Event Management was an inquisitive passion for me up till now. I was always mesmerized by the influence of an event. People, activities, glitter, and all the chatter about it before and after has always attracted me to events. Not knowing much about how to get into events, I joined Pearl Academy’s diploma course.
Today we are already 6 months into the course, and we have been attending classes on event management and have volunteered at various India Today events. Till now, with due guidance from faculties and industry interactions, I had now learnt much more about events than before.
In mid-year this course reaches to an industry collaboration project, the Magnetic Fields Festival, where student’s learning is put to test. I was restless and at the same time equally excited about this six day project. I bet every student in class felt this curiosity mixed with a hint of anxiety, towards this project. After all, our faculty had put in a lot of hard work in us to prepare us all for this project. So far we had only volunteered at walk-in events of India Today and a wedding in Udaipur. This was surely going to be a one of its kind experience. To know about what goes in making an event count not only at country level but at globular level. Let’s not forget that this festival is among the 50 best music festivals in the world today.
Finally the day came and as soon as we arrived in the village of Alsisar, there was a different vibe. Simplicity of the village and glory of the palace was all beginning to cast a spell on me. Over the next days, the festival added on to the vibe I was drenched in. This music festival served contemporary music from 3 beautiful and unique stages, secret parties, over 50 artists, massive guest turnout. On an open piece of land adjacent to the palace over 600 beautiful tents were laid out. The size of the festival was unseen to anyone of us and its vibe was undying throughout all days.
In the backdrop of this beautiful festival, it was us students who were assigned some important duties. We all were mostly stationed at the tent reception. We all had to assign those 600+ tents to 2000+ guests in almost one and a half day. We had no sense of time while we registered this massive intake of guests on Friday which was the beginning day of this three day festival. Neither it seemed easy nor was it. We had to stand at the desk in extreme temperatures, with no time for food intake, no chairs and an unending smile. We took turns for lunch break almost at dusk and same was the case with dinner break. Festival organizers were very supportive and caring however it was action time and nobody could have softened this task for us. We were stationed in shifts till Sunday early morning for guests who were travelling from the metros of India after their Friday/Saturday work and engagements.
My curious passion of event management was quite handy in staying up for the required task. While the event was in full swing and guests were having a good time we had to remain stationed at the registration desks for ensuring smooth late check-ins, grievance handling, and crisis management. I recall this one incidence on the second day of the festival when my senior gave me a list of vacant tents and a list of yet-to-arrive guests. With those lists in my possession, I was expected to take the charge of remaining registrations. From that period onwards there were few cases of tent assigning where freshly assigned tents had already been assigned to someone. In this moment of crisis, a flash of my classroom lesson occurred to me and as taught, I immediately took organizers in notice of the unclear allotments of tents. This crisis floated for quite a while however didn’t cause any big chaos as right people were informed in due time. I had to go through huge pile of excel sheets to understand that the list of available tents was not the right list and I created a new list.
Crisis shouldn’t happen but they happen for a reason, it exposes your weaknesses and eventually improves us. In our class we are taught to remain calm and rational in the moment of crisis however only now I know that it’s a difficult task to remain composed and have that solution seeking attitude. I discovered something new in me here. My confidence grew when my seniors appreciated me for my smart work. They were impressed with my performance and they even invited me to join them for a quick party break.
We worked at various posts during these three days of festival. We did quick tasks like sticking Diesel stickers on kites to vital tasks like Registrations (both at Palace & Tents). We also helped a creative installation artist Shilo Shiva Suleman for her beautiful Lotus installation that was worth 12 lakhs. We handled cash, lockers, first-aids, facilities and pretty much everything except for stage functionality and artist movement.
I learnt that this continuous process of meeting with challenges, finding solutions and getting valued on big projects, is a kind of high that I enjoy. ‘Give your heart out to whatever you do’, is my new found dictum.
My initial curious passion had now turned into a absolute passion. I was initially attracted to the facade of events but now I know what goes on behind to create that beautiful facade. For these three days of great time, the core team of Magnetic Fields have been preparing for months. The sudden need of manpower and the management of it is a frightening task. That’s not all; small things that go unnoticed are even tougher and have the potential to go out of hand. You have to create something this big, ensure it works fine and make it all enjoyable to everyone who comes.
It may seem from the outside that event managers have fun and it’s an easy job to volunteer at such festivals however it is not. Unless you have the passion and right skills, you would explode like a grenade in split seconds from the kind of pressure you operate in at events like these. Few people in the core team fell ill due continuous running around and lack of rest. Some of the students had developed sore legs from standing and walking. Being a student, I don’t think in any other industry projects, one gets challenged both mentally and physically at this level, in just 6 days.
For this important realization, I can’t thank my parents enough for continuously boosting my morale, my college and my faculties who shaped me for this day and moment. I now have a clearer vision and sharper skills. I am certain that with this new found strength I am ready to start my career.
Today I can advocate this saying. ‘Events connect people, breeds innovation and spark change.’
A venture capitalist would only need money to make a great business and take the company ahead but an impact venture investor will have to find investment that not only helps a business to grow but is also changing the economical portrait of a society.
This is what exactly Mr. Kartik Desai addressed the students of Pearl Academy, Delhi (West campus) on October 13’ 2013. He is a Principal at Asha Impact and talks brightly about venture philanthropy. He shared his ideas with students about an ideal business model that is to make profits while providing socially workable ecosystem. In his vision students have the best creative minds. And that was the sole reason of his visit to this institution.
He also addressed about the beneficial returns from social impact investments. The returns are around 20-25%. It is much more than any other investment. He believes that it is high time that people start to invest in welfare of the society that can help the craft and hand-loom industry. This will also help the local artisans from getting exploited by the government.
According to him, Fashion and Textile have the major sector in social entrepreneurship. The problem lies in the unawareness of such profitable business. Through his 45 minutes of session he educated the students about the advantages one can drive from such business plans. Business in social impact investment would not only be more socially and commercially viable but also highlight us as a better person.
He believes that any good in society would come from self-motivation to make the society workable for all individuals. Similarly, for a student it is necessary to have the perfect knowledge, enthusiasm and the right spirit for their entrepreneurial growth leading to growth for the economy.
Mr. Desai and his colleague, Ms. Alpana Srivastava presented a case study to the students on Fab India. They highlighted how the brand is giving business to 40,000 to 80,000 craft persons. Also how this enhances B2B opportunities. They invited students to go through their new venture philanthropy on GOCOOP that is helping artisans in providing business through online facilities.
On being asked by a student during his session, on how impact can be measured in an impact venture, he said “We have the right tools for every category that Asha Impact deals in to map Impact churning from a business and it varies from category to category”.
He emphasized that “Pearl Academy being the hub of fashion has the greatest talent for such businesses and I expect a lot of capabilities from Pearl Academy”. He also said that he sees Pearl Academy as a perfect mix of both creativity in fashion and innovation in business.