Event Planning Superhero


Gwendolyn Y. McNutt of Two Fish Productions is here today as a contributor to the AllSeated blog to discuss a fun topic for event planners. Thanks Gwendolyn!

According to one of my favorite movies – Every time a bell rings, an angel gets their wings. So, it got me thinking, when does an event planner earn their crest and cape? When do they crossover from just someone in a costume into a full-fledged superhero? As you probably know, in all superhero stories, there is a major event that gives them supernatural powers or transforms them into a superhuman; after which they can operate on a different plane from the rest of us. They are sometimes outcasts, highly intelligent, exceptionally skilled, creative individuals that care deeply about what they are doing; and, so is the event professional. I see so many parallels between the two and superheroes have always fascinated me.

So, how do you earn your superhero credentials?

Step one in your quest for your crest and cape is entering into the “Event Universe.” Connect yourself with the right ensemble team. Becoming an event planner is not as easy as it looks on TV; and it is tough work, if you can get it. At the end of the night, we’re tired, hungry and our feet hurt but we’ve made our guests happy. And that’s what it’s all about. Superheroes care about the greater good and keeping people happy, and so do we as event planners.

Step two: Paying your dues. When I say paying your dues, I not only mean learning the business but I also mean experiencing those hard times when things go awry with your event. These are the unplanned on-site issues that we all inevitably face at one time or another. Problems are going to arise, but it’s what you take from that experience and how you handle it that transforms you into a better event professional. Superheroes are imperfect and flawed; but also exceptional individuals. Event professionals make it look easy even when faced with a difficult situation; and that’s a key trait of a superhero.

Step three: Making the impossible, possible. According to Stan Lee, a superhero is a person who does heroic deeds and has the ability to do them in a way that a normal person couldn’t. That describes us in a nutshell. We have the ability to create something out of nothing; and we do it with grace and style every day. When others walk into an empty loft they see…well, an empty loft. However, when an event planner walks into that same loft, they see a new world they can create for their clients and guests. They see a place to have food, friends and fun and change someone’s life in a meaningful way. We have exceptional powers, and we use them so that our guests can have the best experience possible. Superheroes are extraordinary and so are event planners. We make the impossible, possible.

The final step in earning your crest and cape is to continually solicit feedback. Every superhero has a nemesis or a villain involved in their life. And here it is, the villain in our superhero story, feedback. Whether or not we want to hear it, we must receive it good or bad. The villain makes us try harder, makes us better event planners and makes us more powerful superheroes. In short, both event planners and superheroes need the villain to survive. We learn from them, they keep things interesting and sometimes we even acquire their skills.

Earning your superhero crest and cape doesn’t happen overnight; it is more of a process like Spiderman learning to cast his web. Superheroes are helpful, thoughtful and kind; they care about people and are always willing to share their talents to help. However, they often stay out of the way by concealing their identity. Event planners share this philosophy by solving problems before their guests even know there is one. We are passionate professionals that stay out of the limelight and let their clients and guests shine on event night. We do everything we can to protect the health, safety and economic resources of our guests. We spend each event fighting the good fight so that things go well. We perform incredible feats on a superhuman level; and we go above and beyond for the greater good.

We are a rare breed of people, our own special brand of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” if you will. In this business, you must not only work hard as an event planner but also know when it’s time to rely on your superhero ensemble team (vendors). It is here where we band together and put the “super” in hero.

Gwendolyn McNutt, aka “Eventra,” is an event planning superhero with Two Fish Productions, LLC and a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) with more than 20 years of experience as an event marketing professional.