The event-planning industry has so far been immune to automation. It relies on human interaction and conference calls—things that cannot be easily outsourced to a machine. The profession is expected to grow by 10 percent by 2024, outpacing the average occupation, in part thanks to the increased visibility of both private and public events. Apps like Pinterest and Instagram have enabled people to scroll through endless visions of what their wedding, political convention, or company holiday party could look like, and planners are often tasked with creating the most realistic version of what people want, given their budgets.
Jennifer Lucio Vargas is the founder and CEO of a communications and events firm in Miami, Florida that targets predominantly Hispanic events. For The Atlantic’s series of interviews with American workers, I spoke with Lucio Vargas about what it takes to put together a large-scale event with thousands of guests, how her job relates to her identity as a Latina, and how social media has changed her clients’ expectations. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Adrienne Green: What inspired you to go into event planning?
Jennifer Lucio Vargas: My background was in public relations (PR), and I was heading up the Spanish-language department for a PR firm. I was exposed to a lot of media rooms and national conventions. I had the opportunity to work with someone who was retiring from her communications and events firm. I went to work with her, and took part in planning a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce convention. It was there that I really realized that I loved the work; it was engaging and it kept me on my toes. From there, I worked as a contractor for that same organization and pretty soon I was working with five or six different clients and realized I could make a business doing this.