Shelby Greene has been fortunate enough to work on many sides of the meeting and event planning industry from hotel sales and operations to third-party meeting and planning. She has also worked with the cruise industry and corporate procurement. She loves the diversity and the constant evolution of the industry.
Q. What class do you teach?
I teach the Introduction to Special Events class.
Q. Tell me a little about your class.
Students learn how to define, determine and understand a special event, and also the complexities surrounding it. Special events range from the private sector, to public and corporate sectors. And, you learn that even a single special event can have smaller satellite events within it.
Q. What should a person new to the industry expect?
Expect any potentially crazy thing under the sun to happen for every event you do. That way if it does, you’re prepared and have a backup plan.
Q. Are there any group activities in your class?
Depending on the date and time of year, classes have done two types of activities. The first one is a group field trip to see an actual event taking place, and talk with the person in charge. That person tells the students what it takes to run the entire event from beginning to end.
The second activity is a group activity where the students are given a type of special event to plan and are then thrown an emergency curve ball that throws the event into disaster mode.
Q. Do meeting and event planners usually have a certain personality?
Yes, I think they are usually upbeat, joyful, engaging, even-keeled, refreshing, positive and pleasant.
Q. Meeting and event planning is constantly changing and evolving, what do you see in the short term for the industry?
Partnership – partnership with your internal team and stakeholders, clients, and vendors, but not from just a business perspective. Planners have to be there for people. Become a sounding board, offer assistance that doesn’t have a dollar value tied to it, and show what personal value you can bring to the table in the form of a true partnership. That’s the future of meeting and event planning.