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What winning the hackathon means for me?

What hackathon? Well, this one ->

"Develop a business plan for an event agency affected by COVID-19" by Event Planners Talk

Yes yes, we WON, incredible, right??? 😊

Pivoting is the number one word I hear every-single-day… I am wondering, after the corona, will we need to re-introduce ourselves? I feel like being a completely different person professionally. Yesterday, I was an association event planner, doing pure planning and logistics. I was a protocol advisor for some events and met amazing VIPs.

Today, I feel like an IT help desk, a website developer, a graphic designer, an accountant, an HR, a marketing and comms, sales department and so much more, all in me. I feel, I do not only need to pivot, but also grow. Grow as big as possible, as quick as possible.

Participating and WINNING in the first ever #eventsprofs #hackathon meant pivoting and growing for me. I have never done anything like this before, but when I saw the challenge, I thought I am an event professional, and maybe I can come up with ideas that could help a business recover from COVID-19. We throw our ideas together and started to think strategically, out of the box. We used the best skills an event planner can have; we were creative and structured! We were solution oriented and realistic. We were practical and human.

I strongly believe this will be the future. We will need to be more agile like never and we will need to think how we categorize ourselves and each other after this crisis is over. Today, we are more than event planners. Today, we are strategic thinkers and game changers. An event is ‘amazing’ when it has unexpected elements, that is why we bring out of the box ideas into our events. That is why this challenge made me realize, that when we pivot, we can use our event planner skills for good, even when we cannot plan events. Cheers to the winning team, who pushed hard to have a solid business plan created just in 48h.

I would like to thank to Event Planners Talk for this challenge. It not only pushed me out of my comfort zone; but gave me solutions I can implement from today; and connected me with incredible professionals.

The business plan will be published on the week of 18 May and we hope to help event agencies with our ideas to implement and help recover from COVID-19 in the next 12 months. Watch out for the plans on Events Planners Talk website!

Thanks Ladies!

"Teamwork makes the dreamwork" - John Maxwell

Have a little sneak peek of our business plan just here. If you want to know more about the hackathon, continue reading after the pictures.

I subscribed a few weeks before the start and just knew that on 23 April at 8pm BST the countdown starts, and we have to get to work with a team we never met and produce a business plan in 48h. We had time from Friday evening till Sunday evening on 25 April. We immediately started to chat on Slack where we collaborated and after a few messages we started to share ideas. We found the most efficient way to share these is via a Google document. We spent half a day on just throwing ideas into the document. This became the foundation of our plan. Once we felt complete, we started to structure our work first around a general business plan structure that is known traditionally. After that we just spread the ideas and run a second layer, we fine-tuned them to be in line with the pointers we got from the organizers. Once we were happy, we had everything, we started to type out the whole text, we elaborated on all the ideas and explain all the details. Once done, half of us started to work on visuals and the other half on the financial plan and proofreading. We did a final check that everything is in it, is consistent and when we were all happy with it, we sent it.

What I found the most amazing about this experience, is that with all the team members, we just spoke to each other first time in our life on 23 April around 8pm... And 3 hours later, we had our business plan content structure. We were from different countries, UK, Spain, Ghana, with different nationalities including Russian and me as Hungarian. This is incredible. We had to find the right tone, the right words to communicate and produce something together. It was intercultural communication on a whole next level. Next to that, we had different work experiences and we added so much value together that I could have never get otherwise. In addition, from my experience, when you put a few people together, traditionally somebody decides who is the leader and what are the roles of others. Here, what I appreciated the most, is that we did not lose time on such small things. We followed our instincts, and everybody pitched in with what they feel doing. We naturally found our roles without deciding, and we just did our part, working for the final goal, to have the business plan. This thought me so much! For example, that sometimes we over complicate things that could be simpler.

We directly connected to each other's vibe and just did what we had to. This experience, once again, confirmed for me, how event professionals have magic powers, they are the best communicators and the best team members. They want to make the plan work; they find solutions no excuses. When you organize events for different clients, this is the attitude that makes a difference. So happy to be part of this, to learn and grow, and to WIN my first ever hackathon!!! I am so happy, still smiling 😊

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