A Day in the Life…

Day in the Life - Winter 2016 | Perks of Being a JAP | www.perksofbeingajap.com

I’m an event planner. Now before you get all excited and like, “OOOOH PARTIES! THAT MUST BE SO MUCH FUN!” – hold your horses. I’m a corporate event planner. Now you’re still probably like “OOOOH EVENT PLANNING! THAT MUST BE SO MUCH FUN!”

Did you know that event planning has continuously shown up as one of the most stressful jobs? Oh it’s true – I can personally vouch for it haha. But before I get all Negative Nancy on my job – I do love it. I love it even more now that I don’t work for a psychopath. There’s something about putting all the puzzle pieces together that I am good at. And even though I refer to myself as an anti-social social person (#TRUTH) I really like meeting everyone at the events, putting the faces to the names and being that point person for whatever it is that someone needs.

I also get to travel, which is a positive and a negative. The positive is that I get to travel to places I haven’t been to before or love going to. The negative is that I’m away from home frequently and a lot of times I barely leave the hotel where the event is. With my previous job I was literally in San Francisco six times before I actually saw any of the city.

Since I was in San Diego last week for an event I figured it would be fun to give a little glimpse into what a day as a corporate event planner looks like. πŸ™‚ Are you ready?

My alarm goes off at 6:09am and I want to punch it in the face. And this is a later wake up for the event! But it’s the last day so our start time is later than it has been the last couple of days. (More like 4:45am – 5:00am… WORST.)

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This is what I look like in the morning. YOU’RE WELCOME. Sheesh, we’ve got some work to do! Gotta clean up for those clients!

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Ta-da! So much better. I have makeup on my face, I’ve fixed my nest of hair and I’m dressed and ready to go with my fancy name badge. WOO HOO!

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I got ready so quickly that I have some time to kill so I go to town on a bag of popcorn I had leftover from the day before. #classy. My room is also down the hall from the convention hall so I don’t need to rush over.

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Now registration and breakfast don’t begin until 8:00am and I’ve got over an hour to kill until then so first stop – COFFEE. If the barista could pour it directly into my veins that would be preferable, but I don’t think its an option so I ask for a large iced coffee instead. I also chat with another team member and a sponsor who are down this early too, trying to remember to be friendly because I = NOT a morning person.

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Ta-da! The beautiful registration area! There’s more that goes on here during the first couple of days of the event, but we’ve broken down some already and people tend to trickle in this day vs all being on time, so its light.

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Here you will see my executive schedule – AKA THE BIBLE. This doc details everything that should be happening at any time throughout the event. It takes weeks to put this thing together and it’s edited until basically the day before the event kicks off. As we go through I take great enjoyment in ripping off the pages that are done and crossing out things as we go.

You can get a peek of my cute turquoise and gold clipboard/padfolio that accompanies me throughout the days. Looks like Kate Spade, came from Target!

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Every so often I peek into our General Session space – here plenary sessions and panel discussions take place and it’s the only area where we allow PowerPoint! Our breakout sessions are PowerPoint free! Here is one of our keynotes killing it.

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OMG by now it’s like 9:15am and I’m DYING for another cup of coffee. GIVE IT TO ME!!!

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We introduced a social media wall at the event and it went over so well! I have to make sure to check it regularly for anything that isn’t appropriate. Luckily the platform blocks profanity so I don’t have to check for that, but we want to make sure nothing negative pops up!

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Medals are here! We had a networking reception with Olympic games last night and the medals didn’t come in time! πŸ™ The vendor actually mailed them to my colleague’s ex-boyfriend’s house (her old billing address – AWKWARD) and they had to overnight them to us. They didn’t make it for the reception but we gave them out at lunch to make up for it! It’s amazing how much grown adults get into these silly games!

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If I’m not manning the registration desk you can usually find me running around the event space. Β (Sometimes like a chicken with its head cut off.) This is one of our smaller, more tame events so I haven’t had to hustle much (thankfully!) But I always, ALWAYS wear flats to the event. ALWAYS. Heels may be cute but when you’re running back and forth for 12 hours IT’S NOT WORTH IT.

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T-shirt tiiiiiiiiime!!! Fill out an evaluation and give a (positive) testimonial and get an event t-shirt! They were in a massive jumble in one of our event trunks so my coworker and I spent part of the luncheon hour refolding them into size piles so they would be easier to grab for everyone.

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AHHH we’re almost near the end! We only have about 2 hours left to go! I’m cleaning off the registration desk and trying to start packing things up so we have less to do at the end. We also have another part of our company throwing a gala that evening so the minute our event is over we have to pack it up and GO.

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WE’RE DONE!!! YEEE HAWWW. Our team is cooling off in our office recapping and just hanging out before we regroup for dinner. I’m celebrating with a beer! Not my beer of choice, but beggars can’t be choosers!

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It was, and always is, so good to be done!! Our events are 3-4 days long and by the end I am spent! The next day I was on an early flight home and back in the office to start the post-event work! I could take a day off if I wanted right after the event but I’d rather save it and get some work done right away.

There you have it! Maybe one day I’ll do a busier event prep day or something. I hope that gave you a glimpse into the event planner life! Please don’t hesitate to comment or email (perksofbeingajap at gmail.com) if you have any questions!

**EDIT** I wanted to throw in that this event and this last day in particular were pretty easy. Trust me – there’s some days, even on the very last day, where I’m running around like a crazy person, my feet swelling and my calves aching, just waiting for the day to end because I’m so spent/stressed. I was lucky this time! πŸ™‚

Comments

  1. I love being that point person who can get things done for people. It’s one of the things I loved about stage managing for concerts & events, as well as helping out our tour manager. When you’re able to manage all these moving pieces and make things happen, it’s kind of magical and makes you feel like a boss. I love and miss that.
    Erini recently posted…Sunday Lately #01/55My Profile

  2. Aw I miss this (today) I loved what I did when I did it, but too had a psycho boss and couldn’t stay. That said, I get a little bit of it every year because we all pitch in for our annual convention and run our own mini programs throughout the year.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  3. I plan three pretty big events per year, two are for about 125 people and at which I am ALSO the keynote speaker (yes, it’s true), and one big conference for 750 people that I gave two presentations at last year. D-Day is, by far, the very very worst day. And I also rarely take the next day off because I’d rather wrap it all up and then be able to truly relax.

    Gah. Bane of my work-life existence.

    xox
    Feisty Harriet recently posted…Blues and RedsMy Profile

  4. What a cool job – but girl, this would definitely kill me. I’m nowhere near organized enough for a gig like this. Color me impressed!
    Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com recently posted…8 Things I’d Forgotten About SnowMy Profile

  5. This was really insightful! I enjoyed seeing a day in your life. Especially since I attend corporate events, it’s interesting to see “the other side”.

    P.S. I do drink Bud Light Lime, especially when out in hot Southern summer, and Dan hates it! He says it’s just watered down beer… but I told him that’s what’s great about it for me. I’m a lightweight, so if I’m at a party for hours and don’t want to get wasted, I can have a couple of those vs. a single drink of something else! LOL

    • Thanks! It’s totally a blessing and a curse to do events – every time I go to someone else’s event I can’t turn it off and so I’m constantly wanting to fix things! And that’s too funny about the BLL!

  6. You should submit this post to the Day in the Life round up (found here: http://julia-transition.blogspot.com/2016/01/a-day-in-life-heads-up-for-winter-2016.html). I love reading about people’s days!
    nonsequiturchica recently posted…Izzy snippetsMy Profile

  7. Oh my, I had forgotten how much I disliked event planning, a.k.a. herding cats, until you brought it all back. Enjoy–you definitely won’t find me trying to get your job!

    • Hahaha! It’s funny how until someone actually plans an event (and not like a birthday party) that they really don’t understand how difficult it can be! Thanks for the comment. πŸ™‚

  8. Any event is going to be stressful. I just think back on my wedding. Lol. But I’m sure it feels so good to be done and pull off a successful event! Plus I love to organize things.
    Meghan recently posted…Chambray Dress for WinterMy Profile

  9. Sweet mercy you are a saint. In no way would I be that organized and that “on” all of the time for an event. Hopefully you’ll have an event in LA next time! πŸ™‚
    katelin recently posted…Some Happenings.My Profile

  10. Love it, and really dislike BLL (bud light lime) but hey, alcohol is alcohol sometimes, right? πŸ˜‰

  11. I’m fascinated by what other people’s jobs are like so this was very interesting to read. Thanks for sharing!
    jolizie recently posted…Project 52 – Frost – Week 4My Profile

  12. Loved reading this! I too am a corporate event planner…it’s a crazy world but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

  13. I work retail and when I tell people that all they do is picture me ringing up customers and dealing with inventory. But I work for my family owned store so I’ve got my hands in just about every aspect of the business. So, on top of normal retail-y tasks, I also manage the accounting, do the ordering, run the social media + marketing, and whatever else needs to be done to make sure the store stays afloat. It’s a lot of work and most days I enjoy it. It’s always interesting to see what other’s work days look like. Thanks for sharing!

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