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You Will Be an Event Designer


Jackie Richards Vice President, Human Resources and Development Experient › experient-inc.com


What every professional should know The basic [skill] is communication, as I see it, and it’s really broad. Whether it’s written, verbal, or interacting in teams, general communication skills are going to continue to be critical. But what I also see as critical is managing and working within virtual teams. We really need employees that can flourish in that environment, where they’re working on project teams and they can’t walk to the cube or office next door to get the answer. They need to find other avenues to communicate.


Constructs events that link content to strategy.


Job 1 for planners: creating experiences We’re going to continue to see hybrid meetings; they’re going to evolve. But what’s not going to change is the need for that transfer of learning or emotion — really, the experience. It’s about creating that experience, so that, whether it’s the learning, the networking, whatever it is, can then be sustainable when the person leaves or the event is over. That person or organization can take that learning, emotion, [or] knowledge back with them and sus- tain that in their home or work world once they’re back in the office.


Your new skill set Our client organizations are ask- ing us to now link the event design to their orga- nizational strategy, which is so neat. Our planners are having to get into the organization, understand how they’re functioning, understand where


they’re going as an organization — and then create that event design around those strategies. It’s been a really impactful change for our teams. Every- thing they do needs to be — whether the strategy is membership growth, revenue, whatever it may be — making sure that event design and everything that they do links to that experience.


Your old skill set, v2.0 There is so much more than logistics for today’s events. When looking beyond logistics and into event design, planners need to rely on strong project-management skills to pull together all the clients’ needs that translated into the components of the events, to create the tar- geted attendee experience.


How to develop those skills We are doing a good job internally just sharing experiences, which I think is huge: “This is what worked on this event,” brainstorming different ideas. We’re also going externally to our vendors and partners; we’re working with some partners to see how they are incorporating the organization’s strategy into what they’re doing. We are learning from not only ourselves internally, but we’re going outside. — Christopher Durso


PCMA.ORG


JUNE 2013 PCMA CONVENE


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