Extraordinary Events Podcast

Ep 71: The Purpose of Events

April 22, 2021 Extraordinary Events
Extraordinary Events Podcast
Ep 71: The Purpose of Events
Show Notes Transcript

Surprise! I am switching things up a bit this week! Instead of an industry spotlight for today's episode, I wanted to share and discuss some topics that have made me have a huge self realization over the past week! In this episode, I discuss how important it is to not only know the purpose of the events you plan, but to also know YOUR purpose as well, how we won't always have the answer for everything, as well as how even though events are everything, they cannot solve every problem. 

Today is new. And I'm not just talking about today. It is a new day. Today is different from today's new. If you've been around the podcast for any amount of time, you know, we have a set structure in our release schedule. And if you're new to the podcast, welcome, we love that you're here. Thank you so much for joining us. Normally, this podcast releases twice a week. And on Tuesdays, we have what I like to call internally lessons and life coaching. We talk about all things event design, event management, and event strategy. We also do some life coaching things in terms of resumes, salary, negotiations, things just to help you be a better, more well rounded person. On Thursdays, we alternate between student created podcasts and industry spotlights. And we've done that ever since the podcast was first launched and first created. 

And I wanted to shake it up today, I was in a workshop a couple of weeks ago about the importance of changing up your routine, even if it's little things like taking a new route to school or a new route to work, just making different connections in your brain. Now I sit here or I stand here, and I talk into a microphone and I share thoughts and share feelings but the world and about our industry. So to me, this isn't anything different. It's just another episode. But in reality, it's something super different. Because even though it's just another what I would think Tuesday episode is being released on Thursday. And to me, I'm like “Oh no,we're messing up through routine, every single news article. All the research says podcast routine, same release dates, same structures, let your audience know what they can expect. Same relative timeline, all the things, and I'm shaking it up.” 

And I think that's a good thing. I wanted to take a minute to give a shout out to some people who have been loving the podcast lately. Thank you so much to Jackie, Rebecca, Rachel and Kyle who have shared posts commented on posts reached out to us. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast. And for sending us some love. We are so glad that you were here and you're listening. We're so glad everybody's here. We hope that you all want to interact with us and send us ideas. Rebecca sent us an amazing idea which I'm super excited about showing you all and an upcoming episode. It's also the end of the academic year. And if you haven't listened to the podcast before, this whole entire project, the whole podcast is involving students. And that's one of the things that I just truly, truly love. 

My purpose in life is to elevate event education, to do design thinking and strategy, and purpose and all of the things I want all of the things and not just for my students in my classroom, but for everybody. Because we're all here to move our industry forward and to make our world a better place. And students actually edit this podcast, and they contribute every other Thursday. It's not mandatory, it's not required. Students have a choice if they want to submit a podcast, some students reach out to me and say that, hey, Dr. K, can I do a podcast or I was listening to this podcast? Can I do one, some want their five to 10 minutes of fame. Some just have always been interested in trying a podcast. And this is a way that they can explore that and they can try that. And I do build this into the intro to events class as an option. It's one of many options. It's not required. And so students have an interest in a passion if they're doing a podcast that's featured on our Extraordinary Events Podcast. 

Every semester, I have a different student that edits the podcast so you can tell from semester to semester maybe the quality varies a little differently, or maybe the Edit style and the description in the podcast episodes and definitely on the social media. It's different. And to me my purpose in life. My purpose isn't to have an award winning podcast that brings in millions of dollars and sets me free from my day job. That's not my purpose for this podcast. My purpose is very integrated into my existing career choice which I love. I just love to share and I love to give students that hands on experience. We all know from being in school, whether it was middle school or high school or college, sometimes it's just a little bit different what you bring to the table depending on who the audiences, if I assign a group project or an individual project in my classroom, and the students know that at the end of the semester, they're just going to present to their other classmates, they're probably going to do the bare minimum for the grade that they want. 

If I tell the students that I'm going to bring in a panel of industry professionals, who will be sitting in the room to listen to them present their project, that quality is going to go up pretty significantly. If I tell students that their research and their scripting and their design and their editing is going to be released to the world at large for the public to listen to, you can definitely guarantee that the quality of that it's going to go up even higher. And this gives students that real world experience in a safe and structured environment where they can get real time feedback. But it's also okay to fail. This is technically my name, this is my brand, this is what I do. But it's okay. If our Facebook doesn't have the highest engagement. It's okay if our Instagram doesn't go viral. It's a chance for the students to be able to create content, try marketing, try advertising, try podcasting, and really get that experience. And that's one of the things that I just love so much about this. And now, my current students, Addison, who's been editing the podcast this entire semester, she has, I think two weeks left. And over the summer, we'll be doing some fun things as well. So stay tuned for that. And then in the fall, we'll have a new student. And these students, they take care of everything. They do all the socials, I don't really touch the socials. 

This is really their opportunity in their experience. One of the amazing and fun things that I really wanted to bring to the table here was this concept of a beginner's mind, which we hear about all the time, the importance of a beginner's mind. I've talked about it in a couple different podcasts, but just really looking at things from a beginner's viewpoint and not having any preconceived notions. I have students that will write out their plans for me. And they'll write out their social media plan and their strategy, they'll write out posts, at the beginning of the semester, for the first month or two, they have to get everything approved or justify. And then the last month or two of the semester, I just let them run with it. I say, okay, it's yours. It's all yours, you've got it going. But at the end of the month, they have to track all the analytics, and then we review the analytics together. We say, did this work? Did that work? Was it text only that got more feedback and engagement? Was it a picture? Was it a video her Tiktok has on her website? And then we sit down and we really analyze all those strategies, and it's just as informative for the students as it is for me? Absolutely. If you ever told me I'd have a single TikTok out there. I would laugh just like I just did. And to know that Dr. K has a TikTok channel, it's just super random. 

And just keeping things with an open mindset. And if the students want to try something like, Yeah, let's go with it. Because what's the worst that can happen? Nobody sees it, nobody engages with it. And that's okay, you try something new, you shift. And you edit. And that is the whole entire purpose that I am here on this earth is to really elevate event education. So it's okay. If it's, if it doesn't go viral, and it doesn't make me millions of dollars. That's not what I'm in this for. This brings me to a very, very, very important topic. That's been heavy on my mind lately. And this is really the value of the meetings and events industry. I truly believe that through events, we can change the world when people meet, we change the world. 

And all of the important events throughout history, all of the important constitutional signing, and the United Nations, all of the things, those are all events, you're bringing people together for events, and somebody behind the scenes is planning all of those things. And the event planner is that person that helps to facilitate and is the person that makes all of that happen. And this, I'm just I know all the things that I want to say. And I'm trying to think of the best way to articulate them, because one, I'm just so tired of our industry being looked down upon. I think anyone who's in the event industry knows this. It's like, oh, you're an event planner, you plan all the fun events, and you plan parties, and you plan weddings, and you plan birthday parties. And it's, ah, there's so much more than that. It's so much more than that. So, so, so much more than that. And I'm always thinking about the purpose. 

One of my top strengths according to strengths quest, which is a personality type of test is strategy. And so I'm always thinking about the purpose and what that purpose is, and the strategy. There's always people who will say that no matter what they have to offer, it can fix a problem. I've seen this before in hospitality programs, where somebody will say, it doesn't matter what you want to do, hospitality will benefit you in your career no matter what. While Yes, education in any topic will benefit you in the future. Think about your purpose, and then think about the best use of your time. So I have a situation that is heavy on my heart. And this is why I'm hijacking my Thursday podcast. 

The other day, I heard a news article that doesn't seem related to the event industry at all. But my mind automatically applied it to the event industry. And this is the reason why I'm hijacking my Thursday podcast, and shaking up your routine, because that's good as well. I'm not going to get into politics. I'm not here to argue with anybody. But when I heard that talk, the chatter about this bill that would pay families certain amount of money every month for a certain number of months, per child, and automatically made me think if a research study, I'm in a university, and I would say five or six years ago, there was a research study by early education professionals, professors, and they were looking at improving family quality of life, child quality of life. And a lot of that came down to money. And just the difference that a couple $100 a month can make in having a parent be at home or a parent be more present in a child's life more, just better overall. 

And so I thought about this concept of the government, quote, unquote, giving you free money for the children that you have in the house. And then I also thought about this huge homelessness problem that we have in America in a lot of the cities. And my natural reaction is, well, events can change the world, we can host charities, and we can host fundraisers, and we can host summits and educational forums and all of these things. And yes, we can do that. Absolutely. But does that put a bandaid on the problem? Or does that fix the problem? So we could host a million fundraisers, to ask people for money to give to other people. Or we could just not have the problem in the first place. And I think that's so much of how my mind operates in terms of strategy and purpose. events could fix a lot of the symptoms of problems. We can do a lot of really great things. But our world in our country is so interdisciplinary, so transdisciplinary it's all related. Everything's related. And events has such a big part to play in that but it doesn't fix the problem. Why is it just so antiquated? 

And I'm, I sit there and I tell my students all the time, it's okay to not be okay. It's okay to have depression and anxiety and worry. And I talk a lot about my own struggles and, and it's true. I feel helpless so often because you see what the problems are, but you don't know how to fix them or There's so many societal constructs or systemic issues, that you know that one person can make a difference, but one person can't change everything. And even when you have extraordinarily well meaning politicians who are doing their best and picking and choosing the things they have to support, and you have others that maybe are self interested, or corporate greed, or lobbyists or whatever, then things get added to bills, and, and all of the things. And it's just so heartbreaking.

And one thing that it related to me in terms of events and event management, is that sometimes we think that we can fix things, we can fix all the things, and we have so many answers to problems. But I always challenge myself to a problem, or is it an answer that will help the symptom if I have a leaky gut, and my body is just incredibly unhealthy. And I'm sitting there taking additional medicine and chemicals that really fixing the problem, or just treating a symptom, so I don't feel bad about the problem. And I think we're kind of at a critical point in, in our world, and in history, that a lot of big, sweeping changes have to be made. And nobody's gonna, I don't think anybody's just the whole world's not going to stand up and put other people before themselves. And this is where events has such an opportunity. But it's also you have to look at it strategically, events can do so many amazing and wonderful things.

But an event is not always the answer to the problem. Sometimes, instead of giving people money, you should just let them keep their money in the first place. Sometimes we shouldn't assume things based on marital status, I have a job that pays me good money. And I'm so thankful and fortunate for that. But I also have a three, three parent household. So three parents and a child. not going to get into all that on this podcast. But one of the parents is disabled. And one of the parents works for a poverty job like 12,000 US dollars a year 12,000. That's insane and ridiculous. And I could get started on a whole podcast about that. And then a child. So when you look at my decent salary, you're like, oh, wow, you she gets paid, gets paid decently. But then it's really covering a household of four. So if you were dividing my salary by four, I would be in poverty, and just not assuming that you know everything about everything. It's just, it's so a little disheartening. And if you've listened to the podcast for a while, you're like, wow, this doesn't really sound like Doctor care right now. And if you're new, you're like, wow, why do people listen to this podcast? Because this is really depressing. I just, I don't understand sometimes why. We always have to meddle into everything. Just let people do what's best for them, let them keep their money, and let them let them. Let's address the problem. And not just the solution. Events are extraordinarily powerful, but events are everything. Events are everything. Events, or psychology events, or design events or marketing events or experiences, events or technology, events or graphic design. Events are everything. And we all have to work together. Events are definitely neuroscience, for sure. Content overload, huge thing. Events are law events or public speaking, events are everything. And while events might be everything, events are not the solution to everything. And no matter what field you're in, no matter what sector of an industry you're in. Always think about the purpose: it was the number the very first podcast we did for a reason. What is the purpose? What is your why, what are the events? Why? 

Just keeping everything in perspective, and not assuming that you have the answer for everything. I was on a conference call today. And I mainly joined this committee, when somebody asked me and I love the people on the committee just, I just loved so many of them. And it was a great justification to see them on an every other every three week basis, just great. But we're sitting here and we're having this discussion about this event. And we're just one committee of like a bazillion committees, you know how that works. And it's just so inherently flawed. If you, there's just a lot of people that just don't know, design or strategy. They can name the purpose of an organization, but not the purpose of the event. They're prioritizing the wrong things for the event. They're charging for the wrong things when it comes to the event. And I sat there, and I said, What is my purpose on this committee? And in recognizing what I could do and what I couldn't do, if I know that I can't make a change, and I know that it's not something I'd want to put my name on. Why am I doing it? And why am I there? 

And I think I just had this huge self realization, we wanted to hijack the Thursday podcast, not just that events, events always have their purpose and their strategy, but you do as well. If you are on a committee or on a project, and you just, you know that it's not, it's not that you have all the answers, but you have something valuable to contribute. If people aren't listening, if people don't care, if people aren't open to the idea of changing and shifting, is that somewhere where you really want to spend your time? Are you a valued team member with an equal voice? Or are you just someone that's there so they can put your name on a committee and you can sign up as an attendee? Are you there so that they can say Dr. K approved this even though I didn't? Or are you there because you have a good voice and you're gonna make a difference. So I don't really have any just wow, takeaways, except knowing your purpose and knowing your events purpose, and knowing that you don't have the answer to everything. And events aren't the answer for everything. events include everything, but they're not the answer to everything. 

All right. That was deep. That was super, super deep, super uncharacteristic of Dr. K, and not what you were expecting on a Thursday. But I have so enjoyed sharing with you. As always, thank you so much for logging in. Thank you so much for listening. Today's episode was different. It's not your normal episode. And I hope it really just gets some people thinking about the projects they're on and what their events are, what their events' purpose is. And if it's something that fixes a symptom, and not a problem. Instead of hosting a fundraiser to help the homeless, can we have an event that actually prevents homelessness from the first place? Something to ponder for you Until the next episode. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to make the time I'll talk with you soon.