I have event manager friends who, at the end of every event, receive hugs and high fives from their attendees. These people have had such an amazing time, at the gig or the music festival that my friends have organised, that they simply HAVE to show their appreciation! Now, as any Conference Organiser will tell you, we don’t get hugs or high fives. So what do we get? Well, occasionally, we get an email like the one below.
A bit of context first. Every year we support Practically Perfect PA to run their annual “Assist Conference”. The conference is only two weeks away and, as every Event Organiser knows, we are stuck, bang in the middle of the logistics and the event details. At this stage, it is easy to forget why we choose to run a conference. Then, we get an email like this:
So thank you Charlotte, your eloquent words sent to Nicky the Editor and Founder of Practically Perfect and our client made our day and reminded me of the power of a conference and the reason we run conferences!
Here is the email in full…
“Around this time last year I was working for a luxury hotel company with a very old fashioned approach to work, returning to the office after only 6 months maternity and getting up at 4:30 to be in work for 7am, cramming 5 days into 4.
I felt very old, very unfulfilled and I had lost total confidence in who I was. I was also completely out of touch in terms of the EA/PA climate and terrified of the tough recruitment processes I had heard about whilst tucked away for 8 years.
I just have to say that your event last year was the first step in getting out of a hole and pushing the play button. I took a lot away from the conference in terms of fresh skills and ideas, but I’ve also never forgotten the woman in the audience who questioned the panel on whether they had children and whether they were aware of how their work ethic impacted the path for other women who struggle to commit to early mornings/late nights. I felt equal compassion for both parties at that moment. Quite honestly, I wanted to ask the same question as the lady in the audience, yet I was ultimately envious of the panel’s exciting jobs, a world away from mine.
After attending your event, I put a list of companies I wanted to work for in my notebook as motivation. A year on, I have moved to a forward thinking company who embrace family, a work-life balance, value people over profit and remain a top 20 global brand. I am proud to now be in an exciting job working for an exciting company. So, I wanted to say thank you and also that during your upcoming event, please let any audience member know I’m a testament to anyone, with or without children that you can achieve what you want to achieve, you just need to figure out what would make you happy and go for it.
Helen Sharman, the first British woman to go into outer space wrote ‘aim high Charlotte’ on a piece of paper for me when I was about 7, I feel like I finally did. In the words of one of my son’s favourite storybooks, ‘thanks without end”
Thanks without end, Charlotte!