By Joann Buckley Collins

As someone with Irish ancestors on both sides (plus among my in-laws, if you couldn’t tell by my two Irish last names), I’ve heard a proverb or two that was meant to make sense of the world in some pithy way.

Looking down the list on some of the wisest or wittiest, I see many that can apply to the work we do as event professionals. Whichever old Irishman came up with these sayings, I’m sure he didn’t have peer-to-peer fundraising in mind, but let’s put that aside for a minute and mull over these classics and how we can apply them to the work that we do.

☘️ Hindsight is the best insight to foresight.
We’re constantly looking to the things we learned in the past as we develop new plans and event concepts. What worked? What didn’t? Innovation starts with looking backward before you look forward.

☘️ It’s a long road that has no turning.
I’d like to think a route planner came up with this one. Who wants to run in a straight line? A well-planned route can make the miles fly by.

☘️ It’s not a delay to stop and sharpen the scythe.

The extra time you take to secure that stage truss, fix that website glitch, or address your participants’ needs, is not taking away from your ability to stay on schedule, it’s helping you do that.

☘️ You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.
Stop thinking and start doing!

☘️ Don’t fear an ill wind if your haystacks are tied down.
“Tie down your haystacks” with contingency plans and safety protocols.

☘️ The longest road out is the shortest road home.
This is another one I’d like to credit to a route planner. Put the difficult part at the beginning, and the route back will seem like a breeze.

☘️ A good beginning is half the work.
Most of what makes a good event happens before a single participant steps foot on site.

☘️ May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.
Surely this is an ode to good signage.

☘️ A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.
After a long day building an amazing event for our participants, I know for sure laughing and sleeping (and perhaps a beer shared with colleagues) help wipe away the stress and exhaustion.

☘️ May the cat eat you, and may the devil eat the cat.
I have no idea what this means or how it might apply to events.

☘️ Sunshine always follows rain.
And hopefully, what follows a pandemic is a ray of sunshine for the event world, as we create new and exciting event concepts for a community starved for connection.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Sláinte!

 

A graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Southern California, Joann Buckley Collins has been writing and implementing communication strategies for nonprofits for more than 20 years. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and a mischievous cat. You can find Joann on LinkedInTwitter and Instagram.

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