If you're a meeting planner, you may not want to show this article to your boss. He may fear for his job.
Meeting professionals are getting more recognition for the roles they play. You may remember Donald Trump's show, The Apprentice, where he judged his finalists by how they managed an event. The trend is growing. Not that there are more reality shows using event management as a measuring stick. Rather, that attention and recognition for our skills and talents continue to blossom.
The TV contestants had some of the same experiences that us planners, have had. Inclement weather, pushy VIPs, demanding sponsors and a slew of other unexpected mishaps. Hey, we're meeting planners. We know the routine.
My theory regarding Trump is that meeting planning is akin to being a CEO. You may not be the boss where you work, but you can probably do most of his job, if not all of it. You deal with finance and budget, personnel and staff, technology and crisis management, publicity and marketing.
As a meeting planner, you wear many hats, dealing with just about everything a CEO might. You deal with the nuts and bolts as well as the Big Picture and that's what it is all about.
One reason why meeting planners succeed isn't because we manage the show from A to Z. It's also because we are masters of change, flexibility and adaptability. Who else has to go from negotiator to registrar to ego stroker to techno wizard from one moment to the next? Who else but a meeting professional has to think as quickly on their feet as, say, a CEO?
Are we all capable of being a Trump apprentice? Who knows. It makes for good television. But the point is that most experienced meeting planners probably have the basis for the skills and ability they seek out.
How have you gained recognition for your meeting skills?