Listening to Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage on the way into work the other day proved to be a pivotal moment in my thinking as both an event planner and leader of a company. As an industry we often talk about how we are “not saving babies” or “this is not rocket science.” Not only is this incredibly deflating and diminishes the tremendous purpose and meaning our industry provides to humanity – but it is simply dead wrong. What client doesn’t view their event as “their baby”? What client is not trying to impact an audience and inform them of something? How many of our clients are actually trying to improve something which, I would argue, benefits humanity?
Sitting in a meeting last week with my team and our client the USA Science and Engineering Festival illustrates just how important our industry and frankly our individual calling to be event planners is. Let’s start with the facts…the USA Science and Engineering Festival is the following:
- A biennial festival dedicated to celebrating science and positively promoting STEM to the k-12 demographic
- The largest STEM education event of its kind in the United States
- Host of year round activities and contests
- Attended by 300,000 children and their families over the course of the 2 day festival
How does this equate to event planners saving babies, you ask? Good question. Before I answer we must understand the larger mission. This event is not just about celebrating science and exposing our youth in a fun way to STEM; this event is about keeping the United States at the forefront of innovation in the global economy. This event is about encouraging young and curious minds to be explorers and understand the impact they can have on humanity. This event is about 21st century learning and moving us from the Industrial Age into the Knowledge Sharing Age.
This is what we at Linder keep in mind during our two year planning cycle. This is what keeps us going and why careful strategic and tactical planning go into creating an experience that excites, inspires and ultimately changes the world. The client happens to be awesome as well!
These are the same thoughts we apply to our other work, for instance with USAgainst Alzheimer’s and the Horatio Alger Association. We are not just executing events for them. We are being asked to create events that have significant impact and assist in achieving the larger mission and goals of these organizations. We are here to help STOP Alzheimer’s, the world’s 6th most deadly disease; we are here to get more support for the Horatio Alger scholars who we know will contribute to humanity.
So while it may not look like it on the surface… event planners DO save babies: our client’s babies that they call their businesses and brands, actual babies when we talk about advancing our youth in the example above, and humanity as a whole when we think of how youthful we are compared to the rest of the universe and the immense impact we can have.
Our calling is to make the world a better place. Our medium is events.
P.s: More to come on why we are rocket scientists too!
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