Michelle Allgauer: Building a Resilient Career in Events

Michelle Allgauer - Skift Meetings Podcast

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Michelle Allgauer deeply values personal and professional relationships. As an event leader, she is doubling down on the irreplaceable value of face-to-face interactions and looking to leverage the power of AI to enhance operational efficiency.

Michelle Allgauer, senior vice president of education and engagement at the Financial Services Institute (FSI), shares the personal journey that ushered her into the world of event planning—an industry where resilience and relationships are pivotal.

From a young age, Allgauer’s curiosity in planning was sparked by family vacation planning. Later, this fascination became a career trajectory when she attended a business conference with her father. Witnessing the intricacies of organizing a private dinner was a life-changing moment. Little did she know this inclination toward meticulous coordination would become her professional trademark.

The Value of Gathering Face-to-Face

When the Covid pandemic hit, Allgauer quickly realized the solid foundation that personal and professional relationships provided. The crisis underscored the significance of connections as she navigated the unpredictable challenges of event planning amidst a global shutdown.

Despite the rise of digital platforms, she passionately believes in the irreplaceable nature of in-person interactions. She is not alone, as FSI members rely on face-to-face meetings for successful networking.

Career Growth

Allgauer attributes a significant part of her career growth and success to her involvement with Meeting Professionals International (MPI). “I got involved with MPI for the education and I stayed for the community,” she said. She highlights the organization’s role in providing education and networking opportunities pivotal to her career ascension.

In the face of the industry’s unyielding pace and high demands, Allgauer sees artificial intelligence (AI) as a beacon of efficiency for overstretched planners. She envisions AI as a tool for operational strategy and a mechanism to improve efficiency. “I want to learn how to be more efficient. I want to help my team reduce some of the stress they’re feeling and help them with AI be more productive,” she said.

Crafting Experiences

Allgauer’s forward-thinking approach extends to the very nature of event planning itself. She insists, “People want experiences,” underscoring the necessity for events to offer unique and memorable moments. It’s about delivering exclusivity that attendees cannot find elsewhere, creating a lasting impact worthy of their time and investment.

She champions crafting bespoke experiences that resonate personally. The experiences she helps create aim to transcend mere information sharing to create events that imprint on the attendees’ memories. Her vision aligns with a generational shift where experiences triumph and an emerging preference for the memorable over the tangible.

Allgauer is not just responding to changes in the event planning landscape; she’s anticipating them. By recognizing the enduring power of relationships, driving the transition to experiential events, and embracing technologies like AI, she’s helping steer the industry toward a future where personal connections and innovation walk hand in hand.