By Les Selby, CMP, CMM
I believe the vast majority of the people who visit the MeetingsCanada.com website are involved in the events industry.
So if you are reading this blog, you are a “planner”, “supplier” or “supplanner” (an insider term often applied to third-party planners).
That means your job is probably focused on logistics (venue, food & beverage, audiovisual support, etc.), event strategy (how do you achieve the defined objectives?), and/or meeting content (agenda, speakers, education, etc.).
Regardless of which professional magazines or websites you peruse, you will certainly have seen numerous discussions over the past few years about the relative importance of event strategy vs. logistics.
No matter what the experts say, the priority of your job will most likely be to meet the expectations of your employers or clients.
As I was in the marketing department when I assumed responsibilities for meetings and incentive travel, my focus was always on what we wanted an event to achieve and how it should be organized to generate the maximum ROI (return on investment) and ROO (return on objectives).
Having said that, I also recognized that no event achieved its objectives if the logistics were poorly organized (have you ever spent weeks planning an event, but the only feedback you received was that there wasn’t enough coffee?).
And to my way of thinking, the best way to organize the logistics was to develop a good relationship with my colleagues and suppliers, who could provide the best advice on how to use a facility or service.
For most people in the event industry, the real priority of their job (regardless of whether they are sellers or buyers) should probably be developing a network of knowledgeable professionals who they can call upon for advice and assistance.
Whether you develop your network at industry events, through a professional association, or using social media like LinkedIn, remember to recognize those people in your network who help you along the way.
I think that means you also have a responsibility to help others (whether out of a sense of obligation or friendliness).
So as we approach the holiday season, I just want to take a second to thank those people in my network who have offered their knowledge and experience to help me create successful events and avoid numerous disasters.
May Santa bring you everything you want and I hope you have the opportunity to spend time with your family and friends.