By Libby Riordan and Susan Wynne

Last week we attended the P2P conference held in Atlanta. The P2P Conference brings together world changers who use peer-to-peer fundraising events (think all those runs, walks and rides that you hear about) and helps them learn from and share with the best in the industry.

We are not the leaders and decision makers of our company. As a matter of fact, we learned in a seminar about marketing to millennials that we are not “HPPO’s” (read hippos). We are not the Highest Paid People in the Office. We are not the ones who respond to RFPs and hold meetings with potential clients to explain to them all the reasons we should produce their nonprofit events. We are, however, the people that are the face of the client with its participants. We are the teams that prepare our participants and volunteers to produce an amazing event. Libby works specifically with Volunteers and Susan with Participants. We work together on a small local team based out of home offices in the Atlanta area. So all of this to say that we were really excited to attend the conference and see first-hand our place in the Run, Ride, Walk world. Because our place is different than that of management and can be equally important.

We learned that having multiple levels of staff attend training is good for the entire company. After working an event for another client last year, we both realized that there is so much value to getting our hands dirty with different work. When the opportunity to attend the P2P Conference presented itself, we jumped in with both feet.

Since we work virtually, we all crave that infrequent face-time that we get together. We are so fortunate to work with some of the best people in the world, but in the crazy world of events, we tend to see only those folks we work with on our own project. One key takeaway from being together in this forum is that we get a chance to learn from each other and gain insight to how work gets done on different projects. Event 360 sponsored the Proprietary Summit on the first day of the conference. We learned from our very own Alyssa Curran and Katie Zupancic-Wymer along with Amber Livingston from Susan G. Komen about the value of on-event social media. We also got to hear from The Hemophilia Association and Free to Breathe about their retention initiatives, and from Covenant House about how they’ve gone about changing the game with recruiting for their events. The information was insightful, fresh and engaging. We worked in small groups to brainstorm, share and learn from each other.

The Aha! moment for both of us came on day 2. Since Event 360 was investing in us by sending us to this conference, we wanted to make sure to attend seminars that would allow us to bring back knowledge that we could apply to our day-to-day work. We decided to attend a seminar titled “Journey Map Your Way to Greater Success.” As the speaker discussed looking at processes and finding the breakdowns so that you can improve experiences, we both realized that what he described would be a game-changer for us in how we work with our own participants. Our takeaway will allow us to have an impact not only on our participant experience, but on the overall goal of raising as much money as possible so that our client can achieve their mission. At the end of the day, isn’t this why we’re all here? We are world changers after all!

We went into this experience with the idea that we wanted to get smarter, so we made learning a priority. We achieved this and so much more. By having multiple levels of staff attend programs you are providing an opportunity for growth and development beyond the reach of just the attendees. We will take back to our departments the information gained so that they can grow with us as well. We were grateful to have the opportunity to break out of our comfort zones, learn from the best in the business, and gain new perspectives on the important work that we’re doing every day.

Libby brings more than 9 years of event experience to Event 360.  In her current role, she recruits and mobilizes volunteers for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® . In her role as a Crew and Volunteer Coordinator, she has seen firsthand the impact and dedication that volunteers make to an event. In her free time you can find her volunteering at her kid’s elementary school and the city food bank.

Susan has been with Event 360 since 2009. She has been supporting Susan G. Komen 3-Day participants for over 8 years, and thinks there is nothing quite like watching a participant who didn’t think they’d make it cross the finish line of your event. You can often find her at the baseball field with her family or volunteering for various organizations in her community.

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