Happy 2013! I apologize for the brief hiatus but the holidays got the better of me and I slacked off. Like most everyone else, I am jumping on the bandwagon and writing a post about what I want in 2013. So here it goes.
I have written down New Year’s resolutions since I was a child. My parents believe in setting goals and achieving them throughout the year. So it makes sense that I am the same way. Every year, there is a lofty list of things I want to accomplish, places I want to see and certain memories I want to create. It’s not a bad idea but this year will be different. This year is about a mindset.
I’ve done some pretty amazing things in my life so far. From jumping off a 30 foot bridge in Spain to meeting my favorite Major League Baseball player, I have lived out every bit of my 22 years. While I do make a conscious effort to live life to the fullest, I don’t always necessarily live life for myself. I’d like to think I am a selfless person, always willing to do for others, especially people I care about. I am proud of this part of my personality and truthfully, there’s nothing I enjoy more than making people happy. I don’t want to ever change that but 2013 is going to be more about balance.
While in California, I heard Jullien Gordon speak. He is known as the International Innerview and spoke about making intentional choices. He described life as a vehicle that only you can drive; you are the creator of your own destiny and the only one in charge of your happiness. I am currently reading Jullien’s book so expect an update post about that. Anyway, his core message of intentionality and purposeful decisions really stuck with me. My goal for 2013 is to put myself first and have a meaningful reason behind every small or grand decision I make.
I know I sound a bit selfish, but I need to choose a path that will make me happy, not others around me. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we all must make decisions that benefit others more than ourselves. However, in 2013 and hopefully in many years to come, Alex is going first. I want to live this concept out in all areas of my life and hope those most important to me understand my shift in attitude. By making meaningful choices, I really do believe I will be happier and will live a more satisfying life. Expect updates about my new perspective for 2013 and please share with me your thoughts on my resolution.
Below is the song that inspired the title of this post.
Four days. 400 participants. Over 40 facilitators. A dozen different locations on one giant property. Countless amounts of materials. Chaos could easily ensue.
All of the statements above were true aspects of the event I worked in California last week. It was a mega event with lots of components. Now, I’ve worked events before but nothing like this. It was unreal how my team operated like a fine-oiled machine. Literally, everyone knew where they were supposed to be, what was going on and what was happening next. How does such a large-scale event go off without any real catastrophes? Here’s my take on that answer.
- Prep Work: Before anyone stepped foot on the beautiful grounds in California, we reviewed a lifesaving document that broke down the week day by day. Each day listed the sessions occurring, who was in charge, who was helping, the materials needed, the location and the time frame. This thing was the Bible for the week. If you had a question, you just checked the spreadsheet to find the answer. No need to bother anyone else. It was the main reason why our team functioned so well.
- Plans on Plans on Plans: There was a contingency plan for technology issues, weather issues and anything else you can think of. We even had ponchos for every participant ready to go in case the skies opened up. Every ‘what if’ situation was considered and possible solutions were evaluated all before the event took place. A detailed crisis communications plan was sent to the entire team the week before as well. Everyone was familiar with protocol and knew what steps to take in specific situations.
- Devil’s in the Details: The attention to detail was evident in every aspect of the program. From the type of seating at open session, to the layout of each dinner, everything was intentional and was thought about beforehand. It was also clear who the target audience was throughout the program. You knew you were dealing with millennials based off of songs played, topics discussed and games selected. In my opinion, this was the most crucial part of why the program was/is successful. Conscious decisions were made in order to deliver the best possible program for attendees. Without every detail, small or large, the experience would not be the same.
- Common Purpose: Our entire team, internal and external members, believed in the goals of the event. Each member was passionate about executing a meaningful program that would impact participants. That passionate was contagious and kept everyone motivated and energized.
I am so fortunate to have worked on such a giant event this early in my career. There were so many things I learned; the above list is just the most important. What do you think makes large-scale events successful? Add to my list!