Untitled - 11Feb2016

This is a follow up post on my previous one about an event. For the lazy ones, on the last post I spoke ranted about how I loved working on an event after almost two years.

So, the event happened, with some changes (1-day instead of 3, less complex, more stressful, higher expectations, unfamiliar crew etc.). And I loved it. For the simple reason that I was on my toes for two days. I could see things happen - instantly - no waiting for approvals, no red tape, no jargon. All action. And then, I was on the top. I could tell people to move their ass and I could see things happening. I was in control. I was talking to different kinds of people - client (had to be polite), vendors (had to be tactful), workers (had to be rude), the hotel staff (diplomatic) and each kind of person had their unique backgrounds and experiences.

The show was a very very simple one in the end. A VIP speech, some awards to guests, a dance troupe and thats it. No frills (compared to elaborate things I did while I was at Gravity). So, may be I am making a mountain out of a mole. But it was important for me. I egged on RG to take up the project and told him that I will deliver it to perfection. And I think I did. And its a big fucking deal! Both in the short term and in the long term. Short - last few days have been messed up for a lot of reasons and I needed something to be happy about. Long - I now know that I can pull off whatever shit is required, at least in the events business. May be I need to focus exclusively on it and build it? May be. Lets see.

There are a few unrelated observations though. Let me make a list.

A. I missed the team I am used to working with (read Suvi from Gravity and Dipanker, Solomon, Piuysh, Sanjeev, Pradeep, Meghna, Mrs. Mohan etc - I want to list everyone at Gravity here but I shall not). Since this was an event for a new client, I hardly know trust their team. And I hardly know the client. And I did not know the vendors at all. So there were like a million times when I wished there was Suvi next to me on the console. There was Killa on the sound, Solo on AV, Sanjeev on call for everything else.

Moment I put up the walkie while running the show, I was taken back to our conversations and gossip while running a show.

The craziest realization was that while setting up, everytime I fucked up or I needed some advice, I would call out loud, "Suvi, nahi ho raha, just see this," only to realise that Suvi is nowhere around. I was testing the mics and I wanted the monitor levels to go down, I yelled, "Killa, reduce the damn monitor" and there was no Killa. When I saw someone from the crew fucking up, I missed having Piyush around to get them in line. You get the point. Damn, we were an amazing bunch at Gravity. Dunno what happened.

B. I think I now realize the importance of what I did while I was at Gravity. Wait, let me explain. There are multiple layers to this. I will not digress, but in short, sgMS did not approve of my choice of career as an events guy, she felt I could do better with my life. And I agreed back then. Agree even now. In fact, I even felt that events are sham and why spend money and all that. This time, however, even a simple event like this one made so many people happy, that I am amazed! May be events is interesting after all.

I think at an event, the emotional brain probably takes over. I mean, how many times does a client come and hug you after you have presented him with a brand strategy document? Even if the hug was awkward!

C. I grew up as an events guy. I got into technical discussion and fabrication and design and other things. Things that I always assumed someone from team (read point A) would have done. This time, there was no one to back me up. The people I was working for, they also dont really do events. So I was on my own and I had to do everything. And it was such a learning experience. I realized why Dipanker went out to smoke at least once with each technician before the show.

D. Realised the importance of planning. Things went well because we had planned so much and so hard. Next time on, I am not doing an event without putting this much effort.

Context: At Gravity, events is bread and butter and like Suvi says, "We do a show like this everyday and even a trainee at Gravity could execute it this well, without anyone else knowing about it." So, often we would not put a lot of time or effort in various shows. We would rely on the team to execute. And they did. But I dont have the luxury of a team. Neither I have the luxury of working with people who've given all their lives to events. So I have to be prepared. Because if I do my homework well, I could be content that I put in the effort. But then, do efforts really count? Results definitely do. Digressing.

So, while this one went well, I am sure there will be bad days. In fact I have faced quite a few of those. I can think of two particular incidents when everything failed and the client was left red faced (TKS at Mumbai and MB at Vancouver). Thankfully, there was Suvi to take the heat. Now on, however, there is no Suvi. There is me.

E. I learnt that I still get depressed after a show is over. I dont know why. May be something to with adrenaline pumping out? Who knows.

Anyhow, thats all I have for today's update. As they say, all that ends well is well. This one was well. Have taken my lessons and I shall continue to try.

So, until the next one,
Over and out.

P.S.: Thank you Suvi. Everything I know about events, you have taught me. And you have made me better. Hope to be as good as you some day. And the other unsung heroes of Gravity, thank you guys! Also, Hardeep Sir, if you are reading this, thank you. You know why.

P.P.S.: Thank you RG at V for trusting me and giving me the opportunity to do this. Thank you VG for telling me that you look forward to reading these posts. Thanks man.

P.P.P.S.: Want to hire an event manager agency? Please give me an opportunity. I am at saurabh.garg@gmail.com.

#note2Self: Thoughts as I was writing this...
  • For each blogpost that I write, I dont really have a direction where I want it to go. I spew words and when I cant think of more things, I end the post. May not be a great way to write. I dont think I will be a good writer if I knew of the agenda, the topic or the outcome.
  • My constant crib is that despite my age, I am worried about inane things - like my need to control the outcome, my need to remain busy et al. While people my age (read Mark Zuckerberg) are busy changing the world! 
  • sgMS says that I use the word I way too many times. I this, I that. In ten sentences, I type I 50 times on average. Take this one for example - 8 "I"s in the last three sentences! 

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