(This article was originally published in Special Events Magazine.)

tami headshtOver the years I’ve been amused by the reaction I get when I tell people that I’m an event planner. It ranges from, “Oh, I always wanted to do that!” to “Wow–that sounds like so much fun!” to “Oh, you do weddings?”

Every year, members of the event industry–made up of event planners, caterers, decor designers, florists, photographers, AV and technical directors, venues, entertainers, and many more–are hired for corporate events, weddings, nonprofit fundraisers, military events, government events, consulting, concerts, fairs, graduations, celebrations of life, and many more events, resulting in billions of dollars into the economy. However, most people don’t understand what we do.

Unfortunately, I think that some of the “reality” television shows and, sadly, some of our colleagues have misrepresented the event industry as a whole. I know those shows are made to play up the drama, and I know a lot of real life planners who thrive on chaos, but the real reality of our business should not be that way.

event planner1WHO ARE WE? If we ever intend to be taken more seriously, paid what we’re worth, and offered new and improved opportunities, we should do a better job of showing what we’re capable of accomplishing.  The “event heroes” of the world are often overlooked.  The professionals who are making a difference by creating jobs, positively affecting their city’s economy, helping their company thrive, raising awareness and monies for important causes, and generally making a positive impact need to be more known.

The opportunities for event professionals are unlimited, and I believe we’ve only scratched the surface. For example, my business–Forté Events–predominantly helps companies and organizations solve problems using events. We’ve helped clients when they have high employee turnover, bad product launches, ineffective training deliveries, negative press, low event attendance, and lack of sponsors. We create strategic events that result in a return on their event investment.  We are problem-solving project managers who use creative ideas that result in profits.  Did you know an event planning firm could do that?

Also, a friend of mine works as a consultant to hotels, architects and construction firms.  When companies build or remodel hotels, they contact her for advice on what they should include or delete from their design plans to ensure they attract the most business from event planners and their clients. So smart!

WHO MATTERS? There are a lot of awe-inspiring people doing important work representing the event industry, but often all we see are over-the-top purveyors of shenanigans that provide entertainment. It’s time out for this!

We need the larger community to know who we are and what we can offer. We need future generations of the event industry to aspire to higher levels of opportunity that we create for them now.  We need to understand business–how to price, how to convey our worth to clients, how to be thought-leaders and not just order-takers, how to create new ideas and build teams to achieve them, and how to more elegantly portray this amazing industry to the world.

If you have questions about our industry, contact us…we’re happy to share!

forte_labsFWant to learn more about how we do things?  Come to one of our upcoming Forté Labs, a 2-½ day intensive workshop we have developed with an amazing “hands on” curriculum that will help you build a business that will create the life you want.

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About Forté Events:

Forté Events is a strategic event design and production firm specializing in corporatenon-profit, and social events worldwide. Based in Colorado Springs, CO, and New York City this company produce events worldwide from Fortune 500 clients to families and charities. Forté Events specializes in helping clients attain their goals, realize return on investment, and achieve the most unique, creative experiences.

About Tami Forero:

Tami has set new standards and challenged traditional event ideas throughout her twenty one years as a corporate and independent event producer. Her unique approach to the business of events qualified her as a finalist for the 2006 Event Producer of the Year Spotlight Award and Event Production Company of the Year Spotlight Award in 2008. In 2010, Tami won the Rising Star Award from the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Forté Events won the 2010 ICON Award for the best non-profit event produced in Colorado. As a speaker for national event conferences, ISES chapters, CEO groups, training companies, and various industry associations, Tami teaches event professionals and corporations how to help clients make the most return on their event investments. Overall, Tami Forero represents the best the industry has to offer in creativity, innovation, and knowledge.

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