A Day In My Life
The life of an events planner is a varied one but what actually goes into delivery memorable events? Here, I share a typical events day (it includes coffee and wine).
First… coffee. I only have one a day and I seek out the best one I can find. Having spent 18 months in Melbourne in 2010 I learnt the art of a good coffee and its wondrous effects on getting the day going! Too many send me a bit jittery so I know my limits – one good one sets me up for the day.
On route to the venue I go through emails to check if there have been any updates or changes. The journey is also a chance to go through the schedule again in order to get a clear vision of the day and work out where my priorities lie in the set-up. It also allows me to formulate solutions to any potential issues and think about any watch-outs.
As an event manager, I am the link between the client, suppliers, guests and staff, so establishing and maintaining good relationships with all parties throughout is paramount to the success of the day. My role is also to make people feel at ease at a time when they can be at their most stressed.
Relationships are really important and it’s really worth getting to know suppliers so they feel connected to the day. It can be quite isolating sometimes for suppliers so getting them on board helps to lift the atmosphere of an event. Sharing info and having clear and concise briefings enables everyone in working towards the scheduled goals. The more info shared the smoother things tend to be.
Keeping tuned in to the client throughout is key as all sorts of things might change from their side - particularly with the corporate side of the events world. It’s not rare that in conferences and top-line meets, timings and schedules can change in a heartbeat and my role is to transition this as calmly and smoothly as possible (externally anyway!)
An hour or so before the guests arrive it’s all about the detailing. I make sure that no stone is left unturned or that anything compromising the client’s vision is overlooked. It’s about putting yourself in the mind-frame of the client so you can spot any issues before they become apparent to your client.
Making sure that things happen on time is crucial to a successful event. It’s so easy to let things slip a little and clients can change things last minute but you have to remember that there is more to get through than time allows and you really don’t want to miss anything out.
Atmosphere and flow
Now it’s up and running, it’s about making sure that everything flows from one thing to the next seamlessly. Reacting to changes or using your initiative to react to a slump in the mood can often save the day. Lighting is one of my bugbears – it can make or break the feeling of a space. My friends think I’m a nightmare when we’re out as I’ll often chose to walk to another pub if the one I’m at has got the big light on!
You can plan an event but you can’t plan for every obstacle that might present itself on the day. But that’s the fun of it right?! And that’s where my knowledge and experience comes in as trust me, I’ve pretty much seen everything. Anyone that has worked in the industry will know that nothing is plain sailing but it’s the quiet resolve that makes it all the more satisfying!
Once, I ran a fundraising dinner and the host was so pleased he said, “it ran so well and it was so well orchestrated, it was like watching a ballet." Swan Lake sprang to my mind, all of us gliding around whilst kicking like mad underneath to make it look effortless.
I love project-based work and the events world gives me the chance to exercise all of my skills in organising, creativity, finance and most of all – people.
Once the day is done. A nice glass of red please!
Can I help organise one of your events? Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org