Commits alumna DIVYA JAISING (Class of 2008) worked with leading event-management company George P. Johnson (GPJ) in Bangalore for two-and-a-half years before moving to the Brigade Group. Here she provides insights into the challenges of being an event-management professional. She also tells us what event management has taught her and continues to teach her:
|THE ENTIRE GPJ TEAM AT DIVYA JAISING'S FIRST EVENT FOR IBM AT AAMBY VALLEY.|
- Client Servicing/Business Development
- Creative Department
|ANOTHER IBM OFFSITE EVENT, THIS ONE IN GOA WITH A CARNIVAL THEME.|
1. PLANNING IS KEY: I have learnt that the first step to organising a successful event is good planning. Planning ensures you have covered all grounds. But and always, and I mean ALWAYS, have back-up plans (things don’t always go the way you want them to on events). Plan A, Plan B, and sometimes a Plan C and D will ensure that whatever surprises that might be sprung at the last minute are taken care of. The most essential part of planning, of course, is making those checklists. I’m now so used to making checklists that even in my personal life when I’m planning a trip or a get-together, the first thing I do is put down a checklist. :-)2. MULTITASKING IS A MUST: When you have a list of a hundred things to do (literally) you have no choice but to multitask. Checking your e-mail while talking on the phone and giving directions, changing channels on television, and eating dinner all at the same time has now become a piece of cake (I’m perfecting the art really).3. CRISIS MANAGEMENT SKILLS COME IN HANDY: One of the most valuable things I have learnt from event management is how to handle a crisis. Some things are just not in your control and in event management there is no second chance, just like in theatre. When plans A, B, C, or D don’t work and if something goes wrong, a solution needs to be found, however last-minute it is. That’s why it is so important to learn how to handle a crisis, why it is so crucial to understand the situation and look for solutions instead of panicking, which could lead to a nightmarish situation. In my opinion, in most cases the make or break of an event depends largely on the crisis management skills of the event manager.4. PEOPLE MANAGEMENT SKILLS ARE ALSO NECESSARY: Sometimes in this field, I’m sure like in many other fields, you realise that more than managing the event (which might actually be the easy part), managing the people involved is really the tricky part. Different temperaments, many decision makers, different ideas, different styles of working — sometimes more energy is spent just trying to get the balance right and not rubbing anyone the wrong way. After a bit of practice, though, you get the hang of it :-) (I still have a long way to go on this front). It sure helps in the non-professional field as well.5. ATTENTION TO DETAIL IS A BIG HELP: Before I got into events, I thought I had an eye for detail. It was only after being thrown into the big bad world of events that I realised just how much I still had to learn. It really is the smallest things sometimes that make the biggest difference. For example, a minute-by-minute flow of the event will actually show you the loopholes that a normal agenda for the event might not.