Aquaman scopes out a venue before a big charity event (Photo by: Jason Vanderhill)

Event planning is a tough job. Sometimes it seems that pulling off a successful event requires nothing short of superhuman abilities.

That got us to thinking. While event planners (probably) don't have superpowers, they do have certain skills and abilities which few possess. And since events are complicated affairs, one superpower does not fit all. While one person may have superhuman organizational skills, they may not have superhuman skills when it comes to producing innovative content for an event, and vice versa.

We put our heads together and identified four distinct superpowers that you can develop as an event planner. The quiz below is based on the MBTI personality test, and will help you identify the superpower that you may want to develop.



Superhuman Flexibility and Reflexes

Superpower Description

Legend tells us that before you got into the event planning world you volunteered for secret government experiments, which gave you the incredibility to make flash-quick decisions, often before others can get their heads around a situation. Your ability to live in the moment and adapt to circumstances as they evolve makes you an superstar among event planners.

Your ability to respond to last minute changes helps you keep on top of changes of venue, transportation delays, menu changes, A/V malfunctions and everything in-between. You love engaging with your suppliers, and you do it so well that it's often said that you have the ability to be in more than one place at the same time!

Your Kryptonite

You're at your best when you're making on the spot decisions about issues as they arise. Your focus on the present moment, however, makes it more difficult for you to think long term, and to foster deeper connections with both your clients and vendors.

Notable Event Professionals With this Superpower:

Doreen Ashton Wagner, Greenfield Services; Jenifour Jones, Go Get It Events; Randy Crabtree, Master Story Teller for Meeting Professionals International; Anthony Navarro, Founder at Liven it Up Events;


Super Cybernetic Eyes

Superpower Description

Ever since you installed cybernetic eye implants, your ability to pay attention to all the little details that make an event run smoothly has become second to none. So attuned you are to the small things that matter, that rumors have spread that you can see through walls.

You have a highly analytic mind, which provides a good balance for an industry where many people rely too heavily on their intuition. You are able to determine the success and failure of an event from the metrics that matter--not "vanity metrics" that feel good. You may not think outside of the box very often, but you sure have a good handle on all the things that are going on inside it.

Your Kryptonite

While your cybernetic powers help you keep on top of all the little details that help make an event running smoothly, it does diminish your ability to read the emotions of other people. This can often make you seem cold and insensitive. Also, your dependence on the cold hard facts may make you less open to new ideas that don't have a track record. While you have the power to truly excel in the field of event planning, either develop your people skills or team up with a more intuitive "people-minded" person. Either way, you'll make an unstoppable force.

Notable Event Professionals With this Superpower:

Shawna McKinley, Director of Sustainability at MeetGreen; Michael Vargo, Director of Special Events at Disney; Kyle Hillman, CEO at Kyle Hillman Strategy Group; Jaime Geffen, Co-Owner at YourBASH!; Patrycja GraczykEvents Executive at Plenta Foods Limited; Heidi Thorne, Promotional Expert at Promo With Purpose; Noelle Provencial, Experiential Marketing and Events at Groupon; Genny Castleberry, Director of Incentive Travel at Spear One;


Mind Reading

Superpower Description

Some say you were born with your mystical powers to read other people's innermost thoughts and desires, while others claim you developed them over time. Regardless, you have the incredible ability to put yourself in the mindset of clients as well as of event attendees. Not only do you have an incredible creative talent for producing unique events, but you're able to understand attendees in such an intuitive way that it seems you know what attendees will want from an event before even they do.

Your Kryptonite
You have a strong sense of intuition, and although these moments are rare, it can sometimes miss the mark. Your over-reliance on instinct can be a problem when a little fact and data gathering may be the better course. Also, you are a right brainer, which makes it difficult for you to conform to structured schedules and plans. Ideally, you will be the creative force behind an event, while you leave the nuts and bolts to someone more detail oriented.

Notable Event Professionals With this Superpower:

Wayneston Harbeson, VP Operations and Event Services at NATPE; Alicia Schiro, Events and Catering Manager at J Walter Thompson; Kassidy Bird at Uncaged Events; Kadri Soerunurk at Dine in Dark; Donna Kastner, Expo/Sponsor Sales & Activation at Velvet Chainsaw; Aubrey Sendra, event manager at UCLA conference services; Yvonne McNair, Special Events and Marketing at Captivate Marketing Group; Niclole Matthews, event concierge at The Henley Company; Jessica Geiszler, event planner at Stellar J Productions; Julie Robertson, Director of Strategic Accounts at Spear One; Jenny Powers, founder at Running with Heels;


Human Magnetism

PeopleMagnetSuperpower Description
Ever since you were struck by lightning while reading How to Win Friends and Influence People, you have become a human magnet. Rather than attracting metal objects, however, you've developed the remarkable ability to attract people. You're fun to be around and people thoroughly enjoy your company.

Your ability to build strong relationships with clients as well as suppliers make you an invaluable asset to any event planning organization that wants to build its business. Not only that, but since people tend hold you in high esteem, it will generally be easier for you to negotiate with them should problems surface (as they often do).

Your Kryptonite
Your magnetic powers grow the more time you spend with people, especially when that time is spent among like-minded individuals. Your powers diminish, however, when you're assigned tasks that don't involve human interaction. Be sure to maximize opportunities doing the former and minimize the latter.

Notable Event Professionals With this Superpower:

Janis Ross, Executive Director at Eugene Cascades & Coast; Dennis Shiao, Director of Product Marketing at INXPO; Hugh Robertson, CEO at RPM Marketing Agency; Liz Lathan, Event Marketing Director at Dell; Tahira Endean, Director at Cantrav; Liz King, CEO at Liz King Events; Samantha Bowerman, President at Strategic Meetings Group; JoAnn Gregoli at Elegant Occasions; Rudy Garza, VP at Spear One;

Photo Credit: Nigel Lamb

It turns out there are a lot of parallels between direct mail copywriting and the seduction techniques you learn while dating -- one major one being what you don't say can make you appear more intriguing and desirable. 

As Francine Prose writes in Reading Like a Writer, "[…] dialogue usually contains as much or even more subtext than it does text. More is going on under the surface than on it. One mark of [badly] written dialogue is that it is only doing one thing, at most, at once."

Although it goes without saying, you don't want your copy to be unethical. You certainly don't want to omit facts for the sake of misleading someone. In the dating world this would be like omitting such necessary facts as, "I'm actually married." In direct marketing, it might be lessening dangerous outcomes, such as, "This product is made of carcinogenic materials -- no biggie."

Direct Mail Techniques & Event Marketing Campaigns

Seduction is even more applicable if your direct mail piece is promoting an event. Event marketing with the right invitation or direct mail piece should convey just enough information to entice -- but not so much that it runs the risk of appearing formulaic. It should keep the prospect on familiar ground with just enough enticement to be compelling. 

You've got limited room to communicate in a direct mail piece, so it's just as important to consider what you don't say as what you do say. What are you implying? Where are you leading your prospects?

Are you irresistible? Or, as Sally Hogshead asks, are you fascinating?

How can you master the unspoken in your direct marketing for events? Here are some crucial areas to examine. Master these, and you'll harness the larger task -- communicating the unspoken.

Who Are You Inviting? Who Is Your Ideal Prospect?

Defining your ideal prospect is a fundamental, so don't make the common mistake of glossing over it and not taking the time to clearly define the best person for your event.

A friend of mine is on a mission to get married. She has compiled a list of ideal qualities in her mate, taking inspiration from Amy Webb's book, Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match. My friend has adopted Webb's system of scoring qualities for a minimum score to avoid wasting time with people who don't make the cut.

Similarly, you should be as granular as possible about the preferences and aspirations of your targeted customer. Narrowing your focus and writing to "one person" assists you in writing the best copy. To be seductive on a date, it works well to speak using the words they would choose; the same is true when you're approaching your direct mail prospect. Every Don Juan knows nothing is sweeter than the sound of your own name whispered in your ear...

Does Your Prospect Understand Your Reference?

In dating you might casually joke using a favorite line from a movie or music you enjoy, curious if the other person "gets it." If they do, you instantly have a common interest and shared experience. That begins the bonding process.

Similarly, in direct mail think of your ideal prospect. If you reference an event, a time period, or specific set of circumstances, where is this most likely to lead your prospect's mind? One small reference can invoke a larger, shared experience. The value of using this reference is to build credibility and familiarity, or, in another word, to bond.

Be clear about the references you choose and what, specifically, you'd like the reference to conjure up in the mind of your prospect. Will the reference underscore your seriousness? Will the reference spark memories of fun times? Be very, very selective. The right reference will skyrocket your response rate, while the wrong one will leave your prospect cold.

Are You Likeable?

As the old saying goes, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" -- which is to say, are you likeable?

When your direct mail or invitation copy contains an upbeat, friendly, and trustworthy tone, you, as the direct marketer, benefit in several ways. One of the primary benefits is that prospects relax. When they relax and find you trustworthy they naturally "fill in the blanks" -- which is to say, they'll start generating their own reasons for continuing a relationship with you, whether it is to continue reading your sales letter or opening your email newsletters.

Be likeable enough to make the pitch immediately, but, barring that -- after all, some people don't just jump into action right away! -- at least be likeable enough to start the conversion process. Research is the start of the process. Inspire your prospects to dig further for the facts about the event you're promoting.

So, brush up on your seduction skills. Mastering the unspoken in your event marketing campaigns is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audiences and drive action. Connection is just a few hot breaths away from conversion.

Katie McCaskey is a freelance journalist who writes for, the official provider of Vistaprint coupon codes for customized direct marketing products for small businesses across the globe. Katie is also an author and co-owner of a grocery and café in Staunton, Virginia.