I am reflecting a lot these days about the present and future. Other than learning from the past, I prefer not to overthink that.
This crisis, the past six months, made me rethink my work, well-being, evaluate where I am. While I was pivoting and learning, being honest, I feel a completely different person compared to 6 months ago.
While I will introduce you to the new me in a second, I also realised that whatever we learn, whatever we go through, our "why" remains the same.
This morning, I was reading my own words why I became an event professional:
" I have always been a practical person throughout my life: the truth is that I discovered my passion for organising when watching an old video of 7-year-old me. Guess what! On that video, I was showing kids where to sit at church during my auntie's wedding. It was enlightening: I had found my passion and life objective. Even though I knew very little about the event industry, I was sure about one thing: I wanted to help people get what they dream of."
Reading my 'why' again, inspired me back so much and reminded me why I am doing it, which is still what drives me every day to help others to make their dream come true. I am only capable of doing that through organising events, and help others by lifting the burden and stress off of their shoulder.
How was my past six months?
🌸 I invested in people: I connected to 550+ event professionals worldwide on social media, I got to know amazing ones a bit better through FB groups, Insta and LinkedIn. I learnt so much about the event industry; I feel I lived in a bubble before. I hope one day in the future I can meet these amazing people in real life.
🌸I finished my event business coaching with Alecia May; it was the best thing that happened to me during the crisis. I don't know how I would have stayed sane in this crisis without her and the group of lovely event business owner ladies in the States. Forever grateful life worked it this way, and we went through this together and supported each other.
🌸I invested in learning: I completed two certification with MPI Academy about event emergency preparedness and crisis communication during events, I attended 60+ webinars, online activities, networking sessions. I learnt about marketing, digital marketing, using different online platforms to automate my business, business development, and more.
🌸 I invested in MPI: at the beginning of the year, I started as VP Communication in the MPI Belgium Chapter, and in July, I became the President of the Chapter. We organised online masterclasses since march, which was great to participate not only to the 'virtual event' organisation part, but also to learn about all the different topics. I even gave one session with an excellent expert, Gabriella Kanyok on "Virtual events etiquette". Having a board of incredible experts, I feel very motivated with ambitious plans for the next MPI year.
🌸I was on the winning team of the Event Planners Talk Hackathon: With four other outstanding event experts around the globe, we teamed up and completed the Hackathon which aimed to create a 12-month business plan for an event agency to recover after COVID-19. It was a very unique and fantastic experience!
🌸 We organised our civil wedding: Although it will be a small one, probably this was the most stressful event of all of my life. It was supposed to be easy, considering I was an event organiser. However, due to corona, we had to postpone our wedding. We were quite sad and came up with a solution that we organise a small one, only family ceremony in Belgium. The event planning part was quite easy, but all the stress corona gave us, made us ten years older on some days. The government changed the number of participants almost weekly, which made it impossible to make decisions until the last minute. Now, it looks like it will go ahead and we will get married in a few weeks.
Probably I forgot something, but that's fine :)
What's in the oven for the future?
I created my first event skill-sharing platform with the idea to share my event planner skills with those who want to learn about the organisation, planning and events.
The first course is about self-organisation to improve the way to achieve our goals. I based the sessions on what I learnt and used in the past years, and I hope it will be useful for somebody who wants to achieve a goal and need a bit of help how to do that.
In the same skill-sharing spirit and inspired by my 'why', I am also working on a new concept, what I call Planner Mastery 101. In this new community, I aim to share about event planning to those who always dreamt about having help when they organised something and feel lost in the process. I aim to take the burden of planning off of their shoulder and enable them to hold their best event yet. More on this coming soon :)