Brad Williams, vice president of meetings and events, MotivAction

“Don't limit your search to a full-time position. We're a seasonal industry. Offer to work part-time, contract, seasonal … anything to get your foot in the door. And I also think it's important to find a mentor. Find someone in the industry who will agree to coach you, provide you with direction, be your eyes and ears for opportunities as they come up.”

Beth Chitnis, director, Meeting Expectations

“For meetings professionals who might find themselves in a transitional period, my first recommendation is to join a professional association. Get involved with its meetings and events, treat everything as a networking opportunity, and build those connections.

And along the same lines, volunteer within the association, join a committee. One-on-one project work is a really great way to build relationships.”

Tracy Norum, CMP, vice president and general manager, Fox Premier Meetings and Incentives

“Think strategically. Think of yourself as a strategic partner with the corporation that you're working for or that you want to work for. Yes, you need to have tactical experience, you need to know how to negotiate, you need all the fundamentals. But also understand that 50 percent of your job is thinking strategically.”

Visit our video forum at's Must-See Meetings Files for more expert advice on smart meetings strategy.