Event Planner Career Hacks From the Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones, meeting
The Rolling Stones are touring Europe in 2017.

Few bands, if any, have re-created themselves like the Rolling Stones have—their images, their music, their personal lives. There’s much to  learn about your own career by following their journey as one of rock and roll’s most storied bands.

Broaden your skill set

All of the members of the Rolling Stones have followed similar trajectories, going solo, becoming producers and performing for worthwhile projects such as Live Aid. Keith Richards, for example, has produced music for other artists (including Aretha Franklin), created his own record label, Mindless Records, released three solo albums and toured twice on his own, and formed another band, X-pensive Winos. Meeting planners can grow their skill sets in many ways, from getting certified in a specific niche (such as healthcare meetings) to consulting on various aspects of their job, such as meeting tech or marketing.

Build your own brand

Andrew Loog Oldham, the Stones’ early manager, is credited with developing their bad boy image by separating them from the Beatles. When a British journalist once asked him, “Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?” he turned that quote into their slogan. Meeting planners can build their own brand by using their strengths to differentiate their business—from global meetings expertise to green meetings knowledge. They key is then to live the brand by speaking at conferences, contributing articles to industry magazines and taking advantage of other visibility opportunities.

Explore your creative side


Ronnie Wood is also a well-known artist, and his paintings have been exhibited all over the world. He has created cover artwork for Eric Clapton, there’s a clothing line that uses fabrics printed with his art and he is co-owner of a London art gallery, Scream. Planners’ talents can often dovetail with their careers. Interior design knowledge will help with event planning; fine artists can draw on their contacts to develop creative amenities. Peers and colleagues—and potential employers—like to hear about your personal interests, not just your career accomplishments.


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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.


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