Planning “life-cycle events,” such as end-of-life celebrations or memorials, has many similarities to traditional meeting and event planning, but with several major differences. Meetings Today blogger Joan Eisenstodt reached out to a traditional meetings industry veteran, a funeral director who has a background in hospitality, and a hospitality professor to get their take on this segment of the events industry.
Extraordinary Events President Andrea Michaels has taken a leading role in shaping the special events industry as we know it, but in a segment defined by the stories it imparts to attendees, she has a few of her own to share.
I spoke with Alison Bossert of Final Bow Productions, a celebration-of-life event company, on the challenges and joys of organizing end-of-life events. Her comments show that all types of event planning can be rewarding while opening my eyes to yet another career path for planners.
The Personal Stories Project, co-founded by Charles Chan Massey, promotes activism, advocacy and support for the LGBT community and its allies. This is accomplished through sharing the personal, and often heart-wrenching, stories about the journey of coming out and other aspects of life across the LGBT and ally communities.
Meet Jess Tyler, vice president of events for Marijuana Business Daily (MJBizDaily). She was hired to lead the company’s live-event effort, which includes three anchor programs: MJBizConNEXT, MJBizConINTL and MJBizCon. Meetings Today spoke with Tyler for more details on what goes into planning a large-scale marijuana industry event, including any special considerations.
While Cvent is the leading industry data and RFP platform for planners and suppliers, it is also a major producer of meetings. According to Rachel Andrews, director of meetings and events at Cvent, planning for the event tech giant is a source of constant change, whether stitching together its annual Cvent CONNECT conference, integrating staffs and resources after one of its many acquisitions or any number of other internal or client events.
While women have an outsized representation in the hospitality industry—especially in the role of meeting planners—the number of females in upper management and c-suite roles continues to lag behind those of men. Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, is a hotel, CVB and meetings industry veteran who took a hammer to the glass ceiling years ago.
This summer I spent a week in the Mediterranean with 1,700 of my “closest friends” cruising some amazing ports. At the beginning of this trip, a blank wall and 30,000 wine corks—all stained in different shades of reds and whites—became one of the most incredible custom-made step and repeats I've seen. Meet Scott James Gundersen, the mastermind behind our impressive work of art.
I can’t remember when Kristin McGrath and I first met. I do know we bonded over a passion for excellent meetings and issues outside the industry. Kristin has continued to be, for me and I’m sure many others, a trusted sounding board about work and life. We all need to remember that mentoring can also be reversed—that is, someone younger is a great mentor for those of us who are a bit older!
Joan Eisenstodt interviews a number of family members who have made careers out of the hospitality industry.