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Planner Spotlight Series- Sherie Howell, SnapIT Solutions

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January 3, 2022
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Reading time: 2 min

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: Sherie Howell, CMP, CMM, CGMP

Company Name: SnapIT Solutions

Job Title: Conference Manager

Years of Experience: 32

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
 
I did a lot of research, attended many webinars and learned a lot about virtual & hybrid platforms. It was important to understand what platforms work together, what platforms are ready and available, what companies were just developing their products, etc. And there wasn’t a one size fits all model or option either. I really had to understand what the client was trying to accomplish with their virtual event and communicate it to the potential vendors and make sure they truly had the capabilities to manage the volume and all of the moving parts of the client’s conference or event.
 
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
How to be patient and “let go”. Every day was a new day with different government regulations, mandates, etc. Every city, state and municipalities could have different rules depending on where our event was taking place. I felt like we produced the same event multiple times because we had to adapt to the weekly and sometimes daily changes. A client’s event was going to be face to face, then it was changed to hybrid and eventually for 2020 they all ended up virtual. In 2021, I have several clients who are very anxious to get back together but still had to offer hybrid events because members or delegates were not able to or were uncomfortable about traveling. I also learned to adjust to a new companies policies, online processes and that change is good! I worked for A-S-K Associates, Inc. for 18 years until this April when A-S-K was purchased by SnapIT Solutions, LLC. Effective June 1, 2021 the entire Conference Management Group employees and clients from A-S-K Associates became a new division of SnapIT Solutions. I am grateful to be part of such an upcoming, cutting-edge IT company and I look forward to continued success with the Conference Management Division. Conference Management Services - SnapIT Solutions
 
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
I am working closely with each hotel or venue making sure I understand their “new policies” such as packaged snacks for breaks – no more “Make Your Own Trail Mix”, or not being able to order items on consumption. Once you order 6 Diet Cokes, they cannot go back into the kitchen or hotel’s storage. Pitchers of water on tables is no longer available, water stations vary from place to place but most locations ask you to buy bottles of water which is a huge expense and needs to be factored into the client’s budget. VIP service with pads, pens, candies, water glass, etc. is also hard to come by due to the pandemic. I believe that Food and Beverage item choices, how they are displayed, what is available has been the biggest change for me in planning an event.
 

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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