Round Up! Event Experts Offer One Piece of Advice

Expert event professionals weigh in on the most important things to be mindful of as we reopen our industry. 

The country is opening up, masks are coming off, and we are getting ready for what many are predicting to be the busiest and most lucrative period in the history of the event industry. As we transition back to in-person events, corporations and organizations are looking for support to manage their clients’ and stakeholders’ needs for personal interaction and face-to-face experiences. Event management companies are popping up everywhere. There have never been more jobs offered for in-house planners. Organizations recognize the need to invest in professional and dedicated planners, and they are no longer looking for their assistants or HR teams to do this work off the sides of their desks.

So what does this mean for you, the event professional? It means you must be aware, strategic, and purposeful in approaching this new era of events. Your clients are expecting a different experience than before, staffing expectations and options have changed, and the entire landscape of our industry has made a dramatic shift. As a planner, manager, or business owner, it’s critical that you recognize and take action to change in your space so you stay caught up. These are exciting times, but only if you are ready.

We asked some of North America’s top professionals. for one piece of advice they can offer our industry as we move forward and prepare for the reopening.


Tony Chapman, Host, Chatter that Matters Show

Be prepared for tremendous growth in the decade ahead as remote and hybrid working will exponentially increase the need to bring people together. Remember that, first and foremost, you are in the humanity business. Your purpose is to stage events to cultivate culture and collaboration that bring people together face to face, inspire, educate, celebrate, innovate and motivate.

Heather Reid, ARCT MSc DES

Founder & CEO, Planner Protect Inc.

The IMPOSSIBILITY clause is at the top of my mind right now. However, CANCELLATION terms that strategically protect the group may be even more important moving forward!

Event Professional of the Year Mahoganey Jones

Mahoganey Jones, CMP, DES, HMCC-EWD, Founder & CEO, Event Specialists

One piece of advice for our industry – stop using the “it’s always been done that way” as a crutch. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it is that while the fundamentals are the same, the execution can be modified to fit the new expectations.

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Melissa Deslauriers, Director of Sales & Marketing, bb Blanc

You’re going to wear many hats over the coming years, so my best advice is never to stop learning & be patient and always be kind. We can all help each other be better.

Joel Olandesca, CEO& Co-Founder SOS Charging Solutions & SOS Web. AR

Be kind to yourself because it’s one thing you have full control of. We’ve all been challenged to the highest of degrees lately, which means self-compassion needs to be at the top of our priorities right now—self-compassion: self-kindness, feelings of common humanity, and mindfulness. As professionals, we normally jump to fix issues right away for others – we can and should do the same for ourselves.

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Trish Knox, Owner, TK Events Inc.

Leave them alone!
Never has the ability to network been more critical as we get back to in-person events after an almost two-year hiatus.

We know that networking is one of the number one reasons attendees indicate they are choosing to attend an event. They need to have those authentic connections. They need to catch up on human interaction! That is why we recommend clients go easy on the heavy schedule and leave ample time for audiences to reconnect, engage, and network with their peers and industry leaders. Let’s call it the most planned part of your event’s ‘ unplanned’ portion. I can’t wait to see all the happy faces.

Bruce Playfoot, President, bp3D Creatives

Feel free to engage your production/build partners when producing concepts for your clients. They can give you additional creative ideas and valuable insight on size, portability, and the ‘WOW’ factor. Having good, better, and best options is not bad, as budgets today are unpredictable.

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Maggie Barton Baird, CMP, Senior Marketing Manager, Events, Jobber

I am looking forward to tech becoming an essential part of every event. Before the pandemic, the events industry needed to be faster to adapt to technology in all areas. Let’s be honest; we do projection mapping or use slido and consider it a real technological achievement. But now, it’s an essential part of the job. If you’re an event professional who has yet to learn about and explore tech, now is the time. Learn everything you can: all aspects of virtual and hybrid events, basic coding, applications, privacy, and more. It’s now a requirement, and I’m really excited about that.

Andrew Roby, Event Planner, Andrew Roby Events

One thing is for sure: people have discovered how easy and comfortable it has been for us to do the same thing over and over that everyone else is doing. As we continue to get out of this pandemic, it will be imperative that we all figure out who we really are and use that not to be the same as anyone else. Clients are looking for unicorn people, so make sure you’re different from every other person who does what you do. Embrace that and reach your greatness.

Q & A
What’s Next?
Want to be part of our next planner roundup? Here’s our next question.

After two years of a very different pace, the shift back to busy will mean rethinking our old patterns and discovering our new normal. How have your personal and business priorities changed, and what advice can you offer event professionals to ensure they are managing their own and their teams’ wellness
and work/life balance?

Email us your advice, and we will share your opinion with our readers.
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