Seminar Critique: Part C – Self-assessment
Contribution and collaboration
For the most part, we only discussed guests, while other aspects weren’t really paid attention to, like theme, promotion, staging and tech on the day.
By the time it was a week before the seminar, we’d finally gotten into gear and assigned roles for every aspects of the event. However, some of these roles were very vague, and most people were still confused as to where they fit in. Jasmine, Nadya and I split them up and asked for volunteers on Facebook. From here, we were able to cover most of the bases.
The things I actually did
– Catering: For this, I worked with Tim and we each found some options for the main savoury food option for the day and got quotes. Neither of the places worked out. While in another class, Mar, Nadya and I decided on pizza. I ordered the pizza to be made and delivered on the day at an appropriate time.
– Staging: For this, I worked with Nina. We scouted RMITV and building 94 for the right props and stage, so that we were able to gather them on the day. I am still sore from all the moving work. We also looked into decoration. We each went out to art and craft stores to find things that we could use to dress the stage and the outside of the seminar room. I made a Matrix-themed banner for the outside.
– Social Media: For this, I worked with the Creative team (Jasmine, Nadya and Josh) and Tiffany from the Steering Committee. I wanted to have posts that were different to the rest of the seminars. I didn’t want to post over-excited spam and I really wanted to stick to the theme. So I posted using a spy persona once a day in the event. The Creative team gave me the images to use for the posts, so that I was able to supplement my posts with a cool visual. I also then posted in two RMIT groups to further promote the event. I also posted everyday on the wantedrmit Instagram, as well as my personal Twitter account where I interacted with each of the guests.
– Printing: I helped out the Creative team by taking the files for the posters, flyers, thank-you cards and arrow signs to the printers and making sure they were all the right size and paper weight. It was a lengthy process, I assure you.
– Budget: I made sure the costs were added together and I did the math to calculate how much each person had to chip in to the seminar costs.
In my attempts to stick to the Matrix/secret agent spy theme, I worked on my Matrix/secret agent spy lingo, trawling the internet for cool words to use in my social media posts.
I didn’t actively learn about printing and paper weight. I was accidentally thrust into this job, but once I was in it, I did actively try to get it right. I hadn’t completely understood Jasmine’s instructions, but I tried to get it as accurate to her descriptions as possible. While I was at the RMIT printer near the hub, I was fortunate that they weren’t very busy that day and that the assistant was able to help me rearrange and edit the files so that they would be easily printed. I learned that it’s printer to print A3 and cut it in half. I also learned that guillotines that look like swords are useless. But most importantly, I learned the importance of having the correct file and understanding how the file will translate onto the page, and the best ways to ensure that it is the way you want it.
I also learned about crafts. While I was in the store, I spoke to the shop assistant about painting and fabric. I also conferred with Nina and we were actively trying to figure out what kinds of paints would work on what types of fabric, and what kinds of markers would work on what kinds of paper.
I think that knowledge of crafts and especially an understanding of printing and formatting is a crucial aspect of event planning.
I attended every class before the seminar, and I only skipped one of the group meetings we had outside of class. I was also preparing the seminar from the very beginning of the day and packing up from the very end of the day.
During the group meetings and in class, I tried to participate and share ideas with the group. While I did attempt to contribute ideas for the guests and content, I was a bit out of my depth, and my interests were slightly varied. I think I was mostly confused with what I wanted to get out of the seminar, so I wasn’t sure what kinds of people that we would best benefit from.
However, from the very start, we’d split the group into three different groups anyway: guest liaison, promotion/creative, and event management. So, I was a lot more vocal when it came to the theme, staging, catering, refreshments and creative elements. I made sure that the group was paying attention to the other elements of the seminar.
Connections and Intersections
Similar to the PNR, I can really see a benefit in being able to make contact with industry professionals, and ensuring that you are somewhat known in the industry. Having even the most vague of connections can be a real stepping stone for each of us.
Initially, I found it really difficult to work in such a large group. While a lot of us would attend the meetings, very few of us would go away having work to do, or intending to make any contribution. While the entire group wasn’t able to contribute in the pre-production phase, I can definitely see the benefit of having a large group for the production phase. From moving furniture, to setting up equipment, to all the little tasks we had to get done, it was definitely worthwhile having so many hands on deck.
I think that the event/project management I have developed will be transferrable to other events or projects I will do in future, whether it is work related or otherwise. The work I have contributed to the seminar has helped me devise and delegate, as well as people manage, as well as how to work out what to do when things don’t turn out well.