By Linda Leier Thomason
Meeting planners must be life-long learners ready to reinvest and reinvent to keep meetings on the leading edge of technology and social and organizational change. If you are feeling a disconnect between your current planning skills and skills needed, it might be time to consider investing in further education.
Sue Tinnish, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Kendall College School of Hospitality Management www.kendall.edu in Chicago, Illinois, knows that sometimes the fear and reality of juggling school, work and personal commitments can be daunting. However, she believes the right education can assist planners in overcoming the challenges of increasing expectations of the profession. “Fear should not overwhelm anyone; meeting professionals are the agent that can cause change in our industry and we need them to be current with skills and trends.”
Bon Jovi, The Quasi Meetings Industry Expert
As I am sitting on a plane coming back from an industry event, I can’t help but notice Bon Jovi songs keep blaring in my ears and I begin to wonder if I have downloaded every single song of theirs over the years. As I am reading the titles of his songs that occupy valuable storage space in my iPod, I start to see several parallel themes between his songs and the meeting industry.
“Bed of Roses” – I’ll admit, if a planner resides to her/his room, and there is a bed of roses from the sales person, that would be awkward! However, think about it. How awesome would it be for a hotel sales person to go the extra mile in doing something unique in his/her room for the planner that is there for a site? On the flip side, how great would it be for the planner to leave unique, personal in-room amenities for the group VIPs. The concept of someone preparing a bed of roses is that he/she took extra time and genuinely cares about the other individual. Just don’t circle #4 on the in-room amenities just to have something in the room – take a bit more time and think through it! Don’t just think outside of the box, pretend the box never even existed!