With the Winter Olympics underway in Sochi, this is an exciting time for us to watch professional athletes all over the world compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. And while most of us watch in awe of these individuals who do things beyond the average person's capabilities, you might be wondering what the meeting profession can learn from these competitors. Here are my thoughts on the five things we all can do to be better meeting planners in 2014 and beyond. 

  1. Get a coach. 

    A coach or mentor is someone you trust, who can guide you in your career and give you honest feedback about your meetings and events. This might be someone you work with, an attendee who has become a friend or an outside consultant. Whoever it is, this person is most interested in helping you and your meetings improve. 

  2. Practice. 

    The only way you get better at planning and executing meetings is to plan and execute meetings. If you only plan one or two meetings per year, you might want to outsource these events to someone who is continuously in the business. This is true when renting audio visual equipment as well – either outsource the presentation services audio visual equipment or become better in working with it. One way to get more practice is to volunteer for non-profit organizations and sit on the events committee. 

  3. Use the latest and greatest technology

    Olympic athletes are always testing and utilizing the best in clothing, helmets and equipment that will give them a competitive edge. After all, it is about winning and sometimes they win by less than one point or nanosecond. So if something will make them faster and better they will use it, no matter what the cost. 

    What if you took that attitude about your meeting? You are going to implement the best interactive technology tool rentals because that is what is going to make your meeting stand out and be competitive. And after all, you want to win the heart and mind of the attendee, so they come back time and time again. 

  4. Take calculated risks. 

    Yes, I said calculated. Each athlete still has make sure they are as safe as possible. However, if they don't take any risks, they will be just like all the other athletes and they will not win. So, they have to have some tricks up their sleeve to differentiate themselves. 

    Are you taking calculated risks? Are you trying out different things to win over your attendees, sponsors and exhibitors? If not, now is the time to step outside of your comfort zone and try something different. 

  5. Grace Under Pressure. 

    Athletes listen to music, audio books and affirmations in order to loosen up and do their best. They smile even when they don't want to and talk to the press when they'd rather be back in the Olympic village. They talk to their mentors and coaches. Anything to relieve stress and help them do their best. 

    What about you? Do you listen to music, meditate or smile even when you don't want to? Do it anyway and learn have grace under pressure. 

With fully-staffed and equipped branch offices in 21 major metro markets, SmartSource Rentals has the largest national footprint in the computer and audio visual rental space. Give them a call today at 800.888.8686 to learn more about what they have to offer!