I turned 30 last week. Give me a minute, I need to let that sink in.
OK, I’m better. As with all major milestones, turning the big 3-0 made me sit back and reflect on…well, just about everything. Most importantly, I was reflecting on where I am, what I’m doing and the people I’ve impacted and who have impacted me, and I realized something pretty important- what we as event planners do is pretty amazing.
Few professions in the world get the opportunity to shape people’s perspectives, touch their lives, or make them have the time of their lives, like we do. If you really sit back and think about it, it’s pretty amazing. We should all try to take stock of the amazing things we’ve been privileged to be a part of.
Seven years ago, I found myself in a much different situation. Having just lost my job, I was at my wit’s end- tired, spent, and with no idea how I was going to find my way above the water into which I felt myself sinking. Family attempted to console me, friends attempted to lift me out of my funk, but it wasn’t going anywhere. The bad mood and feeling of despondency hung on me so heavy that it seemed as if there were nothing else in the world but that sorrow. To say that it was “bad” is to make bad seem like a walk in the park on a sunny day. I desperately sought for a way out, and it came in the most unlikely of ways.
I was walking to a meeting (which was then my clever way of saying I was grabbing a drink with friends), when I stopped at my mailbox to pick up the mail. Weeks prior, I had subscribed to a few magazines and the first few were beginning to trickle in.
The first on the list were Event Marketer and Special Event magazines. I took a moment, sat on my stoop and thumbed through a few pages to get the feel of them before heading out. Excited by what I read, I threw them in my bag and set off down the street.
As I began to walk towards downtown, a feeling of buoyancy began to overtake me. I was happier than I had been in weeks, and at first I couldn’t quite place my finger on it. Then it hit me- reading about the amazing events and experiences happening all around the country and the world had brought light to my eyes. I was suddenly excited about things that other people were doing in parts of the world I might never see, and looking forward to reading more about the exploits of some of the world’s foremost event planners.
It was in that moment that I knew with finality what I was supposed to do with my life. I had always dabbled in events, even doing some pretty significant ones for clients over the years, but I had never sunk my teeth in and decided, “this is it.” But now I knew- cultivating experiences was the passion of my life, and one I wanted to pursue wholeheartedly.
As I sit back now and think of the impact that reading about those events had on me, I can’t help but wonder how impactful our work must be on those that actually experience the glitz, glamour, design, and attention to detail that we all put together on a daily basis. From a gallery opening to a food drive, our passion (whether we’ve stumbled into it or chosen it) gives people the opportunity to step outside of their everyday and experience the reality of life in a brand new way. What we do matters, and in the moments when we begin to doubt if this event thing makes a difference, know that there might just be somebody in some city somewhere whose whole worldview is about to be shifted because we were willing to share our talents with the world.