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April 2024 - Talia McDougal

By: Ginger Garner, CMP | Apr 10, 2024


Talia McDougal,

Global Event Strategist

Maritz Travel

Member since April 2023

Joined in April 2023

MPI Georgia would like to welcome new member, Talia McDougal, Global Event Strategist at Maritz Travel. She joined the chapter in April 2023 and is so pleased to be a part of this organization of event professionals. Talia is originally from Georgia (and still has family here), but she is also currently living in the Florida Panhandle and considers herself as having the best of both worlds as she travels back and forth often. Currently, Talia volunteers with the MPI Membership Committee and is working toward her CMP.

Professionally, Talia is aligned with Maritz Travel to help organizations source hotels for conferences and events. Through her company, she has partnerships with all hotels globally, access to industry trends, and the most current industry data to assist in negotiating the best deals. Before joining the Maritz team, she was a happy client herself, and she knows what it's like to be in the event planner's shoes. “The best part of my business is connecting with clients (who usually become friends) and saving them time and money!” Talia loves what she gets to do every single day. Being able to help clients with their event planning makes her so happy. “Booking events, travelling, and exploring all over the world is my passion. I just booked Toronto for one amazing client and am working on Napa Valley for another.  Other standout destinations include Cancun, Santa Fe, and Lisbon. I may be visiting Germany this summer and remain open to what God has in store for me; I trust the process.”

Talia feels like she was born planning events. Outside of family and church events growing up, she also helped lead fundraising and formal events for her social service club in college. During her teaching days, she was part of event planning committees for school. “And, corporate franchise experience included conferences, regional meetings, and trainings, oh my!” Joining Maritz has been a highlight of her experience in this industry; she loves what she does. Throughout various professional roles, event planning has been a consistent thread for most of Talia’s life. “Every experience has led me to where I am today, and I am grateful for each one.”

Her work in the meetings industry has led her to prioritize organization and getting plenty of rest as key best practices. “I no longer set alarms unless I have a super early meeting across the globe or an early flight!” Staying organized, although sometimes a conflict with her creative side, helps a ton in business. She is a self-professed nerd and uses her agenda daily. “I'm most successful when I take better care of myself and then have more to give to my clients.” Talia also stands by these words of wisdom, “know your worth and set boundaries.” “Work life balance is a hot commodity and it’s easy to let yourself become overworked and stressed. Sometimes it's tough to live up to others' expectations especially if you have different perspectives, ideas, and beliefs.” She trusts that “the right people will come into your life and at the right time. And the end of something is the beginning of something new, usually better; trust the process, be true to who you are, and do your best.”

Talia has a big, southern family full of tradition, some drama, and many blessings. She is the baby of 5 in a stepfamily and refers to herself as “scrappy.” Between her brother, stepsisters, and stepbrother, she has 8 nieces and nephews (and now several greats and several cousins, too!). “I'm blessed to have been close with my grandparents and parents, particularly as an adult. I've always been surrounded by strong women - between my mom and 2 aunts, I basically have 3 mamas.” Talia has love for her 2 senior fur babies - Dulce Bob who is a brilliant, beautiful Jack Russell of 17.5 years, and Bandit, a spunky, sweet 18.5-year-old Yorkie Maltese that she adopted 2 Thanksgivings ago from a family friend who couldn't take care of him. “Family has always been a really important part of who I am.”

When asked what is the most daring thing that Talia has done, she would have to say moving to the Cayman Islands with only 2 suitcases and getting off the plane not knowing anyone. “I moved to the small island to teach at the international school and never expected it to turn into such a beautiful experience (or that I would live there 3 years)!” Both challenging and rewarding, she loved that little island and all the amazing people that became like family; many of whom keep in touch from all over the world and who aim to get together for their 'Cayman reunion' every 3 years.

Talia loves mixing business and pleasure. She is always thrilled when she can join clients for their events and loves that she can work from just about anywhere in the world. “Honestly, there are very few places I wouldn't want to visit or be able to work. I just sourced Ft. Worth and Toronto and am working on Napa Valley; I could definitely work from any of those destinations if I have to (I mean, if I have to)!” Talia also loves her home office near the beach and is super productive there. “Travel is the spice of life, and changing the scenery keeps life interesting.”




Chapter logos_stacked_color_Georgia
Ginger Garner, CMP
West Palm Beach

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