4 weeks ago Stefano and I began organizing an Open House event for our department. The whole thing happened rather spontaneously and the timing was crazy. We had to think through what we wanted to show and demonstrate. We had to think through the flow, the posters, the machines, the presenters… Also, how to advertise the event to the site and of course how to organize the crowd so we ensured safety as visitors moved through the areas where we planned to show running machinery.
If you think this sounds cumbersome, you’d be right. Normally.
The thing is: in a company like mine normally such an effort is handled through a number of committees and sub-committees. You’d have 20 people in the organizing team of which maybe 5 do the actual work and desperately try to keep the other 15 from screwing up too much. And you need to play a lot of politics so you can push through at least 50% of what you’d like to do.
This is why I never engage in events like that at work. I find this rather frustrating and annoying. And given all the stress that you expose yourself to when running such an event, it’s simply not worth it.
But this was different. I could write about in detail what I believe was different, but for some of this I’d need to divulge confidential information, which I don’t want to, of course (if you work for the same company, you’ll likely can find a report about this some time in January).
What I can say is that we could do virtually everything the way we wanted to, that the Open House happened today and that it was an extremely successful event. Visitors seemed impressed and was told that word of mouth spread through the building after the first groups had finished their tours, resulting in even more visitors than we had expected. On top, their feedback was amazingly generous and positive.
In fact, the event was way more successful than Stefano and I would have ever thought and I have to say this was likely one of the finer moments in my career.
I cannot share photos of the actual Open House, of course, but I can share a photo of some of the folks from my department in front of the downstairs Starbucks where they co-incidentally had an “Open House” promotion today.
Naturally there were lots of great people helping, some of them staying late and even extremely late with us in the office during the days leading to the event. Long hours and not always easy, but we had a good time!
Once the event was done and we had celebrated a little, I realized how tired I was: my energy level had been going up in the last week as the date drew closer and I had worked so hard on this. But after everything was complete today, all of this excitement and anticipation slid off me and I just wanted to go home and sleep.
What a great day!
But good that I am finally going on Christmas holiday tomorrow.