Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dabbling in a bit of this and that

Yesterday was a pretty stressful day, after a few weeks of planning the day came where we were to host the AAGE forum. This saw the majority of Sydney HR Managers, Recruitment Mangers and Graduate Recruiters come to our office for a conference.

I have had no event management experience, so when I was told that I would be looking after this I I just thought 'Shit, what do I do?' so I started with what I knew best organising the food.

I was told that there would be roughly 60 people attending and the Association would reimburse us $15 per head for food. Lucky for me we have a fully catered kitchen and access to excellent caterers, so it was just a matter of deciding what food I wanted to have and assigning kitchen to organise it. Because the guests only had 30 mins to eat I had to keep the dishes simple (and ensure that they could eat it off their laps while seated). I settle on gourmet finger sandwiches, sushi platters, antipasto platters, a selection of cold meats, brown rice salad, mini quiches and a few other things.

No matter how organised you are or how much you plan, things just always go wrong. The nametags didn't arrive from Melbourne till the last minute, about 20 extra people show up unannounced. Even with the 'no shows' we still had 70 people crammed in a room that usually fits 55 (all the other rooms had been booked out before hand). It was also at that moment that the air conditioning for the whole floor conked out. To top it off the food started to run out, this was mainly due to the finger sandwiches and sushi platters arriving 30 minutes late (I was so angry!).

I was running around like crazy! We had 3 functions going on at the same time and our kitchen was short staffed. I ended doing everything from greeting guests as they arrived to bringing out food and collecting rubbish. After all the effort with the food I didn't get to eat anything!

Despite all the dramas behind the scene the guests were none the wiser. The presentation went really well, everyone had a seat, people were fed and the wide doors were opened for ventilation. I think that the best feeling was when I overheard people talking amongst themselves about how great the lunch was (I did a little dance on the inside).

I'm going to be really busy in the next few months, I've yet to go out to present to USYD, UNSW, Newcastle and Wollongong Uni's. I'm organising Kid's @ Deacons day (bit worried about this one) as well as an open day and cocktail night for summer clerks. I guess any experience is good experience.
Setting up (the chairs didn't

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