PlanIt Tennessee

MPI: Tennessee WINS MPI Foundation Grant


We are excited to announce that our chapter has won an MPI Foundation educational grant. The foundation designed three educational grants.


The grant that we won is for doing a program called Hybrid Meetings and Events: A Roadmap. One of the things that helped us win this grant is the fact that we have three active regions across 440 miles.  Not only will this program help our chapter to learn how to deliver the best education to all of our members, it will also provide our members with the knowledge on how to do these as well.  This program will be presented in Nashville in the next few months. Watch for more information.

Do you as a member know what the MPI Foundation is and why it is important?  Here are a few facts......

Why the MPI Foundation Exists
The MPI Foundation fuels the growth and advancement of MPI members by providing them professional development and career opportunities through grants and scholarships. The MPI Foundation also propels the meeting and event industry forward by funding innovative research and pan-industry initiatives that support the strategic plan of MPI.

Why Does the MPI Foundation Matter?
It's shaping and supporting tomorrow's leaders. 
Remember when you were a student eager to fulfill your career dreams? Or perhaps you made a career shift and joined the meeting and event industry. Once your foot is in the doorway, The MPI Foundation can swing the door wide open for you. It's a launching pad for student members and helping-hand for those new to the MPI community.

It helps MPI members when they need it most. 
The MPI Foundation lifts up and supports the careers of MPI members who cannot do so on their own. Career transitions, dealing with tight budgets or falling on hard times are all realities that can happen to any of us, and the MPI Foundation is here to provide opportunities to members in need through grants and scholarships.

It's leading the industry by partnering with it. 
A vibrant industry requires everyone to play a part and be involved. The goal of the MPI Foundation is to build strong educational foundations, create access to professional development and conduct and release quality research so that the entire industry is enriched. And that's the reason the MPI Foundation partners with pan-industry groups to fund future-thinking.

We won an MPI Foundation grant, will you be next?!

In This Issue
Our Sponsors
Platinum Partners

Gold Partners

The Peabody Memphis


Silver Partners
BB King's Blues Club Nashville
Chef's Market
Country Music Hall of Fame � and Museum
DG International
Drury Plaza Franklin
Embassy Suites Nashville South/Cool Springs
Gary Musick Production
Geo Teaming - John Chen
Hard Rock Caf�/Nashville
Hilton Memphis
Hilton Nashville Downtown
Holiday Inn/Fogelman Executive Conference Center
Hutton Hotel
Kix Brooks
Knoxville Airport Hilton
Knoxville Convention Center
Liberty Party Rental
Musicians Hall of Fame
Park Vista a DoubleTree by Hilton Gatlinburg
Rock Bottom Brewery
Ruth's Chris Memphis
SpringHill Suites Memphis
Schenk Photography
The Cannery
Union Station Hotel

Do you want to become an MPI:TN sponsor and partner with the state's largest and most vibrant community of meeting and event professionals?

For more information, contact Colleen Cussick, Director of Strategic Alliances for MPI:TN!

Educational Message - West
January 20, 2015  11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Ever wanted to pick a planner's brain before?  Here is your chance!  During this lunch you will have the opportunity to ask our panel of suppliers with varying experience levels and backgrounds your most pressing questions.  Learn what you can do to put your venue at the front of the pack.

Learn what supplier pet peeves are. Come ready with your questions!


Educational Message - Central
January 21, 2015  11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Come join us for lunch on the Symphony Stage and
an inspiring yet content-rich program!
Matt Tenney introduces the power of being selfless through his story of spending 5.5 years confined to military prison for arranging an unauthorized delivery of government funds, learning to be happy with nothing, living like a monk for over 3 years, and discovering the power of a life devoted to serving others.

Drawing on insights from his experiences as a prisoner, monk, sales team leader, and social entrepreneur you'll walk away with powerful ideas and tools for developing the sales skills that result in closing more sales, generating more referrals, and enjoying coming to work every day.

After attending this program, participants will have proven tools to help them:
  • Build greater trust with clients
  • Close more sales
  • Stop selling on price
  • Generate more referrals
Upcoming Events
MPI:TN CONNECT Education and Marketplace: Revealing Top Business Negotiation Strategies for Leaders

February 18, 2015  7:30 am - 1:00 pm

Revealing Top Business Negotiation Strategies for Leaders
Central Region Membership Drive Starts, January 1, 2015!
Your mission: Recruit as many people as you can to become new members of MPI:TN between January 1 and February 28, 2015.  If you are successful at your mission, this message will not self-destruct, but will provide the winning agent with a Go Pro3 Camera.  Go Pro or go home!

This mission made possible by:
Cort Furniture Rental
Destination Musick City
Classic Party Rentals
Neste Event Marketing

Mark Your Calendars Now!!
Thursday, May 7th, at the Hutton Hotel

We're excited to get our MPI membership involved for this year's GALA/SILENT AUCTION.  All of the MPI:TN family will appreciate your efforts!

The annual MPI:TN silent auction, our chapter's largest annual fundraiser, raises funds that support the chapter all year long. Your support of the auction enables MPI:TN to offer - scholarships for member dues & meetings, CMP & CMM scholarships, state-wide educational programs, leadership training and state of the art communications and website features. MPI:TN is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and your donation is tax deductible.  

We would like you to consider a donation from your company, service or venue.  Of course, if you have contacts to reach out to on your own, go for it!  The more items we have the more money we will be able to raise.

We would also like you to reach out to your co-workers, friends and family, to see if they would like to purchase a ticket(s) to the Gala/Auction. Remember, more bidders at the auction can result in higher final bid prices!  And, of course, if you know of anyone whose business would benefit from having an item appear on Bidding for Good and at the live portion of the auction, please invite them to donate and attend.  

Remember that our plan is to go live on in mid-February.  You can shop, bid, and gain additional exposure for your company by participating.

Please keep us informed of any donors and the items they are committed to sending. Karin Eggert, the Auction Chair, is handling all the tracking and informational data for the items. Please contact her should you have any questions by e-mail at or by calling her directly at 615-238-9237.                         

We look forward to seeing you at the Hutton Hotel on May 7th!


Brand Recognition

It's a New Year, so you have NEW opportunities to get your brand out to our m embers by becoming a Strategic Alliance Partner with MPI:TN!!

Don't miss out!

New options make it easy and affordable for you, and our Strategic Alliance Director Colleen Cussick will make it a fun, yet seamless process! You can reach Colleen at or call her at 615-256-6260.

Get out in front of the numerous professionals who are loyal to the MPI community, and see your ROI GROW...
Member Spotlight - Micki Stayton
  Adventure Science Center, Private Event Manager     
  • How long have you been in this position? 3 years 
  • How long in the industry? 10+ years
  • Have you been on the MPI:TN Board of Directors?  No
  • If yes, which position(s)? N/A
  • Why did you get into the meeting and event industry? I began planning events for a non-profit organization and found I was really good at it and really loved seeing plans come together.. 
  • What do you enjoy the most and least about the industry? I love that our industry is ever evolving and how we can create memorable, exciting events  from a vision.  My least favorite part of the industry in the long hours.
  • What is your favorite meeting or event you have held?  Why? Remix Magazines Winter Music Conference event. They showcased various aspects of recording industry and DJ'ing equipment. There was a 4 day pool party at the hotel along with a Microsoft sponsored party featuring Grand Master Flash. 
  • Where is your favorite meeting or event location?  Why? Miami!! Never a dull moment. Events are always trying to outdo the last event. Many trends in events start in Miami.  In Nashville-The Adventure Science Center, of course.
  • What advice would you give someone entering the industry? Get involved in MPI and other event planning organizations to develop relationships within the industry and to stay up-to-date in your field.!
  • Tell us something about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc. Hmmm. Little known fact, I danced with Madonna at a club in Atlanta!
  • If you weren't in the meeting and event industry what would you be doing? Real Estate!
Know Your Board  - Jamie Hulet     
  • Board Position: Vice President of Communications
  • Have you held other positions on the MPI:TN Board? Yes, Director of Communications
  • Why did you decide to become a part of the MPI:TN Board? Honestly I didn't think I was qualified to be on the board until a couple of years ago someone relocated and left the Director of Communications role open. Caroline Platz asked to assume the role.  Thank you, Caroline!  I have quickly learned that EVERY member of MPI:TN is qualified to be on the board and should apply.  It is a great experience. 
  • What is the benefit of being on the Board?The biggest benefit for me has been learning what MPI Global does for this industry and the tools they make available to help me do my job better.
  • What is your paying gig?  Corporate & Convention Sales Manager for Grand Ole Opry Entertainment Group.  I sell group tickets for the Opry, Ryman Auditorium and General Jackson Showboat in addition to private Opry shows and venue space at the Opry House.
  • How long have you been in this position? 6 years
  • How long in the industry? 11 years
  • Why did you get into the meeting and event industry? I always wanted to be in the industry but after graduating college my career went in another direction.  In 2003 I relocated to Palm Springs, CA, and changed careers.  It was a rough couple years but worth it.  I started at the bottom as a Program Coordinator for the in-house DMC at the La Quinta Resort and Club, an 800 room luxury resort.  My boss was an amazing teacher and within a year I was promoted to Destination Sales Manager.  The rest is history.
  • What do you enjoy the most and least about the industry? I love seeing people have a good time.  The smiles at the end of an event are priceless. I also love the fact that I can call the people I work with my family.  What do I like least?  Collecting payment.
  • What is your favorite meeting or event you have held?  Why? I have two.  A few years ago a software company bought a large block of Opry tickets.  After the show the planner asked me if she could go ahead and get tickets for group's next Nashville conference I suggest doing a private Opry for the group.  The show was great and the planner couldn't stop thanking me for helping her provide such a unique experience.  My second favorite was an X Games event we produced when I worked at the hotel in California.  When the buses pulled up there were guys on motorcycles doing stunts on a half-pipe.  Talk about WOW factor.
  • What advice would you give someone entering the industry? Don't be afraid to start at the bottom.  Learn everything you can about how a program comes together from the front-line staff's view.  The more you know about how banquets, rooms, transportation manifests, security, catering, etc. come into play with putting a program together the better.  It's all in the details.
  • Tell us something about yourself...hobbies, little known fact, etc. I love, love, love animals.  My furry babies, three rescue kitties, are truly my children.  Don't be offended if you are showing me pictures of a baby and I whip out pictures of my cats.  I grew up on a farm so I guess that is where my passion for animals comes from.
  • If you weren't in the meeting and event industry what would you be doing? Probably still in the recruiting and human resources business.
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