The Miller Tanner difference is our people. That’s why we want to introduce you to our team of superstars that bring our corporate meetings and events to life for our clients. Today, we introduce you to Melissa Eggert, CMP, Global Experience Manager (GXM). As a GXM, Melissa’s role is to meticulously architect meetings from beginning to end.
#MeetMTA: Melissa Eggert, CMP
Tell us about your current role with MTA. What are your primary responsibilities?
I serve as a Global Experience Manager for Miller Tanner Associates. In other words, I am responsible for bringing a client’s vision to life from ideation to facilitation! As a GXM, I am working day in and day out with our clients, understanding their needs and communicating with my colleagues and our vendors to produce a top-notch event.
What did you do before joining MTA?
My background experience began when I was a child and planned my first themed birthday party, complete with a checklist of guests and goodie bags for each friend in attendance. My spelling has since improved from that time, but it was clear that event planning was in my future. Before Miller Tanner, I worked in the marketing and public relations field, gradually moving to the marketing department for a large non-profit events organization in Colorado. I was able to witness large-scale productions come to fruition and spent several years alongside a successful operations department. I always wanted to be “in the action” – and that opportunity came along through a now colleague, who recruited me for a position at MTA!
You recently received the CMP credential. That’s a significant achievement in the meeting & event industry. Tell us about that process?
The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential is considered the standard of excellence in the event planning field and was created to provide our industry with a ubiquitous benchmark of understanding of how to create a successful event from start to finish.
In order to take the CMP test, you must submit at least 25 credit hours of continued education, such as webinars, articles, and live seminars. From there, you can be approved to sit for the exam – which is based on the industry manuals provided by the Convention Industry Council (CIC) and Professional Convention Management Council (PCMA).
What was the motivation behind getting this certification? Why is it important to you and the work that you do?
My motivation for having a CMP credential is two-fold. First, I want to challenge myself and expand my scope of the corporate events world outside of pharmaceutical meetings. By studying for the CMP, I was able to glean from the knowledge of a magnitude of meeting and event management professionals and see the central backbone of the field.
Secondly, having CMP credentials boosts the confidence of both our clients and vendors in us as a company. It is important to me that I provide our clients with the best service in the industry, and having the CMP aids in achieving that goal.
What do you feel are the most fulfilling aspects of your job?
I am action-oriented, so I love nothing more than seeing the culmination of several weeks of planning actualize on site at a program. I love the quick-paced energy and creative problem-solving when Plan A becomes Plan B, and I enjoy cultivating relationships with clients, colleagues, and vendor staff from all around the world.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for a client in regards to planning, and how does MTA solve that problem?
TIME. I know that my clients are challenged with how much is on their plate, and I enjoy being able to work efficiently to deliver exactly what they need when they need it. MTA can anticipate what might be coming down the pipeline and deliver it before the need is spoken. This alleviates stress and puts further trust in MTA as a leader in the industry.
What’s been your favorite event destination as an event planning professional?
This is a hard question because every location has been special for different reasons. I’d say my favorite destination for an event is Barcelona, Spain. I love the relaxed beach town culture juxtaposed with its sophisticated history and extraordinary architecture. And, tapas and Cava sparkling wine are two of my love languages.
What’s been your most memorable event to date and why?
Another hard question! Hosting a private dinner in a historic club off of one of the oldest canals in Amsterdam, the Herengracht, and escorting the group via canal boat on a tour around the city for dessert. The creative logistics, incredible scenery and a definite sense of magic made a lifelong impression on myself and the group in attendance.
What do you do for fun?
FUN is my favorite word! I live in the Pacific Northwest, so I am grateful to have the ocean and mountains at my back door. My most fun day is packing a picnic and heading to the trailhead for a full-day hike with a spectacular view.
Do you have a few great travel tips that you could share?
Absolutely! Be proactive in your packing – think about your carry on and organize it with items you may need, especially if there are any travel interruptions. I always carry “emergency almonds” as I call them, a change of clothes and plenty of reading material. If there is an interruption, I recommend calling your airline directly instead of waiting until you are at the airport or queuing in a long line. The operators can help you at a quicker pace and with less hassle. Finally, my most important advice – push yourself to leave the hotel room, the meeting room, the office, the transport station – and experience the place to where you’ve traveled. So often we go from A to B without taking a minute to enjoy our surroundings. Every place you travel is unique and has something to offer if you let it!
Just some fun tidbits:
Hottest Event: 110 degrees F; Dubai, UAE; September
Coldest Event: 2 degrees F; Stockholm, Sweden; January
Highest Event: 52nd floor of the Hotel Arts; Barcelona
Farthest Event: Singapore; 30 total hours in transit
Best Post-Event Activity: Cape Town, South Africa; great white shark cage diving
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