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What is Purposeful Planning?

Updated: May 1

Purposeful Planning: Aligning the needs of the company we work with to the community where the event takes place to ensure the company meets its goals and the event positively impacts that location.


When you think of ETHOS Event Collective, Purposeful Planning Meaningful Results are likely to follow. Nevertheless, it is not just a saying that we coined; it is the groundwork for the foundation that ETHOS was built upon that provides stability and growth for the company, the members of our team, and the communities we serve.


A green infographic that highlights the locations ETHOS serves, the people that makeup ETHOS, and the work we do.
Purposeful Planning Meaningful Results™

ETHOS opened its doors for the first time during the height of the pandemic in 2020. The industry had never before experienced such catastrophic disruption. Local companies in our destinations barely survived the market shift, and division had reached all-time highs on many levels. Yet, the team that created ETHOS had a moment of revelation to utilize this new company to change the things of the past that weren't working, follow through with their goals, and create a culture that identifies with their core values. Amidst the chaos that was going on in the industry, ETHOS cultivated an institution of people who wanted to be thoughtful and tolerant, wanted to do better, be better, and do things differently.


In just a few short years, ETHOS has proudly grown into a team of over 70 individuals driven by a desire to support, encourage and be kind. As a collective, we measure our success by our ability to impact others and constantly reflect upon how to use business as a force for good. For example, when planning an event, our experts select every detail to create a program that tells a cohesive story about the client, the destination, and those who helped make the event possible. This standard practice is why we don't just plan eye-catching events; we create experiences that leave a lasting impression long after the event has ended.



You can only begin to understand how deep the roots of Purposeful Planning go once you take a high-level approach to view the domino effect it creates. When adequately executed, Meaningful Results are the product of our planning that inspires and supports those around us, which improves our work and the communities in which we operate. Therefore, unpacking the layers of this process will require a deep understanding of the events we plan, the destinations we are rooted in, and who we recruit.


The Events We Plan

The Destinations We Are Rooted In

Who We Recruit

The Roadmap to Purposeful Planning


 

The Events We Plan


Among the many factors that set ETHOS apart from other DMCs, our events are just tapping the surface of them. From the get-go, every event we plan is custom curated for the event's needs, crafted from an intricate and unique creative process designed to produce results for our clients. First, we dive into your business on a granular level and crack open obstacles you're facing to determine what objectives the event aims to achieve. Next, we conduct thorough research, apply certain assets to understand the root of the matter, and brainstorm solutions. Finally, to tie it into the planning process, we identify what matters to the company based on its initiatives, philanthropic history, and employee interests. This process helps us determine the event's theme, what activities we can make impactful, or what type of speaker to choose to add value and maximize ROI. Every part of it is meaningful, and everyone who attends will undeniably take away something from it.


When it comes to the event activity, we first determine whether or not the attendees want to partake in a giveback before organizing their schedule. However, guests frequently enjoy participating in it and watching it come to life. Whether they fundraise together, build a backpack of school supplies for kids in need, or donate their centerpieces to a local retirement home, we ensure the activity resonates with them. If the client we are working with does not have anything they want to do in particular, we will offer ideas based on where the community is most in need or an organization from an ETHOS team member's passion project.


The Destinations We Are Rooted In


In a world that is becoming more connected virtually and more disconnected in the physical, we have committed to maintaining a 'boots-on-the-ground' approach to servicing our destinations. By being hyper-local, our teams have invaluable knowledge essential to guide clients through a journey that encompasses all there is to experience. This presence opens the door to foster deep seeded relationships with local businesses and vendors to offer our clients the best possible rates, strengthen the local economy, and assemble a network of people who can unite their resources to form a more powerful influence to use business as a force for good.


As a standard practice, we will support small local businesses at every opportunity. However, when that option is unavailable, we look to business partners and hotels with a giveback component knitted into their operations. For example, some partners work with global health organizations like the Clean the World Foundation or LEED-certified hotels. In doing so, every layer of our planning process involved with that destination is full of intention, guided by the goal of making a long-lasting impact outside of where the event takes place, which creates ripples that generate ROI for the client.



The People We Recruit


When developing ETHOS, it became clear that the aspirations of implementing these procedures into our work would only be possible if we had a unified group of people with similar ideals working together on it. We needed to recruit talent who would 'live their ETHOS' both in and out of work, not because it's what our company culture asks of them, but so that the team of new individuals already believes this way and doesn't need to be converted into it. To 'live your ETHOS' means to value everyone's time, communicate clearly, and feel impactful every single day.


As a corporation, we acknowledge our responsibility to facilitate this for our employees, so we uncover on a personal level how we can be a catalyst for our team to do good every day, even on a minor scale. The hospitality industry is renowned for the concept that it all comes back to 'taking care of the person.' Whether that person is a client visiting our destination or an employee working within our organization, they are equally at the forefront of our priorities. As an organization that deeply believes in our people, we search for an outlet for them to excel and support them.


To dive in deeper, we may look to an ETHOS team member's passion project to incorporate into the event. Each member of our team is encouraged to allocate their time to a cause that is meaningful to them on an individual level as a way to connect with missions, charities, or groups in need. To support each of these causes, ETHOS promises to match contributions, allocate team members to get involved and integrate them into our events when possible to make a more significant impact. When a team member plans an event for a client and implements their passion project into it, they find an immeasurable amount of satisfaction in watching how their hard work directly influences a cause near to their heart. There are very few industries where something like that is possible, which is one of the many things that makes us want to come to work every day.


We encourage others to consider how they can implement Purposeful Planning into their events. Because now more than ever, clients and consumers are looking for companies that are more considerate of their needs and employees. Getting started can be as simple as implementing sustainability initiatives, conversing with your venue, or reflecting inward to your team to identify common interests. These purposes as guidance are necessary for the industry to understand the driving factors for what we do.


The RoadMap to Purposeful Planning:


1. It starts with the 'why.'

Questions that begin with why open the doorway to a deeper understanding of your client and their needs. Start by asking why the meeting is happening and why the event is at this destination and create a comprehensive diagram of how you can serve them best.


2. Ensure your client is ready for it.

As with every other part of the planning process, checking in and ensuring your goals align with the clients is essential. While givebacks are an overall positive addition to the event, specific clients may prefer a more conservative approach that may not be suitable for scheduling an entire evening of back-to-back giveback activities.


3. Build a library of givebacks.

To accommodate each of your client's requests while still using your business as a force for good, brainstorming a myriad of giveback opportunities is a valuable inventory to keep handy. In addition, diversifying your network will likely reduce the number of proposals you'll have to create and help you connect the client with the appropriate giveback opportunity.


4. Plan custom and unique events for clients that tell a cohesive story about the 'Why.'

Combining the knowledge you've retained about the client and community, you can layer those responses into all the incredible things your destinations offer so the program tells their story. Implementing these strategies into the planning process, then reflecting on how to add value to use this event as a force for good is the golden sample of proper Purposeful Planning.



Before anything, this process has to begin with the individual believing in themselves and their organization. Getting the opportunity to put purposeful moments together and figuring out what will make you proud of what you did for work that day is a rare gem. It feels even more special if everyone involved can show up to work knowing their organization supports them.


Unlike many other industries that require this large amount of work, Purposeful Planning has helped to prevent burnout. This foundation of people who want to do more, be more, and give more causes us to feel tied together and stronger; it reminds us of the good in the world. Since everyone who works with our company knows this is a part of our culture, they know that this can still be a for-profit industry because we are simply taking something that people will do anyway and turning it into something positive.


Without Purposeful Planning, our company would be similar to every other DMC in the industry and unable to channel our creativity and passion in the right direction, leaving us feeling empty after planning each event. We understand there is so much to do outside of typical corporate event planning, so we ask each other what value we can add to every experience to make it more impactful and meaningful to attendees.