Special Events

Daydream Believer

mANY PEOPLE SPEAK of dreams as fanciful things: fairies, charmed rings and lands of enchantment. Others only believe in faraway dreams such as stars or sea castles with elf-like inhabitants. There are daydreamers and night-dreamers who dream up make-believe places. They use much imagination and, in that, are dream-gifted. But the serious dreamers are those who catch dreams and bring them to life to show that when they were dreaming, they meant it.

This was taken from a birthday card that was given to me this past month. It was sent by someone who is very talented in the special event field. As a description of what we do on a regular basis, it hits the nail right on the head-we catch the dreams of others, be they day or night dreams, and make them reality (at least for a short time, until the clock chimes midnight and the rental provider needs the chairs back).

Every day is a new and glorious challenge to create someone else's dream. It could be the perfect wedding, bar mitzvah or birthday celebration. Or it may be the introduction of a new product or a series of incentive events. The dreams of others come in many shapes and sizes, and we are here to fulfill them.

Sometimes we wish these dreams could be more extravagant in budget, size or scope. But most of our bread-and-butter events are tried-and-true themes. I am sure there are times for all of us when creating another Hollywood party or Western barbecue could put us over the edge. When this happens, it's good to remember whose dream the event was in the first place. If the group being entertained is from Europe, the idea of a Western theme is very exciting. The same is true for the Texas couple making its first trip to Paris who would love to attend a "France Welcomes the World" reception.

You can do several things to make these events new to you again. Remember first that events serve purposes other than pure entertainment. They can lend proper perspective to a culture or be used as learning tools for customs other than our own.

When I've fallen into a rut with a particular theme, I've found that asking for help from fellow event professionals in a different part of the world lets me see it in a new light. Their thoughts can put spark and life back into these events for me. Getting a different perspective is always enlightening and, for an event you are planning for the tenth time, enlivening.

Making someone else's dream come true is wonderful, but, in reality, it is a profession that requires as much attention to being run as an efficient business as it does to making sure all the linen is delivered on time.

Take the time to make sure you are positioned correctly in your market. Network. Take a chance on creating a new promotion for the slow months. Find out more about accounting systems, or hire someone else who does. Start working on your Web site. Attend to your business as you would that of a client. Because, while it's nice to say that we make dreams come true, our longevity is based not only on attention to an event's detail, design and coordination, but also on making sure we are profitable.

As professionals, we need to walk that fine line between catching the dreams of others and showing ourselves that, when we dreamed of a successful business, we really meant it.

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