Changing careers with only volunteering experience

I have had a 26-year professional career in the software industry area as a developer/trainer/quality assurance engineer. Recently laid off, I'm looking to change careers and professionally get into the event management field, in which I have been very successful for 13 years, but only from a volunteer perspective. I have created huge, lucrative fundraising events but, again, not "professionally". I have highlighted my accomplishments on my resume, focusing on how I've grown the events over several years, and the skills I bring to the event management role. However, I don't believe I'm getting the traction in the professional world because I haven't had a "paid gig" in the field I'm wanting to enter. Ideally, I would love to land a event manager role in the corporate area, organizing and planning trade shows, internal events, etc. I have been in the corporate world for over 30 years and believe I have the experience and expertise to bring great value in this area. How can I market myself better to get in the door initially? I'm just not receiving the initial invitations. Thanks for any advice.

Hello!In my opinion, you have tremendous experience to finally get paid for all your contributions in the space :) You may want to not focus on the fact that you were not paid for the work you did in event mgmt, but the things you actually accomplished, the skills you built, the network and connections you have created in the space (eg. if a corporation has a big event and the venue falls through two weeks before, someone else might be panicking and falling apart while you might have all the useful connections to put you up with a back up venue, just as an example among many others). So this is a bit cheesy but I'd advise working on reframing your story and hone it better ie. "I worked in the corporate doing XYZ so know very well the demand of the corporate world. I have also worked on the side in the event space doing ABC." Separately, have you ever considered doing a portfolio of events you worked on? Think of it as a showing your specific accomplishment in that space since you bring over a decade of work. And lastly, you should consider getting paid for this ;) like if you help someone run an event, have them pay you something!
Thank you so much iynna for taking the time to respond. I value cheesy and you've given me a different perspective to view my story. I haven't considered pulling together a portfolio of my events. Interesting concept. I'll do some research on that! Thank you!