Q&A: Clarke Allen, Owner of CenterStage@NoDa and Clarke Allen Events

Q&A: Clarke Allen, Owner of CenterStage@NoDa and Clarke Allen Events

By Stephanie Davis Smith, September 13, 2016

Are you saying meeting planners are like storytellers?

We are all inundated with content, but planners are content creators now—and companies are as well.
If you can weave the [client’s messaging or branding] story into the event design, attendees will have a higher degree of retention. We’re all so engaged in electronic communication these days that [some attendees] don’t know how to network. They are longing for high touch in a high-tech world. I created a Malcolm Gladwell-esque Six Degrees of Separation icebreaker concept [for another client]. Everyone had to say which celebrity they are six degrees separated from. We had all these people engaging with each other and revealing wacky answers.

Who would your six degrees of separation be? Maya Angelou?

[Laughs] Yes, I did an event for Mrs. Angelou and asked her, “What is the one emotion you want people to leave with from your event?” She said, “Joy.” Afterward, she dubbed me the “giver of joy” and told me, “You don’t understand the power you have.” It was then I understood the power of what we do as planners.

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