Vice President of Experience Design
Maritz Global Events
For moving beyond the “experience” trend in corporate event
A Change of Perspective
I get excited about changing the perspective of event owners toward a guest-centric design approach, and seeing people realize that designing for the guest is way more powerful than doing what they’ve always done. Often companies are more focused on what they have to say rather than what their guests are looking to hear. We get caught up in the buzz phrase “content is king.” I don’t believe that’s true. I think “understanding” is key. If we start from the point of view that “we have to tell them something,” then we are really missing it. We have to find the right balance of getting our message across, but speaking for the sake of understanding instead of speaking for the sake of having to share information. I’m really passionate about understanding the voice of the guest and bringing that into the design of the event.
What’s Next for Events?
Purpose. We’ve raised generations of people who are entitled to travel. We’ve been saying for two years that this was coming. Experiences are becoming so mainstream, we have to start looking for something more. Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, authors of The Experience Economy, nailed it when they said the next level above experience is transformation. Underlying all of that is purpose. It won’t just be a wonderful trip, it will be a wonderful trip based on purpose.
Flash of Insight
I became interested in live events when I was in high school, when I was doing drama. While I was always in the creative side of communications, I saw that the real power existed in live experiences and face-to-face interactions.
Got a Spare Hour?
I love to people-watch, so I’d probably find a place where I could watch humans behave. I try to understand why they are doing what they are doing. As distracted as I can be, I’m actually very observant and am fascinated by the different behaviors of people in all settings.
Best Career Advice
Stay out of the box. Conformity is an evil thing. For a long time in my career, I conformed. It is important to find people and organizations that allow you to be your best self because that helps release your passion for your job. I’m proud that I’ve found that place in Maritz Global Events, where I can build guest-centered experiences for our clients.
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