Meeting Planners … The Best Advice I Ever Received

AA043999As a Meeting Planner, I’m not a nutrition expert, a fitness expert, a psychologist, or even a trainer.  What I am is a road warrior.  What all of us who have been in this business more than, ahem, a few years know is that in order to take care of your client, you need to take care of yourself.

When I first started out in this business, I was strictly on the production side.  We had a new gentleman on the crew on one particular show who stood out for his work ethic, knowledge, and kindness.  One morning, after a night of heavy food and drink with the crew, as I walked a little bleary-eyed to the ballroom, I noticed him sitting alone in the hotel restaurant.  He was reading his newspaper and devouring a huge breakfast.  I stopped by to comment that he hadn’t joined the rest of us the evening before.  He gave me the most sage piece of advice I’ve ever received, and it was so simple.  He said (and I’m paraphrasing a bit), “I’m paid well for the work I do and the client deserves the best that I can give.  I take the time in the morning to get up a little earlier than the rest of you to collect my thoughts, catch up on world news, and leisurely enjoy a good breakfast … it might be the only decent meal I get today.”

 I took that advice to heart, since I really didn’t enjoy partying into the night anyway.  And, I found out that no one respected me any less getting a good night’s sleep.  In fact, I also earned a reputation over the years as the person who could be counted on no matter what task was given to me.  So, to all of you Meeting Planners who are new and just starting out in this business, or those of you who need a short reminder … may I offer a few very simple tips:

  • Nothing beats a good night’s sleep, we need to be alert to deal with all the details and changes we face each day
  • Heavy meals after 9pm do not lead to a restful evening
  • One or two glasses of wine after a long day is relaxing, more is impairment the next morning
  • Eat a good breakfast with protein, it will help you get through the long day
  • Tastings are needed and fun, but remember the word taste … you’re not required to eat everything
  • Delegate to responsible team members, you do not have to do everything yourself

And most important of all … Your client deserves the best you have to give them!

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