Naomi Tucker is an Account Director at Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc. (M&IW) and past President of the Wisconsin Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). She writes the Plan It on a Post-It blog, and her contributions have been featured in Evvnt, Wisconsin Meetings Magazine, and other publications. The busy woman made time to answer our questions at G2Blog in the interview that follows.
How did you first get interested in events, and how has your career path led you to where you are today?
"Many times we hear people say, “I fell into the events industry,” and although it may be very hard to believe these days, that is how I stumbled across this awesome business. My career actually started on the hotel side before I came to be an event planner. Starting in hospitality really provided me with a wealth of experience on hotel sales, service, and hospitality. I learned so much, and that experience was invaluable for me as I continued my journey as a planner through several other organizations and into becoming an event manager and now Director.You can’t stay in event planning without loving what you do. I truly love what I do now as an Account Director at M&IW, leading and growing accounts, and guiding planners who are trying to also make their mark in this industry."
What type of clients do you most frequently work with?
"The most amazing benefit to working at M&IW is the virtual workplace setting. In my typical day, I wake up and do some self-reflection right away, mentally setting myself up for my day. After that, I will typically spot check any texts, or emails for anything alarming. Then I put on my mom hat, getting my girls ready for school and out the door. As far as blogging, I typically catch up with those items on nights and weekends, as I can."
What is the biggest challenge you face in your work?
The biggest challenge in my work currently is change management. In my world, I work with a lot of moving parts, and rapidly changing strategic meeting management program (SMMP) initiatives.Ensuring successful change with everyone that touches an account can be tricky—especially when that change needs to occur sooner rather than later. Making sure that everyone is on the same page as to the reason for the change, giving them tools on how to get through the changes, and communicating dates and following up throughout the change.
What types of event-related technology do you use or interact with?
"These days, it seems like no one can get around not working with event management software. These tools make up for much of how I work on a daily basis.I also am familiar with mobile apps, audience response systems, badge scanning software, and other attendee engagement tools."
What do you see as the biggest trend(s) in events this year, particularly in relation to event technology?
Mobile apps are increasing dramatically they are becoming a standard, especially with corporations. I am also seeing an increase in augmented and virtual reality. Ensuring that attendees are engaged when they are in a room is another trend, where many organizations are trying to find the right balance between technology and personal interactions.
If you could give event planners once piece of advice, what would it be?
Always make sure that you are putting you first, and those that you care about first. If we do this, then when we plan events, we know we are operating from a secure place.