This is a True Story

Blog > Tips & Advice

This is a True Story

By Jessie States | Apr 1, 2021

I recall vividly a story from a participant in one of our Women in Leadership Certificate classes who overheard a discussion her CEO and CMO were having. The CMO was saying she really needed to speak with her events manager before making a critical meeting decision. The CEO asked why. “She just plans our transportation and meals.”

Devastating. Your stomach just fell like mine did.

Later, she asked her CMO about the conversation. “I have an advanced degree. I strategically plan these experiences to deliver on business goals for our organization. Our events advance our organization’s mission.”

But the problem was, she never shared any of that data with her senior-level superiors. She never shared any of that information in the C-suite conversations she had with them. All her communications were logistics-based—about the schedule, the catering, the VIP transportation.

So, she changed the conversation. She left logistics to email. She started explaining how meetings played a critical role in the business’ success, and she used data to back it up. She shared why she chose certain destinations based on seasonal occupancy. She talked about the economy and how it played a role in her decision-making. She discussed costs, payment schedules and their impact on the balance sheet.

She positioned herself as a strategist and events consultant who could help her organization more strategically use the business tool of meetings to drive long-term objectives and KPIs.

What kinds of conversations should we be having with senior-level people so that we better position ourselves using data as valuable contributors to overarching business strategy?

Imagine calculating the actual business value of your meetings portfolio and communicating that to key stakeholders, helping them make decisions on which meetings to enhance, amend or retire based on where the organization needs to go. It’s the role of the meeting professional to gather critical data not just on whether or not, for example, a sales meeting performed or whether the salespeople were satisfied—but whether those salespeople changed their behaviors in critical ways and to what degree that impacted the bottom line.

Ready to take your executive communications to the next level?

Join MPI’s next Meeting & Event Strategist class today.



Jessie States
Jessie States

Jessie States, CMP, CMM, is the Director of the MPI Academy for Meeting Professionals International, where she leads and advances MPI’s professional development strategy, developing and managing MPI’s portfolio of educational products delivered through all channels, including live and digital events, educational experiences, professional certificate programs and through educational partnerships.