Years can pass by without you looking up to see what has changed. Without you coming up for a breath. Without you seeing that the world outside your office or cubical is changing drastically. Staying relevant in the industry is a necessary obligation that we can find ourselves seeking out when we come up for air.
Typically, we find ourselves questioning how relevant we are during certain times in our lives. Many times, our relevance stares us in the face when we are transitioning jobs. We ask ourselves, did we learn enough in the role we were in? Do we have the experience it takes in order to move forward in a higher role? Well, here are some tips to help you stay on top of your game.
Know what is trending
The best way to stay relevant in the industry is to know what is trending. This means that you should have a good understanding about what is popular in the event industry. Do you know what is trending as it relates to technology? How will you be able to offer up cutting edge options or make relevant decisions if you don’t know what is engaging the audience of today? These types of questions bring light to the importance of knowing what the world is saying about event planning, and how it matters when planning your event.
A great example of this is YouTube. Who would have thought that YouTube is now the #2 search platform outside of Google? If you are looking to stay relevant as an event professional, having a presence on YouTube for yourself or your organization can be very valuable for you. People are looking for more engaging content. Pictures used to be what engaged your audience, but now, video is king. When looking at preparing your event marketing, incorporate video to increase engagement.
Try new things and take risks
How do you know if something will work or not if you haven’t tried it? If you push through and put yourself out there to try something new, you might find you are setting the trends for others. How much more relevant will that make you? You will find that you will have the first-hand experience, and you are able to be a resource for other industry professionals. Take the risk and be the creator or influencer.
This makes me think about mobile app technology. I can remember more than 10 years ago, sitting in an event industry conference hearing about how mobile applications will change the game. Many event planners were very hesitant to start incorporating these into their events. Of course, the cost was a big factor, but also was the fear of if the demands of the attendees warranted it. Now, there is an app for everything, and you may be looked at as crazy for not having an event app associated with your event. Take a step out and try something new, you might find that the industry needs it.
Understand the current climate of event planning
You can’t operate in a silo with your head down all of the time. Sometimes you need to lift your head up and see what is going on in the world. If you don’t, you can have a rude awakening on elements that might affect your meetings. Government shutdowns, terrorism, civil unrest, and world dynamics are all things that can affect your program. Keep your ear to the street, understand what is going on and how it can affect your program. That way you can communicate to your stakeholders, attendees, these changes and any next steps they should take to inform and protect the meeting and its attendees.
It can be impossible to stay on top of every headline when you are on the go. If you feel like you struggle with having the inside scoop on world events, there are several websites that can help. Companies like Riskline or World Aware are very helpful in helping you understand what is happening globally and leaving you more prepared.
Look to the future
What is the future of our industry? Do you think that this is important? Understanding where the industry is going can help you to stay relevant. In the past 20 years, there have been many different trends that have emerged in the event industry. Name badges have gone from a simple “write your name” to scannable and RFID. Overhead projectors are a thing of the past, replaced by LCD. The same can be said for the hotel industry. Sometimes it is a seller’s market, and sometimes it is a buyers market. Knowing which way things are headed can help you make some important business strategic steps for the success of your meetings.
Pay attention to your personal brand
Don’t let your personal brand go extinct along with the dodo bird. Paying attention to how your brand is perceived by others helps to establish your relevance in the industry. Make sure that you update your social media pages for the relevance of the day. Keep track of the major projects you did and milestones in your career and note them into LinkedIn. Update your resume every couple of years, as you never know when you’ll have to whip it out for that next big opportunity.
Education and Networking
Continuing the conversation outside of your office is a great way to join minds on the future of the industry. Attending industry educational and networking events can put you in the same room as many leaders and movers in the industry. Connecting with industry peers can help sync your ideas, share knowledge, and if needed help with job opportunities. If you would like to learn more about networking, check out this post to help.
Social media has given the rise to other ways to connect and network. But sometimes people aren’t just looking to merely connect to you, they connect because they want to know who you are. Finding unique ways to humanize your thoughts and feelings on certain industry events, become the way that you set yourself apart. Simple things like adding a personal tidbit about yourself in a witty bio can help people learn more about you.
Above all, serve
It is important that we serve our clients with the same gusto that we did when we first came to work with them. Serving comes first. If we think of our customers as an extension of ourselves, it helps us to put into context what serving should be like. Serving is the heartbeat of the industry and comes with a lot of weight. In an industry that never forgets an experience, it is best to be able to serve first to your customers.
Staying relevant can be the bridge to your next job or your next career path. If you make sure to stay relevant throughout your years of planning, you will have no problem taking the next challenge once it comes about. Do you have other ways to stay relevant in the event industry? If so, let’s continue the conversation in the chat. Cheers!