To be or not to be an event coordinator, that is the question.
The title alone sounds intoxicating. Who wouldn’t want to organize giant soirees, coordinate entertainment, completely transform a room with swagging, linens and centerpieces and at the end when it all comes together, be proud of your finished masterpiece.
My idea of an event coordinator could be skewed, though, maybe. I did watch The Wedding Planner a few too many times. My grand idea of planning is probably warped by the never-in-a-million-years find of a Matthew McConaughey to sweep you off your feet, literally.
This past week I was able to work my first large bash with a Marconi Museum event coordinator. The only ginormous party I ever had to plan was my wedding, and I spent the last 30-minutes of it at the bar because my job was finally done.
But, I had never experienced an event through the other side of the looking glass. Needless to say, I got a healthy dose of what it’s like to be in charge of a gigantic shin-dig, and let me tell you — there is no Matthew McConaughey.
The entire week before the ceremony, Event Coordinator Kristi answered phone calls from her work and personal phone. She spoke to the vendors, double checked the timeline of deliveries, double checked materials and then re-checked them all again.
The day of the grand reveal, Kristi was in the offices early to check in vendors and assist with a hired decoration specialist, as well as running through sound checks with the DJ. The rest of the day was squished with regular day-to-day work and answering questions or problem solving minor complications for the night’s party.
As the clock ticked closer and closer to go time, and more and more guests began to arrive, the real show began.
Timelines are flexible and are usually used as a guideline. An hour after the warehouse doors were supposed to open for the big reveal in venue to guests, Kristi came bursting through a set of side doors, urging Operations Manager Todd, to assist in opening the big bay doors.
In a pair of cream heels, she ran half way through the museum and opened the doors in the nick of time. She got an actual A+ for effort. And probably the best work out her legs had received that day.
“I knew she was going to do that,” claimed Todd with a chuckle.
In between coordinating timelines with the bride, mother of the bride and father, Kristi began to pull off the grand entrance of the future bride and groom. The pair was going to be escorted into the museum in separate hot-rods.
And in the small milliseconds of time between prepping for the next moment, every person in the museum knew to come to her for answers to their additional questions.
“Where are the trash bags.”
“What do you want me to do with the plates.”
“How many racks are in the kitchen.”
“Where do you want catering.”
And the list goes on and on.
Her day began at 8 a.m. and she didn’t leave until almost 10 p.m. and kept her phone close until well after midnight. As much as I enjoy the fast paced, hectic and crunch-time deadlines, working as an event coordinator isn’t for the fair-weathered.
While I was only able to experience a few events Kristi had planned, all the same above goes for the museum’s second coordinator, Alison. The pair work year round to assist clients in creating their perfect event and making sure it goes off without a hitch.
Not to mention they’re moms, daughters, partners, and squeeze in life’s precious moments in between planning the museum’s next big ado.
So, in conclusion, may the force be with you, event planners. #ThankAPlanner