Roger Haskett Featured in PCMA Convene Magazine

Barbara Palmer, Senior Editor for PCMA Convene has written an awesome, very insightful article featuring Roger Haskett about how to taking cues from the theatre world can create a huge impact on meetings and events.

Check out the except below and read the full article here.

Active learning and participatory models increase retention and understanding of what you’re trying to communicate,” he said. “I really believe in rambunctious, disruptive rooms. I believe education is both a product of focus and discipline, which everyone understands, but what most people

Haskett didn’t set out to be “an event guy,” he said. But once he finished theater school and saw that no one was in a hurry to give him acting jobs, he started a company where he could do the kind of performing he most enjoyed. What he was really interested in, he said, was getting in front of people and interacting with them — “which meant that I was going further and further into the event world. I love breaking down barriers. I’m not very comfortable being on stage doing a show where there’s a fourth wall and where the only people you’re ever supposed to interact with are the people on the stage with you.”

Looking back, Haskett was a bit ahead of his time. In the ’90s, “interactivity was actually sort of a bad word,” he said. “People sort of ran away from anything that was interactive.” But he kept at it, working as a film actor as a day job and running his company on the side, because “this is what I love doing.”

His performing career thrived — he taught acting and appeared in more than 150 commercials, TV shows, and movies. But over time, he noticed that his event company, which he “basically ran out of my back pocket,” kept growing and flourishing. Six years ago, Haskett made a decision to switch his focus and concentrate on the company, adding additional employees and services. Since then, his professional life has been “a blur of excitement.” And he’s noticed that his company has become increasingly central to the event-planning process for his clients. He often is brought in, not as a third-party adjunct, “but at the very beginning of a project, to be part of the design team.”

Haskett is betting that the future of the meetings industry will include more artists — not just actors but visual artists. “I don’t mean artists as in on a stage, doing something interesting and then leaving the stage. We’ve had that all along. That’s great and that’s going to continue,” Haskett said. “What I’m talking about is artists in the design element of meetings — artists who are sitting around the table when a meeting is first being discussed. Artists are emotional; they’re able to capture a much larger idea or experience and bring it down to an understandable and identifiable story.
— PCMA Convene