Hospitality & Event Management Perspectives #2

This series of mini-stories will touch your heart, inspire you to action, and always make you smile.  Thanks to the amazing students and alumni of DCTC’s Hospitality and Event Management program for this 15-year collection!

Thank you, Sarah!

Dakota County Technical College’s Meeting and Event Management Program, along with Rosealee Lee, has provided so many great opportunities and has opened several doors for me. As a graduate of the then certificate only program, I couldn’t have asked for better education or experience going into this ever expanding industry.

The education portion of the Meeting and Event Management industry is so new compared to the wide array of experience professionals out there. My competition, both as an individual in the industry and as a business owner, come from those who have been in the industry, whether on purpose or by default of their job description, for more than 20-30 years! The education I’ve received gives me a different approach to the industry, in which I hope to provide a new perspective to my employers and clients.

Through hands-on activities, real-life experiences and opportunities, and plenty of role playing, Rosealee and the Meeting and Event Management Program have been two of the best resources I have as an Event Planner and I’m thankful for the insight and experience they’ve both provided. I highly recommend the program for current planners in the industry seeking a fresh or new approach or for anyone seeking a career change.

Hospitality & Event Management Alumni Perspectives #1

This is a series of mini-stories that will touch your heart, inspire you to action, and always make you smile.  Thanks to the amazing students and alumni of DCTC’s Hospitality and Event Management program for this 15-year collection!

Thank you, LeAnn!

Dakota County Technical College’s Meeting and Event Management Program, along with Rosealee Lee, has provided so many great opportunities and opened several doors for me. As a graduate of the then certificate only program, I couldn’t have asked for better education or experience going into this ever- expanding industry.

The education portion of the Meeting and Event Management industry is so new compared to the wide array of experienced professionals out there. My competition, both as an individual in the industry and as a business owner, come from those who have been in the industry, whether on purpose or by default of their job description, for more than 20-30 years! The education I’ve received gives me a different approach to the industry, in which I hope to provide a new perspective to my employers and clients.

Through hands-on activities, real-life experiences and opportunities, and plenty of role playing, Rosealee and the Meeting and Event Management program have been two of the best resources I have as an Event Planner and I’m thankful for the insight and experience they’ve both provided. I highly recommend the program for a current planner in the industry seeking a fresh or new approach or for anyone seeking a career change.

Hospitality and Event Management Alumni Share Their Successes

I asked an alumni of the Hospitality and Event Management program to detail how her events had changed.  Here’s her response regarding an event she did shortly after graduation. She has since gone on to develop larger programs and secure a great place for herself in the business and hospitality industries. Her opening statement says it all!

Thank you, Dawn!

In previous years I just went through the motions and followed instructions given to me by the hotel staff.  This year I felt like I was the one in control (somewhat).  I still have a long way to go, but it was definitely a different air. 
  1. Preparing an emergency plan and working with our own Risk Management Department to get the appropriate paperwork on insurance issues (never knew I should).
  2. Working with all of the presenters or shareholders of the meeting, to have meetings on the progress of the meeting and the contents of the program.  This was a chore – we live in silos around here, but I wanted to make sure that everyone was an owner in the event and it was very clear to everyone how the meeting was going to flow.  Previously it was only one person who was in charge and all others were somewhat (or more like absolutely) in the dark about the entire event.
  3. Making sure that the “Welcome” speaker announced where the emergency exits were, where the restrooms were, and where the staging area was in case of an emergency.
  4. Getting emergency information from our attendees – before we just invited them!  This year I made sure that all contact information was readily available in the emergency plan that I and corporate had a copy of.
  5. Working with catering on the buffets served in conjunction with other events at the facility – saved money.
  6. Working with catering to serve the lunch desserts at the afternoon break -saved money.
  7. Insisting on a pre-convention meeting to make sure I knew who all the players were at the hotel and how to reach them.
  8. Insisting on a post-convention meeting to make sure I completely understood all the charges (which is where I found the screen fee.  The AV rentals were not included in the initial contract.  I purchased a “package” which included a free standing screen because the screen in the meeting room was in a corner at an angle.  The day we had round table discussions we used the ceiling screen instead of the free-standing screen because of the riser in the middle of the room, and boom – charged!!)
  9. Making all of my own centerpieces and using other materials we have on hand to use throughout the event, such as table covers we use at trade shows I used on the buffet tables (you taught us to be creative!)
  10. Making sure that I had an AV technician on-site during the time we had our keynote speaker and presenters.  He was worth his weight in gold.  I never had one in the past (actually didn’t know I could!!) and will never go without one in the future.
  11. Finding a linen rental company that I could afford so our awards banquet was an event they would remember!!
 

In Case You Forgot

CheckInEasy has done a good job of reminding us all about some forgotten essentials. Forgotten, perhaps, if you haven’t experienced the Event Management Certificate at DCTC.  Either way, it’s a great article that gives me ideas for a larger list.  Hmmm. . . I feel another article coming on.

Read 10 Forreminder_finger_string_3209gotten Essentials When Planning an Event.

Then, check out your future at the Hospitality and Event Management program!  Meet me on LinkedIn to find out more.

Mentors Make a Difference! Now it’s time to pay it forward.

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Remember that mentor that propelled you on your journey?  Their energy, skills, and network added to your success.  It’s time to pay that forward.  DCTC alumni are needed to bring education full-circle.  Hospitality and Event Management certificate or degree graduates are doing amazing things in business worldwide.  Today’s technological tools invite international collaboration, so don’t let geographic location hamper you in being a mentor. Let’s take that expertise and extend a hand to current program students!  Mentorships are one semester in length. Connect with me on LinkedIn to request an application.  More mentor initiative information is available here.

 

Rondi Pacheco is Making Every Minute Count

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Rondi Pacheco is having quite a year!  She completed the trifecta of education — degrees in accounting, law, and meeting-event management. The latter degree, earned at DCTC, was instrumental in what she describes as, “finding my true calling.”

For Rondi, a self-described “idealist”, promoting other people and their talents is part of who she is.  Equally important to her is volunteerism.  In her words, “I’ve been given some special gifts and talents and I need to share them with my community.” Her infectious energy and love of people are all part this sparkly package that her native-Hawaii is sharing with Minnesota.  Those of us who know Rondi, chuckle when she introduces herself as an introvert.  Yes, she loves to dance, sing, read comic books and is in a bowling league, but few would categorize her as an introvert. She lives her belief that, “I don’t have a lot of time here on this earth, so I better make every minute count.”

At the recent Best of Minnesota 2016, Rondi was MNME7832_0617_Bestof2016Awards_RN_0004inducted into the Minnesota Meetings and Events Hall of Fame and honored with the coveted “Up-and-Coming Meeting Professional” award.

It was a magical evening with great friends and entertainment.  Rondi was visiting her family in Hawaii and asked me to accept the award on her behalf.  The number of DCTC program alumni in the audience that night made it feel much like a DCTC-alumni reunion.

A few months ago, Rondi was awarded Leader of the Month by the MPI Minnesota Chapter. Rondi volunteers with MPI on the team that manages the organization’s social media accounts and promotes activities on social media platforms. During her time in that role, MPI has seen engagement and page visits increase exponentially on Facebook.  In fact, during one week, MPI MN experienced a 375% increase in page visits and 47% increase in engagement.  The nomination for this award describes Rondi succinctly: “Rondi has been an absolute JOY to work with; flexible, responsible and really stays on top of her game.”

Rondi’s leadership and dedication to the industry are best summarized by a statement she made recently for the pressselfie pics at MPI: “The Meeting/Events/Hospitality industry is about providing service to others.  It is an industry where individuals cater to and care for the needs of our clients and guests.  This is an industry that thrives on creativity and inspirational genius.  My personal passion of helping and guiding individuals to create their own unique experience is what motivates me to blaze a path for others coming behind me.  I want to share my experiences so that others will not fall and flounder but instead grow and prosper.  This is why I love this industry and will continue to share this love for years to come.”

 

Design for Success: Embassy Chefs Met the Challenge! You can too!

haiti-serving-the-winning-dishWhat challenge, you ask?  Seamlessly integrating components of an event is always a challenge; even more so when logistics, procurement, stakeholder objectives, marketing, and public relations meet.  This slide show from the 9th Annual Embassy Chef Challenge shows the magic that happens when synergy meets success. Thank you, BizBash and PCMA for excellent reporting. Students at DCTC’s Hospitality and Event Management program learn all of this and more as part of their journey.  Together we make your success happen. One simple course, a certificate, or degree can change your life, amp up your career and earn accolades for your organization!

Learn about stakeholder objectives in SMGT 1160.

Explore procurement and financial aspects in SMGT 1160, 1161, and 1162.

Logistics range from event space, traffic flow, signage, floral, audio-visual, communication and just a few hundred other items.  Start with SMGT 1160, 1161, 1162, 1680, and 1696 . Then move on to SMGT 1166 to create WOW in the exciting world of event design.

Want to know more about marketing and public relations?  Check out SMGT 1176.

All of the components come together in SMGT 1172.  Don’t get caught up in the small details and neglect the big picture.  After all, a successful hospitality event manager is a project manager at the core!

Achieving success is an adventure! Learn about your adventure by email from Marki Struensee, or contact me on LinkedIn.