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a party for 3,000 of my closest friends

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I've never been much of a party goer.
Oh, I like to host get-togethers - plan a nice Christmas party, have the girls over for Bible study or host a direct sales party for a few close friends. But I don't really get into going to big bashes or big organized events.
So imagine my surprise two years ago last April when I was tapped by the big-wigs at work to organize, plan and coordinate the biggest shin-dig women in our area had ever seen. They gave me a budget, a committee, a quick speech about just making sure we broke even and then left me to the planning.
I was scared.
I was a writer...not an event coordinator.
What were they thinking?
Five months later we had our magazine's first women's expo. It was a huge success. We had over 3,000 women there, most of whom read my articles every month and made sure to stop by the booth to say hi! We had over 100 vendors who did their best to get me to promise them specific space, griped when they had to fork over the money, but were thrilled with the turnout.
And we had managers who said they were happy with the whole thing but were reluctant to let us do it again.
They finally gave us permission to have it again...and we doubled the size! We had twice as many booths, took up twice as much space and it required twice as much planning.
I thought I had it all together the first year and was convinced it would be that much easier the second time around.
I was wrong.
Now I'm in the middle of planning the biggest show women in this area have seen.
For the third straight year...
I feel more unorganized than ever...and even less prepared.
I worry daily about how many booths we've sold and whether we're going to make budget.
I have less than two weeks to pull this thing off and we still have empty booth spaces.
It feels like there are a ton of details that aren't planned and already businesses are complaining about their booth placement - and they don't even know where they're located yet!
And I love it.
It's a lot like the adrenalin rush I got when I covered big news events in T.V. Fast paced, a lot of pressure and a certain amount of recognition that puffs my ego a bit too much.
I enjoy telling people to trust me when I say their spot will be a good one. I like telling a vendor, "I'm sorry but there's no one else to talk to, I'm the one in charge."
And I love it when someone tells me about how much fun they had and that this year they're bringing a bunch of their girlfriends with them.
I'm looking forward to seeing the long line waiting at the gate an hour before the expo opens. I can't wait to see the ladies enjoying the fashion show, watching the cooking demonstrations or browsing around in our merchandise mart.
And I'm really looking forward to seeing the expressions on the big-wigs faces when they see the turnout we're expecting.
Of course then the planning for the next year will begin. I just hope there is a next year and maybe this time, planning a party for 3,000 of my closest friends will go a little more smoothly.
Yea...right.

2 salty messages:

Nataliya September 5, 2007 at 8:11 AM  

Wow, Tami, I'm very impressed - not many people would be able to organize such a huge event! Please don't leave your job - not only you are a good writer, but also a great organizer, planner, etc... And you are obviously enjoying it. What magazine are you writing for?

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