A former employer of mine continues to host massive events multiple times a year. It’s not unusual for me to hear about former co-workers heading off to see Jay Z or Kendrick Lamar performing a concert exclusively for employees. Thankfully, that company has a department to handle events of that size. Office Managers usually tackle smaller events but they’re still complex affairs.
A little digging about me would have uncovered my background at a start up that does event marketing software. Thanks to my 2 years with Event Farm, I was involved in the planning and execution of events of many shapes and sizes. Some stand out events include working with the CEO to throw together a Holiday party for 40 people in less than 24 hours (it was a horribly busy period and we lost track of the days leading up to the holidays), managing the lead up to the Congressional Baseball Game remotely from LA and a special event at the 2016 Olympics in which I had to get custom kiosks designed, made, through customs and eventually shipped to Rio. These moments of chaos that would throw my daily routine into absolute disarray contain many fond memories, a ton of learning and moments of complete frustration.
Here’s what I learned:
- No one but you notices what went wrong. As long as the music keeps going and the food and drinks keep coming, everything is fine.
- It’s amazing what Whole Foods Catering can do.
- The dollar store is your best friend.
- Order early from Amazon; last minute 1 day shipping is too stressful.
- Get it delivered! Don’t waste precious time driving all over town, ask if they can deliver.
- It doesn’t have to cost a lot.
- STOP AND EAT SOMETHING.
- Holy crap – we need ice!
- Once the event starts, let go and have fun. Enjoy your hard work. There’s nothing you can do to fix it now anyway.
It doesn’t matter how big or small the event is; what matters is who is there with you and the experience. Office events are meant to bring your team together to celebrate and unwind; Office Managers should be able to join in too (although every inch of their being will fight it, just coz that’s what we do).