Hosting an event …

We hosted a successful event at work on 2/29/2012 and sense of fulfillment and unbelievable high you get when you are part of a team that organizes cannot be expressed in words!

As we completed this event I was reflecting on somethings  and pondering why am I this way ?  I realized it all started in school. I ended-up in a pretty small, local private school – MAK as it was popularly known (this school is still around and it does not even have a web site that I could find from Google search) from 8th Grade on-wards. Being the ultimate back bencher(s), our gang neither were class toppers, nor kind of kids who would get into trouble for wrong reasons (in late teen years) and most of us tried our hand at all kinds of sports. So naturally the school Physical Education teacher – PE master was someone we spent quite a bit of time. He was the one tasked with organizing the four or five school events every year within school premises. We went early to school, along with staff workers got the place organized and after the event put thing back where they belong (we did things like organize seating, get the stage ready, erect shamiyana etc) . So I was one of those who had fun doing this.

Latter I ended-up Trichy to my undergrad in Computer Sc. and we formed a Computer Informatics Club (I do not even remember the official title I was given) under Prof ST Rajan, who now heads Computer Sc. Dept in St. Joseph College Trichy.  Have been a back bencher in School, I had never presented before any audience, so  when we organized our first seminar and I ended-up doing a nerve-wrecking vote of thanks. But at the end of it, I figured I did not do a bad job and gained confidence to go on stage and talk rest of my college life. As a part of this club we did so many events that I had learnt how to do lots of these events (how to sign-up guest speakers, how to spread the word,how to print/paste poster, how to hang banners, how are event stalls organized, how to print material) and by the time ended-up in PSG Tech for Post Graduate – MCA, I become really good at organizing events and confident about.

When I go to Friends or relatives event, I also have this natural inclination to jump-in and help out without being asked to do!  I do this because I like doing it and I always had the attitude of why wait ?  if someone you know needs a helping hand whats the point of waiting for invitation to help ?

So that is  my reflection of why  I like getting into thick of events and seeing them through but why do I seem to be able to a reasonably good job ?

  • I am community person (now that I work – Company guy) – I have a strong sense of belonging to a community and I have always felt I need to do my share of stuff to keep the community (or organization) going. So when I get involved I everything I could and more …
  • As a person I am paranoid about things going wrong, so I tend to ask what can go wrong ? figure out back-up plan
  • I have ability to be in another persons shoes and visualize what would make things successful from their point of view, what is the experience they should carry etc, so it helps to some extent
  • I have innate ability to  sequence things figure out dependency in my mind
  • I do not care about being unpopular, so I will enforce certain rules which is important to keep order
  • Finally I can think on feet !

Finally what made this particular  event – neoterix 2012 at work successful. Here are my thoughts,

  • We had a leader who sets a high bar for these events, kind of visualize and dream of it and was not only committed to it but got into every detail of it. Its tough for folks who do not get it to work for leader like this but those of us understand what is the perfection expected – its fun and challenging
  • We had a bunch of folks who just knew what we were good at and took up key strategic roles and the leader empowered them to go do things
  • We had a whole bunch of worker bees, who kept at it and brought infinite amount of energy and got things done in time
  • We had a competent event management company, who knew what to do and they did it without getting in our way
  • I signed-up to own the agenda and run the event on time, which was a small but key part.
  •  The script did hit its inevitable potholes and had its unexpected turn of events but since we were prepared for it and most in the audience did notice it!
  • most importantly – most of us had a stress-free event. In fact apart from expect 3 or 4 of us who signed-up to do things for the entire day, rest of folks worked intensely for pockets of time and then relaxed. There was no shouting or cursing, we all enjoyed the event!

Finally there were two highlights for me from this event ..

About a year back, I watched in horror as my dear friend and leader set “big  hairy audacious goal” and probably had his OS!M moment,when he told our company execs he was planning to host a Software conference next for 150 person organization! Being the Company person I am, though I was skeptical about this event, I tried to support it as much as possible I made-up my mind not worry about content for the event, I was going to only contribute to only organizing the event.  So  ended-up with an event that even exceeded our leader’s expectation was highlight.

Second highlight was something more personal about a week back I promised myself I am going to keep my cool and not loose my temper or throw a fit when folks inevitably veer off script – I had couple of moments where folks annoyed me but I handled those far better than I might have in the past. So that is another step in the right direction in my anger management journey …


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