A short while back there was a viral-bound joke that if vaccination site managers wanted to have their operations, appointments and follow through go smoothly, they should turn to meeting and event planners. The joke continued that not only would the task be done skillfully and to everyone’s satisfaction, but all those seniors who had endured standing in long lines, (sometimes throughout the night), unsure if they’d even score a shot, would have been served snacks, a drink and maybe even a chair. I was likely among the meetings & event Insiders who didn’t see the surface humor in the proposition. I had discussed that same “duh moment” ad nauseum with industry friends and my husband and wondered why no one in charge hadn’t already figured that out. Who better to strategize all the minutia of appointments, parking, cue lines, qualified staff, and follow up visits to fulfillment, than a planner?
I’ve thought to write about the hospitality, meeting & events industries for months. Several factors finally propelled me to action.
First: a dear friend and Meetings Professional International (MPI) colleague, Terry Matthews-Lombardo, who is not only a veteran meeting planner for whom I have worked for some of her personal and professional events as my alter ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, but she is also a prolific writer. She asked that I contribute some of my experiences as a psychic and dancer for corporate and social events as teaching moments for her soon-to-be-published book, Meetings Mayhem.
Second, many of my industry friends have been permanently displaced from their positions as hotel sales, entertainers, florists, destination managers, caterers, audio -video or lighting specialists, producers, décor designers…. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. Some have been unemployed for months, wondering how to salvage long careers in an industry, place, or position they’ve loved. Some, like my extraordinarily talented singer, comedienne and fitness/dance coach, Jaimie Roberts, have turned to dormant creative skills to initiate new businesses. If those of us in her former Power Dance & Fitness studio classes had realized what she could do with cakes and other desserts, we might not have ever lost weight or gained strength. If you don’t believe me, check out her new website: https://thevoiceofcake.wixsite.com/cake.