MPI Perspective - June 2009 - (Page 14)

Key steps to secure your future now! By Laurie Sharp, CMP Manager, Corporate & Field Marketing Events Brocade 1 Brand yourself • Your professional reputation, experience and physical appearance are your brand. Having a reputation as an ethical professional who is well dressed (does not mean expensively), groomed, and has focused on the details of their appearance will more easily win the trust of those seeking to hire you. If you’re not sure what your brand reflects – ask. Friends and colleagues can share valuable insights. • Promote your brand. Contribute articles, blog posts or seek speaking engagements that allow you to promote your industry involvement and experience. Be sure to share these with your boss or prospective employers. • Protect your brand. Our industry is full of pressure, deadlines and constantly changing variables that can create enormous stress – for some of us that’s why we love it! However we often take care of everyone else’s needs and completely overlook our own. Investing in your mental and physical health is one of the best investments you can make in your future. • Everything you do reflects on you and your brand. Be sure that even in casual conversation or as a volunteer you always maintain that brand and level of professionalism and reliability. 3 – volunteer for new projects. This makes you more valuable to the company and can enhance your experience at the same time. • Digest as much data as you can. Read industry magazines, Web sites, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times so you can readily contribute to discussions on topics impacting our industry and your company directly. Don’t be afraid to outsource to experts 2 Continually demonstrate your value • Prepare a memo showing how you have saved the company money via contract negotiation or mitigating cancellation/ attrition charges over the last year or low-cost add-ons that improved the value of the conference/event and its execution. • Take on more responsibility and document how your abilities and skills positively impact your company’s bottom line. Just doing your job is not enough 14 | MPINCCperspective | VOL. 27, NO. 6 4 • To quote Rod Marymor, president/CEO of Cardinal Communications, “You don’t have to do everything; you just have to know how to get everything done.” This is a key point in building your career and becoming more strategically focused– as planners we are control freaks and tend to want to be involved in every aspect of an event. But to truly leverage your management skills in a shrinking department you don’t need to do everything yourself – just how to get everything done via third parties or outside contractors. Think effective efficiency. 5 openings and new opportunities within organizations. • Volunteer for charitable organizations outside of the industry. Stretching your reach and connections outside of your career can enhance your skills and introduce you to contacts you might not otherwise make. Prepare for the future – now • Our industry is cyclical and you should update your resume now – don’t wait until you have been laid off or a new opportunity presents itself. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses that you can improve on or play off of immediately. • Make a list of the top 10 goals you want to achieve in the next one, three, and five years. Just taking a few minutes to write down these goals, identify your priorities, and formulate your future will help steer and guide your decisions in the near and long term. • Obtain your CMP or CMM. ● Network, network, network • Today’s networking doesn’t just mean schmoozing at a cocktail party. You need to actively participate in MPI or other industry organizations so your connections stay up to date and you are in touch with trends and issues. • Get logged in! Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter are all part of an online community and network you can’t afford to ignore. Remember to monitor your usage and comments appropriately – you never know who is “listening.” • Diversify your circle of friends, colleagues, and resources. Network with suppliers and open yourself up to building relationships with them. They are sometimes the first ones to hear of Laurie Sharp, CMP, has 20 years of industry experience. Currently she is the Manager of Corporate and Field Marketing Events for Brocade. Previously, Laurie was the President of Sharp Events, a full-service meeting and event management firm. She served on the board of the Northern California Chapter of MPI from 1998 – 2005 and served as President of the Chapter from 2003–2004. She can be reached at (415) 533-7746 or

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MPI Perspective - June 2009

MPI Perspective - June 2009
President’s Message
Meetings Mean Business
Survival Guide for Planners
Survival Guide for Suppliers
Connecting with — Sean Kirklen, CMP
Member Pearls
Chapter Chatter
Sponsor Spotlight
Index to Advertisers

MPI Perspective - June 2009