When it comes to planning a conference, event planners are typically quite good at knowing exactly how to go about it. Whether that knowledge is from experience, formal education or some combination of both, organizers are by definition event planning experts.
But most planners are not business experts. While a few classes, can teach some basic business best practices, typically the only way to really learn how to succeed in business is through hard earned experience.
That is unless event planners are lucky enough to connect with a mentor who can pass down tried and true business lessons.
In this article, event organizers will get a chance to be mentored by three of the world’s greatest business leaders.
Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric
“You get the behaviors you reward” [click to tweet]
In an interview at Stanford Business School, Welch tells the audience that candor is an all too rare quality in business today.
In his opinion, it’s up to business managers to make sure that they encourage honest employee feedback by rewarding those who speak up and share their thoughts.
The alternative is that managers will inevitably build a culture that stifles honesty, making it harder to make the changes needed to get better.
Event planners should heed this advice. They should try to encourage candor from event staff and event volunteers. Additionally, they should encourage their clients and bosses to be open and honest with them. By asking for honest feedback, event organizers will be able to grow much faster than those who don’t.
Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
“Minimize the number of regrets you’ll have” [click to tweet]
The founder of one of the most disrupting e-commerce sites in the history of the internet, Jeff Bezos suggests that in order to be successful you must do something you’re truly passionate about.
Rather than chase a career that has achieved some sort of cultural popularity, or choosing to work at a job that seems safe, it is better to follow your passions.
To help people figure out what exactly they should do, Bezos suggests picturing yourself at age 80. Look back on your life and try to picture the life you would have lived with the least amount of regrets possible, then simply try to follow your imagined path.
For event organizers, Bezos’s advice probably means that organizers who are truly passionate about organizing one type of event, should try to focus their work in that area.
For organizers who actually aren’t very inspired to be in the planning industry, they should think about what motivated them to get started in the first place, and should either try to recreate that passion or else find another career that is more inspiring.
Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple and CEO of Pixar
Do something that makes you a beginner again [click to tweet]
In 1985 Steve Jobs was outed from Apple after a falling out with the CEO and Board of Directors. In his now famous Stanford University commencement speech, Jobs credits having to be a beginner again with kicking off the most creative period in his life.
Jobs says that being a beginner forces you to creatively solve problems, and creates a fresh perspective in your life.
For event planners who are constantly trying to find innovative new ways to plan an event, finding inspiration is critical. Organizers should consider putting themselves in positions where they are beginners. Whether that be taking up a new hobby, or volunteering to assist in organizing a type of event outside of their comfort zone.
Lessons from Jack Welch, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs
Event organizers should use the advice of three of America’s most prolific business people to help further grow their own careers.
Heed Welch’s advice to create candor in the workplace by rewarding people who are honest with you. After all, you get the behaviors you reward.
For those thinking about starting an event planning career, remember Jeff Bezos and his advice to do something you are truly passionate about. To help you make the right decision, picture yourself at 80 years old with few regrets, what life would the imaginary “you” choose to lead.
Planners who are trying to inject more creativity into their events should pay attention to Steve Jobs and his recommendation to put yourself in a position where you are a beginner. He credits being a beginner after his early success with causing one of the most rewarding periods of his life. Planners shouldn’t be afraid of beginning again, rather they should embrace it.
For event organizers hoping to advance their careers, event success starts and ends with a brilliant event marketing strategy. If people aren’t excited about your event, it won’t matter how creative it is. Download a free eBook on event marketing strategies by clicking the button below, and learn how to create truly special experiences for attendees, from event registration to post-event community building.