Funny Business

Smart Events


Karyn Buxman speaking at The Smart Mart San Diego

As professions go, meeting planners don’t have a whole roster of jokes associated with them the way that, say, lawyers do. But here’s an item taken from an evaluation that only a planner could see the humor in: “I don’t know why they needed to hire a meeting planner,” the attendee wrote. “All she did was stand at the back of the room and everything went great without her.”

What we find funny often centers on the things that frustrate us, whether it’s in our personal or profession lives. That was one of the points that humor expert Karyn Buxman made during her presentation at The Smart Mart San Diego this afternoon. Buxman has investigated humor from an academic standpoint and written about how humor can enhance health, education and business. That final item was the focus of Buxman’s session, which demonstrated the power of laughter to provide a competitive business edge. As an example, she cited Southwest Airlines, which allows its flight attendants to exercise their sense of humor. “They understand funny means money,” Buxman says.

“People always ask, ‘Can you help me be funny?’” Buxman says. “Here is some really good news: You don’t have to be funny. The world’s greatest leaders and most powerful businesspeople are not humor initiators, they are humor appreciators.”

To help Smart Mart attendees with their humor appreciation, Buxman offered the following stress-busting suggestions, occasionally making use of props:

–A clown nose to wear while driving. If someone isn’t letting you merge, just put it on and “one of two things will happen,” she says. “Either they’ll pretend like they didn’t see you, or they’ll slow down, which gives you an opportunity to pull in front of them.”

–A wand with streaming ribbons, so that when someone at your office asks for the impossible, you can wave it like a magic wand and say, “Your wish is granted.”

–A marshmallow blow gun: “You actually can eat your ammunition.”

–Simply grinning like an idiot. If nothing else, it may convince people to leave you alone.

Her other suggestions for humor-impaired people included seeking out humor every day, collecting jokes and funny quotes, and stepping outside your comfort zone. “Nobody ever died of feeling silly,” Buxman says. “I would wish you more silliness in so many things.”

There’s just one more Smart Event left in 2012. Don’t miss out! Sign up for The Smart Mart Dallas today, and check out our preliminary 2013 Events Calendar to start making plans for next year.

—Bill Chapin

  • RELATED POSTS
  • EDITORS PICKS
  • Harrahs

    Smart Meeting Mountain Desert

    Click here for more details for Smart Meeting Mountain Desert! When: Sunday-Wednesday August 16-19, 2015 Where: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa 3800 S.…

    Jazz in New Orleans

    All That Jazz: Smart Meeting New Orleans

    We got our mojo on in a major way at the Smart Meeting New Orleans. The three-day event drew a stellar cast of planners and suppliers who networked in 25 one-on-one appointments and during multiple delectable meals…

    smart-meeting-baha-mar

    Smart Meeting Bahamas

    Click here for more details for Smart Meeting Bahamas! When: Sunday-Tuesday, October 4-6, 2015 Where: Baha Mar Casino & Hotel West Bay Street Nassau, Bahamas Why: Attend our exclusive networking event for meeting planners and you will:…

    smart-meeting-colorado-spring

    Smart Meeting Colorado Springs

    Click here for more details for Smart Meeting Colorado Springs! When: Sunday-Tuesday, November 8-10, 2015 Where: The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs 1 Lake Avenue Colrado Springs, CO 80906 Why: Attend our exclusive networking event for meeting planners and…

    highland-dallas-hotel

    Smart Meeting Dallas

    Click here for more details for Smart Meeting Dallas! When: Thursday, Dec. 8, 2015 8:00 am to 3:30 pm Where: The Highland Dallas Hotel 5300 E. Mockingbird Lane Dallas, Texas 75206 Why: Our one-day experience is held…

  • tech tools

    Website Builder Perfect for Meeting Professionals

    Designing a website specifically for your next major meeting has never been easier following the launch of an event website builder by Bizzabo this week. The recent addition to Bizzabo's event management platform allows meeting professionals to…

    Mexico is Top Travel Destination

    Mexico, Canada Top List of Popular Travel Destinations

    Mexico and Canada are the most popular international travel destinations among Americans this year, followed by three European countries. Neighboring Mexico has long been a favorite destination partly due to its warm weather and outstanding beaches. Excellence…

    Critical Airport Security

    Cyber Security Critical on Vacation and Trips

    With Memorial Day as the unofficial start to summer, we’d like to remind you that hackers and scammers don’t take vacation. Whether you’re vacationing or taking a business trip, traveling by car or by plane, make sure…

    mobile even -app

    Target Mobile Apps for Big and Small Events

    Although mobile event apps can save planners big money on printing costs, there are drawbacks: they tend to be costly; there is ordinarily a four-to-six week development timeline; and since mobile apps are largely a disposable technology,…

    convention center expansion

    San Francisco Convention Center Expansion Underway

    Moscone Center, conveniently located in the heart of downtown San Francisco, is undergoing a $500 million expansion that will create more than 500,000 sq. ft. of contiguous space for exhibitions and meetings. Expected to be complete in…