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| Written by the M&IW Team

Employee Spotlight: Julie Eplett Takes (and Talks) the Lead

When it comes to leads, no one knows more than our Event Sourcing team. Their insights into sending and responding to leads are unparalleled, and our clients recognize and appreciate their expertise. Julie Eplett, HMCC, Team Leader, Event Sourcing, recently shared her knowledge on an industry panel after being personally recommended by a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical customer. Congratulations, Julie!

The panel, called The Life of a Lead, was part of Hilton LIVE! held at the end of July. This immersive, one-day event turns the spotlight on Hilton customers with opportunities to engage with Hilton team members, vendors, destinations, and partners like M&IW.

Leading the Way

“It was an honor to be recommended for this panel and to be able to partner with our clients and suppliers to share and learn best practices from one another,” said Julie.

We sat down with her to hear about the panel and learn more about her expertise in the industry.

Julie Eplett Headshot

Congratulations on “leading” the panel (pun intended)! What were the main lessons you shared with Hilton’s customers?

I shared with the Hotel Sales Representatives how a lead comes to M&IW and our team’s process for sending it to the hotels. We discussed best practices for answering leads as well as what our team should include in order to get the fastest responses from the hotels. For example, including other cities being considered or listing hot button items for the group helps the hotels know how likely they are to get the business, which affects how quickly they respond.

What were your key takeaways from either your panel or the event as a whole?

One key learning for me was that hotels are so inundated with leads that they actually have to choose which to answer and in what order rather than getting to them all or responding as they receive them. That would have been unheard before the pandemic!

Julie Eplett speaking at Hilton LIVE!
Julie Eplett, right, speaks at Hilton LIVE!

Tell us about your role on the Event Sourcing team at M&IW. When did you start and what is your current role?

I’m a Team Leader on a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical client account. I also source incentive programs. I started with M&IW in 2013 and have been a part of the same client team since, and I joined the Incentives & Engagement team part-time in 2019.

What is the difference between sourcing for a pharmaceutical customer versus an incentive program?

Both program types want to create a memorable experience for their attendees. However, business meetings are often more concerned about the event space (whether they’ll fit comfortably, if there’s room for the audiovisual set, etc.) and incentive programs are more focused on the property and destination as a whole.

What do you enjoy most about your position at M&IW?

That I can make a difference. If I have an idea or concern, it will always be heard. I have great teams around me to learn from and to support me.

What advice would you give someone hoping to start a career in meetings and events?

Get involved and raise your hand for new opportunities. Networking and continuing to learn are very important in this industry; that’s how I continue to grow and develop.

What is a new trend in sourcing that you hope becomes an industry norm?

Streamlining processes. With less staff, we have learned how to be more efficient, and as long as we continue this in a way that helps us to work smarter, this trend will continue to pay off.

What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?

I was a theater major in college. Though that didn’t end up being my ultimate career path, it better prepared me for panels such as this one!

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