In Your Event Planning Era? What Taylor Swift Can Teach Us All About a Well-Executed Event

In a world where entertainment is abundant and attention spans fleeting, what sets Taylor Swift’s events apart from the rest?

It’s not just the sound of the music (though undeniably catchy), the impressive lights and stage set, or the adrenaline rush of being in a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people.

Every single Taylor Swift show is a 360 experience that leaves fans craving more.

Taylor is more than a performer and icon; she’s a master of operational excellence. At the heart of her success lies an unwavering commitment to delivering the best she has to offer, every single time.

Behind the scenes, there’s a method to the madness: one that prioritizes her audience and every element of how they feel in her presence.

Here are a few things we can learn about operations planning from Taylor Swift.

Prioritizing the guest experience above all

From friendship bracelets to hand hearts, Taylor has turned her fans into a tight-knit community, creating a sense of anticipation and excitement through theming. Taylor knows how to make each person feel special — a skill that only seems to grow the more success she experiences, proving that you don’t need to be in an intimate venue to connect with your audience. There are always ways to keep your guests top-of-mind, even as your operations scale.

Using authenticity as an unbeatable edge

Taylor Swift proves that being your authentic self will never go out of style. She embraces her evolution, fully owning whichever era she’s in, and invites her fans to join her. This level of radical authenticity fosters unwavering loyalty and trust that sets her apart in a crowded market; it maintains intrigue among her audience and leads by example that it’s okay to do things differently and be bold as long as it’s true to who you are.

From womp womp to wow with experiential programming

Not to be casually cruel in the name of being honest, but being boring is a surefire way to be forgotten, especially with a world of choices. To make an impact, you must ‘wow’ your audience with immersive experiences and unexpected moments. Taylor Swift does this in the form of special guests, adding surprise songs to every set list, and the concept of her “eras” that have turned her shows into cultural moments that transcend time. She consistently surprises and delights.

Again, it comes back to the guest experience; Taylor recognizes that everyone who goes to one of her shows should get the same level of treatment. While the event is made for the masses, these “experiences” are built to be individualized. Each person brings their own self to those moments and sees & feels them differently. When you’ve figured that out, you’ve done something transformative.

Storytelling as the glue that binds

Taylor Swift’s ability to weave a compelling narrative around her events transforms her operations from a checklist to a cohesive experience. When you have a story, you have something for people to talk about and remember. Without a story, an event is just another thing to do; it lacks a throughline that fosters connection, conversation, and the lingering afterglow you want to happen even long after the event ends.

The show must go on

It doesn’t matter how successful or well-versed in enterprise planning you become, no one is immune to severe weather or extreme conditions. Taylor has performed in some intense situations, including torrential downpours and extreme heat. But with a contingency plan in place, she’s able to ensure she goes on with the show, without sacrificing experience. A contingency plan enables a quick response to some of the most unfathomable situations, ensuring that planning for the unexpected is always a priority.

The Showpiece Difference

Taylor Swift is on everyone’s (red) lips right now, but that’s not why we’re excited about what she’s doing. We’re on board the Taylor Train because she represents what the Showpiece Solutions team has been doing since we started: operations planning that orchestrates encore results.

Taylor and her team’s approach to enterprise planning offers invaluable lessons for operations in 2024 and beyond. By prioritizing guest experience, authenticity, storytelling, and innovation, you too can create events that resonate deeply with your audience and leave a lasting legacy.

Ready to toss out the old-school operations playbook and write your own success story? Just say yes, and book a call with us today.

Taylor Swift at 2022 Toronto International Film Festival Red Carpet