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Culture for event professionals: the best movies, documentaries, and books

Posted on 01/21/2021

As event professionals, being steeped in culture is a great way to find inspiration, entertainment, and motivation.

Given that many of us are locked down, we have turned to culture to entertain ourselves and brighten our spirits. Doubtless, you will already have binge-watched miniseries Tiger King or The Queen’s Gambit.

However, which are the works of culture that we can relate to the most as event professionals? What is there to both entertain us and learn as event professionals?

With that question in mind, we have outlined the best movies, documentaries, and books for event professionals.

While some of these may not be directly connected to your day-to-day activities, you will certainly relate to them as an event professional and even get some ideas for your own work-life.

Culture for event professionals: the best movies

The best movies for event professionals

The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman focuses on the story of P. T. Barnum, following the life of the 19th-century show businessman.

The movie showcases how he finds success by attracting “bizarre” individuals, that introduce extraordinary acts delighting the crowds.

The movie can be an inspiration for creative event organizers, eager to innovate and bring forward courageous ideas. And, it highlights the importance of having a passionate team working towards a common goal.

Up in the Air

Based on the novel of the same name by Walter Kirn, this oscar-nominated movie is great for the event professionals missing the in-person conferences and the travel that comes with it.

It follows the life of Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizing expert that travels across the country to conduct layoffs on behalf of employers. Ryan is challenged by a new approach. Natalie Keener, a young, upstart promotes cutting costs by conducting layoffs via videoconferencing.

Moneyball

Based on the nonfiction book by Michael Lewis, Moneyball tells the story of the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s 2002 season. It centers around the team´s general manager Billy Beane, and his attempts to assemble a winning team on a low budget by employing statistical analysis.

The movie is all about challenging the traditional norms and achieving a goal with an innovative method. Alongside that, it can inspire event professionals to analyze data to unlock valuable insights.

Culture for event professionals: the best documentaries

The best documentaries for event professionals

The First Monday in May

The First Monday in May documentary by Andrew Rossi focuses on one of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most popular fashion exhibitions: “China: Through The Looking Glass”.

It offers a behind-the-scenes look at the planning and preparations for the Chinese-inspired Western fashion exhibit. Event professionals will certainly relate to some of the organizer’s worries, from aesthetics to event promotion, to seating arrangements.

Fyre

At the intersection between social media, influencer marketing, and event planning, the Fyre documentary about the unraveling of the Fyre music festival is a must-watch.

In short, Fyre brings every event planner nightmare to the screen: everything goes wrong. From issues with transport to disastrous lodging, this documentary is a guide of what to avoid as an event planner.

Above all, Fyre showcases what happens if you sell an idea but do not carry out the proper planning behind it.

The Ultimate Wedding Planner

Premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the Ultimate Wedding Planner focuses on the globally renowned wedding planner Yoshitaka Nojiri.

The documentary explores his life and how he came to be one of the most successful event planners and build his company One Heart Weddings.

Culture for event professionals: the best books

The best books for event professionals

Special Events: A New Generation and the Next Frontier

“Special Events: A New Generation and the Next Frontier” by Dr. Joe Goldblatt is a brilliant step-by-step guide on event planning and management. The author provides informative case studies, interviews with event planners, and the trends shaping the industry.

Additionally, Goldblatt explores contemporary issues such as eco-planning, and social responsibility.

The Business of Event Planning

“The Business of Event Planning” is a must-read for all event professionals. Written by the renowned author Judy Allen, the book provides a blueprint for running events of all types and scales.

Added to that, it gives readers many practical tips on specific aspects of event management, including writing proposals, negotiating contracts, and efficiently using new technologies.

Marketing Your Event Planning Business: A Creative Approach to Gaining the Competitive Edge

“Marketing Your Event Planning Business”, another book by the bestselling author Judy Allen, is a great read for event professionals looking to stand out from the crowd.

The book was published in 2004, but identifies an extremely relevant concern for event professionals nowadays: the strive to survive given the intense competition.

Indeed, the book delves into how to market your event planning business in times of crisis and with a slim budget as well as how to build a client base. It covers topics such as diversifying your client base, establishing a back-up plan for downturns and setting up your own event planning business.

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