'Flipping the Tin’ podcast episode 5: Musings and Milestones with Professor Joe Goldblatt
You can listen to the full discussion on all platforms through the link below.
We are back with episode 5 and season 1 finale of our podcast ‘Flipping the Tin’ where we chat with industry specialists, policymakers, and conference attendees on the future of events! This time we have a very special guest to discuss the new world of virtual and hybrid events, Professor Joe Goldblatt! He will take us through his theories around events that continued to play a role throughout the pandemic and how to understand them coming out of lockdown and recovery of the event sector.
Professor Joe Goldblatt is, according to John Wiley & Sons publishers “the foremost authority in the world of events” and he held the world’s only professorial chair in planned event studies for ten years at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh Scotland.
His first book was described by President Ronald Reagan’s White House Social Secretary as, “A gift from the master”. He is the author of the first textbook in the field of events management that has been continuously published for 30 years. He is also the author, co-author, and editor of 37 books in the field of events management.
During his career, he produced events featuring President Ronald Reagan, Barbara Bush, Oprah Winfrey, and even Donald Trump. He was the founding president of the International Special Events Society (ISES) (now known as the International Live Events Association) and was the developer of the original Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) international qualification program.
1. You have described the event organiser as a music composer, has this job role significantly changed or become more complex throughout the pandemic and for the future?
PROFESSOR JOE GOLDBLATT: Well when you think, Elisa, of a composer, you think of the person who makes the music, who writes the lyrics, someone who creates the framework for the story, to tell the story. I think the composer is now going to be merged with the maestro, so a good example of that is Leonard Bernstein who wrote West Side Story and On The Town and other great musicals and classical music pieces. The composer's tone, tempo, the key will be elevated by the emotion and passion of the maestro and so I think you’re going to see that merger through online events. The hybrid system of events of composer and maestro because at some time the maestro will have to change the tempo, he or she might have to change the tone. They might have to change the key, in order to effectively communicate with their event audience.
2. You have been quoted saying that the more things change the more things remain the same. And that modern communications such as email and social media are more collisions rather than collaborations. Has your opinion on this changed in light of the pandemic?
PROFESSOR JOE GOLDBLATT: Well we certainly began with the invention of the internet and the development in the 1990s with collision. I’ll never forget sitting in my home office in 1993 and I had this dumb box in front of me with a brown screen and some golden letters appearing and it was really just typing back and forth. Then, suddenly a message came in front of me and it was in Chinese. I had my first email from China. I ran into the lounge and I said to my wife “China’s calling!”. That was a collision. I responded, we corresponded for some time but it wasn't a full collaboration. I don’t like the word coordination so often when we talk about events, we talk about coordinating events. I believe in the highest level, such as in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where love is at the pinnacle of the hierarchy of needs. I believe for events that the highest level is collaboration because now it gives us the opportunity long term to stay connected with others that we are communicating with. So for example, a friend of mine that was the vice president in marketing for Microsoft corporation once gave a lecture at Queen Margaret University and I was a professor there. He began by saying to the students they may be surprised he wasn’t using PowerPoint today. So I looked over my shoulder and the students all nodded. They were surprised. He said “you know PowerPoint is one of our biggest products, very important! But what is more important today is you and I and nothing must come in between you and I.” Everything I am sharing with you is on a PowerPoint share deck and I will share it with your professor later. What you are going to experience later today is what we call at Microsoft, an event without end. Meaning that you start the event with a tease, titillation online to arouse excitement, attention from the viewer, the participant.
So much more was said! Interested to know more? You can listen to the full discussion through the link below.