I had my first big event to be onsite for just two months into my apprenticeship. I witnessed the event being tied together and my hopes of delivering an incredible conference for over 150 people did not slightly prepare me for what it would actually be like whilst being on site.
Prior to being onsite, I was not fully aware of how crucial it is to have events managers onsite, and essentially, how important we are in ensuring an event of this size is delivered in the best possible way. From my first day onsite I had people asking me questions, checking in with me that everything was going correctly and that we were on track. For my first on site experience this was terrifying. Whilst shadowing Vicky and Debbie across the three days of the conference, I witnessed them find solutions to problems that no one else could’ve without having the in depth knowledge that comes with being totally involved in the pre-event planning, raising the question- why wouldn’t you have your events team onsite?
Sitting down and writing a to-do list is a day to day essential on my job. A list of what needs to get done whilst onsite simplifies and condenses the buzz of everything going on. I focussed on certain tasks, ticking them off before moving onto the next. This increased the efficiency at which I was working and I stayed on track without getting lost or overwhelmed by everything going on.
I was initially introduced to the concept of a DMC in the first week of my apprenticeship. However it was not until I was onsite in Barcelona that I really understood their cruciality when delivering an event overseas. Tasked with the language barrier, communicating with the suppliers based in Barcelona was more difficult. Luckily Vicky and Debbie used a previous DMC contact, which made communicating with the offsite dinner venues easier. However, the presence of a DMC would have definitely sped up some processes of communication, which would have reduced the extra work we had to do as a company to contact all of the suppliers individually that were based in Barcelona.
This seems like a simple concept, however, being new to an event of this size, asking questions was intimidating. I was concerned that my questions wouldn’t necessarily be relevant or that there were a million other things everyone could be doing instead; I was quickly reassured that every question is relevant. Without asking all of my questions, I wouldn’t have been able to carry out my tasks effectively and efficiently. I also wouldn’t have learnt from the experience.
I have never been as reliant upon a pack of paper as I was upon our logistics agenda! Every aspect of the event was captured in great detail. This allowed me to confidently answer the majority of delegates' questions plus questions from the senior team. Furthermore, having the agenda simply meant I was prepared: if I had a spare 5 minutes I would read it through and check where we were up too. This meant that I could be two steps ahead of the actual event.