Archive for the ‘networking’ 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.

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.

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.

It’s Showtime … Lights, Camera, ACTION!

March 26th, 2010

Since I spent the last couple of weeks dealing with all the logistics of an educational conference and tradeshow, I thought this might be a good time to jot the joys of managing some of the details. This list is in no way complete but shares some of the behind the scenes snapshots.

Deciding on the number of rooms to block for a first time meeting is especially tricky because there could be large penalties if you guess too high or too low … start conservative and do several pulse checks 30-60 and 90 days prior. We were fortunate to have more than double our conservative block and the hotel was able to accommodate our needs.

Planning the educational portion of the conference is a little less complex as you are only dealing with a few speakers and their needs. Some of the components include:

  1. Finding a great key note speaker to warm and inspire the crowd
  2. Select stimulating topics that have an appeal to the general audience
  3. Finding the best authority to speak on that topic and a professional speaker that can mix medians to hold the interest and engage the audience
  4. Securing  transportation and accommodations if necessary
  5. Getting the Bio and summary script to market their topic
  6. Securing all audio-visual equipment and technical expertise to support their presentation
  7. Preparing their introduction
  8. Keeping them on timescan0025

Try to offer a few topics of interest and be sure to repeat the most popular topics so folks get a chance to mix and match.

The educational portion of the meeting has several expense line items where the tradeshow portion can not only cover the expense of the tradeshow itself but also the expense of the educational forum. The goal when hosting a tradeshow is to MAKE money when it is all said and done. The exhibitors should have a great value proposition that would make doing the show more cost effective than doing independent sales calls.  

  1. First look at the maximum number of booths you can accommodate … you may get more booths in the room by offering 8 x 10 than 10 x 10 but be sure you keep your buyer and supplier ratios at no less than 50 – 50 … you can charge a little more if your buyer ratio is 65 – 75% of the audience.
  2. Do a diagram of the space that shows where electrical and internet access will be and leave room for the crowds to stop and talk to the exhibitors.
  3. State upfront if you are allowing individual booths to have prize drawings or if those things are donated for raffle ticket sales and advertised by the emcee of the tradeshow.
  4. Be sure to block ample time for the tradeshow floor to be set up with pipe/drape tables and chairs and get those set up times spelled out in your contract with the venue as well as the decorator.
  5. The exhibit service company should send information to the exhibitors regarding shipping, handling, weight and size restrictions and prices for booth enhancements. They should also specify set up and tear down times for the exhibitors. Many tradeshows will have penalties if exhibitor begin to disassemble their before the show is officially closed.
  6. Special requests for placement near one another, oversized booths or shared booths need to be clear no less than 2 weeks prior. Special requests are usually highlighted and handled first filling in the other booths around them. This in no way ensures preferred placement and could actually be used to draw buyers to the back of the room. Sponsors ALWAYS get the preferred placement based on the larger financial investments.
  7. I try to keep good distance between competitive booths as the support of booth vendors is equally important. If there are “sister companies” and you want to be together don’t assume the logistics chair knows this is the “way it has ALWAYS been done”. If you want to ensure a special request has been met, ask for a diagram with your booth numbers in advance.
  8. If you arrive 30 minutes prior to the show opening, don’t expect the world to stop and cater to your assumed needs. Request your needs in a kind and professional manner and it is likely that the organizer will turn the world upside down to assist in resolving your issue.
  9. Having a great photographer and Hollywood props was a BONUS!    

The show we  just completed had 66 booths sold and 5 food and lounge stations throughout the room. It was a 3 hour show with over 250 participants. I was amazed when 1 exhibitor signed up 2 days BEFORE the show and shocked when the last available booth sold 15 hours before the show … talk about last minute!

As the organizer, wear comfortable shoes and know that after 7 hours on an unpadded floor every inch of your body will ache! Tradeshows are great networking and educational opportunities and an awesome way to see a maximum number of buyers in a very condensed timeframe.

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

Are You Memorable?

August 30th, 2009

We are all looking for business and ways to get the word out.

How can you be sure your message is being heard?

Get Aggressive with Your Marketing

  • Have a great website that really demonstrates your expertise
  • Create a weblog (Blog)
  • Toot your horn on what is so great about you
  • Have a great brochure
  • Have the best business card you can get

Focus on Customer Service

  • Be attentive to your customer’s uniqueness
  • Outline in clear terms what your agreement is
  • Ask for 3 things when you deliver a great product or service
    • Testimonial
    • Referral
    • Repeat business

Schmooze

  • Network
    • Get to know THEM first
    • Don’t “data dump”
    • Be ready with your elevator pitch
  • Build compatible partnerships and praise their work
  • Know your competition and when they might be a great choice

Get Involved

  • Don’t just be a card carrying member
  • Embrace every opportunity to be on panels or do public speaking
  • Join networking groups that stimulate growth
  • Volunteer your talents for the benefit of your industry

Sharpen Your Skills

  • Read journals on your industry and related industries
  • Join social online networks and contribute to group blogs
  • Learn a new skill that will enhance your product or service
  • Ask for advise
  • Attend webinars

Stand Out

  • Dress for success
  • Do your homework in getting to know them and allow them to “paint the canvas”
  • Be a problem solver
  • Tell them a story about how your product or service was helpful to another client

A Powerful Elevator Pitch
The goal of creating an elevator pitch is to craft a statement that explains to someone — without any experience in your industry what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for. It should be straightforward and easy to understand and digest.
Here is a really simple formula you can use as a basis for a powerful elevator pitch:

  • Part I: Ask the other person a question that identifies a common problem. This engages them and gives you a lead-in to Part II.
  • Part II: Give a boiled down version of what you do and how it solves the problem you identified in Part I.
  • Part III: Provide a call to action that specifically tells the other person what you want them to do now.

What’s your elevator pitch?