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One of the most exciting series at this year’s Northwest Event Show is aimed specifically at executive assistants and event professionals looking to get more of a seat at the table. As event profs, we take on so much responsibility and wear so many hats that it’s easy to resort to simply ticking off boxes on a to-do list. We work as order takers. Diligently getting things done, but not taking part in the planning and strategy, not being responsible for specific results, and not getting the credit we deserve.

This series of 4 sessions at NWES 2023 is here to help you change all that. 

Meet the Organizer, Lynn Edwards

Lynn Edwards is the founder of Proper Planning, a full-service meeting and events company based in Seattle. With 30+ years in hospitality and most of them running this very company, Lynn and her team have planned and ran events for everything from nonprofits, to some of the biggest brands in the world. Microsoft, Amazon, Nike, Starbucks and more are all clients with many-years-long contracts throwing internal and external company events to great success. 

Some of her proudest work includes throwing mission-driven events, like the 3% Conference (for The 3% Movement) which brought awareness to the lack of diversity in the creative and advertising industries, and the Better Man Conference which empowers men to be better allies in the workplace. 

In all of her work, she and her team as independent event planners have to think like C-suite leadership, focused on results and outcomes and creating strategies and executions to make them happen. Now she’s bringing those skills to this series to help the next generation of event profs do the same. 

Changing the Way We Think About Events

Part of the reason why we’re putting on this series is to update the notion of events as an activity done just because, or even worse, a “party” handled by a “party planner”. Events are in effect temporary, location-based, high-impact businesses, like a pop up shop or a concert. They should be planned to have a specific business outcome and goal, with a specific budget, operating across internal teams and vendors, and executed precisely.

In other words, they need to be run by people operating with experience in marketing (CMO), finance (CFO), operations (COO) and executive (CEO) positions. 

Leveling Up Your Career

If you want a seat at the table, you need to be more than a pair of hands doing things. You need to be a brain, coordinating and planning, and always keeping the end result in mind. Explore the sessions here: 

Think Like a CEO

Time: March 15 at 11:00 AM

A Chief Executive Officer is the head of the C-Suite, and the buck stops with them. As an event professional, you need to take on the role of the CEO for this micro-business, evaluating all the information from all sides and making the executive call on what action to take. 

Learn from these speakers:

Matthew Donegan-Ryan, CEO of EventsAIR  which creates an event management platform for in person, hybrid, and virtual events.

Victor Kippes, CEO of Validar, which helps register and track attendees to events.

Think Like a CMO

Time: March 15 at 2:00 PM

A Chief Marketing Officer is responsible for the final decisions on marketing initiatives, and often coordinates them to make sure they come together to tell a cohesive story for the audience. Whichever channels you choose, like social, email newsletter, or ads, the overall message needs to be aligned. And most importantly, you need to figure out key performance indicators (KPIs) like number of customers or leads generated, revenue collected, and compare that against costs. Sometimes an event is meant to create profit itself, and sometimes it’s a marketing expense that should be weighed against other possible marketing expenses. 

Learn from our speaker:

Paula Beadle is the CEO of both Carael Marketing which helps brands get more out of their sponsorship opportunities, and the CEO of the Sponsorship Marketing Association which connects sponsorship marketers around the world for networking, resource sharing and more.

Think Like a CFO

Time: March 16 at 11:00 AM

A Chief Financial Officer has to oversee the financial operations of their business, most importantly accounting and reporting. As event profs, you need to be clear on planned and actual budgets for events, from paying speakers to securing the venue, to covering the marketing budget and more. And making this plan at the start helps determine things like how much of their organization’s budget needs to go to a given event, how much can and should be raised from sponsors, and what is the breakeven point on ticket sales and how much to charge for them.

Learn from our speaker:

Brett Robertson is the president of SHW, which produces and manages creative and impactful events for brands. 

Think Like a COO

Time: March 16 at 12:15 PM

A Chief Operating Officer is responsible for guiding and overseeing a business’ operations, often operating like a chief of staff and filling in for whatever the CEO delegates. Making an event run smoothly requires the same skill set—communicating with and coordinating vendors, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, staff and attendees, making sure deliveries get where they need to on time, and learning to recognize potential problems ahead of time. And with ongoing supply chain issues, things are taking longer than they used to to deliver and coordinate, which means longer term planning and strategic thinking and more important than ever. 

Learn from our speaker:

Marti Castillo is the principal at Meeting & Event Solutions, Inc. which handles full-service event planning and production. 

Register for the Show!

If you’re an executive assistant, a full time event planner in a large organization, or a service-provider in the events space, these sessions should help you level up your career! Register for the show to get access to these, plus tons of exhibitors to see and other attendees to network with!

Learn more >