6 Characteristics of a Successful Female Meeting Professional

6 Characteristics of a Successful Female Meeting Professional

Today’s guest post is by meetings, travel, and hospitality consultant Pam Wynne, HMCC, CMM, CMP.

Women have a hard enough time in the meetings industry—given the lingering gap in what women earn versus their male counterparts, and fewer strong women in leadership positions than there should be—without competing with each other. We need to work together to build each other up, share success stories, motivate and challenge one another, and lend a helping hand.

As I reflect on my career, I thank those before me who served as my guides, mentors, managers, and even adversaries. I learned many, many lessons and am grateful for the women who broke down barriers and showed me what I needed to do in order to be successful.

Therefore here are six of my favorite bits of advice and things I learned along the way from women in the industry I look up to:

1. Always be early. Look eager, interested, and vested in every conversation, appointment, and interview.

2. Do your homework. Never show up unprepared, whether it’s to network, meet a client, go on an interview, or simply meet a colleague. Understand why you are there. What is the purpose of the meeting? What is the other person’s background? How can you connect with them personally and professionally? What is your shared interest? Ask yourself how you are going to show up—mentally prepare, practice if you need to, and take plenty of notes.

3. Dress professionally and appropriately. Make sure your clothing is clean and well-fitting so that you have a manicured appearance. Do not be afraid to over-dress—it will be appreciated and respected. Walk with confidence, shake hands with confidence, and maintain good eye contact. Your mannerisms and appearance are your first and most important impression.

Words of Wisdom

I asked a few experienced women in the hospitality industry what they would like to pass along to the next generation of meeting professionals. I appreciate their candor, and I think everyone could benefit from their sage advice.

4. Be genuine. Laugh. Be yourself. Be interested and smile. Let others feel comfortable around you. Someone will be able to tell immediately if you are fake or disinterested.

5. Be a connector. I have made it my life’s purpose to connect people and find shared interests. Always try to help your fellow women. When you promote each other and connect people, others will see you as a resource and respond to you with trust and appreciation, which leads to recommendations and promotion.

6. Know what you want to be known for. Asking myself what the top three things I want to be known for was one of the best exercises I did for myself when I was just starting out in my career. I encourage you to write yours down—and develop a strategy to make it happen.

Of course, this advice holds true for any industry, not just meeting planning. But it is important to teach these general good business practices to our less experienced colleagues. Soft skills are even more important now that we live and work in an increasingly digital world where human interaction is increasingly rare.


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