I have just started reading “The Book of Joy” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I am only a few pages in and already it is simply a joy to read. The human nature of these 2 people, regardless of my opinion on their pathways, is one of simply looking for the good in the world and praying for the good in others. Pretty simple.
One sentence resonated with me early on and it is relevant to event planning because it’s about the audience. You know that thing I keep rambling on about – the most important thing at an event.
The book is co-written by Douglas Abrams who spent a week with them both, recording their conversations and creating the book that would distil their wisdom. My first highlight was;
“It had been so easy to get lost in the logistics and to forget that their time together was an important event for the world.”
This statement by Douglas Abrams is referring to a “scene” where the Archbishop has arrived at the airport to be greeted by His Holiness and they are in a private room, but can see out to the throngs of waiting media and public.
How often has this happened to you? I know it’s happened to me many times, until I really started to make everything I do about the audience.
It is easy to get caught up in the “how” we are going to do everything, the “who” do we need to please or appease to reach that pillar of success. The demands that are made on us as event planners, can and do sometimes take us into a vortex of logistics. The venue specifics, dietary requirements, programs and running sheets, Presenter demands and not to mention the boss’ VIPs, dignitaries, marketing, operations, risk and compliance, and the list goes on….
But without an audience, none of these things matter. For the audience, this is the most important event in their world. Be sure to give them what they came for, make them for the forefront of every decision that you make and be sure to not get lost in the logistics.
Find the book in your favourite bookstore, it’s a great read so far!