Book a Demo
Start Free Trial

Planner Spotlight Series- Meredith Pallante, American Gaming Association

co-calendar
September 20, 2021
reading-time
Reading time: 2 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: Meredith Pallante

Company Name: American Gaming Association

Job Title: Vice President, Global Events

Years of Experience: 13

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
 
The COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone differently. As much as I would like to think that I “adapted,” instead I learned how to operate under extreme uncertainty and change. There were several things I did to help me cope and persevere last year:
 
  • Connected with other trade show organizers and planners. I had phone calls, zoom dates and attended virtual roundtables with other events professionals to hear their stories and learn about the ways they were pushing forward.
  • Focused on what I could control. I came to terms with that fact that I could not control the situation impacting my events, but I could control how I showed up, how I treated people, and how I served our members and industry. Understanding that our annual event would look different in 2020 allowed me and the AGA/G2E teams to innovate and tune into what our members and customers needed most: advocacy, education, and connection.
  • Embraced innovation and change. In the past, webinars had been typically been a boring substitute to live events, and were usually reserved for more mundane topics. Over the past 16 months, webinars and virtual events have evolved and are now effective and efficient vehicles for content, engagement, and connection. One of the drawbacks of planning live events is the amount of lead time needed, but I found virtual events to be quite freeing, since they can be organized quickly and deliver tremendous value. I believe some of the event innovations we’ve embraced during the pandemic will stay with us well into the future.
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
Over the past year, I’ve been learning how to pause, have learned to soak in the information received, and give it time to marinate before diving into action. As a planner whose instinct is to “do,” this has taken tremendous discipline and will likely be something I practice for life.
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
Over the course of my career, there have been several experiences that have solidified the need for a different approach to planning. Planning events in Asia has made me extremely forward-thinking, planning an event in an area with regional discord has made me finely attuned to safety, wildfires breaking out during my event has strengthened my crisis communication muscle, and planning G2E amid a global pandemic has shown that processes need to be flexible. As planners, we cannot get stuck in the mindset that “This is the way it’s always been done.” Our customers’ needs and priorities are shifting. Our shows, products and the way we plan them need to be agile to meet those needs.
 

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. 

Like the post?  Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed on the latest news and trends in the meetings and events world.
Sign up

You may be interested