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The Musings of an Event Manager

Updated on April 25, 2016

ANZAC Day Light show

This photo was taken at Pukeahu Park in Wellington - a light projection show in commemoration of ANZAC day.
This photo was taken at Pukeahu Park in Wellington - a light projection show in commemoration of ANZAC day. | Source

The Big Question

Its ANZAC day; a day that was supposed to start at dawn. Ever since I took a trip to Turkey and stood on the shore of ANZAC cove I have been going to the annual dawn service at the war memorial to commemorate our dead soldiers - one of whom was my great uncle who died at Gallipoli in 1915.

This year I decided not to attend the Dawn Service. There are several reasons for this; the first reason is that recently, I have been challenged about the whole idea of ANZAC Day. The fact that we still continue to commemorate this day, even though war and death continues to happen around the world on a daily basis, yet nothing changes and nothing is done baffles me. I'm just not sure I can be a part of that anymore.

The second reason why I decided not to get up this morning was that I had a terrible sleep last night and waking up at 4.30am to go and stand in the cold was really not that appealing. When I am stressed and working on an event I have a very reliable sleep cycle; I fall alseep ok but from about 2am every morning, I wake up after dreaming about the event that I am working on. I think/dream about what needs to be done and I toss and turn until I get up, make yet another list, walk around a bit and then finally get back to sleep about 5am.

Last night I dreamt about the current event that – the dream was an event manager’s worst nightmare – the event was a failure and people were having a terrible time. I was not naked in the dream so that's a positive.

This current event is affecting my sleep and stress levels than others I have worked on. Even though to people on the outside, it sounds like a very cool event, its not that much fun - for various reasons. I was excited about it in the beginning and it should be a great event to work on but its not. It is stressful, the client is challenging and we have no budget and I have no say over any of it (yes, I am a control freak).

So, lately I have been thinking that life is too short for this amount of stress and sleep deprivation, maybe its time to move on, maybe its time for a change...

I've had a few conversations with people of late about my desire to make a career change – I have had several different responses:

Them: But you’re so good at what you do!
Me: Thank you but really you have no idea.

Them: But else would you do?
Me: I really have no idea – become a cleaner, a popalato maker….
Them: Oh you would hate that!

Them: But its only an event, why are you so stressed?
Me: You really have no *#^%# idea do you?

However, I had a very different conversation with my best friend the other night. She said to me, ‘I get it, at the moment you are bringing other peoples dreams into being and not your own, how do you do that – how do you make your own dreams come true?'

So, yes, this is the big question. I know I am good at what I do; I am incredibly organised, I am efficient, I am creative and I am a nice person to work with (so I've heard). Instead of quitting the event management business altogether how can I find a balance? Is there a compromise? Can I work on other peoples events while using my creativity so that we can at least collaborate? Or do I need to just go out on my own, create events and projects so I am living and creating my dreams (not the awful dream I had last night) rather than working on other peoples visions?

Like I said - big questions. As of yet, I do not have the answers.

This is event is 3 weeks away and I have a lot to do so I guess I better stop musing and get on with it.


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