How to Make Events that Wow


Yesterday, I arrived in West Palm Beach, Florida, for the 2018 Campus Rec Leadership Summit.

It’s quite different this year from last for me. In 2017, I was the videographer/photographer for the event. This year, I am the editor and will have an entirely different role. It’s a bit nerve wracking, but I shall do my best.

However, I don’t want to spend this whole blog talking about me and my fears. Rather, I just want give a shout out to our mastermind event director, Carrie Yeiser. If there’s one thing I learned about planning events that wow, it’s the fact you need to have a wower behind the curtain.

The thing with Carrie is she is on top of it all. Weeks ahead of time we get detailed itineraries listing our roles and responsibilities over the four days we’re onsite. It has hour to hour details of where we need to be and what we need to be doing. As a person who loves clear direction, the itineraries help me to know exactly what to expect while at one of our events.

As a media company with multiple brands, this isn’t our only event. Carrie puts on several during the year, coordinating with resorts and activity directors, picking out rooms and layout and food menus. She goes deep into planning, thinking through everything. In fact, while trying to get fire dancers for one of the dinners this year, she even called the fire marshal to see about a permit. Talk about dedicated.

All of that to say, I think the lesson here is simple: If you want to put on great events, you have to have great people. You have to have someone who is organized, who is persistent, who doesn’t take no for an answer. She keeps our crazy team in line and working hard. She sets clear expectations for everyone. Carrie is cool, calm and collected no matter what is going on behind the scenes – you wouldn’t know if there were problems because she keeps it under wraps and takes care of it without complaining.

And, Carrie is passionate about what she does. As far as I know, she likes organizing events. She even organizes our end of the year company retreat; frankly, I think she just loves wowing people – and boy is she good at it.

So, as we kick off the 2018 Leadership Summit, I think it’s a good time to think about your own team and what you all do for events. Do you have a dedicated team member who loves wowing people?

If not, it might be time to find something so you too can hold events that wow.

Heather Hartmann
Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at

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