The choices that we make every day define us. They also define other important parameters: the food we eat, the lifestyle we choose, the causes we promote, and the vocation we pursue. These combine to determine the essence of our lives.

Last week, a person seeking employment said to me, “I am 54 years old. I could continue what I have been doing for another 10 years. However, I want to change my vocation.” This choice will create significant consequences for this individual.

Likewise, meeting and hospitality planners make defining choices concerning their events. These decisions begin as we consider location, programs, and activities for our meetings.

Hotel associates often ask, “What is the highest priority for determining the success of your meeting?” Or, “What are the one, two, or three most important criteria for your meeting?” I am always challenged by such defining questions. The providers want to understand our priorities so that they may focus their best efforts in effecting a sale that will make our event successful.

As I write this, I am on my way to southern California to choose a site for a February 2006 conference. The location will determine much about the event. Some common needs may be satisfied regardless of location; however, in choosing southern California in February, we are defining our event by the opportunities of that location. Our choice has excluded the chance to enjoy skiing in Colorado, or snowmobiling in Wisconsin. Our choice has included ocean events, golf, and other warm-weather options. We thus have made important decisions for our attendees.

Keep defining your priorities, always remembering the consequences of the choices that you make.