As a meeting planning professional, I am always searching for information that can help me improve and grow in the hospitality industry. It has been a few years since I read an article in Selling Power Magazine about a one degree increase and how that related to our careers. This concept has stayed with me throughout my years of working on the hotel side as well as when I moved to becoming a meeting planner.
“Did you ever notice what happens to water at 211 degrees Fahrenheit?
Well, not much, really. Although it gets hot and it may develop some little pinpoint bubbles. For the most part it just lays there in the pot. But add just one more degree, an increase in heat of less than one-half of one percent, and that same water begins to boil. The steam generated by the boiling water can lift the lid of a teakettle or drive a huge turbine engine. One degree of heat makes the difference.
In life, the margin often is just as slender between success and failure, winning and losing, mediocrity and excellence. In the 1988 Olympics, American swimmer Matt Biondi lost the 100-meter butterfly event by one-hundredth of a second. The loser in a 50-mile bicycle race was exactly one inch behind the winner. In those same Olympics, Mary Lou Retton won a gold medal by five one hundredths of a point. She also got a perfect 10 in the vault – a 10 that she had to get in order to win.
What does this teach us about our own lives? Simply that it’s the last little bit of effort that will often make the difference between success and failure. The losers in this world never seem to realize how close they are to winning just before they give up – and the winners never forget that an extra effort at the end is often the slender margin of victory.
When you’re tempted to give up, to settle for less than your best effort, turn on that extra burst of energy, that extra degree of fire that gives you the satisfaction of knowing – win or lose – that you have done your very best.” Joseph P. Klock
For those of us planning and executing successful meetings and events, let’s remember that just one degree can make all the difference. We can make a small change in areas like location, facility, content, creative environments and sets and speakers and we will ensure the attendees leave the event saying this was the ‘best ever’. We need to give the extra degree of effort for our attendees to ensure that the program objectives are not only met, but exceeded.