What is the value of your
The benefits have far exceeded my expectations, delivering tremendous value to my employers and to me personally. Over the past 12 years, my association with FICP has helped me save money, avoid costs, and make friends. Due to my travel schedule (which doesn’t seem to end), my closest friends are within the FICP community and I know they genuinely care. These friendships were formed from attending FICP conferences. I have countless stories of how my FICP friends and partners have helped elevate me to where I am today, including a personal job reference and an introduction during a Christmas party 12 years ago to the woman who is now my wife, which makes becoming president of FICP even more extraordinary. The benefits of membership are priceless. I’ve seen the economy move from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market and back again. Through these cycles, my FICP partners have shown tremendous integrity, not wavering from their core values and beliefs and always delivering fair and equitable outcomes.
As FICP’s incoming president, what is the primary message you want to deliver to members?
The FICP Board, Hospitality Partner Committee, and management team are committed to delivering relevant education and interaction to increase knowledge and personal advancement through peer-to-peer networking and strengthening relationships between planners and the hospitality community. The leadership team has surveyed members, listened to their needs, and set appropriate goals for 2011 to enable members to learn, strengthen partnerships, and excel.
How can FICP stay relevant to members and potential members?
We first need to understand their needs. The association has formed a strategic alliance with Meeting Metrics to deploy a survey strategy in 2011, determining pre- and post-event metrics. We have also partnered with Corporate Meetings & Incentives magazine to provide broad-based insight into industry trends and hot topics, expanding the depth of our education design teams.
What is the association’s biggest challenge in the coming year?
The past 18 months have been difficult. FICP membership has decreased because of consolidation and job loss to a current member base of just under 450. FICP’s goal is to reach 525 members in 2011 and 600 members in 2012. FICP’s Membership Committee is working on innovative ideas and strategies to attract qualified meeting professionals by providing solutions for them to accomplish their goals.
The association provides a variety of opportunities for planners to learn and engage, including FICP’s Web site, which hosts the online exchange, the resource library, and new and archived webinar and talk-radio offerings. FICP’s live educational meetings deliver an experience that is unique to FICP, with a low ratio of hospitality partners to planners at conferences, a “live” idea-sharing session with members only, and educational offerings relevant to a range of experience levels.