Event planners all have a number of characteristics in common – often it’s these qualities; integral to our individual personalities that bring us together as strong teams, supportive colleagues and firm friends.
It makes fascinating conversation to hear how we all ended up in the events industry; both Emily and Katy were seasonaires following their university education. Emily worked as a sailing instructor in Greece in between her second and third year of university and after graduating lived in the Swiss mountains working as a Ski Guide and Rep. Arranging airport transfers, mountain tours, après ski and ski-away days in neighbouring resorts – it was during this time living abroad that her people skills, organisation, outgoing and energetic nature and flexible approach were nurtured and are still very much a core part of her skill set today eight years on.
Katy also worked as a Rep before, during and after her time at university working in Greece, Turkey and the Caribbean. Rep life was hard but it was full of memories and lots of laughter. The friendships that were cemented during this time continue to be extremely important to Katy. It was at this time that Katy learnt how to foster great interpersonal skills, the art of time management and how important it is to have a good eye for detail. When you’re a Rep, you unite as a team, drink as a team, party as a team and as a team you are an unstoppable force. The same can be said of an event planner.
We all take work home with us from time to time – sometimes literally, sometimes metaphorically. Needless to say, it’s often hard to shake the ‘Characteristics of an Event Planner’ at the weekend or on return home from a busy day at work when these abilities consume us so entirely and completely in our 9 ‘til 5.
There are three ways of planning; writing a list, drawing a diagram and daydreaming / throwing caution to the wind. The two of us have come to recognise that when it comes to our own personal time, family and relationships that perhaps it’s best that we stick to the last of these planning methods. We’ve learnt that it’s best to leave our superior organisational skills, OCD tendencies and the inclination to manage and steer others at Durford Mill where they are recognised and appreciated by our clients (more than our friends)!
When you’re not part of your own plan, the danger is that you’ll end up as part of someone else’s. To avoid this you need to plan what you’re going to change and how you’re going to change it. Planning is a lot more exciting when you view it as plotting. Once a year (usually in January), Katy plans for her year ahead but also reviews her one, two and five year personal goals. This usually ends up written as a list. Top of the list this year is to just ‘go with the flow’. In order to retain a healthy work / life balance perhaps the best way to plan is to carefully write everything down on a piece of paper and then to rip the paper to shreds as this accurately reflects what happens to plans in real life.
We can’t change who we are as Event Planners – and we wouldn’t want to – after all, it’s these very features that make us all good at our job. The main thing that we are all agreed on is to be an #enthusiastinlife.