How Embracing Change Leads to a More Vibrant Event Future

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Post authored by Donna Kastner, Event Marketing Specialist

Change. It’s all around us. And the change machine never idles.

Change is that disruptive, double-edged sword that tees up both exciting opportunities to seize and perilous threats to thwart.

Within the events and hospitality industry, we’re certainly encountering our fair share of change. For some, that’s causing a few more sleepless nights.

Yet as I study today’s most successful event organizers, I see a brave new breed of trailblazers emerging who are embracing change. These folks are studying the events landscape very carefully and they’re constantly honing their knowledge and skills to capitalize on the next change wave to take their events to the next level.

Make no mistake – in today’s fast-changing world, status quo thinking has now become the riskier path.

When you hear the word “change,” what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Delight? Trepidation? Something between these two extremes?

No matter where you fall on the change spectrum, there are opportunities to build up your change “muscles” to create something more remarkable for your event audience and for yourself.

As with most personal and professional development epiphanies, it begins with self-awareness…

The Psychology of Your Future Self

Dan Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University, has delivered a host of successful TED talks, but this one, The Psychology of Your Future Self, made me think hard about the experiences we design for our own future, as well as those we design for our event guests. The entire talk runs six minutes and I’d encourage you to give it a watch.

 

One big takeaway from this TED talk for me: It’s easier to remember and harder to imagine.

In this talk, Gilbert references a fascinating study about how people change over time, from age 18 to age 68. At each ten-year milestone, study subjects were asked to assess how much they expected to change over the next ten years and how much they changed over the last ten years. Across all categories (degree of change in personal values, personality, friends, etc.), one conclusion rang true for all age brackets:

“At every age, from 18 to 68 in our data set, people vastly underestimated how much change they would experience over the next ten years.”

Now, bringing this back to our events world – many of us are making decisions for events that are three to five years out into the future. Yet many event organizers are largely using past event history to guide those future decisions.

Where we’ve been still matters, but where we’re heading matters even more. It’s time to ease up on the history pedal and throttle down more on the trends and technology pedals to more accurately gauge what our event guests will crave next.

And with that, I’ll leave you with one more powerful quote from Dan Gilbert to ponder:

“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been. The one constant in our life is change.”

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