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Event orchestration | 20 December 2016

8 Misconceptions Your Family Has About Event Planning

Brandon Rafalson

Event planning is one of those careers where skills can manifest at a young age. Maybe you enjoyed planning your friends’ birthday parties? Maybe you were the one who proposed what sort of games to play during recess? Or maybe whenever your family went on vacation, you were the one who came up with a detailed itinerary of where to go and for how long? Of course, the world of business event planning is very different from planning a family vacation, but the fundamentals could easily carry over to your event planning career. Another thing that might carry over into your career is your family’s expectations and misconceptions of what you actually do.

1. They Think You Do AV

You Actually Book Brand-Name Sponsors And World-Renowned Speakers

Far from managing audio levels and setting up projectors, you book the impressive speakers and sponsors that are critical to making a business event happen. You’re the one who calls up Coca Cola, swings deals with Google, and bargains with Uber. You’re the one who reaches out to individuals on par with Guy Kawasaki, Ta-nehisi Coates, and Mark Hammil. Then once you have all of your speakers and sponsors picked out, you hire someone else to run AV for for them.

2. They Think You Book Rooms And Print Badges

You’re Actually A Business Event Strategist

Booking rooms and printing badges is certainly part of the equation, but today there’s so much more to organizing an event. For instance, you have to balance

In fact, event planning has become so complex over the years there is now a movement for a title change that more accurately reflects the position. Instead of Event Planner, you can tell your family to think Business Event Strategist.

3. They Don’t Think Business Events Are Important

You Actually Work In A Billion Dollar Industry

The average CMO allocates 24% of their B2B marketing budget to live events. (This number is estimated to be around $26 billion). If you add up all of the individuals and moving parts that make an event possible, the industry annually generates $512 billion for the U.S. economy. Businesses understand that in-person events are an invaluable opportunity for developing leads and building brand awareness. Plus, over the past several years, the amount of people working as event planners has grown. This number is set to increase by 10% over the next year.

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4. They Think You Are The Center Of Attention At Events

You Actually Try NOT To Be The Center Of Attention

If everything runs smoothly, event stakeholders will certainly appreciate you. Likewise, a portion of attendees may figure out that you are the one who made a magical event possible and a portion of this group may thank you in some form. However, the truth is that event planning is far from a job of glory. For most event planners the fulfillment comes from stepping out of the picture and watching an event run like a well-oiled machine. You will still be available should anything come up, but you really hope that things just run smoothly.

5. They Think You Plan Things With A Clipboard

You Actually Use A SaaS Platform

You might not naturally be a tech savvy person, but event planning has made you one. You’ve learned to master social media, marketing, and analytics. You’ve carefully poured over the best event management software to make sure you have the best tools at your disposal. Going back to Misconception 2, you now have so much on your plate that it would take one real big clipboard to cover it all. Instead, you try to always be within reaching distance of your iPad, laptop, and or cell phone.

6. They Think You Have A Lot Of Down-time

You Actually Put In More Hours In A Week Than They Would Ever Imagine

It’s OK to laugh. If only they knew event planning usually starts 8 months out and the closer you get to the event, the more stressful things become culminating in the week that precedes the actual event itself. If only they knew that you often pull 60+ hour weeks and have to be on call long after most people are comfortably counting sheep. If only they knew the challenges that that the job brings to balancing work and personal life. Hopefully, you have some sort of down-time built into your schedule; however, that can be difficult to swing when you have multiple events to juggle months out from when they actually begin.

7. They Think You Are A High-strung Control Freak 

You Actually Just Have One Of The Most Stressful Jobs On The Market

Event planning is consistently rated as one of the most stressful jobs out there. According to one CareerCast, the job of event planner is ranked just below military personnel, firefighter, pilot, and police officer in terms of stress level. It’s not just the stress, you also care a lot about your work and your work involves managing a lot of different tasks.

BizzaTip: If you feeling the effects of stress hard, we recommend practicing Mindfullness. Also, check out one of these event planning books that will remind you that you’re not alone.

8. They Think You Make Sure Everyone Shows Up To The Wedding On Time

You Actually Organized A Wedding For A Friend ONCE

There’s a big difference between planning a wedding and planning a business event. That’s not to say that business event planners only plan business events, they may lend their talents to weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, or community gatherings, but for the most part, business event planning requires a specialized skillset unto itself.

Wrapping Up: Let Your Family Know

Event planning is no small matter. It’s a billion dollar industry that keeps on growing. As an event planner, you have to learn how to master all sorts of skills, manage all sorts of personalities, and push yourself to the limit. Let your family know that event planning is much more than booking rooms and making name tags.

Another thing event planners have to do is keep in the know with the latest event happenings. To keep up to date with the latest news and tips from us, click the below button and subscribe to our blog.

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