Extraordinary Events Podcast

Ep 60: When You Know Events Are for You

March 16, 2021 Extraordinary Events
Extraordinary Events Podcast
Ep 60: When You Know Events Are for You
Chapters
Extraordinary Events Podcast
Ep 60: When You Know Events Are for You
Mar 16, 2021
Extraordinary Events

Do you remember the moment you knew that you wanted to pursue your current career? In this podcast episode, I discuss the lessons my current advanced events operations course students are learning while planning their event, how these lessons will help them in their future career, and how planning this event is helping them decide if event planning is their passion and future career choice! 

If you want to come to Level Up Your Event Game, send an email to [email protected] and I will send you your own coupon code with money off of the event at registration! 

If you are interested in learning more about Level Up Your Event Game, please visit our website at levelupyoureventgame.com 

Show Notes Transcript

Do you remember the moment you knew that you wanted to pursue your current career? In this podcast episode, I discuss the lessons my current advanced events operations course students are learning while planning their event, how these lessons will help them in their future career, and how planning this event is helping them decide if event planning is their passion and future career choice! 

If you want to come to Level Up Your Event Game, send an email to [email protected] and I will send you your own coupon code with money off of the event at registration! 

If you are interested in learning more about Level Up Your Event Game, please visit our website at levelupyoureventgame.com 

Hello, Hello, my friends! It is that super duper, awesome, energizing exciting time of the semester, what time is that you might ask? It is that time where we are two to three weeks before our big event in our advanced events capstone style course. And you are seeing the students and their creativity and their DIY. And you can just really tell if students are in it to win it, if events is their calling, or if they realize I really like events, but maybe events is not for me. And this is just such a fun time in the semester. 

Now, I might take a different philosophy on teaching or my teaching style. I'm sure many of you who are listening to the podcast have probably figured that out before. But I really try to take the mentality that students are in the university system, students are continuing their education to figure out what it is exactly that they want to do. So it's not the job of me as the teacher to convince students that events is for them, or that hospitality is for them. Or that they can do anything they want with their degree. Because of course, that is true. But that is not my purpose. When I'm teaching. My purpose is to give students a realistic view of what it takes to be an event planner, or involved in the event industry. And then let them figure out if this is the right career path for them. And if the answer is no, that is okay. I tell students all the time, this is why you're in this class, this is why you're in this program. This is why you're in college to figure out exactly what it is you want to do. I'm not trying to trick you by showing you all of the amazing fun parts of events. And then you graduate and you get your first career job. And then you realize that it sucks and you hate it. That is not my intent at all. My intent is to give you really that holistic experience. 

And I love doing this through the advanced events class, or event capstone, different names at different universities. But in this course, the students are actually planning events for the industry, for the community at large. And it's just so much fun. Every semester, it seems that my students are just super passionate about one specific project. And I look at it as a teacher, as an event professional, as a consultant, as a facilitator. And I say that is just not worth your time. Time is money. But the students are just super passionate about it. And I am always that person who is like, okay, it's going to be a learning experience. If this is what you want to do, I'm totally supportive. But let's acknowledge the amount of time this is going to take and if it's something that you're truly committed to. 

So as one example, last year, in the spring, advanced events course, we were doing an airplane kind of travel theme for our event. And the students had tons of up lighting and really, really cool audio visual. And they decided they were converting an abandoned office space into this really hot spot kind of reception area. It was so cool. And the students decided that they wanted to make paper airplanes to hang from the ceiling. And so of course, I'm sitting there figuring out the square footage of the space, and how many paper airplanes that would be. And then if you have arcs, and then if you're swinging, and I said okay, this is not something that I would necessarily invest my time into. But it seems you guys are very passionate. So let's figure out the plan for this. And then we'll see if you guys still want to do it. And if you do, that's awesome. Great. It's a great learning experience and great time management and great logistics. And then we will recap it at the end. It was super fun and super interesting. The students were so into it. I know that they had groups of students that met on different Saturdays, like three Saturdays of the semester, and they had gotten a whole bunch of recycled paper. And they just spent their entire Saturdays making paper airplanes and stapling them to fishing line. And then finding ways that they could kind of fold them up and lightly put them into boxes or trash bags. So they could literally bring like 1500, 1500, 1500 paper airplanes. The students were super obsessed with this concept. And I will tell you, it was amazing. It totally transformed the space. It made such a big difference. And that's what I just absolutely love. Students get this vision in their mind.

And I'm totally supportive. I just want them to go into these projects with their eyes wide open. And when we debriefed after the event, everyone agreed that it totally transformed the space. But if they were getting paid by the hour, would they have done it? Probably not. But they weren't getting paid by the hour, and they're getting experience. And they're figuring things out playing with light and shadows. It was just super, super fun. I remember time, oh, my goodness, a long, long time ago, I was teaching at the University of Nevada, in Las Vegas, same thing, my students were planning the hotel college career mixer. And they had just this specific concept in their mind they wanted to do, and I was like, “Okay, this is just gonna be so much work for you.” And they were committed, they were like, we're gonna show you I'm like, Awesome, cool. I'm here. I'm here as a guide, let me know what I can do to help. Let's see the pros and cons and get you what you need. And they spent hours and hours and hours and hours on it. And even though it added to the event, and people commented on it, at the end, they said, yeah, we would have never done that. That is something that we would never do. Again, that didn't add enough to the event to make it worth it. 

And it's super interesting, because every semester, there's always that one project, and you're always curious in the debrief how it's gonna go one way or the other. So this semester, I don't want to give too much away, because the event hasn't actually happened yet. But let's just say this semester, the students really got it in their mind that they wanted to custom design facemask cloth face masks, with this really cool like this event planner, kind of play on words, super, super fun, hadn't seen anything like it, they looked up some sayings, and it was amazing. Then they said, Oh, well, we're gonna do this on Cricket. And I'm like, you're doing 100 bass, and you're doing it on cricket. So let's think about this, you have to purchase the masks or get them donated, you have to get the vinyl and get it donated, you have to find the cricket, you are crickets to actually cut all of this. And then oh goodness, if you have never used a Cricut there's this process called weeding, we have to sit down and pick out all the extra pieces and you have to iron it on. And you're doing this for letters like tiny letters, you're gonna have to pick out all those things if they get stuck, and you have periods and commas. And the students were like, “No, no, no, this is what we're doing.” Cool, awesome total support, just let's be aware of what you're getting into. 

And so students just finished that process yesterday, there was anywhere between probably four to seven students four days in a row, all just doing weeding and ironing, and they love them. And I just know that they are going to be so proud they made some for themselves and for the volunteers. And I just know that they're just going to love those. And they're going to get so many compliments on them. And so I'm super interested to see in the debrief, if they found that that was worth their time. 

This particular group is really into the DIY. And that's amazing, that is so cool. They're getting so close to each other. And I'm gonna stop there, I was going to tell you some more of their DIY projects that are spending so much hard effort and time in these projects. And I'm so excited in a couple of weeks to get back on the podcast and to share with you. Now, as I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, when I started telling you these stories, that it's really during this process that you figure out like, okay, who's signing up for the bare minimum shifts that the class agreed upon, right? So not me coming in and saying you are required to do three shifts outside of class, the class agreed they're all going to do like a shift or whatnot. So who are those students that are stepping up that are in the game? They're in the mindset, they're dedicated, they'll do whatever it takes to make the event successful? And who are those students who maybe are hanging out in the sideline saying like, is this for grade? Do I have to do this, you know, maybe changing our rsvps at the last minute. And I think it's really kind of interesting to see the different mentalities. And this is such a unique class to be able to see that, to experience that. 

And I love this particular class, because you just get so close. I know all of the students, I've actually met some of their parents. And it's just such a growth moment. You can literally see students growing in front of you going from this, I kind of know about events from a book and a project into wow, like I did this, like I solicited sponsors, and I created marketing. And I did this and I did that, and this is the event in front of me and oh my gosh, I'm here and I set it up and I'm executing it, and then I'm debriefing it and we're on stage and we're talking about it and you can literally see the growth in the students right in front of you and it's just it's my favorite feeling. I'm so fortunate and glad that I get to teach this class almost every single semester. It's my favorite class to teach, though I really, really love intro. I mean, I would probably say they're probably tied now. But I just love this class so much. And I'm so excited about the different things that we're doing. And I think it's on the docket in the fall to do another free wedding giveaway for a bride who wants to have a destination wedding somewhere in Nebraska. And I'm super pumped about that we just have such great partners in the industry, such amazing supporters of our students, and our program, and the class and just the events. And it's just so amazing. I just am so thankful and love that I get to do what I get to do every single day. 

One of the other things that is really noticeable through this class is you get to really know people's personalities. So I was taking a break today and I was going to get something to eat in a different building. Some of the students came with me, and we were just talking like, what do you want to do in your life? And what do you think you want to do? And, you know, I never say anything that's negative. I'm like, “Oh, that's what you want to do? Like, that's awesome. Have you thought about this, this and this?” And I was talking to this one person, and she said, This is what I think I want to do right now. And I'm like, oh, okay, like, absolutely, if that's what you want to do, like, these are definitely some avenues to get there. Maybe you should do an internship in this area. And I think just after seeing 1,000s of students at this point, and teaching them and seeing their personalities, and then following along with their path and what they're doing and seeing kind of where they ended up and how many messages I still got of like “Dr. K”, and I don't want to say it's a science because everybody's an individual. And anybody can surprise you at any given moment. You just sit there and say, “Hmm, do you really want to plan events? And that top luxury private Country Club?” “Do you really want to plan, you know, sporting events, you are talking about wanting to work an eight to five Monday to Friday?” You know, so you just see these different personalities have this sounds cool, but is it actually feasible with the lifestyle that I want? And I definitely had a couple of those moments today that made me sit back and say, it'll be really interesting to like, stay in touch with you and see if this is what you want to do. But until then, like, of course, let's figure out a plan and see if this is truly what you want to do. And definitely opening up eyes to potential other career choices for sure. 

I have also in the past week, it seems like everyone says COVID losing jobs and furloughed, but I've had three, three former students recharged me in the same week. All three of them said, “I've been listening to your podcast and thinking about purpose and think about what's my why. And I'm not really happy and I want to change my job or my career. What would you advise? And here are students I haven't had in 3, 5, 7 years. And my favorite is always when they come back. And they're like, super top like director of events for like this major organization, or just with a really great company. And they come back and they're like Dr. K, will you look at my resume and help me with my next job. And I'm like, absolutely, like I'm a teacher, first semester or teacher for a year, or a teacher for two years. But I am a mentor and friend for life. And I'm always here for you, like, don't hesitate to reach out. And I just absolutely love that I had three former students all from many years ago, that I've reached out, and it just makes my heart so full, and so happy. And this whole entire week, this whole two weeks, you know, I do lose a little bit of sleep because I just I'm so invested in my students and in their events and, and their process. And there's just so passionate and it's so invigorating, it's not even tiring. I just truly, truly love what I get to do. 

And part of that now is you dear podcast listeners, you are something that I am so fortunate to be able to do. If you have followed this podcast for any length of time, Tuesdays, we kind of go over lessons in life coaching. And Thursdays we alternate between a student podcast and an industry podcast. My students are getting their podcast ideas, kind of like checked, I had a student who reached out and said, “Hey, can I do a podcast? Like I just want to be on the podcast? your podcast is so fun!” Like, absolutely. Let's figure it out. And I'm so fortunate for some of the other activities we have coming up. Being a guest on other people's podcast, I have a global keynote and teaching engagement coming up. I'm just so, so thankful for all of the love and support from all of you and from my life toolbox of friends and network. So with that, I want to thank you all again so, so, so, so much for taking the time to make the time. I'll talk with you soon.