3 Meeting Expectations Planners Named 2019 Meeting Professionals to Watch

ConventionSouth CoverConventionSouth Magazine named Meeting Expectations' Conference Managers Alissa Torchia, Jordan Alexander and Registration Specialist Lina You as Meeting Professionals to Watch in 2019, citing a "high level of enthusiasm for managing the logistical details of conferences, conventions, retreats and training sessions, as well as coming up with new and engaging approaches to all types of group gatherings."

ConventionSouth's annual awards issue, published in December, featured rising meeting professionals recognized by their peers for their enthusiasm and talents to build client relationships, find innovations for their programs and eagerness to collaborate with their fellow meeting professionals.

In the issue, Jordan Alexander highlighted her work on this year's International SalonSpa Business Network's Annual Conference. At the conference, Alexander and the meeting planning team surprised attendees with a flash mob during the general session. They enlisted a local dance company, with performers disguised as attendees to ramp up the wow factor. "It really surprised the attendees and got them excited for the start of the conference," Alexander said.

Lina You spoke about a recent event that required heightened security and a logistical challenge of six mini-events that took place in four different venues over the span of two days. Prior to Meeting Expectations, the client had managed the invited list via an Excel sheet, but You and the Meeting Expectations team were able to provide a tailored online registration solution that customized which "mini" event attendees could register for based on their attendee type. This made a better end-user experience for both the participants and for the client.

Alissa Torchia faced natural disasters that threatened two of her conferences. While planning a program in Ojai, CA, wildfires threatened the immediate area around the conference hotel and Hurricane Michael came through the Lowcountry a week before a program she planned in Hilton Head, SC. In both situations, the potential disasters did not directly affect the planned events, but Torchia offered a word of advice to those facing the unknown: "Stay in daily contact with the convention services manager to ensure you communicate the most up-to-date information to your clients, have a strategic communications plan in place in case something does go wrong, and have a plan B in place in case the event is to be canceled or moved."

To read more about each of these event experts, check out the ConventionSouth awards issue here.

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It has been my personal privilege to work with Alex Murphy and the Site Selection team at Meeting Expectations for the last several years. Alex is the consummate professional both in negotiating and advocating for her clients and working with us as a hotel to streamline the process of moving business to the next level. The Meeting Expectations team is one that can truly tout themselves as experts in understanding what their customers want and need.

Sharon Vaughn San Antonio Marriott

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