by Tim Brown | December 8, 2014

Since this is my last Strategic Perspective of the year and we are setting our sights on Christmas, I want to take a lighter approach and share this year’s edition of my "A Meeting Planners Christmas." Enjoy!

I wish you all very happy holidays and a healthy and happy new year!

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"A Meeting Planner's Christmas"

Way too many year-end projects looming
Which is clearly creating extra stress
Including increased stakeholder expectations
And the reality is me "doing more with less"

Our CFO is scrutinizing my meeting budgets
Yes, we always want a bang for our buck
Which takes a lot of negotiations skills
And of course, a little bit of luck

So where should I take our annual meeting?
Everyone's anticipation continues to grow
And if there is not championship golf
Our Chairman won't show

Hotel contracts can be, well, complicated
And everything can move at a fast pace
But I will focus on value and risk mitigation
Not just "dates, rates & space"

We all know it's a hot seller’s market
These high room rates don't always appease
And to make sure I achieve my budget goals
I must get rid of those pesky hotel & resort fees

Being a meeting planner is really not easy
Always a total focus on business solutions
And I am just trying to get through this year
So no time for those silly New Year’s resolutions

I think 2015 will be more of the same
Achieving stakeholder goals, still the trend
Yes, Strategic Meetings Management outcomes
And leveraging total meeting activity data and spend

I love high marks on attendee surveys
A focus on interactive learning, a must
Fresh content, engagement & collaboration
Building confidence, relationships, and trust

I really need to take a family vacation
We all need an periodic change in latitude
And a week or so of no meetings & events
Will create a much needed spike in my attitude

But I will stay connected during the Christmas holidays
Be on top of industry trends and focus on season's greetings
And the best way to stay current and "in the know"
Is to read each edition of Successful Meetings

I am on social media and technology overload
From email announcements and spam, I am a slave
And do you want to know how bad it is really getting?
The other day, I entered my pin # in the microwave!

Oh my, it's time to get into the Christmas spirit
The big focus on family, friends, and holiday cheer
And finalizing my 2015 meeting agenda
Must be pushed off until early next year

So let’s step back and count our blessings
Reaching out to people in need is our best role
Kind words....shared happiness....big hugs
Clearly good for the mind, body & soul

It's time to have hearts filled with gratitude
Give thanks and have a positive point of view
And my wish for all Successful Meetings readers
Is Good Health...Happiness...and Merry Christmas to you!

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Happy holidays and look for my Strategic Perspective column to resume in January!


Tim Brown is CEO of Meeting Sites Resource. MSR is a global strategic meetings management solutions organization with a 20-year track record of meeting excellence. This includes global hotel sourcing and custom contract negotiations, professional meeting support services, SMM consulting and advanced meeting technology.
Tim contributes articles to industry trade publications and speaks at many industry events. MSR also designs custom strategic education for planning and procurement teams. MSR is a recognition recipient of Meeting Professionals International's Golden Paragon Award, MPI's highest recognition for meeting excellence.
For a complimentary copy of Tim's "Meeting Value & ROI Analysis," contact him at [email protected]