Last year I dipped my toes into the world of event organising. Yes, me who always feels like I’ve never got enough hours in the day did more than contemplate it, I got on with it.
It all came about as a friend and I were sitting under a gazebo in the rain over August Bank Holiday sharing a stall at our village Flower Festival in an attempt to promote our businesses.
If you have ever done this you will know that these things can be hit and miss; if you haven’t and are contemplating building your business this way then you need to lower any expectations of outcome you may have as it won’t turn out as you think it might. It is fun though and well worth trying at least once.
So we sat there, plotting an event for Summer 2015, the like of which our village hadn’t seen. Nor will it, I expect.
We had a whole High Street worth of events in store with zones…..oh yes, this was to be a mini-Glastonbury style extravaganza in a sleepy Essex village.
We decided that a practice was in order first so eventually we decided on a Christmas Market and corralled the right people into helping and supporting us.
Suffice to say in the weeks leading up to this I made one of my close friends promise to kill me if I ever had such a stupid idea again.
I was tired, there was loads to do, we needed to make sure we got a wide range of stalls (How?????) and then promote it so that we get adequate support (Lots of laminated posters, a lot of mentioning on Facebook and Twitter in the hope that people would pick up on it and fingers that ached through being kept cross) and then what happened if no one turned up on the day or stalls started to cancel at the last minute.
I started waking up in the middle of the night, worried that this whole act of bravado would flop big time and got more and more snappy in the lead up to it. I’ve got an autoimmune problem that gets worse the more tired and stressed I get so I started feeling rough as well.
And now guess what?
I’m thinking of plans for new events. Maybe something sporting related to kick things off and involve the whole village as well as being a way in which we can raise some money and awareness of local businesses such as personal trainers, fitness coaches, holistic health services and the pubs and restaurants who might want to be on hand to provide refreshments.
I’ve got a mile run or a five mile bike ride in mind. Anyone can train to run a mile as a “run” can be a fast walk or like me a plodding jog and there have been articles out recently extoling the virtues of a mile run over distance training as it is achievable and can be done in a realistic time.
I’m thinking that the local fitness trainers might want to base a class or two around giving training tips for anyone people who might like to try the distance and then maybe some of our local therapists might want to be on hand to offer mini-massages at the end for those in need.
Would it be competitive with groups of friends competing to get the best times or maybe the pubs want to put in a team?
After causing myself no end of stress last time – voluntarily adding to the load when I didn’t have to bother at all – as well as sleeplessnights and worries about just about everything you could think of, why am I even bothering to contemplate taking on even more when I really don’t have to?
“I don’t know” is the brutally honest answer, some weird compulsion to punish myself with tiredness maybe?
The need to make a difference? But to what?
All in all how much money can credibly be raised? We managed £600 last time so there will be an unspoken aim to do more this time.
Should a different local charity benefit?
Will anyone be interested in lending their support and giving their time and will if the event pans out like I’ve got plans for it to in my head, will I really get the local participation I need to make it a success??
What if, after deciding to take this on, I decide I really shouldn’t have?
I guess the answer will lie in publishing this post onto our village Facebook page and asking what other people think.
Watch this space.