This month, our Visionary Planner of the Month honors Koleen Roach, director, meetings and conference management for Securian Financial.
Not only does Koleen do standout work as a meeting planner, she’s also in the process of creating a business that cares for the animals of women who are transitioning out of domestic violence. But what does she credit most for the advancement of her career? “Definitely building out a strong network of industry peers to consult with in those situations where I may be lacking in knowledge or experience, and also my membership in Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals association,” she told us. “I have learned a tremendous amount about the industry through that affiliation.”
“This career doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient. Listen and learn. Success comes with knowledge, and knowledge comes with experience.”
For others looking to advance their careers, she shares this advice: “This career doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient. Listen and learn. Success comes with knowledge, and knowledge comes with experience. Find a few mentors and really tap in to that knowledge base. Be fearless, but be smart and know that not everything is a crisis. Take lots of deep breaths and never let anyone see you sweat.”
Tips from Koleen
Koleen advises that meeting planners start with the basics. Know your audience (specific demographics are extremely important), be clear on goals and objectives from your client, and know your cost per person to avoid over planning.
In order to plan a successful incentive trip, Koleen always considers these three things to be top priority:
- Have committed leadership who is willing to invest appropriately for the type of incentive being held.
- Keep a proper budget and a clear understanding of what is paid for and what is not.
- Invest in destination(s), accommodations and experiences that truly reward top performance.