Glass Half Full: Success Through Flexibility and Pivoting Quickly

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Glass Half Full: Success Through Flexibility and Pivoting Quickly

By Rich Luna | Aug 31, 2020

The Road to Recovery: Executive Panel Discussion will take place during the MPI World Education Congress (WEC) in Grapevine, Texas, Nov. 4. Panelists include Nan Marchand, managing director of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition/U.S. Travel Association; Jason Dunn, chair of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals; Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council; and Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. Annette Gregg, senior vice president of experience for MPI, is the panel moderator.

Today, we hear from Nan Marchand, managing director of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition/U.S. Travel Association.

As one of our industry’s leaders, what have you found to be most challenging in identifying solutions for a sustainable future?

What’s incredibly difficult is the constant pace of situational change. So, I approach it in terms of, “What one thing can you do every day, no matter how small.”

What in your experience has helped prepare you to manage through this very difficult time?

I tend to have a “glass half full” point of view, and over time, I’ve learned that being able to pivot quickly and be flexible are essential operating skills.

There seems to be a very collaborative environment within the meeting and event industry right now; how important has that collaboration been in seeking solutions for the future? 

Collaboration, speaking with one voice, is crucial in moving the industry forward. And it’s critical during these challenging times to continue with “one industry, one voice.”

Reunite for Recovery: MPI WEC Grapevine, Nov. 3-6, 2020

What is the message you would like to send to meeting professionals right now? 

I would say our industry is adapting and adopting the health and safety guidance that will help give attendees the ability to travel and meet confidently ahead. After months of working at home and conducting meetings online, there will be a strong desire to reconnect safely, when the time is right to do so. I’d add—wear a mask and wash your hands often and encourage your network to do the same.

What do you see as the takeaways from this panel discussion?

Keep an open mind to change and remain flexible, because things will be different as we emerge from this crisis. We can operate productively while adhering to new health and safety practices across the industry.

Other thoughts?

America’s travel industry is in an economic depression. We urge the U.S. Congress to act boldly and decisively to provide relief, protection and, ultimately, stimulus to help jumpstart a recovery that gets the travel, meetings and business events workforce safely back to work and serving travelers’ needs.

Photo by Nolan Simmons on Unsplash



Rich Luna

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