It's been a long time I wrote about me, so I thought to re-introduce myself, since so much changed in my life in the last year.
It's been already 2 years and 4 months I started my side hustle next to my full time job and 1 year and 2 months I am doing it full time.
This was the first step in 2018 when I made up my mind and wanted to learn about how I can do what I love meaning to combine events and diplomatic protocol. I already was an Events Manager, I started to get certifications in protocol, and I wanted to learn about the business side of things.
This journey took me to some nice places, this was one, a few months before the pandemic in October 2019, where I had a chance to be the Protocol Officer and manage high-level VIPs.
2020 passed sometimes slowly when for 5 months there were no assignments, no events, no work... and fast when I changed the direction of my services towards digital and had increased requests.
Last year, until September 2020, I spent with learning, upgrading my skill set, participating in digital events and masterclasses, finished my coaching which was great and helping organise the MPI Belgium digital sessions with full speed. What a wonderful experience it was to work on online events, I was and am still very happy to be part of this amazing group of event professionals who help me push me out of my comfort zone.
In the summer of 2020, between two lockdowns is Belgium, we managed to get married with my husband, in a small group of 10 close family members. Even though we didn't have yet our religious wedding, it was an amazing day, and we were the happiest and most grateful to be able to do it. From an event point of view, it was fun "hahaha", usually I have several plans in my head if something goes wrong, but here we had to replan and use 6 letters of the alphabet. I think, we were already at plan F when we were 2 days before the day and seemed like a final option. The difference between the previous plans were huge changes, like going from a rented location for 50 with dinner and celebration, we had to go to 10 in our garden with Champagne and cake only, no dinner... The government just changed the measures on the week of our wedding, so we had to quickly adapt. Fortunately, all providers were very flexible, and they didn't charge us for anything in advance.
It was the most beautiful day of our lives, because everybody did their best to make it a blast.
Photo credit: Ivo Popov Photography
The end of the year and beginning 2021 took a quite big turn. I went fully digital with my event organisation services and added a few more, for example project management, tender writing and the biggest, which is event production.
I teamed up with an outstanding event professional, Philip Griffin and created Composite: www.composite.events where together, we provide digital, hybrid and live event production services. This completely changed the game for me. I even have the identity crisis sometimes when I don't know any more if I am an event planner or a technician? The amount of event platforms, softwares are countless today which gives enormous opportunities for mastering these tools and help clients who don't know or don't have time to learn them.
We are in full speed to produce several digital and hybrid events before the summer. This is what it looks like when we test the equipment in Philip's home studio:
Of course, we have a lot of fun, enjoy, and embrace the digital event production from home, until we can meet again :)
This blog post got a bit long, but that's in a nutshell where I am today, so don't be surprised if you see some event tech things from me in the future. Protocol and etiquette are still my great passion, and I am taking clients for managing their VIPs and speakers at digital events, even though it's different from live events. I love to prepare speakers for their sessions, help them through the event tech labyrinth, which is necessary today, share some best practices while presenting online and make sure they all feel comfortable and ready to pass their message. Technology shouldn't be a barrier of a successful speech.
If you read it until here, wow, thank you, you are a very kind person.
I wish you a lot of strength this year and if you want to talk, just send me a message.
Cheers to enjoying life while we can to the fullest and following our hearts!