It’s funny when you mix emotions with professionalism. As a longstanding professional in the events business I have seen it all. In fact, there are few people who have been in the live face to face events business for a few years that can’t make that same statement. The fire at the wedding, the fist fight in the middle of a meeting, the back of a truck at 1:30AM, the golf tournament in the pouring rain. The happy client, the unhappy client, the things you can control and not…It all happens in the live event business.
What I am better about now is understanding my emotions with the experience of a live event post show. I have said for many years that with most shows, 80% of the event is done prior to stepping on the plane (car, train, etc.) When you get into the live portion of the event management experience you are usually dealing with folks that you have many hours with on the front side of the show, which is the planning process. Usually during this course, you are forming a bond with your clients, vendors, venue staff- anyone who is on your team to execute the show. When you are onsite, you are working together as a team- and relying on each other to do their job, and helping each other do theirs. Long days, stressful interchanges mean that this is an opening to emotions that could range from rage to “I love you man”.
This year I have paid attention to the live thoughts of my staff and myself. I don’t think they are anything dramatically different than in the past, other than the fact that I am paying attention to them more. I have had two different people tell me in the same night, working on different shows in different states how cool the events are and how incredible they feel about the results of the show and how happy they made their clients. In one case I got a “I feel so lucky to be a part of this” and in another “I am so happy for my client here that she has achieved her success and you can see the stress has left her body”.
In one of my recent events, I had a rough truck load out in a small city in Mexico in high altitudes. I wasn’t feeling particularly well, and hadn’t had a solid meal in two days. But the show had actualized- all done. And it went well! I was happy for my client and felt like I had made a positive impact on the show. Carrying that high with me, the broken forklift, the late hours, and the tiredness seemed like a distant second in the emotional scale to my happiness for the local people who put so much into this event. The funny thing is I was analyzing my own thoughts and feelings in real time and realizing that I was feeling pretty lucky to be in a small city in Mexico, cold, and a bit frustrated at 1AM on a Saturday night!
Years ago, after a successful FIRST Championship Event in Atlanta, I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open while walking in a back hallway. I rounded the corner and saw two of my team laughing out loud. A third team member was a little bit of a distance away, approached and ask what was so funny and within a few seconds it was three that was in tears laughing. I approached and became the fourth. It was simply the spirit of the moment that overcame the tiredness of the week. Positivity is quite powerful and important!
So, what do people do that have office jobs and are in the same environment with the same expectations all the time?