Haunted Hogwarts – Purpose

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

I just wanted to post a little something. These last few days I have been part of something pretty special, Haunted Hogwarts. Yesterday I presented to a group of people about my experience working on the event.

I was relaying how at times it was incredible stressful and time consuming but the point I was trying to get across was no matter how many hours and hours we spent working on spreadsheets, props, sending emails, organizing volunteers, selling tickets, problem solving and creating the magic which was Haunted Hogwarts, it is absolutely nothing compared to the stress of having a child going through cancer. It was an absolute privilege to work with Twig & Arrow to create a little bit of magic for those in which magic, dreams, delight and joy are sometimes fleeting.

A heartfelt thanks to all those who waited in line, volunteered their time, energy, support and love to create something with purpose. Our actors and volunteers I am honestly blown away by your generous spirits.

A more in-depth blog post will be up after Christmas and will detail the dos, do nots and the do not forget to dos, of running a 2000+ attendee Halloween event with a part time event team of three.

I will also upload a whole bunch of exciting photos, but just for now, this is one of my favorites, the beautiful Rita Skeeter

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200 women stand behind me

200 women stand behind me. They whisper and sometimes shout, ‘ you are loved, you are loved you are loved’, and then as if an echo ‘you have a responsibility‘.

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I graduated this December. I have succeeded  in three years of hard work and diligence. I now hold a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Event Management and minoring in business & sustainable design. I have educated myself, bettered myself and equipped myself yet, I am vastly unfulfilled. University was a stepping stone but now I find myself itching, yearning for the next adventure, an adventure with purpose, productivity and responsibility.

Someone special gifted me a book for graduation, filled with 200 evoking and challenging stories. Stories about women who empower and who embody integrity, hope, resilience and kindness. It is through these stories that I am beginning to re-learn what I was taught in faith – that we as unjustified receptiants of privilege are made for something more than an ordinary life and with that, have a responsibility to contribute.

I do not know exactly what this looks like for my life, but I am restless of routine, of study halls. I am restless of comfort and of pleasure. I guess this is somewhat a new years resolution, but I want it noted that following this I will wake up every day and ask my self two things, how can I better my future today? And and more importantly, how can I better someone else’s future today?

For after all the only thing that separates an ordinary women from an extraordinary one, is the belief that she is ordinary.

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Spring power statements

Pockets of spring are showing up here in Wellington, and with the ushering in of a new season I find myself reading Melissa Ambrosini’s latest blog post titled ‘ my 27 life power statements’.  A beautiful and intelligent post consisting of statements that are woven into your genetic makeup and which determine the direction you choose to walk each day.

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So in the season of spring and the season of cleaning out all the dusty corners of my house and mind, here are a few of my power statements. Directed at nourishing hope, purpose and awareness. I would absolutely love to hear a few of yours.

  1.  Trust in your purpose and your passions.
  2.  You have time.
  3.  Understand the media for what it is.
  4. Respond with love.
  5. Make friends with loneliness, depression and anxiety.
  6.  Circumstance and opinions do not determine worth.
  7. You have a responsibility to contribute to this life.
  8. You have a responsibility to rest and nourish yourself.
  9. Change the content of your argument not the volume of your voice.

 

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Twig & Arrow Styling Workshop

The one piece of advice I wish to relay to you along with this collection of beautiful images by Anahita,  is to give depth to your styling. A bit of sentiment, history and belonging. Do not warrant any occasion as an excuse to deck your lounge or dinning room table with new ornaments, crockery and cutlery. Encourage genuine conversation by incorporating your grandmothers crystal glasses, the geometrical jam spoons or the shell napkin holders from your family batch.

It is far better to have fewer things of quality then  too much expendable junk.

The following photos are from a recent Twig & Arrow styling workshop that I was lucky enough to observe. Total credit given to those who it is worthy of and who are lovingly captured below.

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Curious about the event industry – Read this

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You may have noticed that up there, in the left hand corner of this page, under the floral and fauna logo a sentence reads ‘aspiring event designer & creative individual’. I feel like this blog has captured the ‘creative individual’ parts of me well, the ‘aspiring event designer’ claim however, not so much. I feel that this claim to fame has been hovering in mid-sentence without any concrete declaration for the last few years so I thought I would write a short post about what being an aspiring event designer means and how I am currently achieving my goals.

To achieve dreams, the hard yards and ground work has to be achieved first and foremost. I am a strong believer that if you haven’t built a solid foundation then how do you expect a beautiful house to withstand the test of time? So for the last three years I have been living and studying in Auckland. Auckland University of Technology offers a Bachelor of Arts in event management and it is with this degree in mind that I picked up, packed up and moved to Auckland. I think university is equally about the experience of creating home in a foreign city and networking with like minded, talented individuals as much as it is about learning and ending up with a degree. That being said, I want to write the next couple of sentences to briefly describe my degree incase any young hearted individual out there is considering a career of similar taste.

The core papers AUT offers in this degree follow along the lines of event production, event planning, an event perspective, contemporary issues in event management and cooperative learning – an industry/internship based paper. Of course this will be muddled up with other minors and majors, for example, I chose to do business and sustainable design.

The majority of my lecturers were solid in both their understanding and teaching skills. The frustrating thing about University is that as far as I understand you don’t have to have achieved a teacher’s certificate to lecture, you just have to have done the research. Unfortunately this sometimes affects the quality of a paper, although I only had two relatively bad tutors, the others were top notch, knew their stuff both academic and practical, and were everything from quirky, charming and downright hilarious. The core event papers were definitely catered towards big/mega events, Fifa World Cup, The Olympics, Cultural and Sporting Events.

Because I am a creative individual who was attracted to small events because of their personal nature, I found this difficult. However, I do think that this learning and knowledge will give me an edge in the small event design industry and give me a point of difference as opposed to someone who is simply just creative. It will be interesting to see how I can apply event knowledge such as creating an operation manual or feasibility study, risk management plans, event evaluations and business proposals to a small intimate wedding or product launch. Nonetheless learning and gaining knowledge is such a privilege and asset that it will be up to me to work aspects of these skills into small event designs.

If you are just starting to get curious about studying events or have been for awhile I would suggest work experience or even creating your own experience before jumping head first into a student loan. Previously I volunteered with two event design companies. Both were really different, one focused on large corporate design and the other was a small Auckland based prop hire / design company. It wasn’t until my second year summer break that I fell in love and found a little floral studio based in Brooklyn, Wellington. Here I found that I was desperate to learn and soak in the creative brilliance that I was sure was in abundance. Working for this company over the summer really solidified my choice of study. If I can encourage one thing to any other aspiring event designers it would be to put value in industry experience, classroom learning and personal ventures.

I am currently in my last year of this degree and the little floral studio I just mentioned above has very generously and lovingly arranged for me to work for them and complete my co-operative industry learning paper. To be able to work in an environment that is creative, encouraging and safe is a massive blessing. If you can find the right people to guide you, inspire you and correct you, you are on the right track to success. Also a quick note, make sure to look for authenticity. In the last couple of years I have heard of and come across people who leave out the ‘aspiring’ in event designer and just claim their interest and hobby as professional. Although there is nothing directly wrong with this, and I have met many a wonderful individual who has turned their passion into their work, there is also great value in experience and authenticity. Find a boss, mentor or future employer who understands that they themselves are always learning. And if for some reason you can’t seem to get your foot in the door do not be discouraged, people are busy. Be different, be genuine, honest and excited and business owners will see your radiance & remember it.

If you are still cautious about University and/or are curious about event design, then have a little look at the list of books below. At University the supplementary reading lists are as long as the towers outside my first year apartment window. They are also very expensive and very intense. The following is a  short list of books I have/ or want to read in regards to events. I also want to extend an invitation to any curious creatures to flick me a message if you wish to hear more about starting out in the event design industry. I have only just tipped my toes in this industry and although my practical knowledge is small my encouragement is abundant.

 

  1. The Accidental Creative – How to be Brilliant at a Moments Notice – Todd Henry
  2. Reflections of a Successful Wallflower: Lessons in Business; Lessons in life – By Andrea Michaels
  3. Confessions of an Event Planner – Judy Allen.
  4. Special Events: A New Generation and the Next Frontier by Joe Jeff Goldblatt (University recommended reading).
  5. Into the Heart of Meetings; Basic Principles of Meeting Design – Mike Van Der Vijve

 

Photo credit Moon flower photography x