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Overall Excellence Chapter Award



MPI MN Profiles Planner Sharon Crooker

By: MPI Minnesota | Oct 8, 2021

MPI_21_SharonCrooker175MPI Minnesota Chapter profiles Planner Sharon Crooker, Senior Associate, National Events & Meetings.

Why did you join MPI?  

I decided it was time to pull the trigger.  I have been an online supporter for years and now I decided to actually participate in MPI and become part of the Minnesota Chapter

How long have you been in the meetings/hospitality industry?  

It has been a long road in this industry.  I started in 1998 (by accident) with a Manufacturing Company.  I then worked for two 3rd parties designing and selling events and destinations.  One of my clients asked if I ever thought about going back to the corporate side of planning and executing and I jumped at the chance to go back over to that side of the business.  I am so grateful because I have designed, planned, and executed events for a Fortune 100 company based out Amsterdam and travelled the world doing what I love to do.  It has been a fantastic 23-year career.

How did you decide to get involved in this business?  What influenced you?

It was by accident. I worked for a Global Manufacturing company as the Marketing Admin. I started by helping out the Product Marketing group by sending out equipment and literature for their Roadshows, Tradeshows and Customer Events. The director of corporate events one day tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I ever thought about doing this permanently and working on her side of the business. I guess I never thought about it, but after I made the transition to that side, there was no looking back.  

What’s the most valuable advice you’ve received about working with meetings?

You can’t please everyone, so follow the 80/20 rule and always be kind.

What is one piece of advice about meeting planning you would share?  

As a type A+ personality, I have an issue with control and perfection. I have learned that you can’t control everything and you always should have plan B, C, D and Z in your back pocket to execute any mishap.

What is one thing about this industry that you love? 

So many things, but I think it is the people. The people that you create the experience for, the people that you meet along the way, the people (vendors) that want you to succeed.

What is one thing about the industry would you like to see changed?  

I have been through 911 and the 2008 recession, so I have been through changes within the industry.  Right now during the pandemic, I would like to see changes to the guidance from the CDC on “large events guidance.”  Professional Meetings and Events, shouldn’t be considered “large gatherings.”  We are professional planners and we take it seriously about controlling and keeping our events safe with layering precautions and protocols. Our industry has been hit hard over the last 18-months. We need to continue to thrive.

What do you do outside of work? 
During the pandemic my boyfriend and I renovated a camper and we enjoy traveling and going to music festivals. I love spending time with my family and my grandson.


MPI Minnesota





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