In the past weeks we have explored many different skills and functions of the meeting planner and we have heard many impressive stories from a planner’s working day. If you consider the many responsibilities and roles of meeting planners, then ‘planner’ does not seem an accurate term.
“An event planner wears many hats. Depending on the client, some expect you to be a psychologist, a referee, a babysitter or a negotiator while others have little respect for your expertise or what works best in your venue even though you have produced thousands of events” (Kate Mazzarella-Minshall)
Several planners feel that they don’t get enough respect for their profession. Most people underrate how much time, effort and creativity it a successful event requires.
“I watched how clients showed up to events with their own preconceived notion of how things were done and devalue the process it took to make their event successful. No recognition, no thoughtfulness and no respect for the profession. They would walk away saying ‘I could have done that’ it almost like having someone look at a Picasso painting and say ‘I could have done that’.” (Vanessa Farley)
From planner to manager?
Planners organize every detail of a meeting, coordinate all finances and communication, are first contact for all problems, questions and emergencies. Wouldn’t meeting/event manager be a better term for this job?
“Sometimes I feel like I am the DOE – Director of Everything!” (Dianne Davis)
“I am an advocate for doing away with the term “planner” which sounds too much like a hobby and instead adopting project manager or producer. Those are much higher paid titles, and include more respect. I believe we can transform our industry by changing our title to one which uniformly garners respect and pay equal to that. Producer, Project Manager, those are well accepted by business circles, and I like the idea of adopting them. We do so much, we have so many fields of expertise that our industry should be paid in the 6 figures without so much as a thought. But I truly think the term ‘planner’ holds us back from that.” (Heather Mason)
Please tell me what you think!
How would you describe the profile of a planner? Do you think that ‘meeting planner’ is an appropriate term? What your suggestions?
Finally, I want to thank everybody who contributed to this series. I was fascinated by all the impressive stories you told me and without them I couldn’t have written these posts. Thank you so much!