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by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua

Alternative Facts

Would eventprofs tell their own mother a barefaced lie? Well, yes if they were European or, to be more precise, if they were from Prague. In a survey undertaken this week of Prague-based meetings and events professionals almost one third of the respondents admitted to SoolNua that they have lied to their own mother. This is almost 3 times the percentage of US event professionals who admitted this in a similar survey undertaken last week in New York City.

Both surveys were undertaken in real time within a mere 8 days of each other using Slido, an audience engagement platform that allows live polling and questions. The results, overall, reveal a shocking moral depravity and ethical bankruptcy at the very heart of the meetings industry.


Survey taken in New York, Feb 2017

Now you know where the shampoo has gone

Almost 6 out of 10 US based #eventprofs brazenly confessed to taking the shampoo and conditioner when staying in hotels. Only 1 in 3 EU based meetings professionals admitted to so doing. Rather than an indication of any higher moral probity on the part of the Europeans, however, this may be a factor of the standard of shampoo and conditioner available in the hotel, or, indeed, the standard of the hotel itself.

It should also be noted that the survey questions were phrased differently for each audience. The US audience readily admitted to larceny on an on-going basis (I take …) while the Europeans merely said that they “have taken” the shampoo (past tense) implying, perhaps, that their kleptomania is a thing of the past, an awkward and embarrassing phase they have now grown out of.

Stay out of Swimming Pools

There is a similar distinction between on-going practice and once-off past action with regard to the question of peeing in the swimming pool. A staggering 30% of US based #eventprofs shamelessly confess to peeing in the swimming pool on an on-going basis.

The age profile of the New York based audience might explain and partially excuse this practice on the basis of age-related incontinence but the present author can confirm the audience was decidedly within the younger demographic. So why are the always pissing in the pool?

Based on this admission, SoolNua now calls upon the meetings industry council in the US to issue a health and safety warning without delay to delegates attending meetings and conferences in the United States, advising that they stay out of swimming pools at all costs.

Europe, on the other hand, according to our survey, presents less risk to conference delegates with  only 9% of Prague-based professionals stating that they “have peed” in the swimming pool. However, this statistic may have more to do with geography than physiology or, indeed, morality. The Czech Republic is a land-locked nation with no immediate access to the ocean and no tradition, therefore, of water based activities and sports. Maybe most #eventprofs from Prague simply cannot swim and therefore have no reason to be in a swimming pool?


Survey taken in Prague, Feb 2017

The Boss is a Loser?

Only one in 10 #eventprofs on either side of the Atlantic admit  to having a crush on their boss. This tells us far less about the #eventprofs themselves and much more about their bosses. It paints a potentially damning picture of the leadership across the meetings industry  and highlights how, in the majority of cases, the boss is an unloved loser.

The striking revelation here is that nationality, culture, ethnicity and provenance appears to make no difference at all. You can be the head honcho in the US or the big cheese in Europe but either way you’re getting no love.

These figures, however, need to be contextualised with data from Harvard Business Review and other sources. When compared with such data, the near 10% of #eventprofs with a crush on their boss is, in fact, 10 times higher than the average in both the US and the EU indicating that, contrary to our original conclusions, the leadership in the meetings industry is dashingly handsome and stunningly beautiful with complex layers of sex appeal.

Liars, Thieves and Kenny G fans

Almost a quarter of US based #eventprofs regarded themselves as “a perfect specimen of humanity”. This is an astonishing example of unbridled hubris, massive superiority and downright arrogance. The fact that hidden amongst this number are also liars, thieves and folks who listen to Kenny G and Barry Manilow beggars belief. This question was only posed to US based #eventprofs.

EU-based #eventprofs, on the other hand, were asked whether they had ever denied receiving an e mail when, in reality, they had received it. 15% of them confessed that they had made this denial which suggests that the vast majority of #eventprofs based in Prague are organised, responsive and diligent when it comes to digital communications.


The survey results highlight many shocking things about meetings and events professionals on both side of the Atlantic. They wantonly lie to their loved ones, thoughtlessly filch bathroom amenities, shamelessly urinate in swimming pools. Some of them have the hots for their boss and some even listen to Kenny G. But at the end of the day the one thing that cannot be denied is that #eventprofs have a wonderful sense of humour and quirky way of interpreting survey results!

Wait a minute, what is Slido?

Slido is a powerful audience engagement platform used at meetings, conferences and events to transform presentations into conversations and passive attendees into active participants.

The surveys referred to in this article were undertaken at live events in New York and Prague as part of the introduction and on-boarding of the audience to the Slido platform. The post above is intended as a slightly outrageous, off-beat interpretation of statistics, an example in the meetings industry of what we have come to know as “alternative facts”.

SoolNua would like to thank the audiences at both event for their good humoured participation in the faux survey.

Pádraic Gilligan, Patrick Delaney and Aoife McCrum run SoolNua, a specialist agency working with destinations, venues and hotels on strategy, marketing and training. For the record Pádraic NEVER lied to his beloved mother and only peed in the swimming pool three times. 






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