Convention Group Sales Manager
Jill Longfellow is grateful for her membership in the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, and now she is helping others see the benefits as well.
As the chapter’s director of Membership Retention and Global Community Challenge, Longfellow spends time speaking to members who want to cancel their memberships because of downturns in the economy and the tourism industry. The decline in membership is why the chapter created a global community challenge that encourages members to learn about each other’s businesses in order to create referrals, she says.
“(The global community challenge) has been a terrific way for our members to truly see the ROI from their MPI membership above and beyond the education we receive at our monthly meeting,” says Longfellow, the convention group sales manager for Enterprise Holdings Inc.
A referral is also what piqued her interest in MPI. She joined in 2000, after a former Enterprise employee explained to her that MPI is a “terrific association.”
In her time with the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter, the group has created a return on investment receipt program. This program allows members to see what their MPI membership has done for them in the past.
“It is a goal of our chapter this year to make sure that every member sees the ROIs from their local involvement with our local chapter,” Longfellow says.
“My MPI membership has allowed me the opportunity to meet with hoteliers and meeting planners that I would not have been able to meet with in the past without the exposure I receive from my involvement with my local chapter.”
The exposure Longfellow has created for Enterprise through MPI is “critical” to her job, she adds.
“My involvement and membership with MPI helps to ensure that the meeting planner committee understands Enterprise’s commitment to community service and customer service,” Longfellow says.
MPI also has allowed the business and meeting planning community to better understand all that the rental car industry can do for companies holding gatherings in Arizona, she says.
Just as MPI has had a big impact on her career, Longfellow says the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of MPI has a major role to play in the business community in the years to come, especially in this current economic climate.
“I believe it’s very important that our board and our members get the word out to the public and to our elected officials about the large effect that group conventions, meetings have on Arizona as a whole,” she says. “As a destination state, we need to keep our local hotels and resorts and convention centers full with meetings, so we can keep our Arizona residents employed through these businesses — and to keep meetings happening in our beautiful state, from the northern pinecap areas of Northern Arizona to the Valley here in Phoenix, and south all the way through to Tucson.”