BREAKING INTO THE EVENTS INDUSTRY
For as long as I can remember I have loved events and they have always been a big part of my life. Once I finished high school it became obvious my career path would be in the Events Industry. Now with an Events and Conventions Management Diploma, hundreds of volunteer hours and only 2 classes away from completing my Bachelor of Tourism Management Degree (Events and Festivals Major); I have broken into the Events Industry and I owe it all to PCMA-TRU. At Thompson Rivers University (TRU) I was part of the student chapter PCMA-TRU for 2.5 years. Through those years I worked hard to move through different positions (general member, Vice President, and President). Being part of PCMA-TRU opened a lot of doors for me and taught me a lot. Including but not limited to networking. I owe PCMA-TRU for my first paid position as an Event Coordinator with Engagement Unlimited.
Within three weeks of being with the company, I finally had the opportunity to do what I have long dreamed of: help organize an event from start to finish. I was so excited about this event for two reasons. This was going to be my first event on the Engagement Unlimited team (I would get to see the magic happen!). The other reason was that this event brought two things I love together - children and events. The event was a team building give-back activity to create Mud Pie Kitchens and Buddy Benches for at-risk day cares in Vancouver. It's our flagship CSR (corporate social responsibility) activity and this was the largest group we had accommodated so far.
What ARE Mud Pie Kitchens and Buddy BenchES?
On the playground, children sit on the buddy bench when they are feeling lonely or have nobody to play with, and soon another child will join them - to make sure nobody is ever left alone - promoting inclusiveness on school playgrounds.
Mud Pie Kitchens are outdoor kitchens for children - the kids use fine motor skills and imaginative play. The kitchens are highly interactive and create play with the use of outdoor natural materials. Which is exactly how kids should be playing on playgrounds (but often aren't due to lack of proper equipment and materials).
This event was amazing to take part in because I was able to see everything unfold in person. This was an unusual event because, typically, the groups are much smaller and Roger doesn’t do a talk before the event. For me, it was great. I got to see Roger do the Power of Play for the first time (It was incredible to see him talk. The energy he brings to a room is amazing!) and I got to oversee the kitchens and benches being built.
With any event, planning is key. You need to plan for everything and have back up plans for your back up plans. In the end, no backup plans were necessary and everything ran smoothly. Of course, there were bumps but nothing that threw us off balance.
I have volunteered for many events in the past but this one was special. It validated that my many hours of classes, assignments, and exams were all worth it. This is where I want to be!