Elisa Stritt, 31, works in Lincoln, Nebraska, as a meeting planner for National Conference on Weights and Measures. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, Stritt discusses her passion for the events industry.
What I do: I get to combine my love for organizing and planning with the challenge of getting the best contracts for my organization. I do everything from site selection to F&B planning.
How I got here: I caught the planning gene early. A Type A person, I have always coordinated family events, paying attention to the beauty in the details and trying to ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience. After graduating from Arizona State University, I became a property manager for a large housing community. I was able to use my planning and coordinating skills every day and learned it was those planning activities that made me excited to get to the office. With that, I knew I needed to pursue event or meeting planning, which had always been a dream of mine.
My greatest career accomplishment: Our 100th annual meeting in 2015 is my most cherished accomplishment. The attendance was higher than it had been in over a decade; I gave away more goodies and prizes than any other NCWM meeting in history; and I had a larger budget, which enabled me to plan incredible menus for our attendees. Being that we were in historic Philadelphia, I arranged a color guard that donned Revolutionary War attire for the opening session. I contracted an open-air trolley service with guides to transport us to the special event’s location, the National Constitution Center. I arranged for a live one-person show of our nation’s history, a comical and educational Ben Franklin impersonator, and some of the best food in the city. The event was a meeting planner’s dream!
A specific improvement I’ve made: I now incorporate upbeat music into our general session during breaks. This is something so elementary, yet has such a positive impact on the disposition in the room.
What I’m working on: I am working on a smaller meeting in Canada that has posed a few unfamiliar obstacles of which I am still trying to overcome. Sometimes it is the hard-to-get meetings that are the most fun, regardless of size.
What I do outside of work: I am a wife and mother, so family time is paramount and keeps me busy. A day relaxing at the lake, or an afternoon at a winery or watching my beloved Cornhuskers, is my idea of a day well spent.