Whether it's a birthday party, a big anniversary, a conference or a wedding- event planning is complex and is filled with details. The venue, the decor, the food, and entertainment... there is so much to think about and a person like me would spend hours planning every little thing. But at the end of the day, we want to create events that are unforgettable, memorable and stay in people's hearts and minds. How do we do that?
This last week I was watching my wedding video as a part of celebrating our 10th Anniversary, and it surprised me that the part I enjoyed and relished the most was not the fabulous dress, or the color coordinated decor, or the church and the music. These were all details that were so important to me while planning the wedding, but 10 years down the line they didn't matter so much. But what mattered were the people. I saw so many precious friends at my wedding video who came and celebrated the day with me. They stayed with my family and helped out with all the logistics. There were aunts and uncles and family that came from across the world and other parts of my country. As I watched the video I remembered how loved I was, the fun moments around the wedding, and was reminded of these beautiful relationships.
And then I realized. This is what makes events memorable. The people. Friendships, relationships, conversations, networking. The sharing, encouragement and building of dreams. When someone finds their partner for life, or connects with someone who shares a business idea. And if we want events to be memorable, we need to plan around that. Creating space for people to connect. Safe spaces for people to share and be honest. Space for old friends to reconnect and hang out without feeling like they are supposed to be listening to a speaker on the stage or watch an entertainer who's performing. As hosts, we need to focus less on making sure that the food is just right, and focus more on appreciating people for who they are to us. At the end of the day, the food, entertainment and decor are just a stage for what's important. It's the people that matter most.
So when you plan a business event next, make sure there's plenty of space for the participants to share their ideas and dreams and network. When you plan a birthday party, make space for guests to leave a personal note or say something they appreciate about the person. If it's a team event for work, make space for individuality and for people to show their personalities. Think through your invitations and be intentional about who you invite. And then people will remember. Because your event would not be just another event. It would be their first date with the person they got married to, the day they started their business, the day they were encouraged by their friends and decided not to give up, the day they discovered a new talent, and therefore, unforgettable.
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