Jennifer Winn is the owner of and national event planner for Dallas-based Winn Events LLC, an event planning and management company specializing in working with nonprofit and "cause-centric" organizations.
What attracted you to the nonprofit event sector? I saw a need for it, back when we started the company in 2004. There are lots of nonprofits, like church groups, for example, that have never planned events before. I find such groups rewarding, because they have a purpose that they're working toward. Corporate and training events may help you grow knowledge-wise, but then you forget it after a few days. With nonprofits, the life change is more impactful and long-lasting.
What's different about a cause-centric event? The speakers and entertainment tend to be motivational, often spiritual. There might be a band that starts it off, followed by a period of worship. And for nonprofits, there are very specific aspects of education, such as grant making, that benefit a wide variety of these organizations. Ultimately, the focus of these events is to capture the audience and to meet them wherever they're at. And I believe in that.
What is your favorite part about planning? I love the logistics -- being out at an event, helping to run it, working with bands and speakers, and making sure the attendees have a great experience. That's where I really thrive.
And your least favorite? Marketing. Trying to get the word out is not my favorite thing.