First Experiences & First Lessons

Event professionals always say that to work in the event industry one has to be flexible, that the first lesson to be learned is that it doesn’t matter how well planned an event is, there are always last minute problems or changes to face on the day. Our first experience on site proved this once again.

Before I get into it, please meet me. My name is Silvia and I recently joined the team as an intern and Events Assistant here at Proud Events, along with Nuno, Project Assistant for Live Stock Brands. We’re both students at B|MM London and, even if we happen to be in the same class, this is the first time we get to work together.

Our first event experience with Proud was in collaboration with Adidas Football at their Tango League event held in Shoreditch on Wednesday the 22nd of February.

From a day spent in a warehouse sorting boxes to the big event on Wednesday, working with Adidas has been an incredible and invaluable experience. Not only because we had the chance to work with one of the coolest brands in the world but also because it was our very first experience working together as a team.

In short, our job was to organise small boxes – football boots – into larger boxes as prizes for each team playing at the event.

If this sounds simple to you, just try and imagine this: different boxes with different numbers and letters that all look surprisingly identical; add more numbers for the shoe sizes; add that you’ve been instructed to give the same model boots to all the players in a team with the correct sizes; add that you didn’t receive all the size info from the players and, finally, add the fact that the stock, although it appears endless in your eyes, is actually somehow very limited. To us, it felt like we were trying to crack the most complex code. But we did it, we planned and organised everything as best as we could and it turned out to be a lot more fun than either of us expected. In our heads, the job was over and done with perfect planning.

Right. Now, do you remember the beginning of this post? First lesson: last minute problems and changes. The next day, we arrived at the event to find out that some rules had changed and, as a consequence, part of that hard work became somewhat useless. Although some of the previous work paid off as it made the process a lot quicker, we had to crack that same code and organise the stock all over again.

So, this is for all the people taking their first steps in the event industry. Even when you think you’ve done your absolute best and organised everything ‘perfectly’, remind yourself that great planning doesn’t necessarily mean perfect event. And always, always, listen to other event professionals because – believe it or not – they kinda know what they’re talking about! J

Finally, I’ll leave you with a conclusive note on something else I personally learned from this experience. Although being organised and focused is great skill, being able to communicate and trust the people you work with is what will ultimately determine your success.

Until we meet again.

Silvia

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.