I have always found that those outside the meetings industry really don’t get what meeting professionals do. Whether it’s the job of a meeting planner, an event planner or an event manager, no ones seems to actually get what they do for a living. In the over twenty years I have been lucky enough to plan and organize meetings and events, I can explain it until the cows come home and still receive only perplexed head nodding. Followed by you’re so lucky to be able to attend so many fun and exciting parties and events. And while I don’t think I’m the only one this happens to it still make me go urgh!
It’s funny I always say the job of an event planner/manager simply put, can be a true love hate relationship. I can’t count (because the number is that high) the amount of times I have asked myself “What are they thinking” or “How am I ever going to make this work” or the always favorite “Is this client out of their mind?”. But truth be told, all the many wonderful parts so outweigh the iffy ones. And it really does take a village as well as a uniquely special person to take on all the responsibilities and tasks that come along with this ever challenging position.
Meeting Professionals – It Does take a Boatload …of Effort, That Is!
When all is said and done and the conference, program, meeting or event has ended hopefully most think job well done. But as we all know the actual work and success is in the planning and details leading up to the event. Success doesn’t happen by accident. It takes time, energy and a boatload of hard work.The majority of meeting planners are responsible to organize and manage every single element it takes for the program, from site location and accommodations to venues, from speakers to service companies, from AV to signage and everything else in between. And while most times we do get it and I know my mantra is “no problem, no problem”, we definitely all work long hours and have honed our multi-tasking, communication, time management, negotiation and so many other skills needed for success.
Meeting Professionals – Yes, Really We Are All in the Same Boat!
While we are all working away in our offices and on site we view the big picture from our own perspective and lens. Thinking does this only happen to me, am I the only one going through and dealing with the various client and program issues that can pop up. So last night I was out with a bunch of my planner friends and one of the things that came up was a recent LinkedIn group discussion. The question was “What is the one thing you hate as an event manager?” And literally with hundreds and hundreds of LinkedIn responses including comments and observations about everything from negations, budgets, committees, lateness, exhibitors to clients, the weather, ethics (or lack of), unions and truly so much more. We came to the conclusion that in fact we are not alone and yes we all are in the same boat. And realistically as event and meeting professionals we all have been subjected to various situations at one time or another, and have learned to just roll with the punches. And as a community we share our experiences, the good, the bad, the ugly and that has helped to make us all stronger and better able to support one another and the industry we love.
With all that is on a planner’s plate, one thing I know for sure is that it is not only a job or career it’s a passion. And no matter where we are geographically located and through all the madness as well as the great stuff, we are not alone and we all tackle the same issues. And as Raghav commented on LinkedIn “there’s no business like show business “!