By the time the now-iconic photo of one Fyre Festivalgoer’s pitiful cheese sandwich had gone viral, social media platforms and news outlets were abuzz with shock and bewilderment—questioning how the seemingly star-studded island excursion could have resulted in half-built FEMA-issued tents, cancelled musical acts and stranded attendees.
With the fast-paced speed of events, follow-up is often forgotten, or the effort put forth is minimal. As the event host or planner, devoting more time and resources to the follow-up offers many benefits yet to be tapped by the broader event planning community. Professional event planners are experts in logistics, details and the experience, and often solely focused on executing a flawless event. Their engagement ends when the event ends.
As the 13th largest metropolitan economy in the U.S., Minneapolis outperforms its peers, including Kansas City, Denver, Indianapolis and Charlotte when it comes to tourist attractions and hospitality. A vibrant food and music scene, world-class museums and theaters, an influx of upcoming hotels and venues— including a Four Seasons in 2022—and the tourist magnet that is the Mall of America, all combine with the great outdoors where scenic lakes abound—providing visitors to the city with many Instagrammable backdrops for any event.
The Annual MNFEA Conference strives to provide event planners, volunteers and vendors with education, networking opportunities and industry knowledge. Each session is crafted to meet the educational needs of the event industry. Sessions are presented by local planners and professionals who are leaders in their field. Not only will you learn event management skills, you will come away with innovative ideas, new connections and applicable practices for your next event.
These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexandra Vekich was recently hired as an event coordinator at the McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis.
1. What are you looking forward to in your new role as event coordinator at McNamara Alumni Center?
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.
Just as writers experience the dreaded writer’s block, event planners, too, can get stuck in a rut. The Internet is a great place for sparking ideas, but options are limitless. How does one find inspiration with so many different things to search? Pinterest is a classic go-to, but Instagram might be the stronger choice. Instead of scrolling through an endless amount of pictures—some relevant and others completely useless—following someone you admire will give you more successful ideas you can incorporate into your events. We’ve listed a few accounts that boast exceptional ideas.
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.
Inspiration from Within- Creativity is sparked by environment at Style-Architects.