150 150 Next Level Event Design

There was no previous warning but it happened… it became One of Those Days. The first sign was when my 3 year old daughter woke up screaming from a nightmare. After multiple attempts, my efforts were successful and she finally went back to sleep. I quietly crept back to my bedroom feeling confident about my accomplishment. Just a few moments later… the second rude awakening was from my alarm clock telling me it was now 5 a.m. time to get up. Really?

A few hours later, I am confronted by my daughter’s fashion tantrum. A few minutes later, my 9 year old tries to be helpful but ends up declaring war on his uniform. He swears the uniform declared war on him and that it is ‘malfunctioning’. When the Nanny finally arrives, she has trouble with the washing machine, and presents me with a strange part, she has extracted from said – now non-working machine. She hands it to me as if it is a trophy. Really?

I decide not to flinch and just accept the fact that it’s just going to be One of Those Days. I don’t usually resort to this but it’s clearly time… I need to pull out my super-hero cape (invisible) and my game face (visible). I load everyone into the car for the school run. Before we arrive, our car gets hit by a squad car (ever so lightly but nevertheless hit). No one is injured and there’s not a scratch on our car. What used to be the police vehicle’s side view mirror now resembles a sad looking antenna, otherwise all is fine. We are now invited to the Police Station, where we spend the next 1.25 hours. During which time, my 3 year old insists on entertaining everyone in the Police Station with her twirls and dance moves. This lovely experience ends with being told that I have 2 court appearances to look forward to. Despite the cape and game face I nearly laugh, or maybe I nearly cry. Did I mention it’s only 9:30 A.M at this point?

I still have yet to drop off the Police Station’s favorite dancer at day care, get stuck in traffic, attend 2 conference calls, get stuck in traffic, pack my suitcase, and then get stuck in traffic again on the way to the airport to catch an early afternoon flight. With my game face on and cape blowing in the wind, I am going to make that flight in spite of traffic and any other obstacle that is going to throw itself in front of me – or my car. I did make that flight – with 3 minutes to spare. Really!

At the end of the day while I was putting away my cape and taking my game face off, I was reflecting on the day’s events. The day made me feel as if I was stuck in an improvisational skit while playing Frogger. Now this is really one of the things I love most about event planning – adapting to situations, improvising and trying to see potential possibilities or alternatives. Very often this is required during the planning phase – for whatever reason something will get rerouted or plans derailed, sometimes even during the event. This is the philosophy of continuous invention and adaptation is key.

Unfortunately I didn’t become a super-hero (mainly because I couldn’t find an appropriate cape), but once I regained my sense of humor I was able to appreciate and/or tackle the challenges, just as I do at work. In the end I felt rejuvenated by the fact that determination (not to mention the game face) succeeded once again!