Some call it coincidence; I call it the Murphy’s Law. Wherever I work, I end up in a team that plans or take a major part in event planning. Every. Single. Time. The only difference is its scale. And without a doubt, I’ve once again ended up in a team that coordinates annual forums. Don’t get me wrong, I highly enjoy coordinating events – at one point in college I wanted to get a job at a convention center in Korea – but if the scale is as big as InterAction Forum, you can get a little overwhelmed.
So what is InterAction Forum?
InterAction Forum is an annual event that InterAction hosts each year to gather around professionals in the international development and humanitarian aid realm to provide, share, and give updates on related issues. Not only this year was InterAction’s 30th year anniversary, but it also our biggest forum yet with almost 1300 participants, 66 workshops, and 5 plenary sessions.
As the Forums are “the” event at InterAction, we start preparation as early as a year ahead. We held our 2014 forum only last week, but we will be starting to prepare for the 2015 forum soon. We already have a date and venue! Can you believe that?
As positioned in the team that manages the entire logistics of the forum, it was pretty crazy for me for the past one month. While carrying out my normal duty as part of the team, my main duty was to coordinate volunteers – assigning shifts, responding to inquiries, and etc. I never imagined it could be so much work.
I have to say, I was very disoriented right before the forum. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was leaving out something important. But as soon as the Forum took place, I felt this unexplainable calmness. I was physically busy running here and there, but I was definitely feeling calm. It was so good to see the forum that we were preparing for so long was finally taking place and flowing smoothly.
Getting good feedback and evaluation is one thing but as a person who works the backstage, it was a relief that we did not face any major disaster. There was this one occasion where the stage microphones went mute all of the sudden during the very last closing plenary, but it wasn’t something we couldn’t handle.
It started out to be a little overwhelming but in the end, it was definitely a great experience. After an event as big as this, I now feel like I can coordinate anything!!