Although the celebration of International Women’s Day has passed, let’s continue to commemorate and take pride in the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

As a leader in the event planning industry, Planned understands the importance of transparency in discussing social issues. To celebrate International Women’s Day Planned sponsored two panel discussions about gender equality in the event planning industry. Our panelists were four pioneers in the event industry who are individually highly successful:

Lynn-Fergusion Pinet (Co-owner and Chief Team Architect of Conundrum Adventures)

Danielle Schulz (Corporate Wellness Director of The Triangle Sessions)

Émilie Brunet (President and Founder of EMI Events)

Ioanna Antonopoulos (Senior Account Manager of Groupe Antonopoulos)

Although Planned is aware that two 35-minute conversations about gender related topics isn’t the direct solution to the issues faced, it was a way to encourage our community to have those conversations both during the event and on their own time.

A few takeaways:

COVID-19 and the Future of Events

  • Although the economy is re-opening and social restrictions are gradually being reduced, virtual events will continue to forever be a part of the event planning industry.
  • Each individual enterprise needs to understand the responsibilities they hold as a leader in the event industry, and make the decision on their own accord for when they will begin hosting in-person events
  • We can take notes by looking at other industries that have brought people back together safely as examples: primary schools, universities, gyms, and the performing arts. Rather than trying to create a new solution, we can lean on surrounding industries as examples and understand how they manage to safely gather individuals.

The Glass Ceiling

  • The glass ceiling, (define), in the event planning industry, is not specific to the industry. It’s the exact same glass ceiling faced in industries across the board.
  • Event planning industry is highly skewed since it is a highly female dominated industry and yet in senior roles you still see a disproportionate amount of males.
  • Rather than focusing on the restraints society has placed, those facing inequalities or the gender of those in your meetings, it’s more important to focus on your work and let your successes shatter the glass ceiling.

Combatting Zoom-fatigue

  • Zoom-fatigue is real, so plan all your virtual and hybrid events with that in mind
  • A large part of creating a successful and engaging virtual and hybrid event is to make it interactive. Some examples of how to take your event to the next level:
  • Utilize the breakout rooms on your streaming platform. Often with larger than 10 person online events, it can be difficult to encourage conversations as some individuals may not feel comfortable speaking to so many others, or the overlap in dialogue makes those speaking hard to hear, so by separating the group into smaller groups, it makes conversation intimate and more comfortable.
  • Send a delivery. Create a deliverable aspect to your event, like including a gift basket with clues for the virtual event, or a box of goodies that everyone opens on camera together.
  • Include food and beverages. Everyone misses the open bar or giant table of appetizers at in-person events, so bring that into the home of your attendees by ordering everyone a boxed lunch or a cocktail making kit.

Let’s continue to support one another and let Planned reconnect your company, safely.

Read about the Women of Planned: here.

Watch our Youtube video of the discussion with Lynn and Danielle in English: here.

Watch our Youtube video of the discussion with Émilie and Ioanna in French: here.

A group of boundary-pushers revolutionizing the event planning process.

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