Event planning - Glamour can only give you so much

‘People always think that our job is so glamorous, and it’s just really not’ my colleague said after another late night on site, back in our hotel room out in the middle of nowhere (also known as Barrow-in-Furness).

Earlier that evening she, and the rest of my colleagues, had been sitting comparing their diaries for the next couple of months, searching for those odd days of liberty – which were almost impossible to find. With the festival season gong into full bloom, meaning fun and games for most, Proud and all its partners are busier than ever before. The 8th of June the company hit a new milestone when being live at five sites at the same time, and although that means a lot of hard work we also couldn’t be prouder!

However, while the rest of the team is out on the road I am still left in London. My first year at BIMM London is coming to its end and I am wrapping up my last assignments of the year before leaving the city for new adventures.

These past months have been hectic at times, rewarding at others and very educational for the most. Yet, my colleague is right, it has rarely been glamorous. Live events require huge amounts of hard work, time and planning. 

As I mentioned in my last blog this job has really made me realise how much planning there goes into every live event, and if I thought I had a greater understanding of that after AMP Lost & Found, it is nothing compared with the knowledge I have now, several months later.

Take staffing for example – what a process! When Harry, one of the directors, told me, a couple of months ago, that I would take on responsibility for the staffing process for this year’s festivals I was terrified. Not only because little old me would suddenly be in charge of something this important, but because I was convinced I had telephobia (the fear of making or receiving phone calls) and I would now have to conduct hundreds of phone interviews. 

Needless to say my imaginary fear was of course completely irrational and it didn’t take long until making those phone calls went from being dreaded to just a part of my everyday routine.

Since April, every day has been a constant puzzle trying to fill the spaces in the rota for our sister company Live Stock Brands’ first ever festival – Parklife 2016. It has been a time consuming task, with last minute changes up until the very day of the festival.

Although Parklife may be over for this year, the staffing process is far from over and now continues the work with finding appropriate staff and volunteers for festivals such as Hideout Festival, Kendal Calling and Bluedot (why not apply if you haven’t already?).

Alongside my staffing duties I’ve been in charge for everything between laminating signage and putting together the most cost effective site kits, to booking accommodation and travel for our staff on site.

Once again, these tasks won’t particularly make any of you jealous, but these tasks are still important pieces of the overall planning, and if not properly done they may lead to your boss being booked in the ‘crack den’ that ‘should be avoided like the plague’ that you mistook for a hotel…

In May I’ve been on site twice, first at Wirral Rocks and then at Cartmel Racecourse, getting a first taste of this coming summer and my new role as event logger. This role, a role I hardly knew existed a month back, has showed me a whole new side of live events.

This time around I get to see the big picture, almost as from a bird’s perspective, seeing how all the different teams (production, security, site, medical, etc.) work together to make these events possible.

It is truly inspiring to see all that hard work and planning pay off with your own eyes, but it is almost more inspiring to see what happens those few times when a plan fails and our amazing team needs to create a new solution.

No, working with events may not be the most glamorous of jobs, but putting the laminating aside, it’s certainly never dull. Although a lot of the planning stages contain long office hours and paperwork, there is still such a thrill attached to being part of the live event creation that an ordinary 9-5 job just won’t give you. Glamour can only give you so much, but on that thrill you can live forever!

Until next time: stay up to date with all the exciting things happening on site, by following us on our social media or get in touch by contacting info@proudevents.co.

AMP Lost & Found – When you have fun together you work well together!

It may only be April, but for us at Proud Events the festival season is already kicking off! Last week we came back home from our first mission this year – the 2016’s AMP Lost & found in Malta. For a little more than a week our amazing team of staff and volunteers exchanged British rain for Maltese sun and got off to a brilliant start to this year’s outdoor events.

As Proud Events’ new Events Assistant this was my first time working on site and I could not have asked for a better introduction to the job. Being directly thrown into action as part of the volunteer team, working on tasks such as accreditation and merchandise, was a fun way of getting started and has filled me with loads of new knowledge, energy and motivation for our future events.

Normally I study Music Business at BIMM London, so it felt really good to finally get some hands-on experience and an understanding of what all those months of planning finally lead up to. When leaning over a book of event management theory it’s hard to get a grip of just how important the attention to detail is when you plan an event, but after following the work on site I now see clearly how those little details make a huge difference on the overall outcome.

It is easy to forget simple things such as scheduling coffee breaks for the staff or making sure that there’s that extra stock of merchandise ready when the old stock runs out, but if those things are already in your plan you’re more likely to get it right the first time around. This newfound understanding is definitely something that I will take with me both in my studies, as well as in future projects here at Proud Events.

Of course everything has its ups and downs, and I would lie if I didn’t say that working at a festival isn’t challenging at times.

Somehow there always seems to be more VIPs than there are names on the guest list and if I got a penny for every time someone realised that they’d forgotten their ID at home when they finally had reached the end of the line to the accreditation tent, I’d be a rich girl by now. Long shifts continuing into the early morning hours, mean winds sneaking in under every possible layer of clothing and hectic periods with never ending queues were some of the tough elements that we had to endure.

However, when I look back at AMP Lost & Found and Malta I don’t remember it as stressful or tiring, but rather as week filled with laughter and new encounters.

What I remember more than anything, more than any of the DJ sets or the Castle raves, more than the wind or my aching feet, is the amazing team.

I remember the silliness in the accreditation tent at slow periods, I remember making friends with the security and how they gave us coffee and Maltese pastries to pull through our shift, and I remember all of the AMP Lost & Found staff dancing together in the sunset at the well deserved staff party at the end of the festival.

As a team we worked hard by taking on new challenges and supporting each other through it all – from our first shift together to the long bus journey home from Leeds airport.

It’s said that when you have fun together you work well together and I really believe that to be true.

Back in London, I just can’t wait to get on site again, but as I’ve learnt recently planning is more important then one thinks.

So, now we’re back in the office preparing for our next event, hoping that it will turn out even better than the last one by taking with us all we learnt at this year’s AMP Lost & Found.  

Make sure to follow us so that you don’t miss out on any of our exciting upcoming events, and please get in touch with us at info@proudevents.co.uk

If you want to join our team on our next events click here