As a public relations intern, it is an exciting experience to watch an event unfold behind the scenes. From the countless meetings with the client and contractors, to preparing for the day of the event, the energy is tangible. Being a part of such a huge endeavor, like the grand unveiling of the DeSoto Savannah, showed me an insider’s perspective of event planning. Here are some of the lessons I learned:
● Teamwork & Communication
With such a major project, there were a large number of people involved in planning process. Along with the women on our team, we worked closely with the hotel’s marketing director and another industry consultant. An ongoing document with the details and progress of the event was essential to keeping responsibilities transparent and making sure everything was checked off the list. With tasks clearly assigned, no one had to worry about accidently ordering flowers twice, or worse, forgetting to order flowers at all. When working with a larger team, it is important to be open, honest, and clear.
Over the few months I was witness to, plans changed every meeting in regards to decorations, entertainment, and run of the show. It was important to be adaptive and not get held up on minor details that may seem critical but are easily changed. The end result is never exactly the same as originally planned and that is okay. Usually it turns out even better than could have been planned.
After weeks of hammering out details and planning the night to the minute, it’s hard to get rid of pre-event jitters. As guests start walking in, you suddenly think of a dozen things that can go wrong or that you didn’t plan for. Thankfully, the guests aren’t going to know that you wanted a lavender pillow but it turned out more pink, or that you originally wanted twice as many servers but it wasn’t possible. What guests do notice is that the hosts and staff are confident and proud of how the night turned out. When you walk with your head held high and greet guests by name they will remember that you were at ease and put together. That is what is most important because in the end, you are the best representative for the event and your company.
When the night ends and all the guests leave satisfied, the weight is off your shoulders until the next event. Being a part of and witnessing all the hard work put into the unveiling of the DeSoto was an amazing opportunity that I won’t soon forget.
-Caileen Ayers, Abshire Public Relations Intern, Fall 2017