Gianna Gaudini: The Art of Event Planning

Skift Take

Gianna Gaudini offers a glimpse into the methodologies that have kept her at the top of the game — from cultivating calm in the center of chaos to speaking C-suite lingo that gets the green light on ambitious projects.

What does it take to thrive in the high-stakes realm of event planning? Gianna Gaudini, a seasoned event strategist with a dazzling track record, divulges her insider knowledge on steering a purposeful career course, educating the next wave of event maestros, and why a sommelier certification could be more useful than you’d think.

It’s not all spreadsheets and venue bookings; Gaudini argues that self-preservation isn’t just a buzzword — it’s a business strategy. She makes the case that in the fast-paced world of events, personal well-being is not just beneficial but crucial for long-term success.

A Deliberate Path to Success

Gaudini did not stumble upon her career by chance. “When I set off on this event planning journey, it was always intended to be a career, a lifelong career,” she explains. With a career spanning over two decades and involving powerhouses like Google and SoftBank Vision Fund, Gaudini emphasizes the importance of an intentional approach to professional growth within the industry. By setting clear objectives and persistently learning new trends, such as integrating AI into events, she illustrates the blueprint for intentional career progression in event planning.

Educational Offerings

In 2019, Gaudini published The Art of Event Planning, hoping to craft a resource that would be both instructive and engaging. “I wanted to make this book interesting… [It] starts out with how to find your niche in building a career and events, because I went through that myself, and it’s tough.,” she mentions. Not resting on her laurels, she expanded her teachings into a course in 2021 — an “evolution” of the book adapted to new challenges post-COVID. This course*, designed with real-world applications, bridges the gap for those aiming to advance their event planning expertise.
*(Use code GiannaVIP at checkout for a special discount)

Seeking Complementary Skills

Gaudini’s advice stretches beyond the boundaries of conventional event planning. “I got my Court Master Sommelier certification… and my interior design certification,” she shares. These alternative skills not only amplified her event planning capabilities but also enriched her ability to connect with various aspects of her work. Emphasizing that such certifications can complement careers in event planning, she advocates for dynamic, interdisciplinary approaches to professional development.

Staying Cool Under Fire

Stress is a familiar companion in the event planning industry. Yet, Gaudini masters calm under pressure, turning potential panic into a razor-sharp focus on solutions. She recounts pivotal moments of crisis management with high-profile figures and the eleventh-hour changes she successfully navigated. “I just go into focus and galvanize mindset,” she says, illustrating the power of a positive attitude and a strategic mindset to pull through challenging situations.

Conversing with Corporate Giants

Gaudini shines a light on the art of corporate communication, especially when dealing with C-suite executives. “You need to be really, really strategic with what you’re sharing,” she asserts. Learning to speak at the “right altitude” — focusing on the overarching business impact rather than the minutiae — has been key to her success in convincing leadership of an event’s value.

The Essentiality of Wellness in Event Planning

Asserting self-care as a strategic move, Gaudini emphasizes the significance of wellness in the industry — for both planners and attendees. Adequate sleep and self-care, in her view, are not luxuries but necessities that enhance performance and result in better-crafted events. “Taking care of yourself and your teams… it actually makes you a better planner and it will help extend your careers” she professes, proving wellness is essential for personal health and professional excellence.