MEETING GURU Jennifer Haisten
Behind the Scenes with a Meeting & Event Pro
Jennifer Haisten is a rockstar. She’s a big deal in two parts of the meeting and convention industry.
First she’s a corporate meeting planner. And not just any meeting planner… She’s a high-end, highly experienced rockstar meeting planner.
She also is the Big Cheese at an Association Management Company, which means she works with associations large and small with everything from running their day-to-day business to helping them with our meetings and conventions.
Lucky me I got to work with her when I was hired to moderate a panel (before doing a motivational speaker keynote later that day.) She was on that panel of hospitality/meeting/convention rock stars. And luckier yet…she said yes to guesting on the podcast.
We covered so many things in this interview. I encourage you to listen. But here are a few of my favorite highlights.
Jennifer is in the Professional Problem Solver Business.
She didn’t phrase it this way, but it’s something that I loved about her. I asked her about horror stories… Times when things went wrong. Her answer was really interesting in that it was not at all what I expected. I thought she might tell me about a time of fire alarm went off during a big meeting causing chaos, or an entire hotel was flooded out or something crazy and fun like that.
She took it a totally different direction. And I’m glad she did. Basically what I heard her say it was that things always go wrong. There are always things big and small that change the way any given job goes. But her job as a meeting planner is twofold. First of all she needs to plan ahead. Jennifer is super organized and left brained and I’m convinced that she has thought of every single possible variation on chaos and has a plan for it. (For example, she even has a plan about what to do if somebody dies at a meeting or convention. And yes, that’s happened to her. Twice.)
Before any convention or meeting she has what she hopes happens. But then she has several contingency plans about what will happen if he doesn’t get her first choice.
In other words what I think Jennifer was saying was that if you recognize and understand that every plan is fluid, and rarely do all of our plans happen as we hope, we don’t have to stress out too much about moving on to Plan B. Or plan C. Can I get a Plan D anybody?
What a lovely way to look at the world. So often I think we get in our own heads and really have our hearts set on how things are going to go and how meaningful they will be to us when those plans are unfolded just right. But if the most important part of your plan is knowing that you’ll undoubtedly have to change that plan, everything is better. No disappointment. Less stress. More happiness.
I thought it was brilliant, and probably one of the many reasons Jennifer is so good at her jobs.
I know! She is brilliant, right?
The second highlight (on a long list of highlights) was when I asked her about who encouraged her. Her answer was absolutely touching. I encourage you to listen to the recording but basically she mentioned that when she was young she worked in the jewelry store. Her boss at the jewelry store showed her respect, treated her with care, and basically gave her the self-confidence to start off her adulthood with some style. She mentioned how this boss helped give her better self-esteem, and that self-esteem has trickled down throughout her adult life. Awwww. Those type of stories are catnip to me!
Jennifer is a talented woman at the top of her game. Plus, she happened to be one of the warmest, kindest people I know. Jennifer! Thanks for agreeing to come onto the podcast. You’re awesome!
Bio of a Motivational Speaker
Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker Brad Montgomery is an award-winning speaker. He speaks to audiences across the globe (and across the USA), and is based in Denver, Colorado.
Although he speaks to audiences in nearly every industry, he is known as a funny health care speaker, a education speaker for teachers, a real estate speaker, and a sales speaker. He got his start as a magician & comedian, but now is known almost exclusively as keynote speaker.
He speaks both at live, in-person events, as well as online and virtually as a zoom speaker. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish with your audience, if you’re ready to invest in your people, give us a call now.