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Planner Spotlight Series Template- Malene Ward, Phoenix Planning Group LLC

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September 24, 2021
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This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 


 

Name: Malene S. Ward, CMP, CEM, DES

Company Name: Phoenix Planning Group, LLC

Job Title: President and Founder

Years of Experience: 22

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
 
I obtained my DES (Digital Events Specialist) certification, which allowed me to customize my client services and support their transition to online and hybrid events. I also began networking with other like-minded independent planners and discussed ways to expand my offerings and streams of revenue, like association management, which led to a new client during the pandemic.
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
The number one thing I learned was the importance of networking and supporting each other. It was great to see the spirit of hospitality in action. As a member of PCMA and MPI, we shared best practices, job leads, business opportunities, and mentored the next generation of planners. I'm proud to be a part of such a resilient industry.
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
I am focusing on being more flexible in my planning. I don't want to say plan for the worst and hope for the best, but in many ways that's what we'll need to do. Even now as it seems like our industry is rebounding, the future impact of Covid variants are still unknown. I hope we all realize: suppliers, planners, and customers alike, that we need to plan collaboratively to allow for a mutually beneficial experience for all parties involved.
 

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 

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