I am excited to be introducing a new aspect of Chicago Planner Magazine, Who’s Who Event Planners. These features highlight exceptional event planners who are moving to the forefront of what it takes to be impactful in this ever-growing field. Chicago Planner Magazine is honored to feature Julius Solaris as the first official “Who’s Who” Planner.
In the world of event planning, Julius Solaris is one of the most inspiring and business-forward individuals in the industry. In case you are not familiar with Julius Solaris, he is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com. Started in 2007, EventManagerBlog.com covers topics such as event planning, social media and events, event technology, event trends, event inspiration but also destination management marketing and meeting planning. Julius is the author of The Event App Bible and The Good Event Registration Guide, two ebooks showing the results of unprecedented research efforts about event mobile apps and event registration and ticketing providers. In 2008, Julius started the Event Planning and Event Management LinkedIn Group. A few years later, with more than 170,000 members a team of 12 moderators, it has become the de-facto largest gathering of event professionals online. Julius is a speaker for the event industry. Events he spoke at include EIBTM 2013, Event Technology Conference, IMEX Las Vegas, Dubai ISES talks, Tech Fest 2013, Cvent’s Corporate Meeting Summit 2013, Event Tech Circus Amsterdam, event 13, SMAU 2013, MPI Belgium Conference, EIBTM Barcelona, IMEX Frankfurt, Social Media Week Milan 2012, SMAU 2012 and he’s been guest lecturer for Dublin City University’s Business School. Before becoming a 100% dedicated blogger and speaker, he worked as Social Media Consultant for FTSE250 companies in the UK. His last campaign with RS Components won Econsultancy’s The Digitals for Best Multichannel Marketing Campaign.
With credentials like that, it’s needless to say, I was thrilled when he accepted an interview with Chicago Planner Magazine. With the largest community of meeting professionals on LinkedIn, a successful blog and an overall events world trailblazer, Solaris has connected gaps in the international meeting professionals and events community.
One of the things that I always try to encourage is the idea that successful planners are fundamentally successful business people. Solaris’ entrepreneurial approach to the industry is what makes him a definitive leader who is constantly exploring the technology, the strategy and the tools that differentiate the average planner from the exceptional one. I got to ask him a few questions about his progression into the industry, his inevitable success and what projects he’s been working on lately:
Chicago Planner Magazine (CPM): What made you decide to get into events?
Julius Solaris (JS): I started when I was a teenager planning my own events – it was love at first sight!
(CPM): What characteristics or even life events do you feel has made you successful in the industry?
(JS): I guess I was one of the first bloggers for the industry and timing definitely played a role. I also grew the largest community for event professionals which is today 170,000 member strong. It was a mix of luck and persistence.
(CPM): What have been some unexpected challenges you have come across working in the events industry?
(JS): Well I was talking about the use of technology and social media in events in 2007. While I expected some resistance to change, I must say the industry has been really slow to adapt. It looks like we are catching up since a couple of years and I cannot be happier.
(CPM): How did you begin to develop the business aspects necessary to launch yourself as such an internationally recognized person in the events industry?
(JS): My blog has not always been my business. I’ve worked as social media manager for large corporations here in the UK and that has helped me to better understand how to use social media in a business environment. Making a business out of writing is not easy and is really demanding but equally rewarding. It takes time, determination and motivation.
I left my well paid job to pursue my passion, so I guess it also takes some guts.
(CPM): Tell us a bit about “The Anatomy of an Effective Events Website“. (Click to see the infographic) What factors made you decide to put this together?
(JS): This is one of the infographics we sometimes create. While we always look at the latest shiny objects in terms of technology, reality is that most event websites out there lack the basics of modern design.
Eventually the website is one of the biggest influencers in the ticket-purchase decision making process and cannot be overlooked. We highlighted what our experience having looked at thousands of websites.
If you or someone you know should be featured as a “Who’s Who Planner”, email firstname.lastname@example.org to enter a submission.