender?
Customer (and member) loyalty is the holy grail of a successful organization; it’s the measure of success in every relationship—professional or personal.

The economic benefit of customer loyalty is measured by lifetime value (LTV), which is the net present economic contribution of a customer over the number of years they are with you. For example, Cadillac learned that the LTV of an owner was over $1 million—that’s the value of cars purchased, service, parts and referrals. Not bad.

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360 Live Media Don Neal | Event as Advocacy
We all know that the federal, state and local regulatory apparatus just isn’t able to keep up with the rate of change occurring within and around the industries they are charged to regulate.

So for any organization that has an annual meeting, industry conference, or trade show there is often an untapped opportunity to help improve the understanding, insight and awareness of key issues, technology and changes that will help regulators better do their jobs. It’s also most likely in favor of those you represent.

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Don's Blog | OUR AMERICA
Like many of you, I regularly travel from one end of our country to the other. And on this Independence Day, I think about how many small towns, cities and neighborhoods I have flown over that are celebrating our nation’s liberation from England and commemorating our Declaration of Independence 241 years ago.

Today, I’m going to tune out the noise, the media feuds, the debate, the divisiveness and the polarization, and remember that we are one nation, a nation that still holds the promise of unity through our Constitution, our laws, our freedoms and our optimism. Today is a day to bond over our similarities, instead of fracture along our differences.

Today, I’m going to a parade with fire trucks, antique cars, kids on bikes, home-made floats, high school marching bands and cars driven by local politicians.

Those of us watching along the parade route will hold flags passed out by the local community leaders, which we will wave proudly. Together, we will salute our country to honor our forefathers and in tribute to our youth, who are getting more committed to bettering our world with each generation.

I will remember what a privilege it is to live in the United States and what is possible if we never lose sight of what it took to get to this place in history. I will be grateful for the continued peace, the promise of prosperity and the basic rights we have as citizens of what I still believe is a country defined as a “shining city upon a hill.”

So, let’s all say hi to a stranger, call a friend or family member who voted for the other candidate and make amends, maybe read the Constitution, enjoy the fireworks, and mostly just celebrate America and think about what we can all do tomorrow, on July 5th, to help us be the country that lives up to the ideals, promise and possibilities that inspire us to be the best version of ourselves.

Wishing you a meaningful and proud Independence Day.

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Don's Blog | IT HAPPENED AGAIN
For anyone who is interested in watching disruption occur right before their very eyes and if your organization has an event that is focused on serving a specific industry, it’s time to pay attention.

The entrepreneurs who disrupted the financial services event marketplace AND the retail event space are now disrupting the healthcare event landscape.

First, a quick step back in time. After launching and then, five years later, selling Money20/20 for $100 million, the founders of this new event launched Shoptalk, a new event that blew up the status quo for retail event organizers.

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Don Neal Blog: The Author of Your Event
Does your organization host an event, a conference, a trade show, an annual meeting or a scientific symposium?

If it does, who is the author, the voice, the one person who is the spirit, inspiration and embodiment of the event?

Great events are like great performances, great books, great movies, great stories. And every great story has a single voice, an author. Star Wars had George Lucas, TED had Richard Saul Wurman, Harry Potter had J.K. Rowling, and the World Economic Forum in Davos had Klaus Martin Schwab.

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Don Neal blog: "Prosperity conceals genius, adversity reveals it"
H ow does this quote from the Roman poet Horace relate to us today? It may mean that during these times of comfort for many—a peaceful homeland, a rising stock market, record-low unemployment and an overall sense of national prosperity—the true genius of our time has yet to be revealed.

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Don Neal blog: "Prosperity conceals genius, adversity reveals it"
I’m writing this post in New Orleans and was thinking, is there anyplace in this city that doesn’t sell beignets? If you’ve been to The Big Easy, you know that a beignet is a French donut – fried dough covered with powdered sugar. It is delicious.

The hotel lobby has a kiosk that sells them by the bag every morning; the hotel restaurant offers them; there are beignet shops at every turn. Beignets are ubiquitous, omnipresent and a must-have when you’re in this city.

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Don's Blog: Why We Celebrate Memorial Day
The subtitle of David McCollough’s most recent book, The American Spirit, is Who We Are and What We Stand For.

What’s your answer? Is there still one answer, one unifying narrative that most Americans would agree with? The Declaration of Independence made the case for what the Founding Fathers were seeking as the values, freedoms and rights that went on to be codified in the United States Constitution.

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Don's Blog: Stop banging your head against the wall
When is it time to stop? Adjust? Correct? Adapt? Adopt? Compromise? Move on?

It depends what “it” is, of course. What are the stakes, the consequences, the pain we’re willing to endure, or the importance and meaning of succeeding.

I recall an acronym from a negotiation program I attended called BATNA – the best alternative to a negotiated agreement.

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Don Neal blog: The Claustrophobia of Abundance
I have always felt that this phrase, shared by J Walker Smith (the former president of research firm, Yankelovich Partners) at a conference in 2004, had special resonance. He went on to say that consumers may prefer fewer options from which to make choices. It seems that there is a point where choice and abundance traumatizes us more than it liberates us. We are drowning in stuff.

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