Special events pop quiz - Keeping up with..."The Media"

With the Academy Awards fresh on our minds and all of the hoopla over the latest internet dance craze I started to think about how important pop culture and news is to the special events industry.  Event professionals understand the value of paying attention to the latest event trends and fads but  just how closely should you pay attention to pop culture and news?  Is it important to keep up with the Kardashians? Develop an organizational chart of Hollywood affairs? Sit in front of the television all day and flip from ESPN, to Food Network, to CNN, to MTV to Bravo?

Extra Extra

Being an event professional requires you to be knowledgeable about so many topics it’s essential that you pay close attention to the highlights of the media landscape and make yourself aware of notable news in the music, food, entertainment, sports, political and cultural genres.  Often time event trends and ideas come from what’s currently being discussed in the media.  For this week’s post I developed a quick current event / pop culture quiz to help determine how closely you are paying attention.

Take a minute and read through these questions.  The answers are at the bottom of the post. 

#1 – Which NHL hockey team’s impressive record is icing the competition?

#2 – What is the name of the Cuban Senator from Florida that has become the new voice of the GOP?

(Hint:  He spoke after President Obama’s State of the Union address and was REALLY thirsty)

#3 – Who is the Chicago media icon to recently be named president of local broadcasting for Tribune Co.?

#4 – What movie just won BEST PICTURE at the 2013 Academy Awards?

#5 – Can you name one band in the top ten of Rolling Stone’s weekly top 40 album list?

#6 – What was the cover story of the Chicago Sun Times today?

#7 – Do you know the name of the new restaurant / bar hot spot that restaurateur Billy Dec just opened with a 4am liquor license?

#8 – What is South African Olympic runner, Oscar Pistorius, being accused of?

#9 – Who is hosting the next live episode of Saturday Night Live?  Who is the musical guest?

#10 – Why are so many Cardinals of the Catholic Church flying to Italy?

Knowing the exact answers to these questions off the top of your head isn’t important to every event organizer.  It is important, however, to “stay on the pulse” of current news, trends and media.  At the very least you might find yourself networking and making small talk at an event you produced or are attending.  Simply having the ability to carry on a conversation about what’s going on in the world around you is all you need to make a good impression.

I encourage you to subscribe to a blog, buy a magazine, read a newspaper, watch television and go to the movies.  Inspiration comes in many forms and keeping a close eye on the media is one of the best ways to develop interesting ideas that lead to excellent events.

(1)  Your Chicago Blackhawks ( 2)  Senator Marco Rubio  (3) Larry Wert  (4)  Argo  (5)  Tegan & Sara just got added to the top ten, have you heard of them? They’re good.  (6)  Changes every day, check it out  (7)  Ay Chiwowa!  (8)  Murdering his girlfriend (9)  Comedian Kevin Hart and musical guest Macklemore (10) To elect a new pope.

9-10 correct = You know your stuff; way to keep up

7-8 correct = You focus on the important news

4-6 correct = You glance at the newspaper stand when you walk past

3-5 correct = Keeping up with the Kardashians is more fun!

0-2 correct = Paying attention to news / pop culture ain't your thing

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    Neal Heitz

    If I could print uber truthful business cards, my title would be: “19 year old dream crusher” or “fantasy job reign-er-inner” but as it stands College Instructor of Special Events is the official printed title. This illustrious title was secured by a long career which has included: 1.) Organizing games of hide-n-seek that spanned two continents (well not really, but when you’re a kid two blocks can certainly seem like two very separate continents) 2.) Wrapping cornstalks for a Fall Pumpkin Festival without the help of step-by-step instructions posted on Pinterest. 3.) Frying chicken for every graduation, communion and confirmation party on the south side of Chicago. These formative lessons led me to a career as an Event Planner. With all of this necessary experience I transitioned myself into a College Instructor and found myself perched on a soap box hollering about the one thing I was destined to teach ... Event Planning.

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