We spoke at a conference in Asia recently, on things I’ve learned in events, that people may want to know, but I left one point out.
I’m not sure why, probably just because as an event person you take it for granted.
That thing is, we do whatever it takes.
The Things We Do
The more my work connects me with other event people, I’m reminded that we all have a similar attitude to this world.
Working in events is, well its a bit different isn’t it?
We do all sorts of things, things that will never appear in our job description. That line, “and all things that may occur as required” should probably be the actual JOB TITLE. We should probably have it on our business cards (if you even have those!?). And it doesn’t matter what level you are at, we all do whatever is needed.
We don’t say…
“that’s not in my job description”.
“I don’t do that”, “…wear that’, “get up that early”… “I don’t know how to do that!?”. Or, “I don’t have the right resources for that”
We’ve all done the jobs that weren’t really ours. We’ve all turned up, and made it up when we needed to. Magic’ed up some solutions with cable ties and gaffe tape, or a phone call to a friend.
And that line in the contract, “may be required to work out of hours, weekends… (public holidays, on unsuitable dates when you had other plans, friends weddings, your kids birthdays, etc etc)” (ok maybe that’s not what it actually says but make no mistake that’s what it really means!).
We don’t say “sorry, I have plans”.
We work ‘over-time’ at no notice until the job is done. There is no walking off when our shift ends, or when it rains.
Of course, we’ve grown up a bit as an industry, we have better processes and support systems in place and all this applies less and less these days. However it’s fair to say, just doing what needs to be done for is still an unwritten line in the role description. So if your starting out in the industry, come in with an open mind and be ready for the challenge. If you’re still going, keep going. Let’s enjoy what this world throws at us.
We do know we love it all. This is why we do what we do.
There is plenty of upside.
If variety is the spice of life, the event world is very spicy. For myself, I’ve built swimming pools on Centre Courts, ski jumps and grandstands in city squares. I’ve sat with royalty and met with celebrities. Presented to thousands people, written a book and done some big deals. And so many of you have done so much more. And, there is a lot more to do!
It may sound like madness but I think there is some rational explanations to the irrational things we do. Things like the IKEA Effect tells us the more we invest of ourselves into something the greater we are connected to it. We know the more we put in the more we get out.
That’s the cool thing. We get to do it all. Own it. Make things happen.
Dan Pink explained it to us well in ‘Drive, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us’. He found Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose are the essential ingredients. If you don’t have time to read the book, watch this video. Again, I think these should be the headings in an event job description.
So we know what we need to do and why we do it. But we still need to come into the event world eyes open. And we still need resilience to keep going. To seek out opportunities, and to support each other, and grow as we go.
So if I can help out, let me know.
I help create more influential events, and influential people.
Please drop me a note to find out about the cool things and great people we are working with!