A Meeting Planner to Know: Laura Gieseking
RBC Wealth Management, 60 South 6th Street, P20; Minneapolis, 55402
(612) 371-7989; firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting planner veteran Laura Gieseking has the unique opportunity of helping organize a major event that will attract industry members to the Twin Cities from around the world.
Gieseking, who currently serves as senior meeting and recognition planner at Minneapolis-based RBC Wealth Management, is president-elect of the Minnesota chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), an organization of which she’s been a member for 18 years.
Gieseking was selected to co-chair the 2014 MPI World Education Congress—a global conference that brings together meeting professionals from around the world for networking, educational sessions, and more. In August 2014, the annual event will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and Gieseking’s responsibilities run the gamut: She’s overseeing committees that will focus on all aspects of the event, including hospitality, transportation, advertising, sponsor coordination, and more. The event is expected to draw roughly 2,200 attendees, she says.
A Minnesota native and University of Minnesota alum, Gieseking uprooted to Los Angeles after graduation to kickstart a career in event management. Working stints at DMC, a dÃ©cor and entertainment company, and the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce, Gieseking learned to navigate what she describes as a very complex and competitive industry.
Gieseking describes L.A. as “the perfect proving-ground for becoming a corporate meeting planner”—one that helped prepare her for her role today as a leading member of RBC Wealth Management’s corporate meetings team. There, Gieseking helps plan events and meetings for internal departments; her tasks include site selection, contract negotiation, logistical planning, budget design and tracking, on-site execution, and post program evaluation.
A 2012 recognition program held in Beverly Hills for RBC Wealth Management’s best-performing financial advisors was “particularly fantastic,” Gieseking says, adding that it was “thrilling” to plan a large-scale program in a city where she maintained relationships with friends and partners.
Each year, the top 150 advisors qualify for the event, which, when incorporating advisors’ guests and event hosts, attracted about 225 attendees last year. The event included upscale touches such as a walk on the red carpet at the Kodak Theatre, cuisine by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, and entertainment by the Doobie Brothers.
• University of Minnesota, bachelor of science
• Certified Meeting Planner designation, 2002
• Certification in Meeting Management, 2010
• Beatty Levine DMC, events coordinator, Newport Beach, California; Bob Gail Events, account executive, Beverly Hills, California, 1995–1996
• Los Angeles Party Designs (LAPD), account executive, Los Angeles, 1996–1998
• Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce, event director, Hermosa Beach, California, 1998–1999
• University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, event manager and event director, Minneapolis, 1999–2004
• RBC Wealth Management, senior meeting planning specialist and senior meeting and recognition planner, Minneapolis, 2004–present
• Rising Star Award from Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) Southern California Chapter, 1997
• 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award, RBC Wealth Management