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Love and Life – Marriage and Divorce in the Events world

Event management can be like a marriage…..

In fact, to be fair, marriage can be a little like event management

It’s not always fun, leaving home every weekend, having to trek in to work for a 14 hour shift – home for a brief moment and then back in again. Getting in to such a relationship with your work, doesn’t always bode well for home life – and the need to balance the two. Is it inevitable, that one eventually has to give a little? – is it a dead cert that any relationship that begins under such circumstance will have it’s ups and downs over the course of time?

Nothing of course is a written in stone and from personal experience I owe a lot to one person, who was willing to put up with this for a long time, especially since when we met I wasn’t in event management – but that’s another story. Now she just stalks me a little, but that’s ok too…..anywho, I digress……

The point is this. We get very attached to our events, our clients – and having already touched on the need to find balance in previous blogs (in so far as complaints or client dealings in the lead up to an event) – how do we ensure that we can find the balance, especially when we find that client we really like and want to go the extra mile for?

Sarah Beeny “off the telly” – the one who does the home makeover show (not the Scottish guy who also does the same but on a “Grander” scale) always tells her peeps on TV that they have to remember that they are doing the house up to sell, and they can’t get to emotionally involved. How many of them end up choosing a hideous wallpaper or tile design because it’s what they wanted, or spending vast amounts of money on a kitchen with fancy gizmo’s, none of which add value to the house, and in fact only leads to disappointment and odd facial surprise, when the house doesn’t sell, or they just end up living there in debt because an entire lifetime has passed and the housing market is now in trouble?

Same too with events. We have to be “involvingly detached” (yes, I know) – and be there for our clients – and no doubt going over and above for them, whilst also remembering that the event is theirs and not ours, that our ideas are not everybody’s scenario for the perfect event, and certainly not becoming so emotionally involved that other events suffer because of it.

There is a need too, for managing the client themselves, those that take to their event manager, or keep in contact with them with ongoing requests, to an extent that does eventually create the “nightmare” tag. In some cases this is just down to inexperience and nervousness – in other cases, it’s just the way they are. In either case, there is an argument for being open and honest, firm and direct – laying some ground rules about when you are available, in line with other workload and out of hours contact. If that is a boat that has been missed at the start, whilst difficult, there will be the need to re address the balance, and although uncomfortable, it is a conversation that needs to be had. Rarely is a client unresponsive, and often, a stronger bond is created over time.

I’m no Oprah, both on the personal or work fronts – and at this time, I happen to be in an amazing relationship at home that one that fits in well with the daily workload that 5* venues give, and especially in the lead up to 2012 and all the extra work this will bring. You do have to make the mental break at times and ensure that you remember the people who are effected by the long hours away from home that you take for granted and need “care and attention”. A simple thank you, is not simple at all…..

Got a question on how to balance the work and home? – shoot me over an email and I would be happy to send back a response.

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