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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
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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