Don’t Look back…..or to the side

all_i_can_do_by_cellofanflower

The past six months have been somewhat of a thrill ride for me – the “shut your eyes and jump” moment that is going it alone and the daily struggle of a different kind – to balance the where you are with the where you want to be.

One thing though has become clear – and maybe an important lesson for anyone, not just those who stand alone as planners.

Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing – and in a different way and as a famous man once said “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”

I know, it may be obvious to say but I hadn’t given it the right amount of thought until I really found it playing just a little too much on my mind.

No two people are the same – no two planners are the same. By that I mean that whilst we are all working in a creative environment, just how we work – how we deal with our clients and the relationships we build will all differ in any number of different ways. The fact is though, that for every second you give thought to what the other guy is doing, it is one less moment you are concentrating on what “you” could be doing.

I do my best to always give time to people that feel I am someone they want to talk to – you simply never know where it might lead now, or in the future. Twitter, Facebook – so dangerous for fooling you in to thinking that you are one step behind everyone else…..and yet – once you are at the top there is only one way to go and there is something for always having a goal in sight and striving to be the best you can be – rather than simply the best.

Impatient as I am, the last six months have brought me multiple opportunities, all of which I have done my best to seize with both hands. Concentrating on the here and now is good – but time has to be given to the what next – and it isn’t always easy to do that. Stick to the plan, don’t forget those that were there for you in the beginning, and always make time for people who are where you were.

The Wheels Just Keep on Turnin……

There isn’t much to say about the start of a New Year,

It’s a little quiet for sure, although still the events keep coming – the remnants of euphoria (ideally) about a great year just gone dwindles – and already and the first day of school feeling has well and truly passed….you’ve seen the friends you missed, snapped your new shatterproof ruler in half, and laid all new pens and pencils out in your most non OCD order of preference. Names neatly written on new pads, and shoes polished…..ah, the smell of newness wafts through the office like a bottle of cool water aftershave…..

Some would say that this is the hardest week of the year with so much of nothing happening, dark to work and dark home again and for some reason, hours passing like decades.

The question therefore is a simple one.

If the wheels on the bus go round and round….all day long…..how do I ensure that come the end of the ride I have travelled a worthwhile distance?

There is no miracle as to how, without the assistance of pro plus, coffee, electric shocks (other forms of stimulants available) etc, one can both stay awake and stay motivated through these next couple of weeks, until things get so busy that when you turn around, you have no time to do all those things that you said you were going to get to when a drop in business levels allowed you to. HANG ON !!! he says…..

A couple of areas you might like to consider  in advance of mad times setting in once more.

Policies and procedures
Are we all set for the new year, and do we know where we want to be? Of course, we are unlikely to get to everything. However, review those things that kept cropping up through 2011 that you really had no time to look in to and would make a big difference to the smooth running of your events / team

Deposits, outstanding balances, credits
By no means overly WOW on the interesting scale, but for events that took place right at the end of December, and for those scheduled for late January onwards, are we clear about what we are owed, deposits we still need to collect and payment schedules? No one wants to get off on the wrong financial footing, and now is a great time to have this area also secure

Suppliers
More fun for sure. The chance to touch base with all those people you never had the time to see and continue to build relationships with them all. This is one of the areas I would really like to improve on myself for this year as a whole. The opportunity to meet so many different people, all of whom I can help and can help me – and by definition therefore, help  my clients. Trying to cover so many bases can be really tough, and its much easier to call on experts that can help and guide us. Whilst still resisting Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are really great for this

Talking to the team
Not always easy to have everyone round the table for anything more than a few minutes, and this quieter time really affords us the opportunity to sit for a little longer with our team and from there begin formulating goals and objectives for the year ahead. Ensuring everyone is on the same page can really make a difference once differing work levels sees people “go their own way” and spend less time coming up for air

Of course, these are but a few of my humble suggestions, and in line with a change to the blog for this year, I really would like to hear your ideas, comments and feedback as to how you keep you own mind on track and motivate your teams during these less exciting times.

Hope to hear from you soon

New Kids on The Block – Event Managers Galore

I follow a couple of hundred people on Twitter, having made the point that for the most part I wanted to have links to people and companies that were in the same industry as I am – or at least connected in a way that I felt would allow for a pool of skills to be gathered in one place for any time they may be called upon. Of course there is a sprinkling of celeb, but for the most part things are pretty work based on any given day.

It then crossed my mind – “can anyone be an event organiser, and what really sets one person / company aside from another?” Is it for me to suggest that the market is flooded with event managers and organisers of events (there is a difference)? Well, to be fair, certainly not if there is enough work to go round for everyone and the clients are getting the best choice of who to work with. Yes, there will be the need to make sure that all the boxes are ticked, and there is always the adage that “if it seems to good to be true….” anyone can list a set of names they call “client”

However, maybe there are some key fundamentals;

Love
Really, truly passionate event organisers, working on their own or as part of a wider company, love what they do and can’t imagine doing anything else. Of course, there are the days they wish they were doing anything other than getting up at the crack of a rainy dawn, but for the most part, it is a shoe that fits and meeting the challenge head on every day is just a feeling that you don’t have if , one day, you wake up and think you are pretty organised and then decide to call your self an events organiser.

Flexibility
Mentioned on different occasions in different ways – but in the same way as other professionals become experts in their fields, so too for event organisers. You get a feel for the market, keep your ear to the ground and get a sense of how the tides are turning….know when to bend, to flex – stick or twist…it is part of the buzz, the disappointment you have to bear when you lose an event to someone else, and when you win one that you thought had gone from your grasp.

Confidence
Confidence that there is work out there, confident in the belief that people would always prefer to go with quality that pay later for having cut corners – but most importantly, confidence in yourself as someone who can create, exceed expectation, drive for better and inspire along the way.  

I would be interested to hear your thoughts – what do you do that sets you apart, or what insight do you have as to how you have been able to ride these tough times and plan for the longevity of your business.