Friday, April 19, 2013

We Are More Than Just "Planners" - Part II (YOUR responses!)

First I'd like to thank each of you for answering the call to my Twitter and LinkedIn campaign #PlannersAre.  Your input is encouraging and so very appreciated!  It was wonderful reading all of the titles, labels and descriptions you'd give to event and meeting professionals. 

Our industry is finally growing up. We are finding our voice, communicating our value and worth, and making an impact in areas of hospitality, travel and tourism, and business.  We are so much more than what our current titles suggest.  It is our duty to educate others so that we continue to grow as a profession. 

We wear so many different hats during a typical day that "multi-tasking" might as well be our middle name!  Below is a compilation of your responses.  I will continue to update this list as others come in. Again, thank you to those on Twitter and in the "Event Planning & Event Management - the 1st Group for Event Professionals" LinkedIn Group for their contribution to this post!

Planners are researchers, data analyzers, dieticians, technologists, caregivers, concierges, production directors, financial managers, content experts, emcees and the face of your organization and brand!
-Kendra McMurray, CMP, CGMP @Meeting_Pro

Planners are negotiators, risk management experts, Plan B thinkers, hosts, contract authorities, logistics planners ... shall I go on?

-Marion Finkelstein @MarionSpeaks

Planners are organizers, researchers, decision-makers

-Meet Mr.Holland @MeetMrHolland

Liaisons, partners, problem solvers, a second set of many things!

-UCLA Meetings @UCLAMeetings

Strategic Event Managers, Experience Creators.

-WilliamThomson @williamevents

Architects. We visualize, analyze, create, strategize, design and build.

-Myrna Medina @WarriorInHeels

Planners are negotiators, comforters & confidants.

-Cheri W. @Millionnairess

We are Travel Agents & Tour Guides, as we tell our sales where to go to dinner and what they can see on their time off from the booth. Mothers [and fathers], as we sew on buttons, apply bandages buy panty hose, hand out Kleenex and know where the bathrooms are. We are Sales People because we cover Sales on the show floor when they take bathroom breaks or go to lunch or have to fly out early. We are Caterers, House Keepers, Logistics Managers, and Product Geniuses.

-Gail Martinson, LinkedIn Group Contributor

We are architects, strategists, foodies, wine connoisseurs, human relations specialists, emergency response experts, techies, designers and a beautiful, rare combination of left- and right-brainers all rolled into a well-heeled package (with sore feet).

-Shawna Suckow, CMP @SpinPlanners

Sometimes it feels like I'm a magician making miracles with minimal and a "macgyver" when things fall apart. You have to adapt quickly to make things happen.

-Yvelise-Lopez, LinkedIn Group Contributor

We are definitely counselors who do not necessarily have a license for that! We are sometimes caught up in planning a wedding for a couple, but that easily turns into a couple's favorite go-to person to spill out all their, fears, doubts and emotional baggage past, present and current!! It is your job to be whatever that couple needs to get them to "I do"!! Even if you have to transform into "Super Planner" to get them there!

-Danielle Nicholas, LinkedIn Group Contributor

Someone who "makes things happen"!

-CathBrinkley, LinkedIn Group Contributor

We are humans, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, friends, care givers, those who other people go to and lean on. Sometimes we become their therapists.

-CEO, Eldar Entertainment, LinkedIn Group Contributor

I am a MOTHER, I do it all, the event is my baby, I will pamper it and nourish it until the end.

-Gwen Stevenson, LinkedIn Group Contributor

I sometimes feel like a general leading my troops to victory armed with a battle plan, nerves of steel, the patience of a saint and the ability to think quickly on my feet!

-Stacey Maderios-Cooke, LinkedIn Group Contributor

I would say you could call yourself an Events Producer, because that's what you're actually doing.

-Herb Bass, LinkedIn Group Contributor

We are therapists and counselors.

-Phyllis Shelton, LinkedIn Group Contributor

I am a mind visual creator, producing a live realistic special gathering of people or persons, marking a moment in time with a celebration or remembrance through the use of all human senses available!

-Christie Dodson, LinkedIn Group Contributor

Sometimes we are like the "Secretary of (the event) State" coordinating efforts between providers, clients, and venue personnel; negotiating meetings to discuss plans of action, communicating the goals, needs and capabilities of one "nation" to another and bringing all to a solution that works for everyone.

-Leslie Ferebee, LinkedIn Group Contributor

We are mentors whether we realize it or not. Others learn by watching our experience, our emotions and our multi-tasking abilities. We are fire fighters- ready for that one small thing that goes wrong and ready to put that fire out with class and comfort to others. We are Negotiators, Strategizers, Problem Solvers. I love it when someone says "oh, you plan meetings, fun!" But to those that do it, we know it's so much more.

-Karen Hoffman-Krueger, CMP, LinkedIn Group Contributor

We are the "strategist" who comes up with the best plan of action and "doer" who makes it come to life, event marketing professionals, relationship experts, the one wearing the suit on the trade show floor and the one in jeans setting up and tearing down the booth, the communication specialist and the overall generalist. The best event professionals are those who can be whatever the client or our employer needs at the time.

-Les Selby, CMP, CMM, LinkedInGroup Contributor

Memory makers we create a memorable experience.

-Elise Maree Holford, LinkedInGroup Contributor

William R. Host, Associate Professor at The Manfred Steinfeld School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Roosevelt University, Chicago (and a friend of mine!) put together a list a long time ago called "Who is the Meeting Professional?: Accountant, Architect, Audio-Visual Techie, Comedian, Communicator, Concierge, Crisis Manager, Crowd Controller, Dietitian/Chef, Entrepreneur, Executive, Graphic Designer/Printer, Interior Designer, Lawyer, Negotiator, Nurse/Paramedic, Party Host, Police/Traffic Cop, Prop Manager, Psychologist, Registrar, Safety Engineer, Sales Manager, Santa Claus, Social Worker, Scheduler/Logistics Expert, Secretary/Receptionist, Social Worker, Teacher/Educator, Talent Agent, Travel Agent, Miracle Worker!"

-Beth Cooper-Zobott, LinkedIn Group Contributor

Vision planner - listening to the client and creating the mission/vision from listening and hearing what they are not saying. Writer - writing all the content for publications, websites, notes, speeches. Technical Director -coordinating and implementing social media, designing and managing databases, navigating and designing registration sites and home pages.  Designer/Logistician - designing and fitting all the pieces together so it is seamless. To me, all of our "duties" and why I do what I do is about Guest Experience. That is the hinge that brings all the planning together. If each guest is able to fulfill their role (guest, speaker, vendor, board member, staff), then that is your success story. Message communicated, relationships made, staff happy, guests’s a WOW.

-Janna Bowman, LinkedIn Group Contributor

Asan Event Manager, Executive Producer, Project Manager and more generically "Director of Done" - I have adopted the tagline "Turning your to-dos into ta-das". Gets 'em every time. Unless the tasks we are performing on a specific project are SUPER focused (which, to be an effective, creative contributor to the team, isn't really the best strategy, right?) it is difficult to put one title on what we do and who we are to the process. We are a unique demographic of individuals who are simply interested in making other people shine! And we take a lot of pride and satisfaction in that role. Sometimes the tasks are thankless and we have to educate some about how they will benefit from our services. But at the end of the day we can stand back and watch what we created come to life and know that it was a job well done!

-Roberta Boucher, LinkedIn Group Contributor

I would add that we are master organizers as well as arbiters of style, taste and trends.

-Angela Perry, LinkedIn Group Contributor

We are the risk managers, the safety officers, and the assurance and governance for the meeting or conference...

-Geoff Anderson, LinkedIn Group Contributor

I have a different twist than most. I am a city wide event planner. I'm a negotiator, as I try to break down the walls of jealousy between the cities, and teach them to work together. I stand between the city associations and their merchants, becoming their advocate. I am the liaison between the merchants and their potential customers. I am a patrol officer when there are long lines and irate people. A communications specialist when merchants have no clue how to use their computer for marketing themselves. All of this, and a business coach... -Pamela Gressett, LinkedIn Group Contributor

Planners provide a magical experience of organizational expertise that provides entertainment and information to enrich the lives of the attendees.  I have three different perspectives.  I have planned events, attended many as a participant, and now do public speaking and training.  The magic is when it is so well done, that is looks easy.

-Dr. Shirley B. Garrett, Psy.D, LPC, DAC, LinkedIn Group Contributor

I’m a planner of parties, a planner of FUN, a planner of getting to know everyone.  I’m a planner who listens, a planner who laughs, and a planner who does nothing by halves. -Lorien Silvan, LinkedIn Group Contributor

Event Wizard-Witch-Emporer/Empress-From Dr. of Trends, to Professor of Old School Genius…

-Kelli O’Dell, LinkedIn Group Contributor

We are improvisers, with a “duck like” presence.  If you think of how a duck swims on the water, you get my meaning.  Paddling really hard, but not looking like it…

-Jacquelyn McCrae, LinkedIn Group Contributor

Sometimes I feel like I am the DOE - Director of Everything!
-Dianne Davis, LinkedIn Group Contributor

I often think of Even Planners as "Genies".  They take the wishes of their stakeholders and make them come true.  They see the vision and create the vision.
-Denice Gigoux, LinkedIn Group Contributor

I continue to be an advocate for doing away with the term "planner" which sounds too much like a hobby and instead adopting a project manager or producer...I believe we can transform our industry by changing out title to one which uniformly garners respect and pay equal to that.  Producer, Project Manager, those are well accepted by business circle and I like the idea of adopting them. 
-Heather Mason, LinkedIn Group Contributor

With a wedding, as an Event Planner, you are being everybody!  Maybe the sister or the mother that that bride hasn't got; best friend, confidant, magician (pulling wedding rabbits out of a hat!), stage director "par excellence" (you've done it before, but it's their first performance!)...
-Anne Ager, LinkedIn Group Contributor

Sometimes I'm a hand holder and counselor!
-Deborah Stillwell, LinkedIn Group Contributor

I believe that we are all "EXPERIENCE CREATORS". 
-Makarand Bhave, LinkedIn Group Contributor



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