Thursday, March 17, 2011

As an organizer...

My B.Tech friends know the best about my abilities and inabilities in organizing events. The first event I organized was the farewell party to seniors in Intermediate. (I was just the anchor for the event and a sort of co-organizer.) From that event till the recently organized Table Tennis tournament, I have been making some mistakes or the other while having new experiences.

The tour in B.Tech, which I organized along with my friends, was the biggest in terms of the budget (Rs. 1.6 Lakhs), time (10 days of tour & 2 months of planning), responsibility, risk, mistakes, learnings and enjoyment. Organizing such a big event was an achievement in itself. (It was after 4 or 5 years that ECE students from my college were going for a tour and I was the main organizer for it!). Focussing on what went well and covering up the mistakes will be another mistake on my part. :) So, here are few things I learnt from the mistakes I made as an organizer.

1) Knowing when to discuss with everyone concerned and when to take a decision independently is a skill. I wish I’ll be able to acquire and master that skill.
2) Transparency and honesty are required, but (over-)sensitivity should have nothing to do with an organizer. Others may doubt our honesty, but we should remember that none of us have any certificate of honesty. Till the event is over, we don’t have any way of proving ourselves.
3) Patience is one more trait required for an organizer. It’s nothing wrong for others to be impatient with an organizer. After all, they are the ones who may be the victims of poor organizing. :D
4) We should not get disheartened when things go wrong. It’s very easily said, but very difficult to follow. I could not enjoy the first few days of the tour as I was dispirited with unanticipated criticism.
5) Before committing to organize an event, we should be mentally prepared for what might happen even if the event is unsuccessful. However, we should be positive by considering the satisfaction and the happiness we get if the event is a success.
6) Organizing an event should not be considered a burden. It’s a responsibility that we have to take up willingly.
7) Organizing an event involves lot many constraints, the main ones being the budget constraints and the time constraints. Focussing on one aspect and ignoring others is a mistake that usually one makes.
8) Plan your work. Work your plan. Be ready with Plan B or be set for ad hoc planning in case plan A is unsuccessful.

Like everyone else, I was an organizer for just few times for different events, but was among the audience for umpteen times. There are few points which are expected from the audience as well.

1) It’s human tendency to focus on a small black dot on a big sheet of white paper. We generally blame the organizer for the mistake which he/she makes and totally ignore the other successfully completed ‘modules’ of the event.
2) Different people have different wish-lists. Something which is of high priority to few in the audience may be of low priority to many others. We can blame the organizer only if he/she ignores something which almost everyone in the audience considers to be very important.
3) Most of the times, it’s easy to criticize but difficult to improve. When we put ourselves in the shoes of the organizer, it’s only then that we realize that this statement is true.
4) We should be proactive in helping the organizers if we think that we can really make the event better than how it goes on.

To conclude, for an event to be successful, it depends not only on the organizer but also on the audience. So, whether we are in the audience or in the organizing committee, it doesn’t matter. It’s WE together who have to make an event a success. :)