Back to Basics

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Special Events and Protocol Blog

This semester, I faced the challenge of planning Fall Commencement. It was difficult, stressful, and I would do it again in a heartbeat—all because of the simple gestures of others.

As I was crumbling, a colleague reminded me: “That which does not challenge you does not change you.” I repeated that phrase a lot during the late nights, and it kept me motivated. 

After the event, I was exhausted in every way possible, but I returned to my office to drop off supplies and found my door covered in quotes congratulating me on the event. I could not contain my tears of gratitude for the encouragement. I even received a thank-you email from a student who needed extra assistance. It was a short email, but it meant the world to me for him to say it was “an experience I will never forget.”

These small actions would not have taken much time or effort, yet they had a huge impact, reinforcing the value of what I did and the appreciation of my time and effort. So, to those who plan events, remember the events are not for us—they are for our guests. Our success is not measured by the number of RSVPs we receive but by how we impact people.  

To those who attend events, remember to say thanks. While event planners spend months carefully crafting an event to create a special experience for their guests, guests need only take a few moments to convey a few words that will significantly impact the planner.

As you attend and plan events this later this spring, try going back to basics and remembering what it’s all about: each other.

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