2020 has been a YEAR. In the midst of a global pandemic, an election, murder hornets, and more, a bright spot for our team has been the arrival of two tiny new members of the Event 360 family. As new parents to our first kids, we have bonded over baby photos, product recommendations, and several sleepless midnight sanity checks. As our four- and eight-month-olds continue to grow, thrive, and keep us on our toes, we have come to the following conclusion: Raising an infant is a lot like producing an event. While the specifics may be a little different, here is our top ten:
#10. Thorough planning and a clear vision of success is key.
While you certainly cannot plan for every situation, having a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and so-on is critical for successful live events. Similarly, once you realize you have forgotten the diaper bag and have no back up plan, it is usually too late…preparation is essential.
#9. You have to be flexible.
For many events, the show goes on, rain or shine. Unexpected forces like weather can disrupt the day, but a skilled event planner is ready to adjust on the spot. So, your newborn likes a pacifier on Wednesday, you buy five of them on Thursday, and he/she immediately cries at the sight of the pacifier for seemingly no reason on Friday? Yep, been there, time to get creative — the show must go on.
#8. You take a lot of photos.
Whether you are capturing load-in and load-out or stage set-up for production purposes or are sharing photos across social media for those watching at home, live events and photography go hand-in-hand. Especially during a pandemic, friends and family crave baby photos and videos. You thought social media followers were sometimes ruthless with their live event feedback? Try telling Grandma she’s not getting any grandbaby photos that day.
#7. You have to adjust your budget.
Minimizing unanticipated expenses is an important component of event production and execution, but inevitably, some unplanned purchases must be made for the event to be successful. While one may plan to adhere perfectly to a budget as far as baby products, formula, diapers, and wipes, we have first-hand experience that sleep deprivation and a solid recommendation from a seasoned parent may make you rethink how much you planned to initially invest on that highchair.
#6. The call times are EARLY…and sometimes without coffee.
There is nothing like waking up at 3:00 a.m. on event morning, strapping on your headlamp, and heading out to construct a start/finish line truss before dawn. A 3:00 a.m. wakeup call is sweeter by the light of a nightlight, even if your needy client is screaming at you.
#5. A solid playlist is critical to participant satisfaction.
Up on the stage, the right mix of an upbeat and inspirational music playlist is a must-have, and the only time you want complete silence is if it is a planned moment of inspiration from your speaker. At home, our little ones need the right blend of baby-friendly lyrics and engaging rhythms (thank you Rockabye Baby! for your lullaby renditions of Elton John, Hamilton, and Pitbull that keep us sane too) mixed with a solid white-noise machine. Who knew that sudden, complete silence was a sure way to wake up a sleeping baby?
#4. You have to stand while you eat.
If you’ve worked an event, you know that you have to power your body with food, but there is no time for a well-planned, creative, sit-down meal. Sometimes, refueling with a granola bar, banana, and sports drink can give you the edge you need to keep performing at your highest level. Our little ones seem to have perfected making their dissatisfaction be known the second we sit down at the kitchen table, so we often channel that “on-the-move” meal plan with our babes in tow.
#3. Never forget your event day gear.
On event morning, we are never without our Leatherman multi-purpose tool, event book, radio, and sunscreen. Somehow, the gear needed for staffing a 20,000-person concert fits in a pocket or fanny pack. Conversely, keeping a twenty-pound human being clean, dry, warm or cool, clothed, and entertained can only be accomplished with a pack more similar to one you’d take as you scale Everest.
#2. Reaching a goal makes all of the craziness worth it.
Nothing beats the moment you reach a goal — whether it be raising a certain amount of money for a mission, safely getting five thousand participants across a finish line, creatively pulling off a new, COVID-compliant event concept, or seeing your little one learning, thriving, laughing, and smiling when they realize Mama or Dada is there.
#1. You have to deal with a lot of sh*t.
Working parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, what is missing from our list? And if you have any must-have sleep advice for a four- or eight-month-old, slide on over into our DMs.
In his 16 years with Event 360, Jake Geiger has delivered exceptional event experiences from the planning phase all the way through to implementation. Specializing in complex event operations, Jake also works with local sites, jurisdictions, EMS, police and fire to ensure our sites and safety planning are top notch.