Julie L. Zimmerman
Manager, Meetings and Events
Aviva USA
West Des Moines, Iowa

FICP Midwest Region Chair

What is your current job description?
I am manager of the meetings and events team. In that capacity, I supervise site selection and contract negotiations, while maintaining the meeting budget and providing the ultimate customer experience at Aviva events.

What have been the benefits of FICP membership for you?
I joined FICP in 2005 to develop relevant industry knowledge in a high-quality networking association that would also allow relationship- and partnership-buildng. My FICP membership has also given me strategies to implement at Aviva to continue exceeding expectations at our meetings.

Why did you decide to volunteer as region chair?
I have firsthand knowledge of the value FICP brings to planners. I volunteered as Midwest Region Chair so I could mentor others and assist in the development of new ideas, enhance industry knowledge, and further professional relationships in our industry.

What is the biggest current challenge for meeting planners?
The greatest challenge is being able to create the “wow” factor for an increasing number of meetings with smaller budgets. The current economic environment has also resulted in the need to plan meetings on shorter notice and with limited resources.

What is one great piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
Always try to think outside the box.