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Keep Calm and Carry On

Last updated April 5th, 2016

You’re the event manager for a high profile panel discussion at the House of Commons for International Women’s Day. You’ve planned everything to the last detail (of course!) including leaving plenty of time to get through security checks as you arrive at the House of Commons.
There is one small hitch in the proceedings: the venue have confused your room booking and the layout isn’t as you specified. As your guests are starting to arrive, they are looking forward to a fabulous evening and you are under massive pressure to finish getting the room ready. Guests are starting to gather in the lobby area, not sure where they are supposed to go.
Life happens and even the best laid plans sometimes go awry, but it is your job to keep all going smoothly and make your guests feel welcome. No matter what other problems you’re solving in the back of your mind, your guests are your top priority.

“Although there was no clear plan for what was required from volunteers, we remained calm and worked through all the things needed for the event to run smoothly”

Our student volunteers Denise Mapp, Phoebe Jackson and Simone Atallah had this experience while volunteering for International Women’s Day event ‘Tackling violence against women & girls’. True to their ambition and training they managed the situation with flair and kept all the guests smiling. We expect no less of our fantastic students, but they still deserve a round of applause!
Good teamwork between the volunteers made the evening a success. In the absence of a detailed brief, they agreed and split the tasks of registering guests, greeting guests, ensuring everyone was seated in the right places, setting up the audio equipment and looking after latecomers.
A good event manager doesn’t just wait for a brief to turn up, they define their own brief with an intuitive understanding of what the client needs. Our students are trained and tested so they’re confident to set their own direction and even identify problems or gaps in the existing plan.
You don’t want to start in your dream job and have your boss micromanage you. You want to be given real responsibility and the chance to really shine. If you can walk into a volunteer role at an event and be confident enough to take the initiative, you can do that in any situation an event manager may end up in. In a new client meeting, in a new team, with a demanding guest … you name it.
If you’re interested in a qualification that gets you the hands on experience you need to take control of a difficult situation have a look at our courses or hear from other students about their experiences.
In the picture above, from L-R: Denise (student volunteer), Seye (event organiser), Phoebe (student volunteer)

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