MPI Perspective - December 2009 - (Page 18)

P OV Answers to your questions from a supplier and planner point of view Joel Costa, CMP Area Catering Sales Leader Northern California Marriott Hotels International Laurie Sharp, CMP Manager, Corporate and Major Field Marketing Events Brocade Dear Laurie and Joel, Why does MPINCC appear to be so cliquey? For a member wanting to get more involved, what’s the best way to break through that perceived ice barrier? Carolynn Santos, CMP, Principal, EVAS - Executive Virtual Administrative Services The Supplier POV From Joel I think the key to answering your question is the word “appear.” I know some say perception is reality, but in the case of MPI, the cliqueiness really isn’t what it appears to be. I believe that there are usually three scenarios going on at the networking hour of any MPI event. 1. There are groups of old friends that have not seen each other in some time and they are catching up. 2. There are groups of involved members talking shop, i.e., the current board members or a group from a committee. 3. There are groups of people that really just met and are chatting. In our organization, I believe that involvement as a volunteer is the key to successfully navigating through the “cliques.” If you are involved on a committee or have been appointed to a leadership position, you automatically will have members who have like interests to talk with as in scenario 2, and frankly, almost any member that is in those groups of old friends catching up, like in scenario 1, will tell you that they probably made those friends by being involved. The third scenario is what results from the more aggressive networkers actually “working” the room. It is somewhat daunting to walk into the room and see these scenarios playing out and I know it is difficult to try to break into such a group. My best suggestion is to become involved and to make those connections yourself; however, knowing that volunteer time is not available to everyone, I would also suggest attending a chapter orientation. There is always one prior to the luncheon event and they are a great way to get introduced to other new members and the facilitators are usually seasoned members that are very approachable. You don’t really need to be a new member to attend so it could be like a refresher course in getting acquainted with other members. The Planner POV From Laurie This has been a question and concern of new members since I joined MPI in 1991 and was often the topic of discussion when I served on the board and as president of MPINCC in 2003. Many MPI members have known each other for years and understandably have established professional and personal relationships and bonds. My advice has always been — if you can’t beat them, join them. The way to meet other members and br idge that “clique gap” is to start building those relationships and friends through committee and chapter involvement. Working on a committee gives you the opportunity to not only meet new people but it gives you a common interest and a common goal — a sure-fire way to bond with your fellow members. Accomplishing goals and objectives with a team forms bonds and friendships that grow and develop over time. By volunteering your time and contributing to the chapter you let other members and chapter leaders know that you are interested in investing in yourself, the chapter, and ultimately our industry. It’s important to volunteer for tasks that you can complete. Don’t over commit. Be aware that your performance and enthusiasm as a volunteer are a direct reflection on you professionally. If you offer to help and get involved but never follow through or contribute, your reputation and your professionalism will be impacted. If you volunteer on a committee and follow through on your commitment with professionalism your fellow members will respect you and ultimately will be compelled to “get to know” this new up-and-coming member and leader. ● 18 | MPINCCperspective | VOL. 28, NO. 3

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

MPI Perspective - December 2009
President’s Message
A Brand Apart
Tradeshow Marketing: How to Reach Corporate and Association Planners
Getting to know … Sheryl Sookman Schelter, CMP
Being Green Is Not a Destination
Member Pearls
Chapter Chatter
Sponsor Spotlight
Student Affairs Committee Spreading the Good Word of MPI
Index to Advertisers

MPI Perspective - December 2009