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Planner Spotlight Series- Samantha Wentz, Robert Michael Communications

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December 8, 2021
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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: Samantha Wentz

Company Name: Robert Michael Communications

Job Title: Senior Meeting Manager

Years of Experience: 7

How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?
 
For me personally, like many of my fellow planners out there, I took the opportunity to further educate myself. I earned a certification in digital events and joined my company's COVID Task Force, where I was trained in all manner of policies and procedures. Then, as our virtual events began to thrive, I ensured I was armed with the knowledge of our different platforms so that I could help with our events, even though they were no longer in person. Ultimately, I think overcoming the challenges of COVID had everything to do with the company coming together to collaborate in a time where there was so much unknown. We were learning so much, so fast, but it was our teamwork that got us through it all. We worked tirelessly together to bring our clients what they needed at the standard they expected.
 
As a planner, what was the number one thing you learned over the past year?
 
Expect the unexpected and accept it. I believe this is a part of our job no matter what, but the pandemic has truly put this notion into perspective. As planners, we always look to have contingency plans and we certainly try our best to be as prepared as possible. But if the pandemic has shown us anything, there is a lot we cannot control and we have to find a way to accept that. Once we accept that, it makes it a lot easier to focus on what we can control and simply do the best we can with any given situation. I think that's all any of us can do at the end of the day.
 
Is there anything you are changing in your planning process moving forward as a result of the pandemic?
 
Bucking the status quo! In all seriousness, our industry had to get creative and start planning events in a different way during the pandemic. As I'm sure most planners would agree, virtual and hybrid events aren't going away and I don't think they should. And while we as planners may have known about virtual or hybrid events, now the world knows and is comfortable with them - which is great for us. We have more options and we don't have to do things the way they've always been done. Moving forward, I think there's much more room for people to stop and take another look at an event, re-examine it and say what if.
 

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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