I get involved, on a very regular basis, in events management. It’s a part of what I do and I really enjoy it. It has to be said though – I truly believe that alongside children, marriage and house moves it has contributed to those silvery flecks appearing in my hair!
It is stressful. Fact. Mind you, it appeals to my sense of ‘here is a project with a hard stop date, where I can look back one day later knowing I have accomplished something’. I am that swan, serene on the surface but absolutely frantic underneath where no-one sees.
I was, whilst standing waiting for my coffee machine to produce a mega-frothy-choco-coffee-chai-skinny-something during a rare break between audio conferences, thinking (scary!).
Way way back, when I was starting out in events, it was what can only be described as frantic. So much to remember to do, so many people to co-ordinate, so many arrangements to make – and (this is the funny bit) without ‘proper’ collaboration tools! Emails flying back and forth with text as long as ‘War & Peace’. Constant telephone calls that hit a busy tone or a voicemail, and that dreaded ‘your mailbox has exceeded it’s size limit’ALL… THE… TIME.. argggghhhhh!
Even audio conferences were tricky – IF available, which meant multiple calls / leaving voicemails / getting engaged tone and it could take maybe 20 calls to bring together one update on a project.
Often it was easier to get everyone in a room for a project update.
Easy did I say? Well, after having spent a week ascertaining when people’s diaries (still written in pencil in a physical journal) were free, then you all get into a room and have to go off to make calls to find out what had happened on the project since 2 days ago when you had all had calls with your teams or agencies!
Now, I know you are starting to wonder how long exactly mycofee machine takes to produce a frothy cup of caffeine.. as there was clearly a lot of thinking going on!
Today, well, I am lucky – as is anyone that works on projects of any kind. Audio conferences created within moments. ‘Presence’ showing who is available right now. Collaboration tools that share information 24/7. Document sharing, instant updates and reactions to appeals for information. Literally being able to access what I need when I need it – and to be able to share key information as it becomes available. Actually, not just lucky – I am thoroughly spoiled! (Don’t tell my boss tho!)
I guess what I am trying to say is that I recognise how incredibly productive I am now. Organising an event now as compared to ten years ago – well it is like comparing popping a kettle on a gas stove and waiting til the pot whistled to a rather swish little coffee machine that produces my caffeine fix within moments.
Plus, if I had access to Circuit 10 years ago.. I might just have a few less grey hairs…