Jean Winter shares insights on high profile event trends
In an ever-changing world, event planners have proven versatile when the need arises. They quickly adapt to the changes in circumstances to ensure they meet the needs of their clients. Ensuring the immense success of an event requires more than just adding the names of a few celebrities to a list.
Jean Winter is the owner of Jean Winter Events Management which operates in the niche area of high-profile events. “Successful high-profile events demand immense experience if we as planners and managers are to ensure everything is perfect. Besides the right skills, event planners need to rely on equipment and venues that meet the standards expected by the clients, whether these are celebrities, organizations, charities, etc.,” says Jean.
“Many things have changed over the last 18 months, but as an event manager, my job is to find solutions,” adds Jean. She continues, “Some trends adopted in the last two years are definitely here to stay.”
Customization and personalization of events
Even high-profile events are smaller now than ever before. With fewer people willing to travel and restrictions on the number of people attending events, hybrid events have become extremely popular. Even the Academy Awards capped their attendance capacity at 170 people from the usual 3,000, and we all watched Anthony Hopkins accept his award virtually.
This has given rise to the need for hybrid events which include both face-to-face guests and virtual guests. Thanks to the technology available, it is easy to create a virtual experience. Often events start virtually and finish in-person with a pre-event.
Virtual engagement is another important trend that cannot be ignored. People need to connect and engage, especially if they are attending a hybrid or online event. Online networking is very easy to achieve through social media groups, apps, and web portals.
Overnight, we have turned into a touchless society, something which has created a whole market for contactless everything, from scanning event participants to digital payments, pre-registration apps for guests, contactless food services, and seamless communication of event details.
“Communication is vital to the success of any event. As an event manager, I know that it’s important to notify the attendees of high-profile events with all the details. However, these guests hate to be bombarded with all kinds of messages and emails. In the UAE, emails are the most professional way of communication, but in other countries, WhatsApp is proving very popular.”
This comment from Jean Winter proves that everyone needs to find a communication style that suits their client preference, ensuring they receive important data about events.
A trend that is set to stay with us for a while is smaller events. As a result, there is a bigger demand for smaller venues, and especially those with outdoor spaces. According to Jean Winter, this gives event planners and organizers more customization options and greater creativity when it comes to the décor.
Entering an exciting field
Jean Winter gained her experience as a planner because of her love for cooking. Growing up in Singapore, Jean’s Peranakan heritage exposed her to the preparation of home-cooked meals for their large family and frequent dinner parties.
She recalls: “I was always the only child helping with the preparations in the kitchen, the others were all outside playing. There I was preparing vegetables, prawns, or pounding spices, but I was too busy having fun to complain. I loved the different smells, colors, and textures of everything we were preparing.”
After several years as a career woman, Jean and her British husband, Andrew, moved to Italy. Here Jean fell in love with the passion the Genovese have for buying and combining their lovely local ingredients to create memorable meals. Her love for cooking reemerged, and a few years later, while living in Geneva, Jean became a private chef. This was the start of her successful business called Jean’s Private Kitchen, and Jean was soon hosting dinners for many celebrities in her own home and abroad.
Today, Jean Winter and her family live in Dubai. Despite being a busy mother of two lovely girls, Jean is the owner of several businesses, the consultant for the Singapore Pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai, an angel investor, and is serious about the causes she supports. In 2019, she was the organizer of “Crazy Rich Asean”, a unique, high-profile event held at the Residence of the Singapore Ambassador to celebrate the traditions of seven SE Asian countries and some of their designers.
High-profile event trends have changed, but successful organizers have embraced the changes, taking the opportunity to offer clients and attendees exciting celebrations.
Story by Virginia Sagal