The 80 planners and hospitality partners who attended the Financial & Insurance Conference Planners Northeast Region Winter Meeting in Boston in January are sleeping better, presenting themselves more professionally, looking good on LinkedIn, and updating their résumés even if they are (or feel) secure and happy in their current jobs. In only a day and a half of sessions, the meeting provided takeaways that attendees could put right into practice, all on the theme of “Demonstrating Your Value.” Attendees shared their own ideas, and heard from four compelling speakers:
Karen Liuzzo, director, counseling services, Career Strategies Inc.
Writing a résumé requires research—into your own skills and experience as well as into the organization you’re looking to join, Liuzzo said. You want to cover everything, but you also need to accept that we are in the age of the keyword: Your résumé may be scanned by a computer before it’s seen by human eyes, so you must hit as many keywords as you can. The same function may have different names at different companies—be sure to translate as necessary!
John A. Jenson, corporate trainer
Jenson gave attendees a simple path to personal improvement. Consider your presence, he said. What words do people use to describe you after they meet you? Now ask yourself what words are not being said about you that you would like people to say. Have that word or words as the goal toward which all of your actions are driving you.
Andy Core, human performance expert
Core had attendees laughing with recognition at his description of a day that starts with hitting the snooze button, carries through a late-morning slump, an ill-advised choice of lunch, self-recrimination at around 3 p.m., and good intentions gone bad as soon as you walk through your door in the evening! The good news? He had plenty of simple strategies to start you on a virtuous cycle of good habits. Just get up instead of hitting “snooze” and you’re already on your way to a more productive day.
Mike Hoefer, consultant, Hoeferweb Internet & Strategy
Take the time to get a good photo for your online profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook. And be sure you’ve got those Facebook settings as private as possible. You never know when a 20-year-old college photo is going to surface.
Executive Director Steve Bova was on hand at the regional meeting to talk about taking FICP “to the next level.” Part of that means reaching a membership goal of 600, and Bova asked for attendees’ help in recruiting new members and identifying new potential member companies. “Associations that focus only on retention are not as successful as associations that focus on recruitment and retention,” he noted.
Keeping up FICP’s tradition of giving back to the community in which its meetings take place, attendees at the January event donated loaves of bread to Haley House, a Boston soup kitchen and food pantry—bread they had made themselves. With materials, equipment, and, most important, instructors Michelle Kupiec and Susan Miller, provided by the Baking Education Center at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vt., attendees donned aprons and paired up to mix, knead, and braid bread dough that was later baked by the Fairmont Copley Plaza before being delivered along with peanut butter and jelly (compliments of the hotel). The project was organized by Erin Longo, CMP, manager, Prudential.
While winter sent the city into a deep freeze, attendees were plenty warm in the elegant Fairmont Copley Plaza, host of the meeting. Celebrating its 100th anniversary next year, the hotel is soon to be renovated and will build a long-awaited fitness center in a prime location—on the roof.
FICP’s Northeast Region co-chairs are Ali Ginnett, CMP, and Sheryl Krongold, CMP, Prudential. The region’s next meeting is scheduled for July 31–August 2. Keep watching the FICP Web site for location information.