By Astrid Zeppenfeld
Beth Mead, Sales Supervisor for the City of Columbia’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, is whom you want to know when planning a meeting or event in Columbia, Missouri. Actually, the extent of Beth’s reach is not at all restricted to Columbia. In fact, it is not even restricted to Missouri. So, let me rephrase…
Beth Mead is whom you want to know if you are planning a meeting or event anywhere in the state of Missouri or Kansas.
For starters, Beth grew up in mid-Missouri and has spent most of her life residing in the Columbia area. Her mother is from Kansas, so Beth spent much of her childhood visiting the neighboring state, and she also managed a hotel in Manhattan, Kansas, for a few years.
Prior to working for the CVB, Beth worked in the hotel industry, holding a variety of positions, including banquet captain, sales coordinator, sales manager, sales director, catering director, and general manager. She says she likes to cook and has always been interested in culinary things, so she studied hospitality management by choice and graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Missouri. She also earned a Certified Meeting Professional designation.
Beth says, “When I was working in the hotel industry, I was familiar with the CVBs and what they did, but only from the hotel side. So, when I started working here, at the Columbia CVB, I think having that hotel experience helped me do my job here, in that I understood the things hotels valued and I already had the hotel connections. It helps me when I am talking to planners, especially those that don’t plan meetings or events frequently or are brand-new to the industry. I am able to highlight the information a hotel is going to need for an event, as well as certain aspects of communication needed for the meeting at a hotel.”
So, if you are new to the meetings and events industry as a planner, Beth Mead can help you with all aspects of your event. However, should Columbia not be the best fit for the event you are planning, Beth will let you know that, too. You will probably hear her say, “I understand what you’re looking for, but I honestly don’t think that this area best fits those needs at this time… I would rather have you bring another event to this area when it’s a better time.” She elaborates, “I practiced this when I worked at hotels, too, and when I didn’t feel like my hotel was the best fit for the customer, I would be honest with them.”
For the past eighteen years, Beth has been the sales supervisor at the CVB in Columbia. Over the years, she has made a lot of contacts in the industry and in and around the state, so if you’ve been a meeting planner in Missouri for a while, chances are you know Beth Mead. She is also currently serving as the President of Missouri Travel Alliance. Additionally, she is on the board of the Mid Missouri Tourism Council and serves as the Treasurer of the Missouri Motion Media Association.