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You deserve a new perspective on meetings
Virginia Beach is more than a top meeting destination with unbeatable service. It’s a real game-changer in how you see a great meeting experience. Offering an abundance of modern amenities, unique venues, and timeless coastal appeal, Virginia Beach will give you a new perspective on meetings excellence– all just a short drive or train ride away.
Plan your Virginia Beach meeting today!

Thursday, May 15
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Are you a mid-career professional or senior leader in your organization? Ready to help create a new generation of professionals in this industry? How do you let people know you are open to mentoring?

Interested in learning more? This session is open to all MPI members.

Join Dasha Runyan, vice president, sales & services, Richmond Region Tourism; Geoff Woliner, CPCM, CEO, Winning Wit; and Shelli Vasser Gilliam, CMP, SEPC, principal, Vasser Gilliam LLC for a live online event discussing the role mentoring plays in your professional growth.

Session outcomes include:

  • Strategies that will help people understand that you are interested and available to serve as a mentor in a personal or professional setting.
  • The impact and influence mentors have on mentees with helpful anecdotes
  • Resources and tools available to strengthen your mentoring skills

Register here!

Call to Action: Human Trafficking and the Meetings Industry

Thursday, June 6
11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Kimpton Glover Park Hotel
2505 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20007

Click here for details and register today!

Monday, June 24
5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Hilton Washington DC National Mall
960 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20024
Metro: L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station
Venue Details:
A Silver LEED-certified hotel, the Hilton Washington DC National Mall is just steps from a wealth of DC attractions, corporations and federal offices. Walk to the White House, monuments, museums and the Southwest Waterfront, or take our elevator down to L’Enfant Metro Station to connect easily with greater DC, Maryland and Virginia. Distinctive rooms, stunning views, on-site dining, a resort-style pool, stylish event space, an executive lounge — we have everything you need to thrive in our nation’s capital.
Experience a modern flair that incorporates a contemporary design.

News & Announcements
According to the May issue of Meetings Outlook, the business landscape remains stable — slightly favoring a seller's market with strong indications of growth across attendance and hiring — giving meeting professionals a prime opportunity to focus on crafting unique attendee experiences.  
Click below to view the preview and check out the May issue of The Meeting Professional magazine for the detailed report. 
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Quione Rice, Truth Initiative
Marketing & PR Committee 

Quione Rice initially joined MPI Potomac to gain access to all the resources related to the CMP. She took a CMP course that was offered and attended a few events for the clock hours, and she received a member discount for these resources, which helped her financially manage the certification. Rice decided to get further involved in the chapter after a conversation with Kaitlin Felix, now president, about getting more involved and connected with the committee board member at the time, Amanda Santiago. Santiago then helped her get started in her current volunteer position.

One of Rice’s biggest professional successes was in a previous position where she was able to convince the organization’s leaders to host an international meeting. It was the first time in the history of the organization where a meeting was held outside of the U.S. It was also the first time she had ever planned an international meeting, which was a great achievement for her and the organization.

Rice defines success as living your life in the way you desire it to be lived and not according to how people want you to live it. An inspirational quote she lives by is from motivational speaker Eric Thomas: "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful."

In her free time, she loves spending time with her husband and daughter, reading, and watching movies and reality TV. She also loves to dance and cannot imagine living without music. Traveling is another of her passions. The most memorable place she has visited was Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where she stayed at The Fairmont Mayakoba. 

Detroit Metro CVB
The Hotel at the University of Maryland
Member Survey

Start Attracting Event Investors: How to Develop a Successful Sponsorship Strategy 
Wednesday, May 15
Click here for more details.

Know Before You Go: International Meetings & Security Tips
Wednesday, May 29
Click here for more details.

Visit Alexandria
Get off the beaten path & meet in the unexpected

Consider a waterfront destination just minutes from D.C. alive with over 200 restaurants, boutiques and museums set amongst centuries of history. Nestled in the heart of it all, four-star boutique and conference hotels accommodate groups up to 700. Alexandria, VA, named a 2019 #3 Best Small City by Condé Nast Traveler is a destination guaranteed to excite attendees and ignite a spark in your next meeting.

Take a quick peak at Old Town’s new vibe
The Resort at Pelican Hill in care of Irvine Company

Shelli Vasser Gilliam, CMP, SEPC
Board Director, Leadership & Career Development

In Part 1 of this article last month, we focused on the mentor and what it means to serve in that capacity. Let’s continue the conversation this month from the mentee’s perspective and consider ways to develop a meaningful relationship.

When people collaborate, ideate, experiment, share stories and have thoughtful conversations about their dreams and aspirations, remarkable things happen. 

Before they decided to collaborate, however, what do you think happened?

They had a conversation. Made an agreement. Ultimately, they both said, Yes!

Yes to the shared experience of developing a relationship rooted in trust and understanding. Yes to gathering and creating something innovative, cutting-edge. And, as one of my fantastic family members reminded me — yes to being available, accessible and committed to helping one another. 

Mentors elevate our thinking and conversation simultaneously. By lifting our thinking, we move beyond binary choices and forward to the short- and long-term impact of our work and decisions on ourselves, family, community and the world.

I enjoy storytelling and weaving together contextual elements so the person I’m speaking with can appreciate the content. I am inquisitive and also enjoy generating ideas. My mentors bring their ideas to our discussions because I supply them with information prior to the gathering. They have taught me the value of seeing things from a higher altitude. Our best discussions happen when I have an open mind and consider multiple possibilities.

Suggestion: Be ready to elevate the conversation with your mentor by focusing on the impact of your work and decisions. Here’s why: 

Having wide open, circular conversations about random situations or minutiae is not productive or helpful to your personal or professional growth. It also wastes your mentor’s time. Time is valuable, and your mentor’s time is limited. 

What can you do to make your investment of time more effective?

  • Approach your discussion with considerable thought. Preparation is required.
  • Be specific. Let your mentor know why you are seeking their guidance and the amount of time you would like to spend on your conversation.
  • Establish expectations and a guide for your discussion.
  • Honor each other’s time.

By following these steps your thoughts will be organized, and the conversation more fluid. Likewise, your mentor will be prepared and able to curate some ideas and questions in advance. The mentor may also help you chart the course and provide advice to avoid potential pitfalls.

Another important piece to having a meaningful mentoring relationship is to find a way to express gratitude. Perhaps you pay for coffee, tea or a meal. That’s generous, unexpected and has immediate impact.

Another way to express gratitude: A simple, well-timed, handwritten note will go a long way, and it costs little but still has incredible meaning. The impact is great because we’ve become accustomed to other forms of communication such as email, text, social media, etc. When we receive something hand-delivered or in the mail, it’s a nice surprise! Allow me to share a story. 

Recently, I was asked to participate in an interview for a graduate school project on talent and human capital and how that relates to a role this person aspires to in the future. The interviewer stated the overall expectations of the project, and we began our discussion. I was grateful for the opportunity to share my insight.

The interviewer expressed his gratitude by thanking me before we got started and again at the end of the call. I had no other expectations. Imagine how shocked I was to receive a beautiful handwritten note that he personally delivered during an event we both attended. That simple yet impactful act blew me away and made me smile! 

Social media DMs are a good way to communicate. Texts are quick, informal and helpful when on the go. However, handwritten notes are superstar awesome!

To recap both articles, mentors and mentees must be authentic, honest, curious, available, accessible, collaborative contributors, and they must honor one another’s time. As a mentee, it is also a good idea to express gratitude for the mentor’s time and commitment. No matter how you decide to thank your mentor, make sure you do so in a meaningful way. 

Share your comments with me on LinkedIn using #MPIPotomac #eventprofs #meetingprofs #mentoring.

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