IF EVENT PLANNER BILL PERRINE HAD HIS WAY, everyone would spend more time face to face and less time videoconferencing.
"People are longing for that personal interaction with their co-workers or their customers and they don’t always want to be on a conference call or talking to them through an electronic device," he says.
The 49-year-old recently moved into what he calls a "robust" position at Land O’Lakes in February. As the company’s new event strategy manager, Perrine acts as ambassador between corporate and its many business units.
"It’s a unique role," Perrine says. "It’s not just tactically operating events. It’s an attempt to evolve into a more robust, centralized meeting operation that aligns with strategic communications."
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Perrine graduated from Miami University in 1987 and moved to the Twin Cities in 1991-on the day of the infamous Halloween blizzard. Inclement weather didn’t scare him away from his job at Carlson, though, and it hasn’t prevented him from thriving in other major Minnesotan corporations like Medtronic and 3M.
The secret to Perrine’s success is his ingenuity. Whether it’s convincing a superior that an Alaskan cruise is the ideal incentive for employees, or booking a suite at the massive AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys) to encourage beefier sales in Kroll Ontrack’s Texas market, Perrine isn’t afraid to think outside the box.
"As a planner, when you have an idea that involves risk, and somebody agrees to go down that path with you, and then there’s success, that’s a very, very fulfilling feeling," he says.
Perrine believes that good events go beyond networking, bonding and getting to- know-you chitchat; he sees events as a more effective means of communication for companies. "Sometimes messages are received better when people feel like they are a unified group," he says.
Perrine shares his hard-earned wisdom with colleagues through the Twin Cities Corporate Planners (TCCP) group, which hosts casual gatherings three to four times a year. TCCP’s mission is to allow "people within the corporate meeting space to be able to share and cross-pollinate," says Perrine. He particularly enjoys the socializing, problem-solving and exposure to a melange of soirees that event planning involves.
"[Event planning] is never the same thing twice," says Perrine. "That’s what I love about it."