We posed a question to our staff and the event industry at large via Facebook. The question was, “What is the best lesson you have learned from working events?” The answers were so compelling that we just had to share! No matter what your past experience is with events, these insights are a great read to get yourself in the right state of mind before heading out on an event.
- “Always be flexible, because things can change at any given moment. Always present yourself in a positive way so that any of those unexpected changes appear to be executed flawlessly. —Carol Pratt
- “Remember to take care of yourself — get enough to eat and drink and SLEEP. Even though we are constantly ‘on’ we have to take the time for ourselves, too. Your health is your wealth!” —Molly Corridan Fast
- “Be compassionate! You never know what someone is going through — so even when they’re being unreasonable or nasty, try to respond with kindness.” —Alyssa Curran
- “Connect with your participants. As event pros, you and your colleagues are the wizards who breathe life into an amazing/ memorable/ challenging/ cathartic/ healing/ confidence-boosting/ scary/ important/ thrilling/ emotional/ possibly life-changing experience for someone (and if you’re doing it right, for LOTS of someones). You’ve spent countless hours with your event. You know it intimately, warts and all. But for participants, even the long-timers, it’s ‘other’ to their normal. Take advantage of any small opportunities to share in their experience and see it through their eyes.” —Erin Sutfin De Baets
- “Being flexible and friendly makes for an incredible event!” —Gayla Cruikshank
- “No matter the chaos, slips, misses, insanity that may happen behind the scene, a great team still executes the event and the participants are none the wiser.” —Heather Snyder
- “You can never say ‘thank you’ enough. That applies to co-workers, volunteers, clients and participants. Everyone that is out on an event is working hard at something, and it never hurts to be thankful. You should also remember to be thankful to yourself and take care of yourself on event. Drink water, take five minutes to rest, adjust deadlines so you can be your best and most productive self. I think this applies to everyday life, but is especially important on event!” – Kaleigh Glaza
- “Expect the unexpected and when the unexpected appears, we need to embrace the situation to help us move beyond it.” —Tom Quattrochi
- “Planning is priceless, but no plans are perfect. Stay flexible, ask for help when you need it and accept it when offered, and make time to celebrate once the event is complete.” —Tifani Perez
- “You are capable of more than you could ever know, and you are surrounded by opportunity and FANTASTIC people. There is always something new to learn and someone to learn from, and each event brings a new chance to level up and exceed even your own expectations!” —Janelle Benuska
- “Have a Plan B if you think there is any chance you’ll need it. Then you likely won’t need it, but you’ll be ready if something doesn’t happen as expected, and won’t have to scramble to make adjustments at the last minute.” —Cyrena Hillyard
- “In the words of one of our 3-Day crew members, “be a Slinky,” flexible and ready for change at all times. I have also learned the value of face-to-face interaction with participants. For months, we communicate via phone and email, and being on event is an excellent way to cultivate relationships. This will help to provide an amazing participant experience and bring them back each year.” —Gina Guerreso
- “It is like riding a bicycle, you’re changing gears all the time depending on the road in front of you. So at each point you’re in a different gear and changing and adapting to what is needed.” —Dawn Pratt
- “1. Regardless of what challenges you encounter along the way, there is always a way to make it work. 2. Try to keep the event environment around you as calm, cool and collected as possible. 3. Celebrate your wins and successes with your team!” —Rene Tamayo
See any recurring themes in these messages? Being flexible and adjusting with plans while always remaining friendly and available can be the biggest win once you’re on event. Even if you did all the planning you could possibly think of, change happens, and how you accept that and adjust will make all the difference.
If you have any additional ideas you want to share, click over to the Facebook post and let us know what you’ve learned from your years of experience on events. We’re all always learning from our colleagues, clients and participants. Stay present to these lessons, go forth and make your events seamless and exceptional!