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Eventprofs: know what you REALLY do

Richard John reminds us of our heritage

In your daily designing, selling or hosting of meetings, have you ever stopped to wonder just how important what you do actually is? 

While your family and friends may think of you as someone who simply pours coffee and serves canapes, you do realise that what you do changes the world, right?

No? Well, think about this; throughout modern history, many of the major changes that shape our world occurred because people got together and made things happen. Meetings rarely start conflicts, but they usually end them. Yet, when did you last think about some of the most significant conferences? 

1864, and the first Geneva Convention was held. Rules were created stating how civilians and captured soldiers should be treated during wartime and led to an attempt to bring some humanity to the horrors of battle. 

In 1971 Steve Wozniak was in college and Steve Jobs hadn’t left High School. A mutual friend facilitated a meeting and the two guys descended into a basement to knock about in the new nerdy world of ‘Personal Computers’. So, the world’s first trillion dollar company was born.

Four years later Bill Gates and Paul Allen set up a little company called Microsoft, to turn an arcane computer language called ‘MS-DOS’ into something more usable. Bill is still laughing all the way to the bank that looks after his $80bn fortune. 

Or, how about The Maastricht Treaty of 1992, which gave us the EU as we now know it?

In 1990 a meeting took place between Greg Dyke, then running LWT, and representatives of the five biggest English football clubs which led to the formation of the Premier League, now the most profitable sporting league in Europe.

So, be proud of what you do, and the meetings you work on. As the great American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead wrote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”