If you haven’t seen Lindsey Rosenthal of Events for Good on Pinterest, then you’re missing out on an event professional who knows how to work the hottest social media site. During our interview, Lindsey, a successful fundraising strategist and event planner advises event professionals how to use Pinterest for their meetings and events; she does a great job marketing her own skills as an event planner through her creative boards and pins. Read our interview below and learn tips on creating Pinterest boards for planners:
[Me]: You’ve been very proactive in joining the new social site, Pinterest. How do you use Pinterest as an event professional and for your own business?
[Lindsey]: Proactive? More like an addiction! I’ve been using it for several months now and it has really given me the creative outlet I’ve been looking for. As planners, we are expected to cover a lot of ground with our clients, from plain logistics to financial management, event technology, risk management, and of course, event design. I struggle sometimes with putting design ideas into words and sometimes it is just much easier to capture through visual media. I have always been a proponent of inspiration boards, a tried and true resource used by many wedding planners, but the concept is rarely used for other types of events. This is an even simpler way to do that. Having a clear design (not just decor) is as important as any other component of an event. Pinterest allows me to express myself, concentrate on creativity, and learn from others, including peers as well as outside the industry. Right now I use Pinterest to gather ideas on all sorts of topics, from design elements for events to business and personal branding.
[Me]: What kind of things are you pinning? What do your boards look like?
[Lindsey]: I pin all sorts of things! I have several boards tackling events and events design, from my bread and butter, fundraising events, to themes, event collateral, food and beverage, and venue spaces. I also have highlighted practices for doing good and have a “living” resume. If a potential client finds my profile and my resume board, they will be able to click on links showing examples of my work, press coverage, and articles where I have been quoted or interviewed.
It’s hard for me to name a favorite, but I do have a few I just love adding to: Hot-els!, which features some of the most interesting and beautiful hotels on the planet; Coloring Book, which helps me gather thoughts for color combinations in design; Kid stuffs for grownups, a collection of traditionally kid-focused food and drink recipes incorporating alcohol; and The Ultimate Bacon Board, an assortment of funny bacon products.
(a pin on Lindsey’s Kids stuffs for grownups board)
[Me]: What do you hope to accomplish from pinning or is it purely fun?
[Lindsey]: Both! It started out as any other new tool: I was just testing it to see what it could accomplish with it in any part of my life. Over time I learned how to create better boards, determine which images to pin, and integrate it into my professional endeavors. I also helped a friend planning her wedding curate ideas through a collaborative board. It gave me the opportunity to see what she was thinking and give suggestions without being overbearing.
I see so many possibilities in the future. Pinterest announced recently that they will eventually have private boards and private collaborative boards, which means that a planner could collaborate directly with a client or with partners to shape a vision. With a little bit of tweaking, their search could become a much more compelling tool for finding specific images. And being able to clip images from the web to pin to boards via the Pin It button is pretty terrific. And, as I said before, it’s become quite an addiction! I already have 34 boards, 2,600 pins, and 1,650 likes!
[Me]: Have you bonded with new connections over pinning each other’s items? If so, how?
[Lindsey]: I have! Especially those who I have seen or heard of on other networks, but haven’t had the chance to get to know. Repinning or commenting on images posted by connections have led to full-blown conversations, follows on Twitter and Facebook page likes. I use my board, It’s for you, to pin items that I think specific followers would like and I mention others in pins that might interest them on a regular basis.
[Me]: How could other event planners benefits from using Pinterest? How often do you suggest people ‘pin’?
[Lindsey]: Visualizing your ideas can make a big difference in how well you plan an event. Pinterest has helped me to find and make new connections, learn from the work of other planners, and include design inspiration from other industries into my projects. Event planners can use it to illustrate their thoughts and compile a vision for client events. It can help you speak volumes to vendors you may work with, such as florists, designers, caterers and printers. And event professionals across the board can add the “Pin This” button to their own websites to publicize their hard work and ideas. I visit Pinterest almost every day, but some days I pin 30 times and others I don’t pin at all. I think it’s a growing phenomenon and you should start at whatever amount of time feels comfortable. Once you have started, you might not be able to stop!
A quick remark to address the concerns about Pinterest that some planners have voiced: there are issues when using any tool, especially social media tools, regarding copyright and terms of service. However, I think the benefits of this service certainly outweigh the costs. In any case, my recommendation is to credit the original creator(s) whenever you can and never to directly replicate anyone else’s intellectual property.
Lastly, I suggest you connect with Lindsey on Pinterest! You can find all of her pins and boards at http://www.pinterest.com/eventsforgood