If you work with others who help you look good, reach your goals, or make your life easier, it’s always good form to let them know how much you value them. It doesn’t have to be something big, either. Just a small token of your appreciation is appreciated—a handwritten thank you note, a gift card, or an award. That’s right, an award.
I created an award for the best meeting planner of the year a few years ago and have given out ten trophies to date. Meeting planners are often volunteer positions held by people who have a hundred other things to do in addition to coordinating a million moving parts and are dealing with unrealistic deadlines and depending on other volunteers to get things done. The only time anyone seems to notice their efforts is when something doesn’t go quite right.
As a speaker, I work closely with the meeting planner and I always do my best to make their lives easier and exceed their expectations. In addition to coming through for them, I also make it a point to recognize and thank them for all they do . . . for me. Since I give over 50 speeches a year, I work with a lot of meeting planners and a few always stand out as exceptional. This year I wanted to recognize three for going above and beyond the call of duty.
The three 2013 Meeting Planners of the year are: John San Filippo (Symitar) for being hands-off (Read: Trusting) when he needs to be and hands-on when warranted. Sandra Williams from S. P. Richards was one of the most detail-oriented people I have ever met . . . which is a great trait for a person organizing an event. Last, but not least is Laura Thomas, who found creative ways to include me in several of her programs this year—and last year, and the year before that . . .