Podcast: Passion Projects—Helping Others Build Event Careers, with Sara Gorlick of Rakuten

Event Peeps Sara Gorlick

Sara Gorlick, VP-Events, Rakuten

Starting as an event coordinator in the health care sector, Sara Gorlick discovered an unexpected passion for planning events and conferences. Now, almost 20 years later, Gorlick is vp-events at Rakuten, where she has worked for 14 years. At the tech brand, she moved from event manager to director-global events before becoming an event executive.

Through these various roles, Gorlick has had the opportunity to move to new places around the country and the world (she has yet to return to her Southern California roots), gaining experiences and connections that have helped grow in her career. All of those learnings were essential in developing her book, “Lucky Boxcutter: Learn How to Have a Successful Career in Events.”

In this episode, Gorlick reflects on the one-year anniversary of the how-to book she wishes she had early on in her career, and how she infused her personal anecdotes and “in-a-pinch tips” for aspiring event planners looking to break into the industry. She also takes us through her career journey and offers an honest perspective on how she balances work, family and personal interests.

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Plus, Gorlick reports on the event measurement strategies and tools that she uses to track her events’ impact and ROI, as well as the event and conference trends she’s keeping an eye on this year.

“I think as event planners, you’re always trying to improve upon your last event. And there are so many different technologies that are coming out that are new just even for event planners, like different event apps or name badges,” Gorlick says. “Whether you’re at the same company or not, the industry is always changing. And so in that way also, it feels like it’s a new role every couple of years.”


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