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 alike 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, 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 don’t get left behind. 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, to inspire, educate, celebrate, innovate and motivate.

Heather Reid, ARCT MSc DES

Founder & CEO, Planner Protect Inc.

The IMPOSSIBILITY clause is top of 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 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 in what we do, we normally jump to fix issues right away for others – we can and should do the same for ourselves as well.

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Trish Knox, Owner, TK Events Inc.

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

In fact – we know that networking is one of the number one reasons attendees indicate for choosing to attend an event. They’ve missed having those authentic connections. They’ve missed human interaction! That is why we’re recommending that clients go easy on the heavy scheduling 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 the ‘ unplanned’ portion of your event. I can’t wait to see all the happy faces.

Bruce Playfoot, President, bp3D Creatives

Don’t be afraid to engage your production/build partners when producing concepts for your clients. Not only can they give you additional creative ideas, but also valuable insight on size, portability, ‘WOW’’s not a bad idea to have some good - better – best options 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 as a whole was relatively slow 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 to not be the same as anyone else. Clients are looking for people who are unicorns, so make sure you’re not like every other person that 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 what our new normal will be. 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 one piece of advice, and we will share your opinion with our readers.
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