I thought of writing about one of the most important and life altering episodes of my life which happened to me while I was in my university. As a 2nd Year Engineering student in Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) when everyone was looking for an opportunity to contribute to organizing and implementing various activities and events in the institute. Some of us stumbled upon “Blitzschlag”.
Blitzschlag event began as more of a department level activity to begin with guided by the faculty members. Most of the funding and organizing committee people belonged to Mechanical Engineering department (Mechanical Engineering Society being the operative society). As the event grew, people from other departments started associating themselves with us. By early 2006, this event became representative of an institute level techno cultural festival. The event encompassed activities pertaining to technical paper presentations, Junkyard wars, Computer Gaming, Virtual Stock Markets, Junk-Fashions, numerous quizzes, Dance competition, Photography contests etc.
Blitzschlag 2020 marked as the 15th anniversary of the event and has come a long way from its nascent origins. The event has grown to become one of the sought-after youth festivals in India organised by T-School students. It provides a platform for students and peers to showcase their innate talent through a wide range of events and cultural competitions. Ranging from bringing renowned experts across the nation to fun Informal agendas, it is synonymous to a wholesome festival encompassing the everyday segment of life, work, and passion. Being a youth festival, it aims to make a positive impact on the society through various NGO Collaborated activities.
In mid 2006, when I was in my final year of studies, I was elected as the “President” for running the event “Blitzschlag-2007”. While organizing the event, I learned so many management lessons which were purely “On-the-Job” training for me. Those lessons have stayed back with till now and have always showed be guiding light whenever I am in a fix.
Hence, I thought of writing about such lessons and share this with the everyone. The list of lessons follows below.
Be prepared for rain, even when it is sunny – This meant literally when we were organizing the event. However, now it means to have a “Plan B” in the back pocket for any rainy-day situation. This lesson has always helped me and my projects all the while.
Big journeys start with small steps – One of the reasons working in events is so stressful is because of all the moving pieces. Knowing where to start when you are faced with a mountain of tasks can be overwhelming for most people. You must prioritize and breakdown the task into bite-sized items. Personally, I still employ this aspect in my day-to-day activities.
Sometimes, silence really is golden – There come moments in the course of planning an event where you run up against a client, sponsor, or attendees who aren’t afraid to share their strong opinions about your decisions, skills, or choices. Blessed with great interpersonal skills, though, you are a pro at taking criticism and turning it around into constructive feedback. Remaining silent and not reacting gives you time to process and turnaround into positive impact.
You cannot please everybody – No matter how much thought and planning goes into an event, you simply can’t please everyone who attends. That is why you can receive feedback and reviews without getting upset. It is about developing the capability to take in negative feedback and convert it into something useful for yourself and useful for your team.
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming – Working in events (or even working in corporations) comes with a lot of ups and downs. Things do not work out, a vendor falls through, your keynote cancels the day before your event. Things happen. Hence, one needs to be prepared to stride through such challenges.
Take Care of Your People – Organizing events will involve a lot of activities for which you need to have a motivated and inspired team. While having a team like this, you might want to take care of your team as your immediate family. Their motivation levels are going to help you succeed and deliver multiple agendas. A very relevant corporate lesson to be learned here, if you want take care of your customers, please take care of your team first.
Work Hard & Party Harder: Having fun is one way of effectively managing and improving team’s emotions. It is also proven to improve teamwork, build trusting relationships and increase happiness in the team. Like in an event, there are stressful situations and they need to maturely dealt with. Adding some fun moments helps alleviate the mood and morale of the team.
So, to summarize, event management at MNIT has helped me to be a better professional in my real life. Hence, it appears that experiential learning opportunities from event management has some real-world applications in managing, prioritizing, delivering and enjoying the tasks in multi-dimensional organisations/corporations. Hence, I urge many of you to pick up event management at university level to learn management tactics which you could use in your regular employment.
What the event is today
Where it all began: