An Irishman walks into a bar … an Irish pub, no less, and discovers an opportunity to use technology as a way to engage his audience. Not funny? That’s because it’s not a joke, though the man referenced, John Cosgrove, is in fact a professional comedic emcee from Northern Ireland. He’s also the founder of VoiceHive, a web-based presentation platform for events that Cosgrove conjured up while hosting trivia events at Kieran’s Irish Pub in Minneapolis.
The National Conference Center, one of the largest meeting and training facilities in the country, compiled a list of the top meeting and event planning apps by combing through all those offered and chatting with industry professionals. Below are their results.
Anyone with a Delorean or more than 20 years industry experience can tell you the event planner role looked very different in the ‘80s. This is true for everyone, but especially Koleen Roach, director of meetings and conference management at St. Paul-based Securian Financial Group, who fell into the industry.
Her first job at Dayton-Hudson Corporation was not in event planning. “I was working in the human resources department running all their training and development—basically running all of the programs logistically,” she says.
In the meetings and events world there are many types of planners. If you know you like planning but are not sure what direction you want to go, how do you decide? Many times it comes down to the first job you get—if you like it, you stay, and if you don’t like it, you make a move in a direction closer to what you think you would like.
Special events are different from other projects. An event is a one-time activity with fixed boundaries and there is little to no wiggle room. Once the date, time and location are set, you face a hard deadline. Ready or not, the show must go on!
According to Murphy, if something does go wrong, the client looks to the event planner—whatever the circumstances might be. This is why meticulous planning is paramount, and using templates will streamline the process.
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.
A LIFELONG MINNESOTAN, Kalsey Beach boasts a decade of experience in the event planning industry and can’t say enough good things about the area in which she got her start.
"The Twin Cities has such an amazing event industry," says Beach, president of Do Good Events. "We have so many hidden gems, unique venues and chefs with great talent."