Archive for the ‘memorable’ category

Tips on Looking for Work

August 24th, 2011

A lot of folks are looking for work. They go on interviews for positions they will take for the money and hate getting up to. They settle while their regret eats at them and their spirit erodes. There is less of them to give to their families because they struggle for self esteem. Dreaming and a spirit of gratitude appear impossible.
For those of you in jobs that inspire and ignite you find life exciting and your magnetism floats as you rise to the top of your career. You look forward to each day as adventure unfolds and your dreams are bigger than the fabulous life you lead. People smile around you and there is an instant aura the brightens a room when you arrive.
So how do those in the first paragraph find their path to the second? This is a tough economy and the Pollyanna approach is drinking the kool-aid toward insanity. Forget about finding my purpose! I just want a JOB! And back they go to the scenario first described.
• OK so let’s go back to Pollyanna – a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. What can we take from a spirit of irrepressible optimism? Try some of these steps and let me know how you feel. You will need pen and paper … preferably a notebook to journal your progress.
• Write down the things you enjoy in your current job. You can turn the paper over and write the things you don’t enjoy since your brain may gravitate to that side and it is good to be clear on the things that are eating you so you don’t go back there. Keep your pros on cons list so this life experience is never lost. You are on a journey now and each brick is important to recognize as part of our life and how we choose our path to greatness. You aren’t going to quit your current job until you create a solid path toward a healthy future so find those things you enjoy and your focus on those things will make them multiply.
• Write the characteristics of your dream job. What will you do in exchange for money? Obviously if your dream job is drinking beer in front of the TV you won’t earn enough to eat and I am not sure there is an abundance of those jobs out there. Describe your passions and talents and don’t worry so much about fitting a mold. Things like helping people, working with my hands, budgets, spreadsheets, numbers, creative writing, designing, working outdoors, being part of a team. Some of these resonate and some of these make you cringe.
• Write descriptive adjectives about yourself. You can choose from this list of a few samples or come up with those that really describe the unique character that is stored deep within. Analytical, witty, compassionate, loyal, independent thinker, adventurous, flexible, dependable, conceptual, optimistic, imaginative, prepared, logical, spontaneous, sincere, concerned, inventive, impactful, personal, organized, curious, competitive, enthusiastic, thorough. We are all colors!
• Take an interests exam. Invest that much in yourself to identify your passion and the careers associated with those. I took the Strong Campbell Interest exam when I first decided to work on a career path as opposed to finding a job. It led me to the medical field because I enjoy helping others. Hospitals and hospitality are kin. They are both healing centers but one makes you laugh and the other makes you think. My life long journey has been hospitality and I have enjoyed a career mere mortals could not dream about.
• Learn the skills you need to fulfill your dream. Sometimes that means classes, workshops, tech school. Sometimes it is finding a mentor or 3 and adding value to their lives while they inject wisdom and spirit into yours. Sometimes it is being open to learn your craft on the lowest level and allow life to unfold while you have a clear but flexible path outlined. You may find a volunteer role that allows you to practice and gain related experience. I engaged all of these suggestions throughout all sectors of my career.
• KEEP DREAMING. Create a vision board. Set goals. Associate with positive people. Keep your affirmations in front of you reminding yourself how good you are and enjoy the journey. Turn off the TV and try very hard to eliminate the negative forces in your life. Worry and fear will tear you down. Take a proactive approach to those things that cause concern and get excited about working through the details.
In closing I share a couple of famous quotes and my own sparkle of truth. “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” Ralph Waldo Emerson “We tell the real truth of our life by the stories we repeatedly tell. Dare to dream of your great success. Become intimate with those things which deeply motivate you and regularly work toward the realization of that mission.” Mary Anne Radmacher
To thine own self be true. We are only going around once so let’s grab all the gusto we can get. Be memorable and leave a legacy.

10 Tips When Speaking of Speakers

June 12th, 2011

You are in charge of orchestrating a meeting and need to hire speakers. Ask the following questions to keep on task:Laura Schwartz

  1. What are the burning issues? Zoom in on the topics that need to be covered and the primary learning objectives.
  2. What style of speaker do you need? Is the purpose to inspire, educate, entertain or technical. You may chose an industry expert, a professional speaker or professional entertainer.  My favorite is an “edu-tainer” who is theatrical, motivational, speaks on the latest trends and leaves you with an action step checklist.
  3. How much time does the speaker have to cover their topic? Speakers need to customize their presentation to fit into the allotted timeframe and leave time for Q&A.
  4. Where do you find speakers? They are everywhere! You may connect with them on Linked In, at a conference, in a networking group, your industry associations, speakers bureaus (local, regional, state, national and international Speakers Association), convention and visitors bureau, chamber of commerce or ask industry professionals for referrals.
  5. Once you find a speaker that sounds good, what is next? Check out their website. Ask for a demo. Get a list of references and be sure to contact them personally for greater insight. I once read speaker reviews and brought in a “rock star speaker” who turned out to be from the stone age.
  6. Does the speaker have a contract? No matter what, get it ALL in writing. If your speaker has their own contract, review it carefully. If you need to write the speaking terms of agreement be sure you include everything you have agreed in terms that are complete with no instruction left out. Will they be permitted to self promote? If so, will a book signing table be needed for back of the room sales?
  7. Who is paying for what? Be sure to outline what the speaking fee is and if that includes ground transportation to and from the hotel, airport and/or home. Are meals and accommodations included? Are you making their arrangements or will they make them and be reimbursed? Be sure to do the check requests to insure prompt payments at the appropriate intervals.
  8. Will they have hand outs? It is important to have a memorable take away of some sort. If there is going to be something available, announce that in the beginning of the presentation so attendees are not scribbling every word and missing keys points. Who is printing and paying for these or will they be available on line? If materials are being shipped, where will they be sent and by what date? Nothing could be worse than having boxes shipped to the wrong place or arrive after the presentation.
  9. What are the speaker’s audio visual requirements? Much will depend on the size of your audience but few meetings take place that do not require a computer, LCD projector, screen, microphone, sound system, lectern and stage. We’ve all sat through the “death by power point” presentations and the emotional “here is how I did it” inspirations so be sure your speaker is engaging and requires audience participation throughout their performance.
  10. What should you ask for to promote their message? Get a CURRENT photo (I am thinking of the “rock star”), bio, engaging topic title, topic description and learning objectives. These items can be shared in your pre-marketing material and/or program headlines.

Be sure to send out surveys requiring feedback from attendees following the program. Communicate the results to the speaker and the venue since this is a helpful tool to keep all partners on the path of improvement and praise. Scorecards help shine the light on what we are doing well and what we can work on to sharpen our skills. Keep track of each speaker’s scorecard and write referrals for the highest achievers. Bring them back to let your audience know you their voice matters.

It has been my pleasure to work with so many wonderful speakers, authors and entertainers. There are many gifted experts that may be in your backyard and not require long hauls, overnight stays and additional fees. Talent does not have geographic boundaries. Consider degrees of the goal you can accomplish within your budget and negotiate a fair deal where all parties win. A2Z Meetings & Events is always happy to help!

Memorable Moments

January 2nd, 2011

Create a Memory Box

Each year it gets more difficult to produce a meaningful gift for those who have everything. The ads that speak of the price of various items that represent a sign of caring and then the one that is marked “priceless” is the quest each year  … and this year we accomplished the goal.
   2010 was a year of many great losses with family, friends and loved ones. Encouraging words and silly memories have kept our spirits alive and contagious. We actually discovered our humble beginnings created the foundation for drive, determination and success. Each person sharing their own special memory ignited ideas of new ones that had been lost. The gift was a gift from the hearts of many and everyone shared in the gift meant for two.
Write down YOUR memories and share them with those you truly love. Create a tradition to add to the mememory boxmory box each year and create a priceless gift of your own. Build a bucket list of memories to attain in 2011. We found this box and printed our memories on business card stock. It made each memory consistant in size, on a good card stock and easy to punch out rather than lots of cutting and flimsy strips of paper. After the gift was prepared with photos to accompany many of the memories, every contributor got a copy of the finished memories from all involved. Some members did not contribute at that time but have time to contribute as they desire … the gift keeps on giving.
I tried the concept out on a few friends from Southwest Florida. The email string became deep and wide and before you knew it, there were hundreds of good times that we had lost touch with that were revived like buried treasures. Keeping relationships alive can be work but work that pays in rich benefits. This is a meaningful gift for friends, family, colleagues and clients. Help expand on this idea so we all continue to enrich one another!
Memorable Meetings & Exceptional Events is a passion at A2Z Meetings & Events. Creative ideas and proven concepts will keep your attendees talking about your meetings and events. Let them know they are special. Tell them why you are taking them away from their friends and family and what they will gain as a result of their investment.
Contact us at http://www.a2zmeetingsandevents.com/ to save time, money and stress in the new year.

Use AmA2Zing Affirmations at your Next Event

November 23rd, 2010
The holidays are a time for gift giving but gifts are not always measured in dollars. Before the event you can announce the goal of sharing an inspirational message that may be unique to each attendee or it may be something general. Guests can prepare their message prior to arrival or wait until they arrive to get inspired. This may workConnecting is Affecting differently depending on the size and relationships on the guest list.
Throughout the event you have a table with bags that have each attendee’s names on them. There are index cards and pens so you can write an inspiring message to any or all the guests. You may choose to spice it a little over the holidays and make the cards on gold stars or in the shape of ornaments so they can be  hung on the Christmas tree.
Telling someone what makes them unique and fabulous or a way they have touched your life will create a lasting bond and may give them just enough of a boost to send them flying. Make your message memorable whether you choose to deliver your it anonymously or sign your name. It is inspiring to both the giver and the receiver. As each guest departs, they take their bag and have an opportunity to enjoy the “gift” of inspiration that lasts throughout the season.

Ten AmA2Zing Affirmations for Abundance and Prosperity

October 29th, 2010
I had the pleasure of working with Plan Your Meetings this week at the Sheraton Sand Key. Do yourself a favor and take a close look at this resort. The service team is extraordinary! They have longevity, commitment, quality and creativity on every level of the organization. They partner and collaborate with planners to learn your needs and exceed your expectations. The leader of this sales organization is always upbeat and positive. No matter what question you ask Jack Guy, he will find a compliment to share.
Associating with positive people is at the core of success. People who stretch you and ask you to share your expertise force you to dig inside to be sure you reach the roots of what makes you unique, so accept epym_logovery opportunity to dive into self-discovery. Lisa Kraus with Plan Your Meetings is one of those individuals who turned my sour grapes complaint into sweet wine endorsements.  Because of that experience, I have become a raving fan and speaker whenever she needs me to help out. Be sure to use them and their suppliers as a resource. They are committed to education, extreme customer service, relationship building and collaboration. Check out their Knowledge Series www.planyourmeetings.com/pym-knowledge-series/ and their town hall meetings on You Tube.
 These are just two samples of some great partners that have touched my life and I invite you to experience them as they are worthy of special attention in the world of meetings and events. I promised affirmations that are guaranteed to make you smile when you repeat them, live them and believe them.
Ten Affirmations for Abundance and Prosperity:
  • My day is filled with limitless potential in joy, abundance and love.
  •  I always have more than enough of everything I need.
  •  The more I give away, the more it multiplies and is returned to me.
  • As my commitment to help others grows, so does my joy and wealth.
  • Thank you for all the blessings in my life!
  • I am open to the flow of great abundance in all areas of my life.
  •  I allow the universe to bless me in surprising and joyful ways.
  • My grateful heart is a magnet that attracts more of everything I desire.
  •  I exude passion, purpose and prosperity.
  • I am always led to the people who need what I have to offer. scan0009
    Keep coming back for more!       
 
 

Game Show Fun – or – Living Life in Plan B

July 26th, 2010
I produced a game show recently for the Meeting Professionals International Tampa Bay Area Chapter. We did it based on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and the questions were mock meeting planner certification questions. I had three full games ready to launch and thought for sure we would only get through two, and both contestants would make it to the “million dollar” millionairequestion. We had escalating prizes for three levels per game.
Games one and two were well researched with references, levels and categories. Game three was… less polished (although it had the references). The audience was all equipped with keypads and the rules of the game. “Fastest Finger” wins the right to be our first contestant and it was an intermediate level question so you know it will be answered by someone who “knows their stuff”.
Ahh! A seasoned hotelier wins and is brought to the stage while we recognize our sponsors.
We start game one with novice questions and contestant one answers the first question easily. The second question requires a life-line and the audience poll was wrong! He accepted it as his final answer and the game was over!
No need to panic though, there are two more games. It can be frightening to be in front of over 100 people who all have their eyes on you.
The second contestant gets through the first five questions. Great!!! The audience was keeping up with the game hoping they can collect enough points to qualify as the contestant for game three. We take a couple of “commercial” breaks to see how our Certified Meeting Planners in the audience are enjoying the game and what advice they would like to share with others seeking certification. It brings the tension level down for the contestant on stage.
Back to the game: Question seven requires a lifeline and the Certified Meeting Planner answers correctly, and question eight is the end of game two.
So, 10 of 30 questions were answered for two games! Definitely time to recognize the pending need: Game three is ready to play but I need to think fast because we may need to create a game four ON THE FLY.  That is the kind of stress only the meeting planner can know.
Moving into game three as though everything is going as planned, I share plan “B” with the technician. We do a few audience “commercials” as to why certification was important to several key leaders and how has it helped them in their business. Did you know that statistics show that Certified Meeting Professionals earn an average of $12,000 more per year than their uncertified counterparts?
It was interesting to see how involved everyone was in tracking their own success and how excited they were when they got a tough question right. Keeping the audience engaged was a key element in making the meeting last well beyond the moment.
Our game three contestant provided lots of comic relief and really was the kind of game show queen that every producer DREAMS of. She is bright, beautiful and bubbly! She sails through the first 5 questions and we find out how the audience is doing in case we need to go to game four. Another bright, beautiful, bubbly contestant is identified as the lead. As question six requires a lifeline, the lead candidate was selected to help our game three contestant.  She was not yet certified but was confident enough to begin the certification process. Of course, they agree on the final answer and contestant three makes it to the second level of prizes. CELEBRATION! Music is playing and Bubbly is dancing in her seat!
Time for a few audience “commercials” and back to the game… everyone is hooked now as the questions continue to get harder… as I look around the room, I can feel the heightened energy. Back to the game… question 11 requires a lifeline… the crowd begins to moan and cheer in an attempt to steer our beloved player. She chooses an answer and the moans grow louder… so she changes her answer and the confusion of cheers and moans are vibrating the room. She selects that as her final answer and the crowd cheers as the correct answer is revealed. Two questions later it is time to use the last lifeline… there are still two more questions to win the big prize but there is too much at stake to sacrifice now… this time we have a 50/50 so two answers are removed… the two that are left are “uplink” or “downlink”.
Half the crowd is cheering for up and half for down.
OK… so we are breaking all the rules but they are so engaged that it really doesn’t matter. She gives the final answer… a hush goes over the crowd… the game is over.
Looking toward my time keeper I see that we are just about out of time… no need to exercise Plan B and the crowd is buzzing. We do a few closing announcements along with our beloved raffle and the meeting adjourns on time.
All the energy put into the creation of the game and the build up through the detail planning stages, working with so many wonderful professionals that support the same goals added to my own educational experience and I encourage each of you to live your passion!

Membership – Do you BELONG or just carry the card?

May 15th, 2010
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) helps over 24,000 worldwide members thrive by providing connections to knowledge, relationships, and marketplaces. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Lifelong friendships are born in membership organizations were you meet people with common professions, interests and goals. Meeting planning is my business so it makes sense that this organization is my primary membership commitment but I also belong to several others as networking is such an important aspect of building business contacts and meaningful relationships.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day and it seems like it just doesn’t last long enough so we are faced with choices as to what we value most in our lives. There are times when our friends, family and selves forget what we look like and who we are because our priorities get juggled so make sure you put your BIG ROCKS in the schedule FIRST. As you consider memberships to professional, civic or social groups think about the time you will need to devote to that organization or cause to really BELONG.collaboration
Many of us join a group with good intentions and the passion dies or conflicts arise that pull us away. That makes a statement to other group members. You don’t get what you want out of the group because you are not involved and others see it as a lack of commitment so it can be very damaging to sign up and not belong. So what does it mean to belong? Is it enough to just attend the meeting and or social events? I would say that makes a statement too. It says I am in this for ME and I will take those things I like and leave the rest behind. Personally, this type of member does not offend me as long as they are not critical about other members or group leaders but I may not do business with them.
When you think about joining a group for professional or social reasons, know what you want to get out of the group and more importantly, what you are willing to give both financially and of your time and talent.
• Contribute to discussions in a way that moves the group to a higher level
• Participate in surveys that offer a form of constructive feedback
• Don’t just say you didn’t like the speaker, format or topic. (SWAMP talk) Suggest speakers, format or topics that will engage you as there is a good chance it will engage others.
• Provide leads and referrals to active group members
• Show up ON TIME with cell phone on vibrate
• Volunteer your time and talent at least once per quarter for personal growth as well as growth of the group and its members
• Be an ambassador and connect others that may benefit by belonging to the group
I am extremely proud to be a member of the Tampa Bay chapter of Meeting Professionals International and even more proud to be the incoming Vice President of Education within my first year of membership. Assuming a leadership role is a commitment and it is my goal to engage current, past and new members. I am not asking you to join, I am asking you to belong.
P.S. JOIN US for an exciting dinner meeting on May 19, 2010 at TPepin Hospitality Center where we are cooking up a great time Building a Better Menu: Understanding Food and Beverage Issues with Chef Marco Ferraro and several local celebrity chefs.

Measuring Your Priorities

February 18th, 2010

HAPPY February!!! It has been a little chillier than we Floridians are used to but it is giving us the time to stay cozy and get those New Year Resolutions accomplished … My prCB031351imary goal was weight loss and I am pleased to report I am down 11.5 pounds in 5 weeks! I’ll be happy to share my success formulas if you have an interest. Basically, it is about eating healthy and doing exercise … imagine that! The greatest deprivation has been eliminating my favorite adult beverage but the detoxification of all Caffeine, Refined sugar, Additives and Preservatives (CRAP) has been essential. It has been fun to invent new recipes that are creative, quick and easy. How are YOU doing on YOUR primary priority?
With regard to business, I promised to step up my game on writing about the things that will be most helpful to you. Your comments have been so important … there was a time when I thought I was casting thought to the wind! I appreciate the energy that comes back from you as you inspire and ignite more energy. Think of how that makes people respond to your requests when you feed them praise. WOW! It creates a power that can make mere mortals move mountains! We cannot motivate anyone other than ourselves but we can inspire others through affirmations. So go find the stars in your life and let them know how they have impacted you.

j0398747 This month I am focused on a fundraising event and awareness for an organization known as Dress For Success. This group restores dignity and hope for professional women in search of a new job. Women are referred to the agency and have a set appointment to meet with a volunteer that will help them select 2 suits, 2 blouses, a pair of shoes and a briefcase from the donations at the boutique. They will also assist with resume writing and have a computer lab to investigate opportunities to go out on interviews and launch their new life. Visit their new location at 1705 North Howard AvenueTampa during their OPEN HOUSE:

Thursday, February18th 11:00am to 2:00pm
Friday, February 19th 3:00pm to 6:00pm
Saturday, February 20th 9:00am to 12:00pm

Please plan to attend the fund raising Fashion event at SAKS FIFTH AVENUE February 25. Reservations are required and seating is limited. Details are found at http://bit.ly/9frpI7 .You will be in good company!

Also in the news … http://bit.ly/dvTzj7 … the latest on the Sustainable Business Conference & Expo. The topics will be announced later this month but mark your calendars!
Finally, the video intro to the website is on line! I am learning ways to improve memory techniques and to get noticed in cyberworld so I will be sharing those items along with ways that work to improve YOUR networking and meeting sizzle. Keep coming back for more!

Lots of FUN DIVA activities in the works!

February 8th, 2010

 Thursday, February 25, 2010 

Dress For Success Fundraiser and Fashion Event at SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

Please invite every professional woman you know.

It is such a worthy cause and we will have so many fun prizes and treats for everyone.
Make your reservation TODAY as space is limited!

 http://tinyurl.com/yzmmjsr

img_girlshopping

Saturday, Feb 27 Spa Diva Day

It’s anti-age girly-girl fun with the am A2Zing aesthetician, Marie Rose.

I have one last appointment open at 3:20 PM if YOU want to join in.

42-16060629

 Wednesday, March 3 Wine Diva

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Bottling, Tasting & Brewing Event 6 – 8 PM
Winemaking Pantry
10510 Portal Crossing Suite 104
Bradenton, FL 34211
www.winemakingpantry.com

Be sure to reserve your space in advance as all events have limited capacity.

Linda Elland, Your Missing Piece
A2Z Meetings & Events
Phone: 813-990-0950

www.A2ZMeetingsandEvents.com

Help for Haiti

January 19th, 2010

Update as of February 9, 2010

Planes are still leaving our area every Friday and the greatest current need is for diapers and baby formula. Food is still a top priority. THANK YOU to everyone who donated. Laurie was able to locate an Xray machine and several medical supplies. Simple bandaids and ointments are easy to pack up and will be useful. Rewards greater than riches are yours to enjoy! The contact information listed in the initial blog is still valid so let your heart lead the way.

THANK YOU!!

 

Hi Everybody,
We all want to help in some small way and now we have a chance! The biggest challenge isn’t getting donated goods, it is getting donated transport to Haiti. A colleague has arranged by partnering with a local charity that is organizing medical flights into Haiti. They are willing to accept cargo on their DC-3s, and the first flight leaves on Thursday. If you want to help, these are items we want to get to Haiti ASAP, in order of priority:
1. Medical supplies/first aid supplies- everything from gloves, masks, gowns, ER drugs to OTC items such as gauze, bandages, band-aids, peroxide, antibiotic ointments, rubbing alcohol, disinfectants and cleaning supplies. Also, there is an URGENT need for X-Ray equipment. Right now broken bones are being set w/o the benefit of x-rays. Casting supplies are also needed.
2. Baby formula, food, bottles and diapers …. Lots of diapers!
3. Survival items (think camping) – sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, tents, cots, etc. Most people are living and sleeping out of doors, under sheets.
4. Toiletries – soap (liquid is preferable to bar soap), toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.
5. Nonperishable food and water
6. Just a quick update on my previous list: I need to move food up to a 1 or 2 priority. Think big bags of rice and bags of dry beans! Cheap, easy to store, easy to transport, and relatively nutritious. Cans are heavy and bulky and people may or may not be able to open them.
If anybody would like to donate any of these products, please get them to me by the end of Wednesday. I will be attending the Manatee Chamber business after 5 event this evening and in St. Pete tomorrow attending the Meeting Planner International meeting at Suncoast Hospice if anyone would like to participate or you can drop it off at:

Remmel Wellness Center
6416 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. No.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(t) 727-525-1141
Because of the space constraints and logistics, we have been asked to hold off on donations of clothing and building supplies. Please pass this on to everyone in your contact list. Laurie Puckett of Remmel Wellness Center will collect, sort and box the donations and get them to the planes. The transport that she has arranged will have security and will be bringing our supplies in directly to two missions working in Haiti – MVI and Mission Haiti.
Also, if you know anyone with a medical background (doctor, nurse, surgical tech …) who wants to go to Haiti and volunteer their time, have them contact her and she will get them in touch with the folks organizing the medical side of things.
Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer and God Bless!