Organization of great events

Talk about great events

With this person, the profession began. Fransu Vatel died on the morning of April 24, 1671 during a reception hosted by Prince Conde in honor of Louis XIV. The manager of the exquisite celebrations of the French aristocracy, the organizer of unforgettable shows, became the hero of the story of professional scrupulousness. Only three misses: there were more guests than expected, and some of them did not have enough hot, during the fireworks the moon suddenly came out from behind the clouds, and the sight turned out to be blurry, on the last day of the feast, the suppliers did not bring fresh fish. Vatel committed suicide - pierced himself with a sword. The modern followers of Vatel are not so radical, but they know the price of mistakes, as well as success.

In June 2006, the Ministers of Finance of Russia, the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Canada, Austria, China, South Korea, Nigeria, Australia, Brazil, the EU Commissioner, heads of international financial organizations met at the highest level International Monetary Fund, World Bank, International Energy Agency. Just imagine, in one room there were people who are responsible (in a sense) for 60-70% of the world's money! And this event was organized by ordinary living people, Eventum employees, young guys from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tolyatti, Riga, Nizhnevartovsk ...

Our interlocutor, director, managing partner of Eventum, a member of the ISES international association, AmCham member, author of the first domestic book about event business, Alexander Shumovich recalls the days when this unique event was organized:

- I can’t remember how much I slept, what I ate during the two months that this meeting was preparing. We had no right to make a single mistake. And we did not allow it. Everything turned out brilliantly. In the evening we watched the news on all channels - there were elegant, controversial, sharp, laudatory - different! - stories about the event we organized. And we looked and thought: what a lot of work has been done, what mental and physical stress is behind the organization of each such meeting ... I know that for many members of our team this was a real adventure!

Alexander, here you have already touched on the topic of errors in the work. I recall Vatel. Is it possible to draw a certain parallel between the past and present holiday managers? Do they have the right to make a mistake?

Of course, mistakes are made in the organization of events and most often the reason is the human factor. People tend to make mistakes, such is life. But organizations don’t tend to forgive mistakes. Customers of events financially punish the organizers. It seems to me that this is natural.

Speaking of customers. The preface to your book “Great Events” makes it clear that the Client is sacred.

Of course.

Does this mean that he is always right in doing so?

Of course not! But to err is his right. He is a Client!

Hand on heart, do you sometimes feel like throwing up your hands and declaring that the Client himself does not know what he wants, or wants the impossible?

You see, this is generally a specificity of a service business - the Client often does not know what he wants, cannot describe, give clear evaluation criteria, his judgments are subjective, etc. This is not a tragedy of a particular person, company or industry - it is a feature of the service sector. The task of a professional is to anticipate requests, doubts of the Client, to help him understand himself and his needs. Is this what you expect from a waiter when you come to a restaurant? Isn't this what you expect when you come to the hairdresser, to the cinema? And here it is. The organizers do not need to dream of an ideal organized Client who always clearly knows what he wants, explains everything once, is extremely clear and never changes his requests again. There is no such client, this is a dream. Reality is more interesting.

Are there cases of psychological incompatibility between the Client and the event manager? How are such problems solved?

Of course, this happens. People do not always fit together. And since companies are made up of people, companies do not always fit together. Sometimes it’s more correct to abandon the project and advise a respected competitor.

As soon as it came to business colleagues ... How far is the event market today developed / not developed in Russia and what does it lack?

This may be a subjective feeling, but it seems to me that the event-services market is in a normal working condition. Event-company is no longer a wonder, there are a lot of such companies. Among them there are both professionals and beginners who make mistakes, there are their own “stars”, and there are outsiders. There is a tough competition, which forces us to monitor the quality of services, the reputation of the company, brand development, etc. In other words, normal work is going on. Some things are missing, but it seems to me that their appearance is a matter of time. For example, while there is no higher education in the field of event management, there are no competing professional associations, and there is no serious industry publication or ratings. I think - all this will be very soon.