I’ve written recently about the 2 sides of events, the inspiring and the challenging, and it’s always a topic that galvanises a group of event people. The stories of how we’ve been on the wrong side of the 2 sides.
To do our best work, and, to enjoy the journey, we need to keep ourselves in the positive side as much as possible. Or to flip it around, we need to stay head above water. And no not like a duck (looking calm while frantically treading water below the surface!).
We often spend to much time BELOW THE LINE.
There is a great Andrew Denton interview with Bob Geldof, the ‘event manager’ of arguably the worlds most influential event – LIVE AID – (I’ve been banging on a lot about ‘creating influential events ‘lately if you haven’t noticed!). And I think ‘Sir Bobs’ aspiration and sense of purpose is a wonderful case study for us all. But it is fair to say he wasn’t the most experienced event manager, and he suffered for it.
In the interview he describes how we was ‘scared’, afraid he would fail on a (very) public stage. And that his wife at the time, would put towels in his bed as he’d wake up in horrific cold sweats, fearing the worst. Poor Bob was doing this all without any contracts in place, with bands, brands, broadcasters or anyone, so he did have a few exposed risks! But Geldof got through, always believing it would work. He had moments when he thought it wouldn’t happen, but if it did, that it would work.
I think we all feel like Bob sometimes.
While we aren’t all creating global mega events, many of us have been there. Your event is a big deal in your world, and rightly so. I suspect what got Bob through was his sense of purpose, and a belief in his vision. He was prepared to bet on himself, have a plan, and, the ability to wing it a bit. These seem like few important personality traits to have in our world.
Successful events are about making it influential, AND, manageable.
I’m working a lot with clients lately to make events more impact front of house (achieving the sales, engagement and action), and achievable back of house (feasible, possible and sustainable).
Please drop me a line if I can help you or your team stay ‘above the line’.