Last week, Meetings & Incentives Worldwide hosted our signature event: the annual M&IW Summit. Bringing together our customers, suppliers, and employees, we celebrated our collective accomplishments from the past year and shared best practices for continued excellence.
The 2023 M&IW Summit continued our theme of Journey to World Class. “In 2022, our journey was about tackling and responding to external pressures,” said Tina Madden, CEO. “This year, we turned inward and focused on continuous improvement with a one-team spirit.”
In the first session of the day, Tina shared the state of the company and detailed what M&IW’s Journey to World Class has looked like over the past year. Specifically, we focused on five key areas related to culture and talent and two areas related to service excellence.
Culture and Talent
Mental health was a big focus as it affects everything from company culture to employee retention to customer service. With the goal of ending the stigma around mental health, Tina led by example in sharing her and her family’s experiences. The company also implemented new wellness-focused initiatives including mental health PTO hours and a summer sabbatical program.
M&IW focused on improving communication both internally and externally by strengthening the marketing team and fostering purposeful and frequent connections across the organization. Tina is meeting with all employees in groups of three, and the leadership team has led the charge in improving communication around workloads to both better serve our customers and avoid burnout.
“The One Team spirit is not just about getting the job done but about being hospitality heroes and supporting our customers and each other,” said Tina. M&IW has improved mentoring across service areas, expanded leadership training, and added emotional intelligence to the training program and as part of the employee review process.
M&IW has always been a leader in the industry, and now we’ve strengthened our commitment to giving back to the industry. We co-authored a book on medical meeting planning to help those either new to the industry or to medical meetings. We also expanded our outreach to colleges and universities with hospitality programs, sharing real-world experiences with students and participating in job fairs.
While not a new initiative, M&IW’s Global Giveback program returned with a vengeance in 2023! We purposefully partnered with a global organization, Ronald McDonald House Charities, so our team members around the world could give back to their local community while still being part of a larger company-wide movement.
Service and Experience
The past year has seen greater collaboration across all departments to improve M&IW’s offerings and the customer experience. “Our leaders were empowered to look at service quality and experience in every area of our organization,” said Tina. We have specifically focused on becoming more consultative in our approach so that we can be true partners to our customers.
As part of our effort to be more consultative, we’ve also improved process efficiencies both internally and with our customers. Smoother, clearer processes mean less time asking questions and more time planning impactful meetings and events.
Ready to Soar
What has been the result of our Journey to World Class? The essence of M&IW—our culture, customer focus, continuous improvement mindset, and core service values—is stronger than ever.
“We have the strongest, most empowered leadership in company history,” said Tina, “along with a more dynamic, more consultative team.” Because of this, our service is more effective and streamlined, and there has also been greater interest in enterprise partnerships.
“Everything we accomplished and improved internally directly benefits our customers,” Tina continued. For example:
- Stronger leadership, better communication, and deeper training has resulted in better service.
- Higher retention, better morale, and less burnout has led to more consistent staffing and a deeper knowledge base.
- Supporting each other as one team across the organization allowed us to scale faster and take on short-term meetings.
Looking ahead, there are seven key areas where we will direct our efforts in order to continue growing as a company to best serve our customers and our team: customer growth, proactive talent investment, sustainability, event technology, event design, technology integrations, and expanded consulting.
“We want to grow and evolve with our customers and their programs,” said Tina. “After our Journey to World Class, we are ready to soar!”