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.’