Christmas for me is a lot like conference planning…
You try desperately not to drop baubles everywhere, there’s more than a slight risk that someone will turn up at your door unannounced, and you’re never more than one large Baileys away from an argument.
That’s right, you can sprinkle and roll your festivities or your functions in as much glitter as you want, but a sprout is a sprout, no matter how much budget’s behind it, and sometimes it’s just better to admit that the event (or ad-vent) in front of you would all be infinitely more enjoyable if only you didn’t have to sodding well plan any of it.
That’s right, I’ll be honest – event planning can be as stressful and messy as the aftermath of photocopying your bumcheeks at last year’s office Christmas party. It just so happens that I’m the dog’s baubles at sorting through stress and mess and making sure everyone comes out the other side happier than when they got there, so that’s why I’m something of THE go-to girl for event planning. You might even say I enjoy it. I can’t fix broken photocopiers, behinds, or employer-employee relationships, though.
I’m Lisa Sheridan (you loved the wordplay in the title, admit it), and whilst I’d love to claim this blog is my own version of The King’s Speech on Christmas Day, it’s really just a bit of chat about me and my business as we head jingle bells-deep into tinsel territory.
Christmas is always a busy time for me at Outside The Box Events, because not only are businesses putting on celebrations, awards do’s and shindigs of all sizes for their staff, clients and partners, but they’re also on with planning for a new year that’ll see their people engaged and inspired at countless conferences, seminars and training events. Add to this list that I’m busy in my home life buying Christmas presents for the dog and trying to get a Christmas jumper on the cat, and I barely have enough time left to explain to my kids and partner why my pets get a mention in my blogs before they do.
But my job isn’t just about festive functions, of course. So, whatever time of year, and whatever type of event, what exactly do I do to make my clients’ events eventful – for all the right reasons?
That’s easy. I listen to what those clients want and need, and then throw in some ideas they might not have thought of, to show them what’s possible for what they’re hoping to achieve. After a bit of a chat and some briefing, I go away and plan the whole event for them – sourcing everything from venues to visuals, music to MCs, and food to favours. And on the day? I’m around to run everything from start to finish. I take the problems, and my clients just take the praise. All my clients have to do is sign off on any budgets and costs (though I’ll always find the most competitive deals, of course). Occasionally my clients may have to make a decision or two, but I do my best to make sure it’s not too much of a pain in the chestnuts when they do. I give nice choices, where possible.
I’ve had some absolute crackers (if you’ll forgive the pun) of conferences and events over the years, and so there’s always advice I can give you as well as stories I can tell you by sharing my experiences on pages like this one. I’ve committed to this blogging lark, now, so in 2024 you can look forward to more to come from ‘A Series of Fortunate Events – Diary of a Slightly Unhinged Event Planner’. If that ain’t the gift that keeps on giving, I don’t know what is.
Fun Festive Fact
I was a PA, Office Manager and Operations Manager in the corporate world for some 16 years before setting up Outside The Box Events, so if you ever need me for a bit of VA-ing rather than events management because your life is already eventful enough, give me a shout. I’ll manage your diary, sort all your comings and goings, and generally just help you get your ducks in a row. Or your partridges in a pear tree, if you prefer.
Drop me a DM if you need me for your next event (or daily occurrence), or pick up the phone and give me five gold rings…
This bird will call you right back.