World Education Congress 2018: What We Took Away from Indianapolis
If you have been a part of the hospitality industry for any length of time, you know the industry is constantly evolving. As professionals, it is important for us to always stay on top of the trends and understand our clients wants and needs. As the industry changes, so must we, which is one of the reasons why our team attended the World Education Congress hosted by Meeting Professionals International (MPI).
The World Education Congress is a multi-day event where meeting and event planners from across the globe have a chance to come together for numerous education, business, and networking opportunities. This year, it was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, the #1 convention city in the U.S, from June 2-5, 2018. With over 80 concurrent education sessions and various activities to attend throughout the day, there was a wide array for attendees to choose from, allowing for personalization of their program.
As we were fortunate enough to attend this conference, we figured it would be beneficial to highlight a few key takeaways that we learned from some of top global meeting professionals.
#1 – Reaching Higher Levels as a Leader
Those that are already in “leadership” roles recognize that being a leader is more than just a title. Every person can be a leader in their own regard, but what makes someone a great leader versus just average? Some tips for how professionals can excel as a leader are:
- Have ongoing and consistent 1-on-1 meetings with your supervisor. Having scheduled meetings to check-in on how you are doing allows you to track your progress and see if you are growing, or remaining stagnant.
- Be respectful of everyone’s time by coming fully prepared to meetings with an agenda that YOU drive. Although everyone may not enjoy meetings, they will be more receptive to what you have to say if you get right to the point and successfully follow the agenda.
- Create a mindset of targeting questions. Ask questions that you already know the answer to, or be prepared to answer questions before they even come up.
- Utilize your network to gain support for yourself (industry contacts, co-workers, vendors, clients). These are the people that would go to bat for you in any situation and are in constant support of your ideas. By utilizing your network, you have the opportunity to gain connections that allow you to become deeper rooted in the industry, as well as propel you forward in your career.
- Get your certifications (CMP, CMM, ASAE, CAE, etc). You can read more about the importance of earning your CMP here.
- Become a volunteer and get involved. Get outside of your comfort zone and do not be afraid to speak up, this will differentiate you from others.
#2- Keeping or Winning Back Customers
As a sales person, everyone knows that keeping your clients coming back to you year-after-year is a sign that you are doing something right. So what are the secrets to making them come back for more? How do you win back those that you have already lost? Here are things to keep in mind when defining your sales strategy:
- Make it a goal to fix everything and anything that is not GREAT (culture, processes, product, etc.)
- With the amount of sharing people do online, give people something positive to talk about (your service, product, attention to detail, response time, design, etc.)
- Make sure your clients feel like you truly understand their needs and they are not just another transaction for you.
- Stay visible in the community. Whether this be online, through various forms of social media, or even traditional marketing tactics; visibility wins. If your clients cannot see you, how can they buy from you?
- Utilize social media platforms to share and educate what you and others have to offer. Do NOT use it as a platform to sell.
- Create content of what you do on site, what you accomplish by being there, client reviews and interactions, and upload these to social media and youtube. This not only shows potential clients that you are involved, but helps them understand why they would need you in the first place.
The World Education Congress was all about experiences this year and it was packed with three full days of it. If you did not have the chance to attend this year, we encourage you to take the plunge and attend next year. Until then, keep up to date with our blogs to read about all the ins and outs of WEC 2018!