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You Will Be a Diplomat


Michael Barratt, CMP Senior Vice Presi- dent, Meetings and Events Automotive After- market Industry Association › aftermarket.org


Brand your meetings and events At our organiza- tion, we try to clearly identify our programs. We have a clear brand — we try to brand our programs so that people who go to our meetings or our events know that, oh, this is an AAIA program. You can become a brand ambassador for your organization and align your programs so that they match the overall image your organization’s trying to portray; then you are well ahead of, I would say, anything else.


Market yourself as the best You want to make your event the place where they have to be. You have to be the best program out there within your indus- try. So if you can brand yourself as the best, then everyone else is going to try to keep up with you, and you’re going to be the one leading that.


It’s not just numbers “I think about it in terms of our trade show and what we call our event — it’s not about the number of bodies that are there, it’s about the quality of the attendees in terms of


buyers, because we have a commercial show. It’s about the quality of the attendee and not just get- ting bodies in for bodies’ sake. And making sure that when you have an event, that the right target audience is at that event. We have to show them a business reason for them to come to our event.”


Be a good partner One of the other professional skill sets that I think we all need to have is, we’re basically diplomats. You have to get things done, but you have to figure out how to do them without stepping on somebody’s toes or making the other person disappointed or upset. We work in a really tricky place where we work with the venues where our events happen, but we also have to be repre- senting ourselves to the associations. Negotiations and when things happen on-site and you have to make things work. You have to get the results you need, but you also have to realize that you’re work- ing in a partnership with these people, too. — Katie Kervin


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