12 Things Only Eventprofs Understand

Skift Take

No one understands eventprofs like other eventprofs. The following twelve truths may seem weird to those in other industries but they’re our norm.

Event professionals are a rare breed, don’t ya think? They need the stamina of an ox, the energy of a hummingbird, the attention to detail of an accountant, the creativity of a master artist, and the people skills of a cruise director. It’s difficult to find that combination in one person. It’s almost like an eventprof is as special as the mythical creature the unicorn.

Like most industries, event professionals have their own language and inside jokes. If any of the following resonates with you, you must be an event pro.

Early or Late, What’s the Difference?

Some people work the night shift. Some people are at the office before dawn. Event profs know they will never have an ordinary schedule and be pigeon-holed into “early bird” or “night owl.” You will be all types of “birds” depending on the day. Labels are for the weak.

You Never Have to Buy Shampoo

With the amount of traveling you do, you could have shampoo covered for the rest of your life but you buy it anyway just because those few times you are home every month, you long to have a shampoo bottle that doesn’t look like it belongs in a doll house. The same may be true for your adult beverages.

Your Phone Could Make You Miss a Plane

Sure, the rest of the world feels inconvenienced when they forget their phones but for event planners, it’s like lobbing off your hand. You likely run your entire business from that small contraption. Most event profs will get off a plane if they realize they don’t have their phones with them. But let’s be honest, there’s no way they’d get all the way to boarding the plane without noticing.

Event Planners Should Receive Oscars

Forget all those cats in Hollywood. The real acting awards should go to the event planners who keep their outer cool when the world is falling apart, pretend to be concerned (and help) when someone is crying because they have onions in their salad, and who put on a big welcoming grin when they wish they could still be at home in bed because they only got two hours of sleep the night before. Now, that’s acting.

There’s Always Space

Whether it’s in your luggage or adding an additional head last-minute, most event planners can make magic happen. It’s not their preference, and it comes at a cost, but if anyone can find a spot for the unexpected object or person, it’s an event prof. But…

Sometimes Humans Must Say No

From fire codes to floor space, sometimes the answer to adding the extra table at the last minute is a big fat negative. If an event planner tells you no, it’s simply not possible. The only person left to call is Santa Claus, Tinkerbell or someone with flying monkeys because if an event planner can’t make it happen, there’s no one in the non-magical realm who can.

Some Speakers Will Test You and We Call Them One Hit Wonders

You know the type we’re talking about – the high maintenance ones with long lists of requests or accommodations. Maybe they want you to proof their session notes or have green M&Ms in their hotel room. Whatever their request, you’ve already made a mental note never to work with those type of “one-hit” wonders again.

A Vast Majority of People Don’t Really Know What They Want

Ever thought of crowdsourcing learning topics, the menu, or venue choice without input? Of course not. While crowdsourcing is a great way to give your audience what they want, most event planners who use it, do so by narrowing down the choices and presenting them. A free-for-all vote on unlimited choices would be overwhelming for most people. Plus, crowdsourcing in its purest form would require your audience to know what they want based on what they know about. That is often a self-limiting course of action.

Personalization Never Hit Anywhere as Hard as a Menu

Most marketers will tell you personalization is the key to reaching your audience and all that other good stuff that improves engagement. But nowhere will you see the importance of personalization like you see it in menus. Gluten sensitivities, Paleo diets, vegan plates, allergies, and others. Everyone needs a special meal for their unique dietary requirements. Food is one of the hardest things to manage these days. So hard that a lot of event planners wish they could just give everyone a glass of water and be done with it.

There Is No Such Thing as a Small Job

As an event professional you most likely have people to help, but when it’s the eleventh hour and work needs to be done – no matter how small the job – it’s all important. You roll up your sleeves and know that you are probably one of the highest paid tote bag stuffers ever.

Murphy Was an Event Planner

Murphy’s Law states that if something bad/inconvenient can happen, it will happen. Some event planners will tell you they’ve hosted events where that was surely the theme, which leads us to the inevitable conclusion that “Murphy” must have been a very seasoned event professional.

Love of Your Career Keeps You Going

So what in the world can keep you going on no sleep and dealing with the constant needs of attendees? Your devout love of what you do and the fact that you know there’s no other job on earth that lets you bring so many smiles to attendees’ faces, a job that lets you use your organization and creative muscles every day, as well as travel to some of the most amazing venues in the world. Sleep is a small price to pay for that.

In Conclusion

Event professionals have very demanding careers. There’s a physical and a mental component, a creative and analytical approach required, and a need to remain cool under pressure and welcoming at all times. Those are some pretty large demands, but when you’re doing your job well, no one knows how hard it is. Event planning is one of those careers where the good ones make it look like a piece of cake. That’s probably why so many people want to go into this crazy life.