WEC23: ‘New realities create the need for new negotiations’​

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WEC23: ‘New realities create the need for new negotiations’​

By Michael Pinchera | Jun 8, 2023

Keira Solon, EdD (MPI Kansas City Chapter), assistant professor of management and program coordinator, events marketing and management at the University of Central Missouri, teases her June 15 WEC23 session “Say Yes! Effective & Ethical Negotiation.”

Can you share some changes or trends in meeting/event negotiation that you anticipate discussing during your session?

Keira SolonAs a professor with a background in communication and events management, this session will focus on timeless aspects of the negotiation process. With a heavy emphasis on communication and relationships, the session should allow participants to back up and view the negotiation process holistically, as both theory and practice. In the aftermath of a global pandemic, negotiation is more important than ever. From job seekers who are negotiating salaries and industry professionals who are negotiating roles and responsibilities, to venues and organizations who are negotiating to recover financial and brand identity loss, no negotiation is too big or too small to view through the lens of ethical negotiation.

What are you seeing as the most widespread hurdles that meeting professionals are facing at the negotiation table?

In addition to professional negotiations which occur between planners and suppliers, many meeting professionals are negotiating their worth within organizations and their boundaries as professionals. As the meeting industry experienced a sudden death—followed by a dramatic rebirth—meeting professionals of all types are striving to find their place in the current meeting industry. The past three years offered an unexpected (and generally painful) hiatus during which time organizations were forced to consider the value that meetings contribute to their overall organizational goals. Likewise, meeting professionals, who had grown accustomed to serving in all-consuming professional roles, were forced to consider how their professional opportunities aligned with their personal value systems. New realities create the need for new negotiations.

Are you seeing an increase in ethics situations relating to meeting/event negotiations?

Through my research and my work overseeing a university events degree program, the ethical quandaries I am closest to involve concerns with employment opportunities, scope of work, compensation, staffing and trauma related to sudden layoffs, furloughs and the abrupt halt of an entire industry. Further, as the meeting industry is heavily populated by women (as is evidenced by the fact that 70% of WEC participants identify as female) these types of ethical concerns are generally compounded as careers populated by women encounter additional difficulties with professionalization and the recognition of professional status.

What are some key lessons you hope attendees of your WEC session will take away from it?

First of all, I hope attendees have fun, share some good belly laughs and experience a sense of empowerment. Further, attendees should leave with a heightened understanding of the function of communication and practical takeaways to engage in ethical, relationship-centered negotiations. Participants will leave with concrete action items to implement in their own personal and professional negotiations.



Michael Pinchera

Michael Pinchera, MPI's managing editor, is an award-winning writer and editor as well as a speaker, technologist and contributor to business, academic and pop culture publications since 1997.