Meetings planners tend to get really ticked when people call them "party planners." It seems demeaning, somehow. So just imagine how special events planners--those who actually do plan the parties--feel when even their meetings bretheren don't recognize the value of what they do.
...in the clamber for a seat at the corporate table, too often it seems that the
meetings pros are positioned as the ones doing the serious business, while event
planners are pushed into the kitchen to put paper-frill panties on the lamb
But this line of thinking is entirely wrong.
As any good marketing or PR person will tell you, people like to think that
they behave rationally, that they make hardheaded decisions based on the facts.
But they don't. The truth is, the best way to change behavior — to make people
believe in and commit to a brand or a company or an idea — is to touch them
emotionally. In April, National Public Radio ran a fascinating story describing
the work of 20th century PR mastermind Edward Bernays, who sold consumers
everything from soap to cigarettes using theories about the power of the
subconscious developed by his famous uncle, Sigmund Freud.
This is where special events have their special clout. Virtually all special
events have some message to convey, from the launch of a new product to the
commemoration of a significant life event. But giving that message impact is the
arsenal of tools — decor, music, food — that event professionals bring to bear.
These are all hooks that grab emotion.
Meeting planners may not like to admit it, but there is much they can learn from their special event colleagues in terms of making that emotional, as well as intellectual, impact.