Watch our Global Roundtable with a panel of expert coaches and consultants
After an intense period of lockdowns, communities around the world are starting to transition into a life with substantial social restrictions. As event professionals, this signals a lot of unknowns ahead, both for our events and ourselves.
This panel brought together four branding and event experts who run coaching practices, sharing a wealth of insights and actionable advice for event professionals ranging from how to experiment and branch out effectively right now, stepping up as a leader, identifying and planning for tangible career goals, and much more.
Thank you to all the panelists for a great discussion, and the hundreds of viewers who tuned in and contributed thoughtful questions.
Key topics from the panel discussion:
Be realistic with yourself, but also be kind. It’s important to accept that you can’t change things you can’t control. So focus on yourself, accepting the bad and the good, and take this time to deeply evaluate what you want to be doing, and what your unique skills and strengths are. Look for what Nikki Trott describes as limiting beliefs that might hold you back from accepting new opportunities, like “I don’t have the skills/experience for this” and work on breaking them down.
Now is a good time to reach out to your network. Everyone is having a rough time in one way or another, and even if you don’t have the answers, you can create a lot of positive connection by just reaching out and making yourself available and listening to people you know. As Megan Accardo put it, we often don’t reach out because we don’t know the ‘right’ thing to say, but right now it’s so important, collectively as professionals, to take the first step and connect, even if it’s just to say “I’m here and I can lend an ear.”
Experiment and don’t be afraid to fail. Now is the time to embrace trial & error, experimentation, and learning from failure. That can be a hard mental shift to make as event professionals, when we are extremely accustomed to 0 tolerance for mistakes and always keeping up the appearance of a perfect production. But the environment right now is extremely forgiving of trying things that don’t work or are scrappy around the edges. Use that to try new business models, collaborations, and even consider career pivots if it’s something you’ve always wanted to try.
Plan your career stepping stones, and balance it with your immediate needs. If you’re considering switching industries or looking for work, there are two things to focus on: your immediate needs to keep afloat, and where you want to be a few steps ahead. Courtney Stanley describes her recommended system as asking yourself the question “Where do I want to be two jobs from now?” Even if you step out of your current career track and pivot to make it through right now, stay focused on where you want to be next, and look for opportunities that offer translatable skills and connections.
There are a lot of ways to step up and lead right now. Leadership is often associated with a certain title or paygrade, but everyone is a leader and decision-maker in some aspects of their life or work. Nik Moore suggests flipping the traditional leadership pyramid, and supporting other people, listening to their ideas, and creating an energized and collaborative environment. Nikki Trott adds that right now, there’s less stalling and penciling in things for later on the calendar, and more people are ready to just roll up their sleeves and try something, so leverage that energy.
For further reading, check out panelist Nik Moore’s article What’s next for events?
Nikki empowers conscious entrepreneurs to drive their potential, purpose and new brand success through coaching and consulting. A brand marketing expert and certified transformation coach, she previously ran her own consulting company for leading brands (Mercedes Benz, MAC, La Prairie), was an agency Director, helped build startups and coached entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.
Courtney Stanley is an award-winning changemaker, keynote speaker, event/marketing consultant and acclaimed creator of the women-inspired podcast, Dare to Interrupt. She currently serves on Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) Global Women’s Advisory Board, previously served on board positions with MPI, and is the co-founder of #MeetingsToo, a movement that empowers meeting and hospitality professionals to prevent sexual harassment from taking place at events.
Nik is an Executive Coach and MD of Mindset Communications. He has been pioneering a new approach to the traditional conference model, one which focuses on behavioural change, since 2003. He works with groups ranging from individuals to multinational corporations, specializing in leadership, employee engagement, change, and personal transformation.
Megan Accardo is a leadership strategist, speaker, coach and host of the Power Your Purpose podcast. She built a 15+ year career producing high-profile events for the world’s biggest celebrities and brightest business leaders, while working at powerhouse companies such as United Talent Agency, UCLA Anderson, and most recently heading up global events at Creative Artists Agency.