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MPI Member Spotlight: Reese Lee

Meeting Planner Spotlight

My first position in the meeting and event industry was as a sales manager with the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Denver back in 2003. I had the government market. I didn’t know much about the industry as I was coming from food and beverage. As I learned about hotels, I knew my skill set and passion were more aligned with becoming a meeting planner.

One of the most memorable parts of my career was when I won Leader of the Quarter in 2015 with the MPI Rocky Mountain Chapter. To win such an award that is given by your peers was a really special moment.

Working in this industry has given me a greater appreciation of the people who are behind the scenes who don’t get the recognition they deserve, but have a huge impact on the success of your meeting. The housekeepers, engineers, bellmen and banquet servers are critical in the overall experience for the attendee.

I first got involved in MPI by simply being a member on a small committee. Everything grew from there, and I am now the VP of membership. The association has had such a huge impact on my career because it has given me the opportunity to network with my colleagues in different aspects of the industry. I have created relationships that aid in having better meetings.

Some of the biggest advancement in our industry has been through technology. I can still remember the days when people would fax their contracts to hotels! With what Cvent has been able to do with the RFP process and companies like Social Tables and Delphi that make the hotel planning process easier on the catering and convention staff. The growth in the event app world along with the technology that has come along in the transportation world…all of these technologies and so many more make the planning process move much quicker and are much more collaborative. A lot of these technologies “talk” to each other, which is great because now I don’t have to go to several different places to aid in the meetings that I need to plan.

I believe the industry needs more collaboration with local governments. The meeting and event industry has a huge economic impact on the host city. It would be great to see local officials understand that our industry equates to real dollars and that it’s a huge benefit to the city to collaborate more with its CVB or DMO to help attract more mid-scale to large conferences.

I am most passionate about being outdoors. Anyone who lives in Colorado will tell you that being outdoors renews your soul—gives you a sense of living! To be able to step out my backdoor and escape into the mountains and do a myriad of outdoor activities is a perfect way to “get away” from the industry and recharge.

BIO

Reese Lee is senior conference planner for Civica Management and VP of membership for the MPI Rocky Mountain Chapter. He has been an MPI member since 2011.


About the Author

Jeff Loy
Jeff Loy

Digital Editor at MPI