Michelle Bartolone

Meetings and Events

Introduction

Ms. Bartolone is a well-known meetings and events planner, holding the position of CEO of Meeting Sites Pro, Inc., a full service specialized firm. After graduating from SDSU, she explored the hospitality industry; starting out in the front desk, she realized that it wasn’t what interested her most, which later led her to Meeting Sites Pro, Inc. in 2000. Three years later, she founded CME Pro, a medical education firm that offered education for healthcare professionals to promote medical knowledge in the common medical fields. Back then, CME Pro was the single meeting planning company that was certified by the ACCME, which made Ms. Bartolone much more respectable. After proving what she was capable of, Ms. Bartolone proceeded to pursue the promotional part of the profession. She has received various recognitions for her hard work, such as the Women Who Mean Business, San Diego Business Journal, 2009 and 2008; Susan B. Anthony “Leadership” Award and others.

Ms. Bartolone started out by telling us that the meetings and events industry is a hard one; that we should be prepared to be available for our clients and that our main purpose is to relieve the customer’s stress. To prove how busy it can get when planning these corporate meetings, Ms. Bartolone told us that she was busy almost every single weekend and that her clients were all corporates such as Johnson and Johnson’s of the world and Hilton Bay Front. There are different types of events when it comes to corporate meeting planning such as sales meetings and product launches. She gave us plenty of advice for the industry - adapt to the servant mentality, spend the client’s money as your own, know your client’s background, sell yourself and be attentive on corporate culture. Ms. Bartolone also gave us inspirational advice such as:

1) Expect the best, plan for the worse.

2) Return on the objectives you had set for yourself in the beginning (set them upfront and check them after to see if you’ve accomplished them).

3) Follow your heart, find your passion and pursuit it.

4) It’s never too late to change your course.

5) The sky is the limit.

MSP Events

Meeting Sites Pro Incorporated

Chief Executive Officer

After listening to Ms. Bartolone’s advice and presentation, I had a slight urge to change my main focus. Her presentation made me realize how hard the industry was, but instead of discouraging me, it made me want to work even harder to pursue my dreams. The thing that grabbed my attention the most was the “servant mentality” that Ms. Bartolone talked about. We all don’t want to be treated like servants, but I can understand how important serving others is in the hospitality industry.

This presentation motivates me to pursue for what I want in life - which is opening up my own personalized coffee shop and actually being able to maintain it. I have listened to plenty of advice before coming to the United States, but it wasn’t until this day that I truly think that it is never too late to change course, because when you’re truly passionate about something, it makes you unstoppable.