After the forced-pause during the pandemic, I learned that it’s good to acknowledge the little idiosyncrasies of our lives and look at the funny incidents that made us freak out at the time. Never a dull moment in my world, so I thought I would share a few little stories from events past.
Note: No animals or clients were hurt during the running of these events!
A few years ago, I managed the hospitality element for a concert. The Star guest of the evening was performing in a beautiful Sussex park, and we were expecting 240 VIP guests!
The team had been busy setting everything up, but I was missing four tables, several dozen chairs and the marquee company had to make an emergency drop-off, so that I could complete lay-up in time. The problem was that the park had to be cleared by 3pm so that The Star could run through a rehearsal – her management company had insisted the park be completely clear. No pressure!
Well, I ran around like a headless chicken (not the beautiful swan that I normally embody – see my blog The Swan Effect). Despite my best efforts, 3pm came and went, but the officer in charge of the event was wonderful and allowed me to stay and I pulled it off.
With the park gates closed, I was now in this beautiful setting, alone with the officer. We sat on a bench in front of the stage and had our own private performance. It was quite magical and although stressful, it was one of those moments in life when you have to pinch yourself and say yep, I love my job!
The Magic Box
In events, you have to plan for every eventuality. I have learnt over the years to expect the unexpected. I am known for my little wooden box that I carry everywhere (see blog image). It is my emergency go to.
So, what’s in it? Well it is often dependent on the event, but generally:
- Plasters for those blisters – do you girls never learn? Never wear a brand-new pair of shoes on ‘the day’ or an all-day conference. I have seen so many poorly feet in my time
- Rescue Remedy – it’s a fail safe for those nervous clients who have too much emotion running through their veins when it comes to the speech, the presentation or just the whole day. A drop in their water or on the tongue and they worry less. It may be a placebo effect, but this natural little beauty often rescues the most stressed soul
- Safety pins – for those wardrobe malfunctions! Last year, a very embarrassed wedding guest sidled over to me having managed to tear her dress in half and was displaying her back to the world. My trusty box was opened and with a swift working of some safety pins, the dress was back intact and dignity saved!
- Sewing kit – I have been known to have to quickly stitch a jacket button before the keynote speaker is about to step onto stage.
- Stain remover – once, a guest at a wedding I was managing had an argument with a pint of Guinness, which he threw over his linen jacket and shirt before the photographs were taken. I am no laundering expert but with some stain remover, warm water and a napkin we managed to remove most of it. With some careful positioning of his torso in the group shots, he got away with it!
At events, attendees and guests arrive looking and smelling fabulous. The event team on the other hand runs around getting everything ready and we usually get a small window of opportunity for a quick break and a change, before the start of the event. Where do I get to freshen up? Usually in the back of a field chiller with an ice bucket filled with water and poor lighting. It’s not glamorous, but a pack of wipes and some body mist do the trick! If getting changed in record time was an Olympic event, I would be a strong contender for the gold medal!
Throughout many years of working in hospitality, I have met the most amazing people, delivering the most magical events. I still get taken aback at the hiccups that can occur. From wedding photographers fainting and having to get a member of the family to take the photos, to becoming a dog whisperer praying that they will behave themselves until the big reveal. It’s crazy, fun, stressful and all the bits in between, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
So, if you are looking for an event maker with a good sense of humour who can deal with a variety of challenges then give me a call. I would love to create your next event ensuring that it is unique and memorable for all the right reasons!