Interviews with Planners - Jenna Worrell

Jenna is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Visit Bucks County. She is in charge of helping B2B marketers plan their events! Jenna attends networking tradeshows, works with group, meeting, sport and wedding planners to bring their business into Bucks County. She plans large industry events, such as the annual Visit Bucks County Meeting Planner Event and Visit Bucks County Wedding Show, throughout the county.

What is the best advice you have ever received as a planner?
I think it’s important to envision the ‘big picture’ of an event, but to also visualize and set smaller pictures goals to create a plan of action for implementation. I have learned it is important to take things one step at a time and not have unreal expectations for everything to run perfectly smooth. It’s important to be prepared for something to go not as anticipated.

What is the most unique location you have ever planned an event at? What was great, what was challenging? 
I recently planned a public event at a local college. The most challenging part was working with a venue that did not have catering, nor an event staff on-site to help plan and host the event. Not only was my job to put together all of the content and programming of the event, but also all of the logistical pieces. It was a great venue space for the event and suited the needs to reach consumers, but working with an in-house team would have alleviated some of the challenges faced. This was the first time we brought back this event in five years so estimating the turn out for a free event open to the public was a challenge. It’s very important to consider crowd control, signage direction, and other safety factors for the event.

What advice would you give to someone entering the business today?
Experience is everything. I think getting your hands dirty in the industry is the best way to prepare yourself for this business. Relationships are everything, so making meaningful connections in the early onset of your career will pave the road to success.

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What do you see as the most challenging aspect of being a planner, and how do you overcome that challenge?
One of the most challenging aspects of being a planner is handling so many different opinions – the phrase “you can’t please everyone” comes into play here. To handle this, we have an events-based committee of like-minded individuals to discuss the event throughout the various planning stages.

How do you think our industry will evolve in the next five years?
I think e-marketing will be even more prominent than ever and tradeshows and networking events will fizzle out as we enter a more digital age.

What makes you successful as a planner?
The ability to remain calm, prepare for imperfections, seek alternatives, think proactively, and be organized, creative, imaginative, and make the event something memorable for all involved. Own the event – make it yours!

In your opinion, what is the best and worst industry trend of the year?
I think the best industry trend is creating events to be an overall “experience” that leaves guests wowed and with a distinctive memory. I think with the increase in technology, there is less of a ‘need’ for event attendees to physically go to an event, when they have access to everything with the internet right at the tip of their fingers.

What is the best industry book that has helped you as a planner?
I wouldn’t say a particular book but being a member of affiliations, organizations, and companies, and just being included on their industry e-mails and threads has been extremely valuable to grow in the business. It’s helped me learned current news, trends, and happenings in the industry.

Jenna Worrell
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Visit Bucks County
Affiliations and Memberships:
MPI - Philadelphia Chapter, local business chambers, HSMAI, DI

Lead in picture Snow at Fonthill Castle courtesy of Visit Bucks County.

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