Adventures in College: Event Planning

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
2012 Event Planning ClassThis past spring, I took a class in Event Planning which was a complete learning experience for me.  I took the class both because it fulfilled a GE requirement for me and because I thought that it would be a good skill for someone in ministry, or in life in general, to have.

On the first night, I realized that I had completely underestimated the class.  The professor, Sam Neylan, was not only going to teach us how to coordinate weddings and baby showers, but was also planning to teach us how to become more organized in our own lives, pay attention to detail, begin with the end in mind, become more professional in our writing and communication, be creative in everything we do, and coordinate events so that every moment is intentional.  

Professor Sam Neylan and her assistant Hollie Worsham do a roleplay for the classSam really had a passion for teaching us more than what the syllabus required.  She stressed the importance of being organized in every aspect of our life, and how wrong it is for us to allow our lack of organization to affect others.  She often told us to remember that "a lack of organization on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."  It is up to us to be organized, on time, and efficient so that we can maximize the opportunities and resources that God has given us.  As one of our assignments, Sam had us read and outline Stephen Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which taught us:

1.  How to take responsibility for your life and be proactive instead of reactive
2.  How to "begin with the end in mind" and work backwards to accomplish it
3.  How to determine what is a priority in your life and stick to it instead of over-committing yourself
4.  How to deal with conflicts in a way that allows everyone to benefit
5.  How to communicate effectively in a way that first seeks to understand what the other is trying to say
6.  How to effectively collaborate with others to accomplish things you could not do on your own
7.  How to preserve and refresh yourself by resting, reading, and relaxing

The Event Planning class learning how to throw a Party on the Fly
Throughout the class, we learned the basic building blocks of event planning, how to plan a wedding, how to work with people, how to work with the AV/Tech crew, occupational coordinating, how to be an assistant coordinator, how to come up with themes for each event, how to coordinate church events, and how to plan events at home.  

Wendy giving a presentation to the class about the handbell concert she coordinatedWe did workshops where we planned events, re-enacted them, or in one case even planned and threw ourselves a party.  For my final project, I had to either plan a fictional event and give a presentation or coordinate a real event.  I chose to coordinate the annual TMC Handbell concert (more on that to come later).

This class was such a learning experience for me, and it really opened my eyes to how to make everything I do more meaningful and intentional.  I have already had several opportunities to use the skills in this class at my work, home, school, and church, and I am excited to see how God will use these skills in the future.

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