I was one of about 25 Reds employees to attend the Major League Baseball Industry Meetings in Orlando this week.  The Industry Meetings is basically a 3-day “best practices” seminar where MLB team representatives from each club, working in every capacity of the game – from human resources and ticketing to marketing and media relations – get together in several different sessions to talk about what has worked best around the league.  The emphasis is more on the business end of the sport, rather than the actual on-field operations. 

Some of the sessions I attended were more focused on social media and media relations, for example: “Public Relations Campaign Studies: Maximizing Results in a Changing Media Landscape” featured discussions about the rise of social media (Facebook, blogs, Twitter, etc) and how clubs are implementing it to influence the business tactics of their organizations.  “Communicating and Managing Issues in a Crisis” was one of my favorite seminars, as it dealt with three specific teams and how they encountered crises during the season and how they successfully dealt with those situations, including what role social media played in influencing those results. 

It was a very informative trip and for the most part all of the sessions I attended were interesting.  We were treated to a session with Commissioner Selig in which he gave a “state of the game” address.  During one of the general sessions, MLB Network was invited to give a round table discussion with panelists Bob Costas, Peter Gammons, Al Leiter, Harold Reynolds and host Greg Amsinger

All told there were nearly 75 sessions, including a team building activity on Monday night where all Industry Meetings attendees were placed in groups of 5 or 6, with each group assembling a bicycle for a child from the Boys and Girls Club.  We even got the chance to meet the kids we built bikes for.  It was really cool.

Oddly enough, I’ll be returning to Orlando in less than 3 weeks to attend the MLB Winter Meetings, which is similar to the Industry Meetings, but with more of an emphasis on the baseball on-field operations of the game (I’ll blog more about that when the time comes).

Here are some photos from my trip…


I stayed at the Dolphin, where the Industry Meetings took place in various conference rooms. The lady who checked me in saw from my license that I was from Cincinnati and informed me that she had just moved to Orlando from Hamilton, OH.  I was shocked and told her that I grew up and went to school in Hamilton.  She countered that she moved from a specific area of Hamilton called Lindenwald.  Even more surprised, I replied that my childhood home was in Lindenwald.  Come to find out, she lived 2 blocks from where I grew up.  It truly is a small world after all.





Reds staffers Lorrie Platt, Lauren Werner and Zach Bonkowski


This photo and some of the photos below are from the teambuilding seminar where we built bikes for children from the local Boys and Girls Club.  I was on Team 4 and we kicked butt!




Our team named itself “Team Tommy” after the young man we were building the bike for.  That’s him, second from the left, supervising our work. 


Team Tommy!  Tommy’s a very sweet kid and was super excited about getting a new bike.


The finished product.  Here’s hoping, for Tommy’s safety, that we put this thing together correctly!  (editor’s note: we actually had real mechanics go over the final product to make sure it was safe).


After the day’s meetings ended, I took a stroll on the Boardwalk and encountered this interesting gentleman putting on a juggling show for onlookers of all ages (mostly kids).





About 50 yards down the Boardwalk from the juggler was the Magic Man…


I asked him if he could make Roy Halladay’s no-hitter in the NLDS disappear.  Alas, he couldn’t…Amateur. 


Here’s a photo from the MLB Network discussion with panelists Greg Amsinger (at the podium), Bob Costas, Harold Reynolds, Peter Gammons and Al Leiter.



Reds staffer Zach Bonkowski was asked to deliver a presentation about Redsfest during one of the sessions…



Unfortunately, midway through the presentation, Zach’s head started spinning around and his eyes became laser beams.  After he started shooting lighting bolts out of his fingers, he had to be removed from the podium and placed in the IT session where he quickly fell asleep.


Vice President of Ballpark Operations Declan Mullin shows off the prestigious TEAM Award that was given to the Cincinnati Reds for its training certification and designated-driver program.


Good ol’ fashion rock-n-roll, ladies and gentlemen.


In line for “Soarin'”



Industry Meetings attendees were invited to a night at Epcot on Tuesday evening.  Here’s everyone waiting for the nightly fireworks show…










Here’s Commissioner Selig giving a 2-hour presentation on the awesomeness of Better Off Red.





The tenth person to correctly guess how many total sessions I attended at the MLB Industry Meetings will receive a free 2010 MLB Industry Meetings t-shirt (size L).  I’ll even throw in a free Better Off Red t-shirt (size L).  To “guess,” you must comment on THIS blog post (not the Facebook post and not on any other prior blog post).

Fine print rules:

Official Rules for BETTER OFF RED Giveaways:
Employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents of any MLB entity and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries & affiliated companies and their immediate families and those living in their same household, whether or not related, are not eligible for any Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) giveaway. Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) will determine giveaway recipients in its sole and absolute discretion. If you have received a Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) giveaway in the last 30 days, you’re not eligible. If you live more than 100 miles from the ballpark where a game for which tickets are being given away will be played, you are not eligible for that ticket giveaway. If a giveaway recipient is determined to be ineligible, Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) may, in its sole and absolute discretion, not give away the goods or ticket(s) or may give the goods or ticket(s) to the next eligible follower. You will be required to privately (through Twitter direct message or email) provide your name and address if you are selected as a giveaway recipient.  Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) will not keep or store your information or use it for any purpose other than sending your giveaway item(s) or providing you information on receiving the item(s). Giveaways are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules or regulations.

I will notify the winner via email.


Thanks for logging on!!!  I really appreciate it!














My guess is 16. Looks like you managed to have fun while you where there! :o)

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