For the guests of an event, the end result is everything. But for those of us responsible for turning the first idea into what eventually gets Instagrammed, the final result is actually more like an exclamation point at the end of a very long sentence. It needs to make the statement you want to make and create the connections you set out to create, but long before that happens there are countless steps that lead up to that moment where it all comes together. The process is everything, and the process is what separates the amateurs from the pros – yet it’s often the part that we talk the least about.

As part of ILEA’s 2019 Global Event Forum panel, our Managing Partner, Dustin Westling, once again joined a group of smart and plugged-in event profs from around the world to talk about the big questions facing our industry today. Last year, the Forum focused on commoditization in the events industry; the next step was to take a hard look at how event professionals present our value to our clients. Commoditization happens when our value is product, so what if we were a little more transparent and vocal about the bigger, more complex part of what we do? 

Our value is not time, product, or “hustle” – it’s experience, knowledge, and strategy.

Regardless of the role we all play in making an event happen, what a true professional brings to the table – from the initial meeting to the debrief afterward – is experience and knowledge, which feeds strategy, design, and delivery. It’s the ability to ask the right questions and zero in on the right solution, one that’s tailored to exactly what the client really needs to get to that impactful end result they’re set on (and willing to pay for). Event professionals understand human behaviour (and how to design for it), have an awareness of trends and culture, are up on safety protocol and best practices, and much, much more.  

When event professionals (and event businesses) are just about product, or the “doing” work is all we talk about (as opposed to the whole range of “thinking” work that is just as, if not more, critical), commoditization happens. And, it’s fair to say, that’s good for noone. 

This conversation needs your voice! 

While we’re no stranger to a great conversation and could go on indefinitely, what we really want is for you to get in on this discussion! The best kind of progress happens when everyone participates. 

First, download the 2019 Global Event Forum Report here. Once you’ve read through the Report, talk about it! Bring this topic up around your office or when you’re meeting up with your peers, colleagues, and industry partners. 

Next, register for ILEA’s Demonstrating Our Value webinar to dig a little deeper, and get some helpful tips on changing how event professional talk about our value. 

And finally, start thinking about how you can be more open about and focused on the process when you talk to your clients, especially when it’s time to present the value of your work or business. Our clients will know real value when they hear it – but it’s up to us to tell the story.


Photo courtesy of ILEA