By Tracey B. Smith, CMP, CMM
I am a contract meeting manager. I work from home. It can be a bit lonely sometimes, so I have to make myself get out of the house and connect with other people. I prefer other meeting planners, when possible.
SPiN has been that source for me. It’s not just that we’re meeting planners. It’s the levels of experience we all have. I can come to SPiN members for answers, for directions, for opinions, and more importantly, for friendship.
Seriously, where else can you reach out to another person half-way across the country to partner with you on a site inspection? Or, a lip-sync contest? Or, new contract work? True stories! And, I know I can reach out when necessary if I need help in a different city, or just need a recommendation for an offsite venue.
This is a community that goes beyond a career. It’s a community that cares about each other and seeks to help each other. It’s emotional. I don’t get that in other industry organizations.
I have yet to pay for my membership in SPiN, because I signed on as a volunteer in the early days and I kept accruing enough credits to cover those costs. While I am delighted to have a free year, I truly would pay the price to be a member year after year. SPiN is worth it, and I am worth it!
Tracey B Smith, CMP, CMM discovered the meetings industry in 1989 and never looked back. In those years, she has planned corporate meetings and conferences, association meetings and public events.
In 2010, Smith joined the SPIN, developing programs for the organization’s members and the first three SPINCon conferences. Currently, Smith is a contract meeting manager for American Express Meetings & Events. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and various dogs.
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by Shawna Suckow, CMP
As senior-level planners, dare I say that we’re the most respected segment of planners in the industry? Some of us logging more than 30 years in our jobs – long before our jobs were really even defined by the federal government, or anyone else for that matter. Long before there were college courses or mentor programs.
We’ve been trailblazers along the way, forging paths for others to follow. Whether we realize it or not, younger planners are watching us and molding the future of the industry based on what they learn from us. What we do, and how we behave, matters.
With that in mind, I challenge all of my fellow veteran planners to pledge along with me to improve the industry in the following three ways:
Shawna Suckow, CMP, is the Founder & Chairwoman of SPIN, the 2,500-member Senior Planners Industry Network. Honors include being named Top 100 Women Business & Tech Speakers Globally, Top 25 Women in the Industry, Top 25 Most Influential in the Meetings Industry, and Planners' Favorite Speakers of 2014 and 2015.
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Kathie Niesen, CMP
Members of SPiN