You cannot pour from an empty cup

December 29, 2017

Dana’s Meeting Minutes is based on the Meeting Planning Triangle©. Click here for a link.


Who takes care of you? How do you keep your cup full? This was a focus at SPINCon 2017* earlier this month. Dubbed “a senior-level meeting of the minds,” the goal was to practice self-care for two days. (We did; it was fabulous!) Contemplate these tips as we start a new year.



Tip #1

Stay connected with a community of planners

  • Make the time to regularly connect with planners who support each other—without having to explain what BEO means.

  • Connect mindfully. CareerCast lists meeting planning as the fifth Most Stressful Jobs of 2017. (see list below)

  • Lean on others and let them lean on you. Do you have a community to turn to when you can’t make an event happen because of an unexpected circumstance?


Tip #2

Have fun

  • This can be so difficult, especially if don’t have a lot of interaction with non-stressed people. (see below for a few laughs)

  • We have fun at conventions. How can you/we find that fun in between official gatherings?


Tip #3

Keep learning

  • Staying current will give you energy, ideas, and motivation.

  • Make learning easy. My go-to are industry journals and seminars. I also learn a lot at conventions. If webinars are your thing, you’ll find plenty.

  • Become a Certified Meeting Professional. You will learn a lot by studying to take the exam.


*SPINCon is sponsored by the Senior Planner Industry Network (SPIN) which supports planners with ten or more years of experience. Full disclosure: I volunteered for the Program Committee, primarily because I love this group and love this event.



Plan a self-care routine for 2018

You’re a planner; it should be easy. Ha! Well, maybe not, but it’s essential. Your family will be grateful. Your colleagues will be grateful. You will be grateful…and happier.


Consider some of my go-to self-care practices.

  • Meditation. It really works. Really. Check out Fragrant Heart, a website that offers instruction and guided meditation (very helpful).

  • Yoga. The Yoga Alliance lists many benefits of practicing yoga; the #1 is stress relief.

  • The right diet. Whole30 is a short-term nutrition reset. It’s not a weight-loss diet. It is designed to identify food groups that have a negative impact on your life. They call it life-changing, and it is. I would have never known that rice was upsetting me internally and sugar was upsetting me emotionally. What a change I’ve experienced since then!



Indulge in some YouTube time:

Sh*t Meeting Planners Say by

What Event Planners Say vs. What Event Planners Mean by MorEventsDenver

Carry ‘Round a Binder, Son by The Water Coolers at MPI (SO funny!)

“Meeting Pro” by the Water Coolers at MPI


CareerCast Most Stressful Jobs of 2017:

  1. Enlisted Military Personnel

  2. Firefighter

  3. Airline Pilot

  4. Police Officer

  5. Event Coordinator

  6. Newspaper Reporter

  7. Senior Corporate Executive

  8. Public Relations Executive

  9. Taxi Driver

  10. Broadcaster


Google search for meeting planning webinars


Information disclaimer: WANT MORE? references do not imply an endorsement for any company, product, or service.




Dana L. Saal, CMP, CAE, has been planning meetings for associations for more than 30 years. She recently decided that coaching meeting planners is now more fun than proofing BEOs, counting coffee cups and writing scripts. If you think a bit of coaching could improve your meeting, send a message via her website.

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