What Meeting Expectations is Doing to Deliver Best-in-Class Events
By: Jalene Bermudez, CMP
Over 26 years ago, I was fresh out of college and had been working with my mother in our meeting planning company in Denver, CO. My husband and I moved to Atlanta, and I started a company called Meeting Expectations. My first meeting client was the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) which was not yet a fully formed users group. Fast-forward 26 years and the OAUG is still a client and our company leaders have driven the evolution of our services to full-scale association and conference management.
Returning as president of Meeting Expectations earlier this year, I began to think about what makes up the core of our company. In addition to our people, our culture and our story, it’s the work we do each day that fuels my future vision. The future of “doing more than you ever thought possible.”
We are moving at lighting speed, in a rapidly changing business marketplace, with 110 employees across the country, 3 offices (Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Denver), planning 265 corporate events each year while providing professional services to 18 associations. While our senior leadership pushes collaboration and keeps us in sync both internally and with our clients, my goal is to encourage constant improvement by innovative thinking, so that we share knowledge and make a collective difference to our clients.
We have established three core pillars of leadership: Invite Innovation Into Our Culture, Adapt & Evolve and Advance the Story Everyday, all which first take shape internally with team members, with the end goal of constant innovation in our service offerings.
Invite Innovation Into Our Culture
Our future-focused outlook at ME! is to “be inspired.” We have a wonderful culture as our foundation. Now, I’m challenging our team to bring an entrepreneurial spirit to our daily activities.
We’re welcoming our team members to bring big ideas to reinvent even the smallest of business practices. I champion our team to influence so when they have opportunity to contribute innovative thoughts, we incorporate them and inspire buy-in on big-picture change and the future roadmap.
What does this mean for our clients? Expect us to come to the table with unique event design ideas and meeting formats that generate conversations. Expect us to think of your goals and audience as we plan your conference. And lastly, expect us to think first of personalization, audience journeys and lasting brand experiences.
Adapt & Evolve
With the incredible pace of change in the corporate meeting and association management industries, our team needs to be nimble in adapting and then evolving to meet industry and client challenges. We’re not only challenged in the fast changes in our industry, but also having the in-depth understanding of the changes in our client’s industries as well.
Technology, regulations, competition and the easy access to content at a finger’s reach are all disrupters that change the norm of service delivery and then ultimately pricing. When we adapt and evolve quicker, we see the change coming, we embrace it and we invite the thoughts of others in – we begin to challenge ourselves to evolve.
How are we already embracing these disruptors? In many ways. Our marketing services team creates personalized digital marketing to attract and grow our clients’ target audience. Our designers create event registration micro-websites using beautiful UX designs that deliver the conference theme and information. Our meeting planners use cloud-based project management tools and IPReg to customize your attendees’ preferences, registration tiers and education tracks.
By every person at Meeting Expectations shifting their comfort level and thinking towards faster adapting and evolving in all situations, we begin to adapt faster on behalf of our clients, their needs and industry…it’s a mindset we lead with.
Advance the Story Everyday
Advancing the story of Meeting Expectations is not touting what we do, but rather documenting progress on the first two pillars.
Think back on the last great book you read, why was it great? It advanced the story with every chapter. We must not only keep up with the evolving industry, we have to lead the change. By advancing the story for our clients each day, we continue to add chapters in our company’s history building a progressive future. By building events that advance a brand story, that revolve around our customer’s audience and by orchestrating authentic, exciting experiences, we are the generators of connections that take businesses to the next level.
Nothing excites me more than this next chapter in the ME! story. Please follow along for the ride.