The Super Planners Series: The Superheroes of Events, Season 1, Episode 1
What’s in this episode?
AHCA/NCAL’s Super Planner Teresa Eyet shares the secrets of her shapeshifting powers. Shapeshifting for meeting planners is the ability to adapt to changing situations and responsibilities. Find out how Teresa defended her conference against the mighty Snowpocalypse of 2010 with this amazing ability.
Super Power: Shape-Shifting — The ability to adapt to changing situations and responsibilities.
I’m Teresa Eyet and I’m the Senior Director for the American Healthcare Association and National Center for Assisted Living. I manage all of their conference programming and educational development.
Teresa Eyet and the Wisdom of Juggling
You need to make sure that your resume and your skill set are reflective of what the steps are to take an idea from this little tiny flame, to the end result. So, you need to be able to be a team player, you need to be able to be an independent thinker, you need to be able to manage multiple personalities, logistics, pieces, it’s about juggling. It’s really about juggling.
She’s a Super Planning Rebel!
I don’t have a CMP. I actually have an IOM credential which is from the Institute of Organizational Management. But the CMP folks are the ones that understand hotel contracts and all of those kinds of things.
What I do is really about the member experience. It’s about making sure that if somebody paid to come to my event, they’re getting value and they’re getting something that they can take back and immediately implement into their daily operations or what they do.
Teresa Faces Off with the Mighty Snowpacalypse
So in 2010, we had that big snowpacalypse thing where it was two blizzards back to back, and we had a meeting in Baltimore at one of the inner harbor hotels.
The snow stopped long enough for people to fly in, and then it started snowing again, and we ended up snowed in at the Marriott in Fells Point I think it was. The hotel was running out of food, people were getting a little stir-crazy because you literally couldn’t leave the hotel.
What Does a Meeting Planner Do At the End of the World?
We kind of made a game out of putting together these weird dinners you know, because it’s like the hotels only have so much food and they’re like “Okay we can do pigs in a blanket and prime rib.” Nothing made sense, and so we had these like really fun buffets and we put out playing cards and encouraged these little mini poker tournaments and stuff, because people literally couldn’t leave the hotel.
So that was fun, because you kind of have to help people understand that we’re snowed in here, and it can be awful or it can be awesome. You really have to set the tone for that.
If you don’t show that there’s a problem, most of the time the people who are coming to your events don’t know there’s a problem, or if they suspect a problem they relax thinking ”They’ve got it. They’re dealing with it.”
AHCA/NCAL’s Powers Continue to Grow!
Part of my personal goals every year, and the goals that I’m evaluated on every year, is that I have to provide one new event every year at annual. So, that’s a challenge for me. It started with movies.
So this past year I did the Glen Campbell movie, I don’t know if you know that Glen Campbell is in end-stage Alzheimer’s, and his family documented his last tour. It was very moving to see this public figure basically saying goodbye in a very public way. That got a wow.
This year, I am hoping to do not a photo booth, but a booth where people can pop in and kind of share. Do you remember those shows from MTV kind of like the Real World where they would go into a bathroom and there would be a camera and they would talk to the camera? Kind of something like that where I encourage people to pop in and give like a 1 minute “Here’s why I do what I do,” because I would like to get a compilation of the folks out in the field who have been doing this for a really long time and do it because it’s a passion for them.
A Super Planner Is Nothing Without Her Team
The whole planning team- we meet every month, and more if we have to. Everybody has a sense of what everyone else is doing even though it’s not their area of responsibility. I like to say “I want you guys to know what I’m doing in case I decide to run away to Mexico and you can just pick up where I left off.” They laugh, and I am joking, but you know things happen.
I could miss a flight or Mother Nature could step in and people need to know at least how to keep things at least limping along so that they don’t come to a dead stop. So it’s really just about being connected with the people that you work with.
Every Superhero Has a Secret Identity
So this is my Wonder Woman mug, and it was given to me by my husband and my children, and the reason they gave me the mug is they consider me their Wonder Woman. I keep all the balls in the air for our family. I keep our schedules going, our activities going. I make sure people are clothed and fed.
The back is kind of fun. It says: As lovely as Aphrodite, as wise as Athena- which I think is a nice complement to be paid. Yeah, they also bought me the Wonder Woman bracelet which I don’t have on today, but this is my mug and I drink for it every day. It reminds me of who I’m working for really and why I do what I do.
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