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Are you running an event or are you changing the world?
When I started this blog, ten years ago this month, I was upset. I was furious because the events and conferences I got to attend were always the same. Same format, just a different speaker or performer, some occasional spike of serendipity but nothing more than that.
With time, I got very lucky.
More and more people started to read EventMB, and I had the opportunity to travel, experience more events and meet outstanding individuals who push this industry forward. What an amazing group of people I got myself into. I could not reconcile the dissonance between their being awesome, and the result, often disappointing.
The vast majority of 'meetings' (a term I understand but that I totally hate) have the same format, you can pretty much predict what is going to happen, whether it's a wedding, a birthday, a 50K attendee trade show or a rock concert.
So how do we push this industry forward?
The need to change the world.
If I had the honor to meet you around the world, you know one thing about me. I am not a big fan of associations. I love the members of all of them, because, well, you are my homies and I got your back.
Sometimes I get frustrated as a member. And - in total Julius' fashion - I rant about it.
One thing that I loved about a WEC a couple of years ago was the tagline 'When We Meet, We Change The World'.
I don't know who came up with it, and frankly, I don't care, but wow, chapeau to you, whoever you are. When I read that statement, I had my revelation moment. I finally 'got it.'
That's it. Event planners, meeting planners, event professionals, suppliers, venues, destinations - we change the world. That's what we do, or at least we try to do.
We manage to change the world when we move, excite, develop, engage, educate and entertain our attendees. When we don't move, excite, develop, engage, educate and entertain our attendees, we don't change the world, we just run an event.
The Difference Between Changing The World and Doing Events
Today is Global Meeting Industry Day. The day when we have to justify our existence because the rest of the world think meetings or events are a waste of time.
How can a gazillion billion dollar industry get to the stage where it needs justify its existence? I believe it's not our fault, we are amazing, and others just don't understand, but this mentality is not going to get us anything.
What about showing some muscles and letting the world to know that what we do is precious. That when an event professional is on fire, they can conquer the world. That the amount of s*&t we have to go through to run an event would take ten years of experience and seven normal people to achieve.
The way to make ourselves heard is not by complaining; it's by changing the world.
By planning events so great that your attendees will brag about it for a week, when they are back home, or to their office.
By planning events so amazing that the FOMO is unbearable. By building events so outstanding that it will be impossible to resist the urge to attend. By running events so incredible that everybody will feel sad to go back to their amazing lives.
How do you do that? I am not going to give you 5, 10, 14 or 50 tips to do it - you have ten years worth of reading to get your inspiration flowing. What you need to remind yourself today is WHY.
Why do you do what you do? Are you willing to settle for mediocrity? Are you willing to say ‘Whatever. This is the way we've always done our event.' Or do you want to change your community, your attendees, your sponsors, your stakeholders? Do you want to make an impact in their world that they will remember for life?
It's up to you, nobody else but you. Despite the stories we like to tell ourselves, YOU can make the difference TODAY.
So go out and amaze us. We can't wait to attend your event.