Have you ever wondered if there’s a secret to running an amazing event? You know those happenings where you walk away feeling inspired and a part of a big beautiful world, without a hint of slime. A sense of contentedness, perhaps.
All this pondering and, ahem, agonising has nothing to do with the fact that I’m running some events, like the Homemade Beauty Workshops at Down That Little Lane and the Slow Road events with Brooke – nothing to do it with it at all 😉
I love events and the inspiration they bring, but I’m also shy. Once upon a time, I was cast as the big bad wolf, but I was too scared to come out from under the table. Talk about brilliant casting – I was completely terrifying…
I tried all sorts of things to overcome my shyness (like training as an actor of all things) to try and ‘boost’ my confidence, but I was just overcompensating and it made me a big ball of anxiety inside so I stopped.
Introvert. It’s one of those words that’s used almost to the point of annoyance these days and that’s because on hearing it for the first time people like me collectively slapped our heads and said, ‘Oh, my gourd, I’m one of those.’ Sometimes, I get ranty about how words and defining ourselves by a term can be limiting, but it also leads to understanding.
Now I can tell you, I’m just your average introvert who chews the ear off the unwitting if I’m on a topic I’m passionate about… My family didn’t give me the name Aunty Blah Blah for my silence.
I don’t feel weird anymore and that’s mighty nice. It’s partly to do with be an older fart and partly the understanding that comes with those words and definitions. In this case it was replacing a slightly demeaning word ‘shy’ with an empowering word ‘intorvert’, so I was might happy to jump on that band wagon.
Anyway, this wasn’t supposed to be a waffle about introverts, but rather sharing a little of what I learned waaaaay back in July at the workshop on running heartfelt events held by the powerhouses of dreamy events: Natalie Hayllar, Jaclyn Carlson, Lisa Madigan, Luisa Brimble and Mario Karam.
How to run a heartfelt event
The first thing I have to say is that the whole day was like wandering around in the most perfect and dreamy world where every detail was covered. It was like imbibing the how-to of running an event. These are the secrets I gleaned from the masters:
2. Marketing is about expressing your passion and creating connection. Keep it real, be honest and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there (and write out a schedule to keep you on track).
3. Know your heart and what you want to communicate at your event. This makes the other decisions easier, like choosing the right location to express your intention from the moment people cross the threshold.
4. Styling an event is about working with a space, being inspired by your surroundings and weaving that in with what you want to communicate.
5. Photograph, capture and record an event by telling a story and capturing moments that will show not tell what you’re trying to express. It also helps to become a beautiful light hunter.
6. Think about what will help your audience relax. Food can help…
As you can see, I learned more than one secret and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone.
Jaclyn for showing me that marketing needn’t be a dirty word in my brain (unfortunately in the hundreds of photos I didn’t take one of the lovely Jac).
To Natalie and Mario for all the details, care and thoughtfulness (and that dessert).
To Lisa for the dreamscapes and for telling us to be brave and express who we are.
And a big, big thank you to Luisa for the words of encouragement I needed to hear. Photography is a skill. The ability to translate the beauty around us into an image is possible, it just takes patience and time.
The gorgeous Jess, Luisa’s assistant, for sharing her knowledge and beautiful smile.
What do you think makes an event great?