What planner doesn’t love the opportunity to create an event with glitter and fame and unlimited budgets? It’s incredibly fun. So when the economy fell and budgets shrunk, planners started wondering if we were ever going to recover. Where will people get the money to hire us? What will happen to our clients that were once guaranteed to come back year after year and yet don’t answer our calls now? Or, worse yet, want the same events for 1/2 the price. It was a dark time in the events industry.
But I think there was a silver lining. All these shrinking budgets actually allowed us to become better at what we do.
We are better at marketing using social media and technology. More creative with event concepts and meeting formats. We focus on engaging a very busy audience with limited money. We give them what they really want – great content and networking. We did away with a lot of the “glory” and focused on the guts.
Ultimately, I think those are the changes that will save our industry. If a client wants to know the ROI on an event, we are better prepared to provide them with it. We are constantly reevaluating our events to ensure that they are efficient and effective.
At the end of the day, the hard economic times prompted just the change our industry needed to see. Rather than just less money, less glamour and less growth, we were smart and focused on more accountability, more focus, more depth. All good things that I’m thankful for in the midst of this crisis our country is going through.