Members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2020 already have proven to be leaders, putting their own mark on the business events industry. Robert Lutz, account executive at CSI DMC in Chicago, shares his thoughts about the industry.
What do you like most about your job?
Creativity is everywhere. No event or program is ever the same and as a planner/account executive, I am able to pull inspiration from a variety of outlets like architecture, art, music, entertainment, and the latest trends in society. The most invigorating part about working in the events industry is if you can dream it, you can create it. The sky is truly the limit. At CSI, we cover a broad range of cities and I’m able to work with our teams to customize and tailor each experience based on the destination, client preferences, and event venue. Each design starts with a blank canvas and over time gets painted into a true work of art.
What do you like most about the industry?
The events industry is constantly evolving — not only the content but also the people involved. There will always be a new market trend or individual you meet that will challenge you and keep you on your toes. I’ve learned from the events I’ve worked on and peers I’ve worked alongside to always keep an open mind and not to focus too narrowly on any component. There’s no feeling quite like opening an email or design book containing something you’ve never imagined. It drives you to keep discovering and exploring the industry both on a personal and event-related level. Events and personal achievements grow simultaneously with help from those around you.
What’s one — or more — event trends you have your eye on?
Augmented reality is the latest trend that has me searching for more opportunities to utilize in a variety of ways. Our company’s business cards take viewers on a journey through an augmented reality app, showing video footage from past events and experiences we’ve crafted over time. I’ve seen this high-tech touch utilized on cocktail coasters, in conjunction with video mapping and through a variety of interactive stations at events. I will admit, I’m personally not the most tech-savvy individual (you can ask my colleagues) but the thing I love most about this trend is that it asks the question, “What’s next?” Technology is one element that continues to mold into various forms. Soon, that augmented reality will be taken to a different scale and events will make people experience another destination or realm using all senses, allowing them to travel within the vicinity of your event.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
The beautiful thing about this question is that no matter how I answer it, the future will never be exactly how I envision. Every milestone leading up to this very moment has come from a series of unexpected events, adventures, successes, learning experiences, and — most importantly — growth. That aside, I see myself continuing in my role designing even more events of various scales all over the globe and taking part in the opening of new office locations to drive business to even more cities. CSI has provided a supportive platform for me to apply my skillset and passion in destinations throughout the nation, as well as help open new markets. I hope to pass that same guidance along to the next generation of pioneers. I sincerely appreciate the mentorship this industry offers, and it will only continue to grow with the passing of the torch. I plan to meet countless more inspiring leaders and serve as a mentor for anyone looking to discover their path in events. The world comes full circle, and we wouldn’t be here today without the people around us.
Members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2020 will be recognized on stage at PCMA Convening Leaders 2020, Jan. 5-8, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Check out the complete program and register for Convening Leaders today.