by Amanda Luppino-Esposito
Can you have an event without people? It would be difficult. As event professionals, we worry spend a lot of time worrying about people. Are enough people coming to our event? Are people engaged at our event? Are they learning at our event?
While we can spend a lot of time working out the logistics, the one factor that remains constant no matter which event or circumstance is the human factor. And isn’t that the most important part?
I once read a great article where an industry leader urged event planners to call themselves “connectors” rather than “planners.” The most important part of our jobs is to bring people together, so why aren’t we bringing that to the forefront of the conversation? I love that idea. Let’s be honest, outside of our industry, do many people really know what we do for a living? Absolutely not. I have an aunt who, bless her heart, thinks I have a catering business and cannot wrap her head around the idea that I work in events, manage a team of event planners, but that we don’t have a hard product (like catering).
When we do talk about what we do with people outside the industry, we tend to focus on the logistics and hard numbers. “I’m a planner.” “I organize X event.” “I manage a 10 thousand person citywide event.”
Someone who has never planned an event isn’t going to appreciate the detail and skill that goes into planning. So why not boil it down to something (almost) anyone can understand: making connections and bringing people together?
I’m not sure that telling my aunt who thinks I’m a caterer that I “bring people together” will suddenly illuminate my career for her, but it might start a conversation on the real value of what I do on a daily basis. It’s worth a shot, right?