Be the Author of Your Strategic Vision and Story
By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM
Happy GMID! This year’s celebration finds the industry and its members at a critical crossroads. GMID is the perfect springboard for planners worldwide to raise our industry to a caliber of professionalism, effectiveness and respect that is long overdue.
The movement to step up and lean in is here. Taking charge of one’s destiny is empowering and creates an uncontainable energy. Imagine the momentum and power that would be created by an entire industry leaningin for a common goal.
That’s the challenge I’m putting out to the meetings industry. Let’s put an end to the misconception of who we are and what we do and raise awareness of the power of meetings. To do this, we must evolve in the way we think, plan and present ourselves by evolving from event planners to event strategists. If we unite around a shared goal, vision, vocabulary and plan, the magnitude of our efforts will be unstoppable.
It starts with perception—how we view and conduct ourselves as professionals. Then comes our story—how we convey our value and meetings’ significance. Our story shapes how others perceive and treat us. Many of our professional stories are told from the perspective of event planners. If we shift that to reflect our work to become event strategists, everything changes. By learning to plan strategically and telling that story, we pave the way for a future where what we do is valued. Here is an example of a script that can take our industry to the next level.
The Master Strategist’s Story
I create goal-driven, strategic experiences. Companies that want to drive sales, accelerate growth and turn their event spend into an investment rather than an expenditure need me. By understanding the intrinsic value and power of meetings, I influence what target audiences think, say and do, creating a desired behavior change and the resulting outcome.
The first step in planning a strategic event is working with key stakeholders to identify and define the event’s goals, the attainment of which shapes the organizations’ go-forward plan. Our target audience is most often the people who move the needle. Determining what that audience needs to hear to effect change is an integral component of my job. Strategic events answer the critical question, “What’s in it for me?”
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Strategic events accelerate sales cycles and are the only three-dimensional embodiment of a company’s marketing message. They bring sales and marketing efforts to life and enhance an organization’s bottom line.
As a strategist, I am an integral part of the entire process. The sales, marketing and events departments have interwoven goals, with events being the vehicle that accelerates growth. I am an essential part of my organization and my work is recognized as a meaningful driver of success.
Time to Commit
Does that sound like your story? If not, commit to evolving from an event planner into an event strategist and making it your story. Learn more about how to produce strategic events and how to share your talents, voice and ideas with those committed to the strategic movement. Together we are unstoppable!
Let’s celebrate our impact on Global Meetings Industry Day and every day.