Making Events Matter: A Q&A with Rachel Paige Goldstein
Last year, Matter Unlimited acquired Agent of Change Events, a for-purpose, full service event production company focused on making an impact. Under the leadership of founder and CEO, Rachel Paige Goldstein, it has produced over 120 events including high-profile, game-changing summits, forums, launch events as well as fundraisers and galas which provided a platform to help raise over $70 million dollars for various charities.
We sat down with Rachel, our new Executive Vice President, to learn more about her 25 years of experience in impact-driven event production and vision for Matter’s Events, Curation + Experiential division.
Q. Tell us about the early days of Agent of Change, why did you want to create this business?
I began Agent of Change because I wanted to utilize my event production and networking skills to create a ripple effect of positive change for the world. We became a sought after events partner who could help bring impact ambitions to life, create meaningful experiences and align influencers with the causes they had authentic and deep connections to. It’s been a wonderful 9 years, working across a diverse range of issues from wellness to social justice, women’s rights, education, veterans and so much more.
Q. What have been some of your most memorable projects over the years?
There are so many wonderful memories to choose from! Having the ability to produce events and experiences for impact means you are constantly surrounded and inspired by activists, creators, philanthropists and thought leaders who are bravely leading the way for change.
When I first started Agent of Change, I had the honor of working with His Holiness the Dalai Lama while producing the Newark Peace Education Summit for our client: Tibet House US. I also partnered with Eve Ensler (Vagina Monologues) on the launch of VDAY’s One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women and girls globally and most recently I was honored to work with youth activist Greta Thunberg while producing the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Awards.
Having the Milken Institute as a client for nearly four years has also given me a platform to curate thought-provoking panels at one of the most prestigious and well-regarded annual gatherings. Securing Project Drawdown’s creator, Paul Hawken, as a speaker on three different panels last year was a real highlight given his vital work in the fight for climate change and sustainability of our planet.
Q. What ingredients are necessary to create an event or experience that has true impact?
We begin by listening to the clients vision. Then we design a strategy that can create a meaningful connection to the audience we want to reach, ultimately driving real action. Details matter most and can help elevate an experience from expected, to thoughtful and unique. Execution must be seamless, I call it the A-Z of production within our signature “Production Bible”. This encompasses auction management, audio visual management, budget, catering, design and decor, entertainment, graphic design, host committee management, invitations, permits, publicity, run of show creation, script creation, security, social media, talent, volunteers and so much more.
Q. What do people need to keep in mind when thinking about the sustainability and environmental footprint of their events.
Here are my rules of thumb:
- Always use digital invitations and production documents and save our trees! .
- Always ask catering teams for organic food / plant-based options.
- Always donate leftover food to a homeless shelter.
- Always donate leftover flowers to hospitals.
Q. What excites you most about joining the Matter Unlimited team?
It is so exciting to think about the experiences we create as part of a much bigger ecosystem that can build momentum for the causes we work on. By joining Matter Unlimited, we truly are offering clients expertise and solutions across all the touch points they can make an impact and building effective journey’s for those audiences together.
I have been running my own company for 9 years, so it is such a blessing to have a highly experienced team of like-minded, passionate, hardworking professionals who will help expand the impact I’ve always dreamed of.