There’s so much to learn from other meeting professionals. So we asked Prevue’s newly installed 2018 Editorial Advisory Board to share some valuable career advice.
The following career advice comes directly from our advisory board members and will get you thinking. And if you have a burning question that you’d love to ask them, drop us a note in the comments section of this post.
Never shoot from the hip
Research every aspect of what you are doing and make sure you are ready to answer questions from your clients. If you don’t know the answer, be smart enough to admit it, go through the discovery process, and report back with facts. Facts matter!
Build your own brand
Organizations have marketing departments, but as individuals, CEOs of ourselves (aside for when we job hunt and work on our résumés to represent us), what else do you do to market yourself in this industry?
Why market yourself? Think career growth, networking opportunities, developing leadership, being exposed to “outside the box” opportunities, continuing education and becoming a subject matter expert and a resource to peers.
Find ways to contribute
Even within your own organization, write a blog, do a “lunch & learn” about a topic, or when you get a certification, lead an internal study group.
Know that the meeting planning business (and it is a business) is enhanced by the relationships that one develops across the industry, with vendors, your clients—everyone with whom you associate to get a job done. When you get into a pinch or things change on a dime, those relationships become invaluable and can ease needed changes and help open doors.
Never forget that attendees’ time is money
Keep in mind that all incentive programs or meetings are experiential. People are taken out of their normal environment and gathered elsewhere, in-person, via electronics, or both. Remember that time is money and that this experience can be transporting—an opportunity to enhance, breakthrough the norm and bring about new ideas, relationships and ROI. When people’s time is honored and new ideas, understandings, increases in ROI, or whatever the benchmark for success might be is reached, it will be win-win for the client, the attendee and you, the “experiential developer.”
Don’t be afraid to ask
Always ask questions. The only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask.
Try not to get yourself overwhelmed! Always remember: “Rome was not built in a day!”
Volunteer for new projects that may “stretch you” within your current job role. Taking risks will help you learn new areas or skills of your job and you will stand out above the rest!
Build a strong network of advanced meeting planners, who are already blazing the trail and know what it takes to succeed. Invest in an association membership and sign up to be mentored. Also, there are so many wonderful resources online, many of which are free. The industry magazines and associations have a host of reading material on their websites.
Grow your visibility by speaking
Figure out what makes you passionate and what components you like best about your career/role, and when there are “call for speakers,” submit for an opportunity to present. If you are not comfortable leading a session on your own, ask the organizers if there is an opportunity to be part of a panel.
Establish what type of planner you want to be: full-service or simply focusing on the event side of the business. Many don’t think about this question when branching out on their own.
In the end, it’s all about integrity
Remember that your integrity is the most important item to maintain from the beginning of one’s career and through the years ahead.