Planners Share Their Pre-Meeting Rituals

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Pre-Meeting Rituals
Pre-Meeting Rituals

Do you get into your superhero pose or whisper “Showtime!” as part of your pre-meeting rituals to help you get psyched to run an event? Here are some ways planners rev up the confidence and energy to deal with the wild demands and unforeseen hiccups that are all in a day’s work for an event planner.

  1. Superhero pose. Sherri K. Lindenberg, senior vice president, marketing communications, Crump Life Insurance Services, sees value in having her team take a moment for a superhero pose as a pre-meeting ritual to help them get psyched. “In the workroom at our laptops, our shoulders are hunched in, faces crinkled. Taking a superhero pose before heading out to meet our guests breaks that stressed, tight mode, provides a quick mental refresh, and sets us up to present the right persona to our guests.” She also uses and recommends the pose before speakers step out on stage. “It makes them laugh, takes the edge off, and pumps up the shoulders and chests for a stronger look.”
  2. You’ve Got This. Donna Mitsos, CIS, IP, vice president, sales, Innovation Meetings, said she uses the same mantra for events as for athletic competitions and speaking engagements: “You got this, Donna”.  She says it out loud, although quietly. “It reminds me that I am well prepared and experienced and can handle anything that comes my way.  Somehow speaking to myself in the third person makes me feel more confident…almost like I have a team backing me. In fact, I use it for team events as well, replacing “you” with “we.”
  3. Be grateful. To stay grounded during events, Lisa Ingrassia-Neuman said that she finds some quiet time each morning, closes her eyes, and repeats this mantra to herself, “In doing something, do it with love or not at all.” The director of events/social media, Zenith Marketing Group, LLC, an Ash Brokerage Company, said she considers herself blessed. “I love what I do. I am thankful for the places I have traveled, the incredible people I have met, and the lifelong friendships I’ve formed, thanks to this wonderful career.” Reminding herself of all this, “especially during the most trying moments of an event helps. With gratitude, all things are possible.”
  4. A Pre-Game Huddle. A football team has its pre-play huddle, so everyone knows the game plan. Sandra Daniel CEO, Fire Light Group, holds a debrief with her staff and client either the night before or morning of the event. “Like a football team, we prepare meticulously and have a game plan, but this lets us adjust to last-minute changes. A quick review of roles and responsibilities reminds everyone who to go to if requests or questions arise and heads off any potential for miscommunication. Knowing we are all on the same page makes everyone feel confident and grounded. At the end, I will usually say, ‘we are really good at what we do, and we got this!‘ and my team typically responds, ‘Yep, we got this!‘”
  5. Hands on hips, a smile on your lips. “No amount of pre-planning or years of experience will prepare you for every eventuality on-site. There is only one thing that you can control, no matter what, your attitude,” said Emilie Perkins, CAE, CMP, CMM, PMP, director of client & conference services, Raybourn Group International. “When it’s go time, I am reminded of something that my daughters’ coaches told them before heading out on stage for a recital – ‘Hands on your hips and a smile on your lips!’ Once you are on-site, it’s not about you; it’s about the experience that you are creating for your participants.”


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