In this new series we present real-life confessions from people working in the event industry. These uncensored, frank insights tell it “like it really is”. Some details have been changed to respect the anonymity of the confessor and ensure maximum honesty can be upheld.
My full job title is Strategy, Planning and Business Development Associate. I develop and execute creative concepts for events. Here is my confession.
In essence my role involves developing strategic initiatives which can help drive engagement for our clients and prospects. I develop creative concepts for events, digital media content and social media engagement strategies and I am involved in the planning of events, from start to finish.
The Pressure of Being Constantly Creative
The biggest pressure in my role is having to be "creative" every single moment. The truth is sometimes, my mind just cannot be stimulated by anything. I can research, read articles, listen to podcasts and music and try all the normal tricks but sometimes the creative ideas just won't come. When you are working to a deadline for a project or creating a concept document to pitch to a new client this can be frustrating and most unwelcome.
Friends For Life
Everyone can have bad days, being creative doesn’t happen on demand. During a team brainstorming session you can tell when the ideas aren’t flowing for someone. We all work together though and come up with something brilliant in the end!
I have been blessed with the most amazing team who have become like family to me. We laugh, cry, moan, struggle, slave through, work and slay together. We share everything from inspiration and encouragement, to funny and silly times, to tender and personal moments. We push one another, sometimes all too much. In the end, we share an amazing bond that we know will last a long, long time.
I've worked with (and am still working with) great clients and corporates. Yes, it does get challenging and demands are enormous, but it is great meeting professionals and people doing incredibly well in their careers. It's also great working with diverse firms and developing ideas to meet different very client expectations.
Some clients really do test your patience though. Some just cannot make crucial decisions and when you try to guide them they do not want your input or don’t take your advice but then blame you at the end of the day if things are not "perfect". I have become skilled at pre-empting and managing difficult behavior from clients. It is tough but in a people-facing role it is what we've signed up for, I suppose.
My Social Life Suffers
Event planning can be crazy! Long hours, late nights, meetings with clients at midnight and running around the city at 3am are not unheard of. Last minute vendor engagements, looking for out-of-the-world concepts and vendors who can make it happen, events through the week and weekend means no time for family and friends.
Work things come up urgently all the time and you have to cancel prior appointments. I hate letting people down and many don’t understand. Friends get tired and I can't keep up with everyone, family members can withdraw from me and relationships can be strained. However, with time comes better efficiency, management and perhaps a little more balance.
Home from Home
My workspace is my second (or maybe third) home. I look forward to going to the office, and some weekends, I even prefer to go there to do some work, instead of working from home. It reflects some of the things I love and that make me happy, so I'm super comfortable working and creating there.
I have learned so many things I never ever thought I could learn five years ago. From digital marketing and social media content generation and marketing, to creating kick-ass presentations and moodboards, strategies and initiatives. I am excited at everything I've learned so far and I am still learning daily.
The People I Meet
This industry will cure one's shyness (I used to be shy), and will expose you to so many celebrities, artistes, professionals and moguls across diverse spheres of life. It's a great opportunity to get closer to these people and see beyond what the public sees (or is made to see).
I have been in this role for 10 months now. To get to this position I've moved across different roles: Business Development - Operations - Planning and Strategy - Project Manager. It has been a roller coaster ride but thrilling and rewarding.
My aspirations for the future are to be excellent at managing several projects at a time and getting things done in the minimum time possible, being an expert at managing clients and growing and developing into a director and manager role.
I love so many things about my job. I love being a solution provider, that one person you call when you need solutions and encouragement and, most of all, always making an indelible impact wherever I go. The "creatives" industry is evolving daily and there are so many exciting opportunities to explore. It really never gets boring, as so much is changing everyday.
I'm glad to be in this space, I truly am.
Want to share your own event planning confession? Email email@example.com and we will be in touch!