I think it’s safe to say we’re all a little sad to see The Oprah Winfrey Show come to the end of its 25-year run. Clearly, Oprah and her team know how to put on amazing events, so the final show was surely something special for a Party Goddess to soak up.
And I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what Oprah has in store for us in the next phase of her media maven superstardom. Borrowing her famous words, “what I know for sure,” is she’ll continue to be an inspiration to women in general, and especially ambitious party goddesses in the making.
So what can an aspiring event industry professional learn from Oprah? This could be a long list, but I’ll keep it short.
- You really can start from the bottom
In an industry where status and who you know can mean so much, sometimes the thought of working your way up from the bottom can seem nearly impossible. But few rags to riches stories match the meteoric rise of Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah is fond of saying, “I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been ‘lucky.’” You talk about getting your big break, but are you ready for it? If not, you might as well get comfortable where you are. You can work your way up from the bottom, but you have to prepare yourself for your rise to the top.
- Personal branding is about how you make people feel
Come on. Who makes you feel more than Oprah. We’ve laughed with her. We’ve cried with her. Spending time in Oprah’s space, even over the airwaves, is like going on an emotional rollercoaster. In a good way. It’s experiential, and leaves us feeling exhilarated, inspired, and buzzing from the thrill.
Carving out your personal brand in the event industry is about showing up authentically, consistently, and in a way that resonates with people. Oprah serves as a model for that.
- Become a media maven
Seriously. If you’re going to make it big in this business, you’re going to have to grab the attention of the media. Whether it’s your small town paper, major news networks, or the blogosphere, get visible. Get noticed. Stand out. Get comfortable in the spotlight, or at least step out of the shade. Oprah leverages the media to the fullest. She became the media. Will you be prepared if the media comes knocking?
As I was thinking about Oprah’s big farewell, I remembered one way her show directly inspired my business. I’ve hosted popular luncheons modeled after Oprah’s “favorite things” show that proved to be excellent local publicity and networking opportunities which resulted directly in new business for The Party Goddess.
What’s one way Oprah has inspired you?