This week I've FINALLY put efforts toward work my way into the meeting and events industry! Lately everyone has been telling me how much they could me planning events, and I since I have found happiness doing that in the past, I don't see why I shouldn't take a chance at it. It's now or never right? I haven't felt so instrinsicly motivated in such a long time. I realize that I have so much to learn beyond my B.A and whatever planning experience I've had, but I'm still very determined to push my way through.
Today after work I drove straight to OCC and talked to a counselor about their Certificate in Event and Meeting Planning! I had so much fun, just walking on completely different campus. felt like I was embarking on a new adventure into the unknown.
If you're reading this, please help me stay on track with this! Since I haven't had work experience in a hotel or catering company, it's going to be a little more difficult. I'm thinking I'll have to find whatever full time job I can get right now, and take classes for the certification and hopefully join the OC Chapter of MPI (Meeting Professionals International). My boss Kristie at the Alumni Association told me about MPI and how great it was when she was a member. Kristie is such a blessing! I'm so thankful to be working with someone who knows all about the meeting and events industry. She's helped me so much with my job search and giving me advice on who to talk to and where to look.
People who say meeting and event planning professions require little skill have no idea what they're talking about. Crazy talk literally. One needs to have the ability to effectively communicate with all people involved in a successful execution of a meeting/event (vendors, attendees, catering crew, set-up crew...the list goes ). ALSO, one needs the ability to effectively prioritize, pay attention to detail, and at least appear collected when time is running out before an event. When I planned Parent's Day (which was very small compared to, let's say, a CONVENTION), I slept very little the few days before the event. Whether it was creating program, the slideshow (making sure it was compatible with the DVD player), the music, the food, the ever-changing headcount, I felt like it was MORE than a full time job. Yet I absolutely loved what I was doing - I was having so much fun, it didn't really feel like work.
As I'm reading more and more about high-level professionals in the industry, they have gone so far! Right now, I think it would be awesome to be a Catering Manager, but this one woman started off as a Special Events manager for Nordstrom and now she's Director of Sales, Hilton Worldwide. Crazyyyy... That just shows that event coordinators do have the power to move up the ranks and get things done.
Well....it's getting late now. I'm off to bed. Tomorrow is a new day and I'm ready!!