How do you keep up with the constant change in the industry?

How do you keep up with the constant change in the industry?
How do planners, designers, and producers stay current in the ever-changing world of events? Event professionals tell us how they do it.

We joined our local chapter of NACE, went to vendor workshops, attended conferences and stayed involved through networking events to meet and learn from other industry professionals.

A lot has changed in 23 years since we began the business. As an artist, I was used to doing so much by hand. I still remember so many of our vendors would mail us handwritten proposals, so there was lots of paper and files were thick. Putting your hands on information was much more difficult. We were quick to embrace the computer and stay up with the fast pace changes of software and hardware.

We joined our local chapter of NACE, went to vendor workshops, attended conferences and stayed involved through networking events to meet and learn from other industry professionals. The world of events was changing quickly at that point and we did our best to keep pace while perfecting our art and craft.

At one point about 5 years into our business, we invested in computers and built a network. We began to do more online research, which brought the event world closer, and did a lot of the learning by traveling around the internet. We invested in new equipment and followed industry trends. We did our best to remain innovative and ahead of trends.

Meanwhile how we market to our clients changed dramatically. Social media became a way to share our inside story. I was passionate about connecting with our clients through this new way and developed our Facebook, then Twitter, then Pinterest and then Instagram accounts. We found education conversations through these channels, too. We know video is trending and a great way to connect with our clients and focusing more time adding to our YouTube channel.

We are also bringing innovation we see to our events when clients allow. Our non-profit clients are using technology for silent auctions and using social media to advertise their events. So the more we are familiar with all of this, the better we can be as advisers.

"We joined our local chapter of NACE, went to vendor workshops, attended conferences and stayed involved through networking events to meet and learn from other industry professionals." @hidartist Click to Tweet

Heidi Hiller

Owner | Creative Director

Innovative Party Planners, Baltimore, Maryland

Depending on if you are more specialized in one area over another, you need to find the information channel for you to be educated and inspired in that realm

Education is so important to every event planner. I recommend anyone allocate 20% of their time in a week to be dedicated to education. Read magazines, watch TV shows & news, all of this. That’s where you take your inspiration from. Depending on if you are more specialized in one area over another, you need to find the information channel for you to be educated and inspired in that realm.

What do I mean? Because I do destination management I watch a lot of shows from around the world on destinations. I actually read the airline magazines when I fly because they are all about destinations and travel – precisely what I need to know about. When I read them, I take notes and pictures and then after when I work on the destination for a program, I go back to those notes and that’s how I find my venue and my other vendor partners. Since I am in design and building and staging, I read a lot of architecture too. They give you the trend of what is coming about and we can reformat that for events or trade shows. I also read food magazines for my gala dinners because in those instances I am helping to design the catering experience and how the plates and the table are set up. Once I see what’s trending or what restaurants are doing, I can then bring those ideas to the catering company or F&B staff at the venue I am working with to have them make it.

I have a section in my email inbox “reading of the month” and each time I receive an article or newsletter, I put it in there. Then once or twice a month I block time on my calendar for 1-2 hours to go through and read it all.

"Depending on if you are more specialized in one area over another, you need to find the information channel for you to be educated and inspired in that realm" Click to Tweet

Valerie Bihet

Director

VIBE, Miami, FL

We're tech enthusiasts and keep a pulse on the latest technology, relying heavily on our industry partners, as well as attending industry events for education and inspiration.

As the agency of record for some of the world’s leaders in technology, we feel the need to keep up with the latest in event industry technology in order to best serve our clients. Often this means finding ways to incorporate their leading-edge technology into events. It means a hybrid of our team’s understanding of client needs along with making connections with event industry technology leaders to determine what’s best for an event.

We’re tech enthusiasts and keep a pulse on the latest technology, relying heavily on our industry partners, as well as attending industry events for education and inspiration.

"We're tech enthusiasts and keep a pulse on the latest technology, relying heavily on our industry partners, as well as attending industry events for education and inspiration." @TKEventsInc Click to Tweet

Trish Knox

Owner/President

TK Events Inc, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

You have to be able to be open to learning about new trends, pop culture, and figuring out what people want.

You have to be open to reinventing yourself and your business. That’s the only way to survive. You have to be able to be open to learning about new trends, pop culture, and figuring out what people want. I always try to put myself in someone else’s shoes and ask myself, “If I were them, what would I want? What makes them get excited, and what do they want their guests/customers/partners to see/learn/hear?”

"You have to be able to be open to learning about new trends, pop culture, and figuring out what people want." Click to Tweet

Claire Friday

Founder and Executive Producer

Done By Friday, Las Vegas, NV

Literally around every corner, there is inspiration that keeps our event designs timely, dynamic and relevant.

We read. There are thousands of publications that apply to the event industry’s scope of work, including interior design, landscape design, art, gastronomy, technology and of course fashion, to name a few. Literally around every corner, there is inspiration that keeps our event designs timely, dynamic and relevant. There is so much talent in the world to tap into.

"Literally around every corner, there is inspiration that keeps our event designs timely, dynamic and relevant." Click to Tweet

Jeffry Roick

Director

McNabb Roick Events,

When you have a passion for what you do, you are always looking for ways to improve it.

When you have a passion for what you do, you are always looking for ways to improve it. Reading online publications and magazines are a great way to stay up to date with what’s new and trending. I always find inspiration in seeing what people are doing around the world.

Industry events and conferences are also a great source of information.

And of course, the people you work with on a regular basis including colleagues, vendors, and hoteliers.

"When you have a passion for what you do, you are always looking for ways to improve it." @echelon_eventsg Click to Tweet

Dorie Beacham

VP of Sales

Echelon Events Group, Las Vegas, NV

We do our best to constantly research new trends, attend tradeshows, venue openings, and industry events to learn what's important to our clients and vendors.

As a cutting-edge events company, it’s our duty to be informed and receptive to the changes in the industry. We do our best to constantly research new trends, attend tradeshows, venue openings, and industry events to learn what’s important to our clients and vendors. Our team is great at collaborating and sharing new finds with one another, not to mention coming up with some pretty creative concepts of our own.

We also make an effort to continuously gather feedback from our clients because they provide valuable insight into the industry and how it directly affects them and their company.

"We do our best to constantly research new trends, attend tradeshows, venue openings, and industry events to learn what's important to our clients and vendors." @WeCrushEvents Click to Tweet

Jessica Cheney

CEO

We Crush Events, Los Angeles, CA

We are not afraid to make mistakes... on the contrary, mistakes let us learn and grow.

We take chances daily. We are not afraid to make mistakes… on the contrary, mistakes let us learn and grow. There is no place in this industry for complacency. We prefer to push the change, and not follow it.

"We are not afraid to make mistakes... on the contrary, mistakes let us learn and grow." @Total_ca Click to Tweet

Lorne Levitt

CEO / Lead Event Designer

Total Events, Montreal, Quebec

It comes down to understanding the demographics, habits, and preferences of meeting attendees—whether boomer, Gen Xer or millennial, in an old-line industrial industry or fast-growing technology startup.

It comes down to understanding the demographics, habits, and preferences of meeting attendees—whether boomer, Gen Xer or millennial, in an old-line industrial industry or fast-growing technology startup. How much do they care about health, wellness, and sustainability? Do they want to sightsee or settle in for educational sessions? Do they want to be wined & dined or do they want menus stressing veggies over meat or even discussing CBD oils in menu items?

Everything has to be customized and tailored based on the audience.

"It comes down to understanding the demographics, habits, and preferences of meeting attendees—whether boomer, Gen Xer or millennial, in an old-line industrial industry or fast-growing technology startup." @pwolf_events Click to Tweet

Jodi Wolf

CEO

Paulette Wolf Events, Chicago, IL

It helps that I am very focused on networking and continuing education, and try to keep as involved with organizations like MPI and PCMA as much as I can.

I graduated in 2009, which was a very challenging time to graduate with an event planning degree. Therefore, I’ve always had to ‘roll with the punches’ and innovate at every turn. It helps that I am very focused on networking and continuing education, and try to keep as involved with organizations like MPI and PCMA as much as I can.

"It helps that I am very focused on networking and continuing education, and try to keep as involved with organizations like MPI and PCMA as much as I can." Click to Tweet

Beth Lawrence

CEO

Beth Lawrence Meetings & Events, Philadelphia, PA