New Year’s Resolutions for Event Planners

By Nicole Jeffrey | Event Planner, Trade Show & Events, Canadian Produce Marketing Association 

Come January, everyone’s thoughts tend to turn toward New Year’s resolutions to help get their year off to a good start. Yes, this year we really are going to get up earlier, go to the gym, and eat more vegetables, all while training for a marathon, organizing the house, and apparently believing that we are going to suddenly embrace an entirely different lifestyle and/or time management system than has been evident thus far.

So perhaps no wonder that by the end of January, our resolutions have fallen apart, but that doesn’t mean you can’t regroup and perhaps add a few more realistic items to your list.  Here are 10 ideas to get you started to embark on round two of resolutions for the New Year.

  1. Join a CAEM committee. The best way to get involved with your industry, meet new people and learn new skills is to volunteer with CAEM. There are a number of ways to get involved from event and conference committees, to joining the board. Check out the different opportunities and find your fit.
  2. Get your CEM Designation. Certified in Exposition Management (CEM) is an internationally recognized designation for the Exposition and Events Industry. Registration for all CEM courses is now open, so why not upgrade your skills or work towards your designation this year?
  3. Plan to attend the CAEM Conference (Calgary, AB, June 23-25). Full of educational opportunities, social events, networking, and fun. Ensure you put this on your calendar this year!
  4. Get Inspired. Devote some time to reading industry publications, blogs, and social media to see what industry trends or interesting ideas are out there.
  5. Try something new at your event. Got some ideas?  Great! Keep things fresh and implement an idea or change to shake things up.
  6. Learn from both your successes and your failures. A good post-con with your team, suppliers, and partners is an incredibly important way to keep improving. Not everything will go right the first time, and great ideas can always be made better or implemented in other ways.  As long as the focus remains on using the past to build on the future, both success and failure are important to learn from.
  7. “Marie Kondo” your event structure. Marie Kondo’s method of cleaning up by reviewing what you have, deciding what brings you joy, and throwing everything else away seems to be everywhere lately. So why not take that approach with your event? Ask yourself why you are still doing things the way you do, and if they bring you joy.  Of course, the definition of “joy” in this case may mean financial success or benefits of your attendees.
  8. Review your “admin”. Are you keeping up with industry best practices? Are you following appropriate risk management for health and safety and do you have an up-to-date crisis preparedness plan? CAEM can help with that with their Health and Safety Best Practice Guidelines for the Exposition Industry in Canada.
  9. Ask: Is this the easiest/best way of doing this? Do you do things the same way because that’s how they’ve always been done? Do you have processes in place that have become redundant, or is there a way to use technology to makes things easier for you or your exhibitors as you plan?
  10. Remember to savour your successes. Event industry jobs often top the list of the world’s most stressful careers, so it’s important to take time to recognize yourself for a job well done.