I am home from 5 days in the Hague. Not what one would call a holiday although I am definitely going back as a tourist. I was there to MC and host MPI European Meetings and Events Conference.
330 delegates all anticipating what to expect with a theme of Changing the Game. And for me, my first conference in front of industry friends, peers and potential clients so to say there were nerves is an understatement. See my you tube videos for the full story if you don’t feel like reading.
Using a theme
Many conferences have a theme/title. And many conferences simply don’t live up to the theme when producing the content. Speakers aren’t briefed to link to the theme and the event design doesn’t have the theme at its core.
#EMEC19 was the total opposite. With innovative meeting design at the heart of this event, there were ambitious productions, several very different room layouts and over 50% of the conference was outside the general meeting area.
And you know what? It worked.
I was sick. My voice went. I wore black tights with blue boots. And I was nervous! Super nervous. However, our preparation and rehearsals were successful, and the feedback has been phenomenal. From the keynote speaker saying I’m a “natural” to comments from participants saying thank you for great job I did taking care of them!
As the MC, my role is to be the bridge between the content and the participants, to support the facilitation of experiences and memories. With this conference we succeeded thanks to the hard work of the organising committee.
One of my own biggest take outs is to start having more confidence in my ability. Many of my peers commented that although I had the cue cards, I was at my best when I stopped looking at them. They are in my hand for purely psychological reasons, a bit like an older toddler with a retainer. I need to let that go, trust in my ability as an MC and smash it.
The come down
I have never taken drugs. When someone shared (as a teen) that they dropped and E, I asked if they found it. However, the feeling after a conference is how I would imagine it must be when you do take drugs. The highs during the conference, the energy that you get from working with a great audience, the emotions that you feel are simply mind blowing. But today, at home, doing the laundry and coming back to earth is a tough feeling. With all dopamine highs must come lows and this is something I need to manage.
Rest, recover and roll onto the next event.
With a day in a darkened room, drinking ginger and honey and sleeping, the recovery element is important. I didn’t realise how physical being an MC is. I have been hungrier than ever and today more exhausted too. But I’ve rested, I’m repairing and now I’m ready for my next event which starts tomorrow evening.
And to borrow the phrase from this association, I am an MC and I LOVE what I do.