Three Lessons I Learned from David Archuleta

 [Disclaimer: This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit or]

I love my internship. I help manage seven Facebook pages for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My responsibilities include, but are not limited to, creating and curating content, promoting department-wide campaigns and spearheading digital initiatives for the four magazines of the Church. One recent highlight from my job was that I had the opportunity to meet former American Idol, David Archuleta.  

Last month, we had our first ever live Facebook event. David Archuleta just returned from Chile, after serving a two-year LDS mission. The purpose of this Facebook event was to connect Archuleta with youth from around the world. Youth were encouraged to submit their questions on social media using the hashtags #Face2Face and #SUDCaraaCara. Questions were then randomly selected and asked by the moderators. The event was held first in Spanish and then in English. 

Being able to participate hands-on in this event taught me three important lessons about event planning: (1) social media needs to be included in the planning process, (2) to allow your personality to shine, and (3) the importance of working together as a team. 

(1) Think Social From the Very Beginning

When planning any event, whether large or small, one needs to have some sort of  social media component. I know that part of our success can be attributed to the fact that social media was the literal core of our event.

When considering whether or not you want to use social media at your next event, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will be attending this event? What is my audience like?
  • Is my audience on social media? Do they use it frequently?
  • What is my purpose in using social media for this particular event? Will it be mainly used to inform, intrigue and/or engage?

(2) Allow Your Personality to Shine, Have Fun

Although we wanted Archuleta to share his testimony and spiritual experiences of his mission, we also wanted him to show the youth his personality. Archuleta in the Spanish event wasn’t able to express himself as much as he wanted to. By the time the English event came around, Archuleta was cracking jokes and felt very comfortable with his responses.

When you go to an event, or plan one for that matter, be sure to be professional, but don’t forget to have fun.

(3) Never Underestimate The Power of Teamwork

As we were all gathered on the stage at the end, I quickly realized how important each individual was in executing this event. The person who cleaned the stage is just as important as the individual who was responsible for the video production.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much

— Helen Keller

So when you are planning an event in the future, be sure to consider how you could leverage social media, share your personality with others and never underestimate the power of teamwork.

What event planning tips have come in handy for you? Comment below.

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Ethan Parry is 

... a Service Designer + UX Researcher at Hanzo. Parry frequently leads workshops around the world on topics such as Google Design Sprints, UX research, and service design. Parry also teaches UX and service design in several universities and bootcamps in Barcelona.