MPI Member Spotlight: Amani Roberts, Owner of The Amani Experience

By Blair Potter, The Meeting Professional  

My first experience in the meeting and event industry was as a freshman majoring in hospitality management at Howard University in Washington, D.C. I got a job as a banquet cashier and server at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in Rockville, Md. I quickly got addicted to the gratuity money we would earn from banquets and other events. 

Career highlights include being a hotel general manager at the young age of 23, being a part of an awesome sales team at the Miami Biscayne Bay Marriott and reinventing myself as a music company where I get the opportunity to DJ events, teach people how to DJ and create music for placements in videos and commercials!

I am excited about growing my company and sharing the art of DJing at meetings and events nationwide. We have an awesome new conference breakout where we help people ignite their creativity by teaching them how to DJ. 

The switch from working in the corporate world to being an entrepreneur has been extremely challenging (and rewarding). Whether I earn revenue is 100 percent up to me, and that can be daunting at first. Once I fully grasped this concept, I was able to implement strategies and tactics that allowed me to thrive. I always tell people that it is not easy and very different…but much better. 

Working in the meeting and event industry has allowed me to visit and live in more cities than I would have imagined. I basically grew up in the industry, and it is definitely a part of my heart and soul. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have received and the people I have met.

My close friend and colleague Mariles Krok (a past president of the MPI Southern California Chapter) encouraged me to join MPI. Another past president, Tara Gadsby, assisted me in joining a committee, and I was off and running. My membership has transformed my company in a major way. We have received a significant amount of business, and without MPI we would definitely not be as successful. The relationships I have developed with other industry professionals on a local and national level have confirmed that my company is in the right space with the right people.  

We need the ideas, expertise and energy of young professionals to stay relevant and challenge our traditional way of doing business. One of my favorite parts of being our chapter’s VP of membership is going to speak at local universities about MPI and the industry. The energy, curiosity and level of interest from students fills me up for an entire week!

We need to encourage diversity across all levels. It is important for young professionals to see people who look like them in leadership positions. Visiting high schools in urban areas (and sharing the different careers available in the meeting industry), partnering with Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and highlighting our diverse membership is a great way for MPI to lead this movement. The continued focus on this issue will strengthen our industry and allow us to develop into a more well-rounded organization. 

I am a voracious book reader (I read 52 books in 2017!) and a developing salsa dancer. I am still able to be an active soccer player and intense music curator. I also like to mess around in the kitchen a little bit (crab cakes!). I also love my D.C. sports teams and stay loyal after many years of heartbreak and heartache. My latest passion project is my new podcast, The Amani Experience Podcast, where I interview people who took the leap from the corporate life to the creative world. Sound familiar? 

Amani Roberts is DJ, producer and professor for The Amani Experience and VP of membership for the MPI Southern California Chapter. He has been an MPI member since 2013.

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