A snapshot into the lives of the people who hire us
Get Over Yourself!
“Top 10” list of priorities.
It is a humbling experience
for speakers to acknowledge
that meeting planners are fo-
cused on a hundred other
details to ensure that events
go off without a hitch. For
example, the price of a gal-
lon of coffee can fuel heated
online discussions, followed
by helpful advice. Attrition of
hotel rooms can drive meet-
ing planners bonkers. Airline
cancellations can create chaos
for the entire conference and
lead meeting planners to lose their hair.
Here are some tips that speakers can
follow to make meeting planners’ lives
a little easier:
• Show up the day before the event
or at least five hours before your sched-
uled time if you are in the local area.
There are no excuses for arriving in the
nick of time unless you are the Pope, the
President or a presidential candidate.
• This is a relationship business.
Meeting planners want to know you,
and they want you to know them. Take
the time to slowly build a relationship
• Make sure your reputation spar-
kles. Meeting planners view speaker
bureaus as valued partners and respect
their recommendations. Speaker bu-
reaus help present speakers in a favor-
able light, and really promote NSA and
the quality of NSA speakers.
• Do you know what people say
about you behind your back? If not,
find out. Ask for an honest apprais-
al. Everyone knows everyone in this
business. If they don’t know you, they
know someone who does and they will
do a background check.
Forums offer an incredible learning
experience. When you join one, howev-
er, check your ego and marketing pitch
at the door. You’ll gain tremendous in-
sights into the enormous responsibili-
ties of meeting planners who can make
organizing and coordinating a stunning
and well-orchestrated event look like a
piece of cake.
Do you ever walk into a con-
ference believing that you
have the starring role at
the event because you were
hired to motivate, inspire
and educate the audience?
Well, get over yourself. Even though
you are a legend in your own mind, you
are a small piece of the pie that meeting
planners are baking.
For the last five years, I have par-
ticipated in the MiForum and MeCo
online forums, which include meeting
planners, destination management com-
panies, hoteliers, suppliers and a sprin-
kle of speakers. One forum has approx-
imately 2,500 active meeting planners
worldwide—the other has even more.
Both forums have extremely strict rules
about promotion, marketing and sell-
ing. In fact, more than one participant
has been banned from a forum after
one slip. These forums are not places to
promote; they are places to learn.
In these online chat rooms, I have
learned about meeting planners’ real
lives and their top concerns. And guess
what? Speakers aren’t even in their
Meeting planners have many concerns, but speakers don’t even crack
the top 10. here’s a list of what
keeps planners up at night:
1. the hotel
2. Food and beverage costs
3. room blocks
4. travel (flight delays, costs and
5. Arrival of international guests
7. Destination management
9. social media
10. location, location, location!
Former Bronx TBG girl gang member, Pegine (Pe-geen) Echevarria, MSW, is one of
58 inductees into the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame by the No. 1 motivation
site, GetMotivation.com, along with Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) named Pegine one of 100
Global Thought Leaders in diversity and inclusion. Visit her on www.pegine.com.