Tweak Your Biz » Management » The Good, The Odd And The Quirky: Confessions Of An Events Professional

The Good, The Odd And The Quirky: Confessions Of An Events Professional



If you are in events, PR, media or even marketing, there’s a strong chance you have picked up some useful habits, strange ticks and useful eccentricities along the way.

I have worked on project management, on building sites, inside department store window displays, in exhibition halls, backstage and onstage. It’s affected my world view and made me a pessimistic optimist with a dash of nihilism: I hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and assume it’s probably impossible to make everyone happy.

So I saw a great cool infographic the other day Taken from the Event Manager Blog by Julius Solaris on the personality traits of an Event planner and it made me think about the personality quirks I had developed from my line of work. Every project I did added another layer , another tweak in my skillsets as I learnt along the way.

Here are just a few of the the tell tale signs of an Events person.

Do you see yourself in here somewhere?

  • You have any one or all of these essentials in your handbag or if you are a boy; your rucksack, car etc. betraying your superhero complex and paranaoia: A spirit level, plasters, A tape measure or measuring device, Masking tape, Blu-tack & Cable ties. Spare stockings and probably your dressing table.
  • You are possibly turned on by the latest AV equipment & Technology as much as the prospect of acquiring a shiny new staple-gun?

Onsite

  • You are capable of performing MacGyver levels of Lateral thinking should the situation demand it using rubber-bands, duct tape and a paperclip to resolve complex structural impediments in a display unit, staging area or key structural portion of your venue?
  •  If you are a woman: you have mastered the art of day-to-night cross dressing. You are able to transform from a the butch-look fleece top and jeans to glamour puss cocktail dress in just about any confined space measuring 1.5×1m in the middle of a field if needs be, in less than 20 min.
  • You have multiple phone chargers with you for several brands of mobile phones and a host of other new devices onsite with you at every event?

Related: Master Face-To-Face Marketing: 15 Sources Of Event Management Intelligence

In General

  • You are a detail – holic, verging on OCD and have gone beyond list making to making lists which cross reference other lists. You have been given a mug declaring you love spreadsheets.

You are a walking measuring device

  • You always assume it takes a longer time to do something regardless of what the other person says and if it doesn’t you know you want the extra time to iron out last minute tweaks and glitches.
  • You’ve gotten really good at estimating how long it takes to do something actually and have developed a great internal clock.
  •  You are able to gauge the size of a room in 30 seconds flat  and can guess the maximum capacity of most spaces in a variety of seating styles.

Online

  • You are developing a new obsession with Pinterest – dumping your scrapbook for this new tracking method for your feature ideas, competing events, stakeholders, leads, venues ..you name it.
  •  You have backups for your backup. And your favourite piece of jewelry could possible be that Data key around your neck.
  • You are good at colonizing a cafe and turning it as a mobile office or War room for the next 5 hours. You are able to hot desk like no one else you know.
  •  In the old days you spent loads on directory enquiries, now your smartphone eats up serious amounts of data on site and is App-ed the Nines.
  •  In fact you can’t believe how we coped before the smartphone and then you remembered how you used to lug around that battered and overwhelmed Filofax in the 90s and how it had your whole life in it. In those days  you had on speed dial: Av man, electrician, a printer who works miracles in 24 hours, last minute babysitters, temp agencies and ideally 2 very available men with a van.
  •  The Cloud is your friend. You are eternally in google docs mode or Dropbox – insert your Cloud CRM Application here.

In your personal life

  • You can’t help taking photos of venues and locations instead of your loved ones when on holidays or out for the night
  • You either approach all personal life events be it Christmas shopping or your wedding with a spreadsheet, Gantt chart and guest database cross referenced to the hilt. OR, you probably do it all last minute as you have zero time for your own life.
  • When you do your own wedding, chances are every supplier is also a guest and the bridesmaid was given a spreadsheet on google docs.

Related: Maximising Your Presence At Events – Learning From Eye-Tracking Research

A life lesson

I was prompted to ask myself: Was I drawn to the business because of my pre-existing character traits? Or did this career make me the person I am today? A Chicken and egg syndrome was starting to develop in my head

There are moments when you think habitually that Murphy’s law is the only thing you can count on. But equally important is remembering that it’s not necessarily your fault – Life happens but being prepared is what matters most.

I could do this forever being in events as list making is one of our industry’s forte’s but enough about me – let’s hear what others have to say on the topic…

Do you have your own list of personality traits that work for you in your business? Do share your key personality traits that help you excel in the business!

Do you have a view on my Chicken and egg Syndrome?

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The Author:

Elish Bul-Godley does Content Marketing and Copywriting with Digital Agency Ebow and is a Community Manager and Copywriter for guerrilla festival Bloom Fringe. Also Content Contributor for publications: LeCool Dublin, Tweakyourbiz.com, Furniture News Magazine, NI Business News & Meetingsbooker.com. Co-Founder and Creator of Press Accredited Blog-zine Eurovision Ireland. Elish is also an experienced B2B Events Professional with Retail management, Visual Merchandising, Project management experience. Born in Singapore, now in Dublin having negotiated the associated Cultural changes between East and West. Loves the odd shimmy as a Belly-dance teacher and binges on Sc-ifi in her spare time. Tweet @elishbulgodley http://www.elishbulgodley.wordpress.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.bloggertone.com Niall Devitt

    Thanks for a fun post, Elish! “MacGyver levels of Lateral thinking” lol, lol

  • http://twitter.com/SustainableShow SustainableBuildShow

    Thanks for that – just felt the need to inject something lighter for a change

  • http://twitter.com/TahiraCreates Tahira Endean CMP

    My daughter at 10 had an infographic style list for her own birthday party including a wait list for possible replacement guests. My smartphone has 283 event food photos. I think this is normal. My family no longer asks what needs to be done to get ready when I say I have invited “a few” people over and inevitably about 26 show up. I read other people’s event blogs for fun. On the weekend. I can work anywhere and I believe duct tape can make anything better – you can even make flip flops if needed. Oh dear, I am an event nerd.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elish.bulgodley Elish Bul-Godley

    Then again most mums have on their little finger what most event professionals would kill for. Am very impressed by the daughter’s infographic style list though…i can just see her future wedding in your hands..

  • Scott Lesnick

    As a professional speaker I have the opportunity to speak withevent planners all the time. Elish is correct and ya made me laugh with the MacGyver connection. To have an event of 10-1000+ go off well takes many hats. Producer, director and a host of other rolls to keep all the plates spinning. It’s funny- when the event goes off well (and they usually do), people leave feeling good. For all involved that’s where the satisfaction come in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elish.bulgodley Elish Bul-Godley

    Brilliant – I confess I wanted people to Laugh because when its all in that special organized chaos pre – event all you can do really is laugh! And yes spot on : events are like running mini businesses in themselves – it takes a 360Degree approach to say the least!

  • http://www.ahaingroup.com/ Sian Phillips

    Thanks Fiona. It certainly has been an adventure so far and enjoying it all. And we agree on the people that just don’t get it

  • Mel

    Great post Sian .. Was nodding away here in agreement with everything and sharing your frustration in people that dismiss Twitter. Wasn’t expecting your shout out .. did I not tell you how hormonal I am?! ;-) Honored to call you my best friend and grateful to Twitter for making it happen x

  • http://www.ahaingroup.com/ Sian Phillips

    Oops – forgot the post baby hormones, should have given you a heads up. Glad you like it and definitely grateful to Twitter for the introduction :)

  • Christina Giliberti

    This is a wonderful post Sian. What a journey on Twitter!

  • http://www.ahaingroup.com/ Sian Phillips

    Thanks Christina – there is so much more that has gone on too. Just a snap shot here but hope I’ve covered the important bits :)

  • http://about.me/Lindeskog lyceum1776

    Sian: Congratulations to your milestones! I started tweeting on 11 January 2007. I have “only” done 18,715 tweets. I am often wearing a cap with my Twitter handle, Lyceum.

  • http://www.bizsugar.com/ Heather Stone

    Hi Sian,

    It’s been quite a journey! I think your observations about using Twitter for business and about some of the rules that apply are very sound. One of the things people don’t seem to think enough about when using Twitter is what they want to use it for. For example, are you using it to share your content, to spread your message, or to network? These are three very valid business uses, but I think they all require different strategies.

  • http://www.ahaingroup.com/ Sian Phillips

    Thanks Heather – certainly has been quite a journey :) To be honest personally I’ve never had a strategy for Twitter for myself. As it’s only me it was basically getting my personality across although I didn’t realise that at the time. Though obviously I share all the posts I find interesting too – and basically just chat :) For the business accounts though a strategy has to be followed although it’s always ok to deviate slightly and just chat – Twitter is all about engagement after all.

  • http://www.ahaingroup.com/ Sian Phillips

    You must just be a quiet man :)

  • http://twitter.com/TanneryDungarva The Tannery

    Really good piece Sian – looking forward to seeing you soon at @wdfoodfestival :)

  • http://www.ahaingroup.com/ Sian Phillips

    Thanks Máire and yes definitely looking forward to the Waterford Food Festival

  • http://twitter.com/ballymountaccs Tom Holmes

    Good article Sian – jeekers I have a bit to catch up to your 100k tweets – don’t burn out that Twitter machine!! :)

  • http://www.ahaingroup.com/ Sian Phillips

    Thanks Tom – don’t worry I’ll help you along too :)

  • http://tweakyourbiz.com/ Niall Devitt

    Hi Sian, it’s nice to see someone describe their journey as you have and how Twitter can impact on real life. Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences!

  • http://www.ahaingroup.com/ John twohig

    Well done Sian, 100,000 Tweets wow where do you get the time? Congratulations and a very interesting post.

  • Derbhile Graham

    You put me to shame – I joined in January 2009 as well! Delighted it’s done you so much good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elish.bulgodley Elish Bul-Godley

    Thanks for that! A super overview of the usefulness and social glue that twitter can deliver. It has so many facets to it and I think you did a very presonable job of communicating that.

  • http://www.thesmarttrain.com/ Elaine Rogers

    Congratulations Sian on 100k tweets (actually I just checked, you are now at 167 over 100k) A great story, and wonderful to read your positive experiences with twitter. I think as we use it more and more, people’s innate FOMO(fear of missing out) kicks in and can destroy the “pop in and pop out” experience. It’s so easy to follow up on replies and DMs (using an API or email alerts) without having to scan the timeline constantly.

    And I agree about watching conversations about tv programmes and events, the twitter stream of the hashtag can be more entertaining or informative than the actual event!!

    Here’s to your next 100,000 tweets :-)

  • http://www.ahaingroup.com/ Sian Phillips

    Thank you for your lovely words Paul. And you’re another person I wouldn’t have met if it hadn’t been for Twitter. Looking forward to another lunch soon.

  • http://Martin.Lindeskog.name Martin Lindeskog

    What a fascinating development! I thank the inventors, entrepreneurs and capitalists for bringing these products into the marketplace!

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com/ Sian Phillips

    Thanks Niall. Yes I loved the Jim Carrey video and have saved it to watch when needed :)