As the new year begins, most people develop a list of New Year's resolutions to try to break bad habits. So I thought I would create a list of a few meeting planning-related resolutions that you may want to consider:
I will not laugh hysterically anymore when a customer comes to me and wants to plan a three-day meeting for 200 people next week.
I will not perform voodoo rituals on the vice president of sales when he wants to move the final night event outside when no rain backup is available.
I will utilize stress-reducing breathing exercises when the banquet captain trashes the centerpieces that are slated to be reused.
I will no longer make faces behind the back of the president's wife when she “critiques” the menu and wine selections.
Most of all, I will no longer try to “compete” with the attendees on the pub-crawl with 6 a.m. departures the next morning.
Seriously, the meeting planner position draws upon an extremely diverse set of skills to be successful. To help you project yourself more professionally, invest time this year to hone some of those skills. If you are uncomfortable with presenting or public speaking, join a Speakeasy or Toastmasters group in your area. Look at starting work on earning a CMP designation. If your computer skills are a little rusty, look at taking an evening course at a local community college to improve those skills.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day activities or the execution of programs that we lose sight of some of the basics that can help us professionally. In a more competitive workforce, investing the time to improve our skills not only will make us better meeting planners, but will help us portray ourselves as professionals.
Best wishes and make it a great year!
Manager, Sales Incentives/Recognition Programs
Mutual of Omaha