5 Questions with Anna Leonik

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5 Questions with Anna Leonik

By Rich Luna | Feb 10, 2020

Anna Leonik came to Meeting Professionals International’s signature European event, the European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC), to gain some business skills that she can take back with her to the Warsaw School of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Instead, it was the third-year student who showed off her meetings industry business savvy, coming away as the winner of the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum International University Challenge, earning the right to compete at IMEX in Frankfurt in May. Regional winners from six selected forums advance to compete in Frankfurt for a trip to MPI’s World Education Congress in June or next year’s EMEC in Brighton, England.

Her presentation, “Work on Your Health,” was a case study on a fictitious physical and mental health conference. Participants in the competition planned the conference schedule, selected a venue, produced a budget and showed the value of the event.

“I have recently become a MPI member, but since then, I received the opportunity to take a part in EMEC20 in Sevilla and I’m going to IMEX in Frankfurt in May,” she said. “MPI has allowed me to obtain opportunities that I had never even thought of.”

Not bad for Leonik, who made a spontaneous decision to pursue a career in meetings.

“I didn’t really know anything about it,” she said. “When I had to make a choice on my specialization in college, I chose business tourism, but at that time it wasn’t quite an informed decision.”

But after taking a training class and joining a club at school, “I realized that this is what I wanted to do in the future.”

She also had the opportunity to be mentored by her professor, Krzysztof Celuch (MPI Poland Chapter), a longtime MPI member who is currently on the organization’s Global Board of Trustees. She said Celuch “noticed my potential. Now I am fascinated by the meetings industry and want to know more about it and gain more experiences.”

“I would like to know my capabilities and develop my skills,” she said. “Connecting with people and sharing experiences is one of the biggest values of meetings. I hope to learn something about cooperating with people, be inspired and become more confident in establishing contacts because even the most logistically perfect event will be meaningless without people.”

What’s the best advice someone gave you?

Believe in yourself and try to be a best friend to yourself. Living in good relations with yourself first makes you successful in what you are doing. You should understand that other people make our lives more beautiful, but only by fully accepting ourselves are we able to give others what is the best in us and fully enjoy life.

What are the words that best describe you?

Open-minded, outside of the box, sensitive, perfectionist, spontaneous.

In 10 years, I will…

…be one of the most appreciated representatives of the meetings industry and I will be proud of myself and my achievements.

What do you do for fun?

Extreme amusement parks are my favorite pastime. I love rope parks and trolley rides, especially those above the water surface. My dream is to parachute jump.

What are the biggest challenges facing our industry?

I think people are demanding more and more from events. They want personalization, unforgettable experiences, and, of course, the wow effect, which is fully understandable. People discover a lot about current events from social media, for example, and want something new and unique all the time, so the challenge for us is to measure up to customer expectations, which are getting bigger and more specific.



Rich Luna

Rich Luna is Director of Publishing for MPI and Editor-in-chief of The Meeting Professional.