Last week saw us welcome over 160 clients to the grand opening of our newly refurbished office in Birmingham.
This event has been in the planning stages for months, but when I was talking to my folks (who were teachers before they retired) came out with the statement “your job is just one big party”, all I did was laugh and agree. My daily commute got me thinking; if they only knew.
It was my job to learn about this exciting new refurbishment and the future WELL Standard aspirations so that I could tell guests and help them discover and learn about our new space. The design team had worked hard to make communication and collaboration the central feature of the office, especially with the beautiful new staircase, and it was now my job to encourage our guests to flow through the new space. What was the answer? Food! We opted to have four food stations on the night offering different street food, and of course a bar on each floor.
Before the event we picked 14 key features of the office that we thought our guests would like some information on. These ranged from our innovative use of biophilia to reuse of materials as well as soundscaping used in our new ‘townhall’ area. We had carefully designed graphics that contained information for our guests to read. We also provided maps for our guests containing useful facts about the office which explained how we, as a practice, like to offer tried and tested solutions to our clients (by using us as the guinea pigs!).
But that was all the prep before the event (not even touching upon the invites sent and chased). Then the day came. Name badges were printed and the office was looking clean and tidy, Partners and staff were fully briefed. Then we just waited for the guests to arrive.
A crowd of guests arrived like clockwork and visitors kept pouring in all night, so it was a good job I had help from two of my trusted colleagues.
Partners were networking and the Twitter activity was off the scale. Everyone who came to the event enjoyed themselves and we have had some fantastic feedback. It is safe to say that the event was a success.
So, I’ve been thinking again. Maybe bits of my job does look like one big party, but I know the work that goes into it. If my colleagues and guests think it just happens, then it means I am doing my job right.*
What did I do to celebrate the success? Play Prosecco-pong (copyright pending) and dance till the early hours of the morning.
*I should also point out there is much more to my daily duties than event planning, bids don’t do themselves!