11-11-11 Reflections on #ECV11

by Katie Schaeffers on 11/11/11

EventCamp Vancouver working

The room at work

Why am I an event producer?

I asked myself this question a few times throughout the weekend of Event Camp Vancouver.  As I watched many great sessions on how-to, I kept asking myself – what about the why?  Here’s a secret – I’m not a details person.  Gant charts make me ill.  So that can’t be it.  I mean, the details, the control – that can’t be what I love about events.

When I talk about my love for events, I talk a lot about objectives, strategy – I most certainly had some of those conversations with many of you, my fellow #eventprofs, that weekend.  But perhaps the most resonating conversation I had was about a very simple concept:  when do we “feel good”.  And when I say feel good, I mean something very specific.  Most of us can identify times when we’ve felt happy, satisfied, perhaps even elated – particularly around a “job well done”. However, feeing good is much deeper than that.

In 2008 I watched the Goo Goo Dolls perform in the middle of a golf course on Maui.  My team booked the talent, and produced the concert.  I watched from a grassy hill behind all the guests under a full moon.  Do I like the Goo Goo Dolls’ music? Not particularly. Did the experience take my breath away?   Absolutely.

In 2010 I sailed with BC Ferries during the Olympic Torch Relay.  I watched the Olympic flame come running down the ferry dock at Bowen Island, Departure Bay, Powell River and many other coastal towns.  I was part of history.

In 2011 I met a woman named Amy Krouse Rosenthal at an event my team produced.  Amy’s spends her life hoping to make people feel good. Last week, she created another feel good moment.  On 11/11/11 she invited the world to join her in downtown Chicago to create moments of joy together.  She did this on 10/10/10 as well.  She has created a movement called “The Beckoning of Lovely” where she captures this common joy in a full length feature film and releases it to the world via Youtube.  Talk about feeling good.

What I hope to convey with these examples above, is that none of these experiences had anything to do with how-to.  The process of producing the event was secondary to the feeling I experienced while producing the event.  This is why I do what I do.  Because I believe that events can take your breath away, make you feel good, perhaps change the way you think about something, and maybe even change the world.