Mia Butler, Sales Director at the MIA is passionate about the meetings and events industry. She is committed and highly focused on the delivery of operational excellence. The award-winning events industry expert is committed to driving greater cooperation and understanding amongst member agents and venues.
We decided to sit down and ask Mia about her experience and knowledge, here’s what she had to say to us:
Tell us about your background and experience in the meetings and events industry?
The hospitality industry has always been my passion. For the past 25 years I have been supporting meetings and events working for a broad spectrum of independent and hotel groups including Stakis, Swallow and Marriott as well as working with TUI in overseas management. Throughout my career, I’ve worked in most hotel departments but chose to specialise in sales, in particular new business and creative selling.
What are your career highlights?
I have been extremely lucky to work on some great events over the years including playing a key role creating memorable product launches, parties and conferences. A key highlight was being recognised by industry peers when I was awarded the Tim Gasson award by the HBAA. There are a lot of people I respect within our industry, so I’m proud that my work demonstrated the essence of what the meetings industry stands for.
As sales director of the MIA, what are you hoping to achieve in your role?
It’s a great honour to work for one of the sector’s leading trade associations, which is so highly regarded by the industry. My key role is to help the Meetings Industry Association reach its aggressive membership growth, accreditation and sponsorship targets. The value of the membership offered by the Meetings Industry Association is fantastic and my time is focused on helping the team to spread the word even further while we deliver even more industry insight and highlight the issues important to the sector.
Tell us the importance of the MIA’s AIM accreditation scheme for the industry...
Operational excellence is a core theme for the Meeting Industry Association that we actively promote. Planning a meeting can seem like an overwhelming task but AIM, which is the meeting industry’s only nationally recognised accreditation scheme for product and service quality, helps planners. The accreditation is designed to be an event buyer’s guarantee that they’re choosing a service provider that cares about best practice and actively strives to meet and exceed expectations. The independent industry assessors scrutinise the venues using a robust checklist of criteria, including everything from legal compliance, accessibility and quality of facilities, to the customer service proposition and experience, ethical codes of conduct and best practice standards.
Where do you see the MIA in five years’ time?
In accordance with the five-year plan, we will continue to be a critical voice for education, training, best practice and collaboration – bringing together every group in the events sector. We will continue to build the Meetings Industry Association’s political stance providing clarity around the big issues and ongoing guidance. Our goal is to strengthen in numbers and provide members with more commercial and education opportunities while recognising the talent and best practice though our high-profile initiatives such as AIM accreditation, the miaList and student awards.
What trends do you see emerging in the meetings and events industry in 2018?
What is your favourite team building event and why?
I am super competitive but I love to have fun so can’t resist It’s A Knockout or anything with giant inflatables! For me team building needs to be high energy, memorable, fun and allow you to take something valuable away, which may be learning to improve business or just realigns and strengthens a team.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I think my guest list changes all the time but today I would invite SAS Who Dares Wins instructor and former Royal Marine Ant Middleton. Ant is an amazing guy not solely due to his challenging and varied career in the armed forces but I find the way he manages and communicates with people really interesting. There is a real art in being a motivator and I see him as a dynamic and well respected group leader.
What is your favourite place in the world to visit and why?
Thailand is a favourite for lots of reasons. I love the beautiful beaches, climate, food and resorts, but also feel it’s a gentle, interesting and traditional nation. Spain is a big part of my life and I travel there as often as possible to chat, take tapas, enjoy family life and slow the pace down for a while.
Mia is certainly passionate about delivering the best in meetings and events industry and we’re excited to see what lies ahead. Watch this space.