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Planner Spotlight Series- Melissa Park, Melissa Park Events

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January 7, 2022
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Reading time: 3 min

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 


 

Name: Melissa Park

Company Name: Melissa Park Events (www.melissapark.co )

Job Title: Global Events Producer

Years of Experience: 20

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
 
To set the scene: I walked into 2020 with 30 live in-person client events confirmed on my calendar. In the blink of an eye, the world went into lockdown and all 30 of my events got canceled, wiping out 100% of my revenue. Once the initial shock wore off, I took stock of the situation I found myself in. Rather than be a victim to the virus, I decided to change my perspective and be appreciative of this newly found time to work ON my business when I couldn’t work IN it. I have always wanted to build a platform that enables me to inspire and arm upcoming event and marketing professionals with tools and tactics they need to fast-track their success. So, rather than jump straight onto the virtual event bandwagon, I drew upon two decades of event management and marketing experience to create and launch my very first masterclass called 7 Steps to Event Success! It’s a 7-module, 30-video digital course designed to directly impact the WAY an event is planned and promoted to set it up for success. The methods and tactics outlined are the precise ways I have delivered SOLD OUT events around the world and significantly increased attendance at previously-failing events. And out of sheer frustration with how long it’s taking to get back to live, in-person events, I also created a COVID safe event concept to LITERALLY help my clients get their events “back on the road”.
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
Multiple revenue streams are a must! Over the last 18-months, I have expanded my offering and developed 3 ways someone can now work with my business. 1. The end-to-end event management services I’ve always provided. And while I still don’t believe virtual events compare to the magic of live in-person events, I have mastered the art of an incredibly successful and impactful one. 2. Custom consulting and strategy sessions. As we’ve seen the phased movement from live to hybrid to completely virtual and now back to hybrid and in some cases live, one of the biggest focal points in these sessions has been around educating organizations that a hybrid event is not a livestream. While we will share content between the two mediums, to be truly effective, the virtual element of a hybrid event needs to be designed as a standalone event experience and their budget needs to reflect that. 3. Digital Education. This started with my masterclass and has turned into a little online education empire. Giving back to the industry is important in order for all of us to move forward. For those who can’t afford the masterclass, I created a swag store where I share the exact templates I use with the hopes that it will make it easier for event planners to create and deliver highly successful, seamless events. With resources starting at $29.95, I like to think of it as a super affordable, one-stop plug-and-play ‘all things events’ shop.
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
Where possible, for the foreseeable future, we’re encouraging all of our clients to plan for and promote a hybrid offering from the get-go. It’s a little more work, sure, but it provides certainty their event will actually be delivered in some way, shape or form. While risk management is obviously heightened, and contract terms and conditions require a little more negotiation and the inclusion of a couple more clauses, the delivery of a COVID safe event doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. You just have to design a user-friendly process to deliver all of your requirements as conveniently, speedily and seamlessly as possible. Personally, I’m loving pushing the creative envelope even more than we have in the past.
 

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where HopSkip spotlight's planners across the industry to bring awareness of how they adapted to COVID-19, communicating and lessons learned and sharing how they are viewing the meetings and events industry in a post-pandemic world. 

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