Santa’s little helpers have lots in common with eventprofs. Here are 15 things Christmas elves can teach event planners.
Santa is the ultimate event planner, but he certainly doesn’t do it alone, Christmas elves work tirelessly throughout the year to help him (some might argue that they do more work than he does and with less recognition). Since Christmas is one big annual event after all, the elves and event professionals have a lot of similarities. With that in mind here are some of the best lessons Christmas elves can teach us.
Positivity is Important
Happiness is contagious and that means clients, colleagues or even with family and friends are more likely to want to be around you (or use your services) if you remain positive in the face of stress or adversity. The elves help to spread holiday cheer at this time of year and spreading a positive message, just by changing your attitude can create a better experience for the customer, even if things are going wrong. Plus, happy people cheer you up and who doesn’t love that?
Candy is Fuel
During long working hours keep emergency candy (or chocolate) to hand. Treats can provide a much needed pick me up to boost your blood sugar and make you feel better if your day is going terribly or you haven’t had time to stop for lunch. Elves only eat sweet things for breakfast, lunch or dinner so take a leaf out of their book and give yourself a sugar rush every now and again to get yourself through the day.
Team Work is Key
For elves it’s better to work together and this is normally the case within the event industry too. You will rarely find an eventprof doing everything themselves so surround yourself with a team you can rely on and trust. Taking the time to develop a successful event team can not only improve the quality of your events but encourages creativity, innovation and productivity because colleagues feed off of one another and want to work together which boosts morale too! (no wonder elves are so happy, with thousands in their team!)
Meeting Deadlines is Essential
Does the 25th December ring a bell? As you get nearer to the day of an event it is important to meet your smaller deadlines as well as your big ones. We don’t know what the disciplinary action is in the North Pole but here, you can expect a good talking too (or worse) if you delay a big event or project.
It’s All About Who You Know
For the elves knowing Santa definitely has its advantages, whether it’s getting to travel, meet new people, problem solving help or just name dropping (I bet they get into all the best clubs!). Finding key clients, suppliers or useful people that can open doors or bring new opportunities is always valuable and you should treat all business relationships with care, you never know who they might know and who you will be asking for a favor.
Hard Work Pays Off
Yes, it can be a nightmare working really hard and putting in the extra time and effort but it is worth it in the end. Creating a spectacular event that keeps the client coming back and attendees talking all about it helps to make it worthwhile. If you need a little extra motivation, think of how you will stand out among from the crowd, the potential career progression and opportunities as well as any bonuses if you do well. For elves though the joy of Christmas is all the pay they need.
Reliable Transport is Everything
It doesn’t matter how much planning and organisation you do prior to an event, if the sleigh breaks down, Santa and the elves aren’t going anywhere and Christmas is ruined. Luckily for Santa, the sleigh runs on reindeer power which is unlikely to run out but you will have no such luck, and for events that require you to be moving or setting up on the day, poor or unreliable transport can ruin plans and make you look incredibly unprofessional, so make sure you always have a backup plan.
That being said, transportation is just as important for attendees and the event experience so ensure that you plan ahead.
Organize, Organize, Organize
Elves are catering to the whole world and that is a big order. Sometimes that is exactly how event planning and management feels. In both of these cases, things don’t get done by accident and this is because keeping organized helps to stay on top of the workload, avoid making mistakes and to work well with the team towards our objectives.
Some easy and key ways to do this is keep a diary, improve and open your communication channels so that queries, questions and discussions are dealt with promptly and to keep/take notes which will help you to remember key details and your frame of mind while you were writing them and thinking about projects or events.
Go the Extra Mile
Have you ever gone into a store, restaurant or shop with a difficult request and someone goes above and beyond for you? Chances are you remember that person and it made you feel incredibly grateful because even though it wasn’t their responsibility, they did it anyway. Going the extra mile for a client, colleague, supplier or attendee can give them a positive experience of you and the brand as a whole, making them more likely to remember you and spread the news about how fantastic you are. It doesn’t take a lot to do a little something extra but it will definitely make someone else’s day.
Larger Teams Rock
If there is one thing you can say about elves it is that there are plenty of them and that a large team is necessary to achieve mammoth undertakings such as Christmas (and large event projects). Sometimes when working in such a large team though you can feel a bit lost, as though you are just part of a production line, blending into the crowd and becoming part of the machine.
Elves consider this a good thing and so should you for many reasons because everyone has a role to play and a job to do to make it happen. Everyone can share in the glory of good results and a job well done.
Everybody Needs a Break
The elves are definitely currently working overtime and have been for a good few weeks, but they will also tell you that taking a break is important. The fastest way to burnout is doing too much, too quickly and while you may be getting a lot done, you are rapidly causing problems for your health and it doesn’t take too long before it starts to affect your work.
For example, tired elves shouldn’t operate machinery in the same way you shouldn’t be emailing clients at 10pm at night because you are more likely to make mistakes and look unprofessional (even if you do look dedicated).
When you think elf, you think; green, red and white stripes, a jacket, tight trousers (or a skirt), a hat and shoes with bobbles on (give or take) so you have to give it to them, elves have fantastic branding. Wearing a recognizable outfit or style can help make you more memorable and improves brand recognition so while you shouldn’t take any style advice from the elves, you should definitely take a leaf out of their uniform branding book for staff at your events.
Elves come from all around the world and create a multicultural team which represents and celebrates different ethnicities and cultures. Ensuring diversity in your events can offer a greater richness in terms of encouraging unique perspectives and innovation based on different demographics and stand points.
Enjoy What You Do
Being an eventprof isn’t for everyone and just like the elves at this time of year, it is long hours, tough deadlines and a lot of hard work. If you are doing what you love though then it doesn’t always feel like it and your passion will get you through. You need to decide if being an eventprof is your cup of tea, and if not, then don’t do it!
Have fun and enjoy what you do while being productive, whether it is bringing a bit of music into the office or having a dress up day with silly hats, you should be able to enjoy everyone’s creativity and still get the job done!
Take Christmas off
I think we can all agree that this is the best one! The elves take two days off per year and these are Christmas Day and Boxing Day before they start all over again. Go and enjoy your Christmas, take a well-deserved break and come back rested and ready to sleigh the next year (see what we did there!).
As you can see you can learn a lot from Santa’s little helpers in the North Pole and with these tips, ideas and advice you will be able to be a better eventprof all year round.
Happy holidays from all of us here at EventMB!