Influence with Passion and Purpose

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Influence with Passion and Purpose

By Janice Cardinale | May 31, 2019

Anticipation is what drives every one of us in the event industry. At my entertainment production and event management company, we do our best work when we anticipate the future and craft ideas before our clients are aware that they need them. Our work needs to inspire, resonate and, most importantly, add real value to our clients’ businesses. Event design isn’t just about décor, but about shaping attendees’ attention, comfort, impressions and experience.

We abide by four key pillars that we call our creative toolbox.

  • Context: A strong creative idea is more powerful if it connects meaningfully with what is actually happening in people’s lives.

  • Break a Rule: Break the conversation in industries in which you compete to stand a better chance of getting noticed.

  • Art Factor: Elevate your ideas through the highest level of craft and design for the purpose of commercial clarity, but also to go as far as commenting on society and the human condition.

  • Culture-shaping: The best creative ideas get co-opted by media and culture. When audiences adopt an idea and make it their own, this idea is culture-shaping.

I have researched event trends for the past 19 years, but 2019 has been a year that has heralded the rise of new trends and the re-emergence of some older ones, too. Let’s tap into the trends that are on display at the 2019 MPI World Education Congress (WEC), June 15-18 in Toronto.

Active Over Passive

The event industry is moving from passive behaviors to active behaviors. How? By leveraging the audience in real time. Audiences no longer want to sit and listen to speakers, eat and then spend time chatting over drinks in the evening. They want interactive and immersive experiences where they can chat with the speakers and network with delegates and exhibitors throughout the day.

Imagine stepping inside an immersive space set up in an igloo. It would be like stepping into a giant VR headset. This is a shared experience you will see at WEC.

The Rise of Partying for a Purpose

If there’s one thing that event professionals and guests can get behind, it is partying for a purpose. The event industry globally has a long history of supporting great causes that also happen to align with what I consider to be context that is meaningful.  This is called culture-shaping.

Dear World tells stories, and they also are shaping the world around us one day at a time. Experience their storytelling (and learn how to tell your own story) at WEC.

The Importance of Sustainability at Events

Sustainable thinking has a business purpose. As Michelle Oliver of Mars Inc. states, “It is just business common sense for a company to want to be here on a sustainable planet, in a sustainable way.” In the event industry the sustainability trend is forever growing as conference centers, venues and hoteliers launch initiatives to do away with single-use plastic waste. Event organizers are becoming more passionate about ethics, and the shift to being environmentally friendly is in style.

Try the “final straw” or “drastic on plastic” campaign—it really makes a difference.  These are calls to action and can begin in your offices and with your teams.

Taking a Risk

This subject means a lot of things to many different people. No longer can we take the risks we once did—9/11 changed all of that and the world forever. However, when I speak about risk, I want you to know that a calculated risk and stepping out of your comfort zone when it comes to design ideas and entertainment is OK. Without risk we can’t embrace change.

How many of you design award ceremonies? At Hunt & Crest they intentionally challenged the traditional award show model by creating a multi-stage, multi-host, multi-live-streamed awards show event with no sitting down, no acceptance speeches and roaming hosts guiding the viewer throughout the entirety of the venue grounds.

When we’re successful, it’s fulfilling not only for the clients and the talent you connect them with, but for you. Event planners are influencers with a passion and a purpose. 

Delve into the trends with Cardinale as she shares her vision for 2020 during her session ("Imagination, Creativity and Innovation Fuel Great Ideas!") on June 18 at the MPI World Education Congress in Toronto. You will leave inspired, and fully loaded with ideas to take back to your team and your clients. Learn more and register at



Janice Cardinale
Janice Cardinale

Janice Cardinale is a Chief Idea Hunter and a passionate leader and changemaker in the event industry. She loves to hunt for new ideas, innovations and pure talent that creates shock value, while collaborating with young urban talent who she can mentor. She is never afraid to push the boundaries, take risks and make bold statements. At heart, her greatest love is to give back to the event community through networking and sponsoring events. She is the board chair for Seneca’s event design and management program and is a sought speaker and writer on trends.  Janice is very charitable and would rather give than receive.  She is a proud member of MPI Toronto Chapter.