“The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane,” said Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady. I wish! It rained in Spain, stayed warm in Vienna and was pretty nice in Niagara! Welcome to June’s blog friends. As you might have noticed (if you are super observant) I have changed the name of the blog. Thanks to the inspiring words from friends, speakers and colleagues over the past months, it is time to drop the ‘female’. I am the MC and my professionalism and experience is what counts, not my gender.
The busiest month so far.
WOW – WOW – WOW! I made it! What a spectacular month it’s been. If (and that was a big if) there was any doubt I have chosen the right path on this journey, June has smashed that doubt into oblivion and beyond.
I don’t know where to start my friends in terms of experiences. If you follow me on Facebook then you will have seen the videos and photos of this epic few weeks. If not, we will include a few in this blog.
June started in Vienna, ended in Toronto, involved nearly 5000 participants, 8 flights, 10 different hotel rooms, 4 cities, 6 nights in my own bed, 3 very happy clients and a bucket list trip to Niagara Falls. All my musings and learnings would take more than our blog post to share, so I am going to highlight some things that I think you might enjoy.
It’ll be alright on the day, or night
Every event is different, every client will have different concerns or worries. There will always be something that doesn’t go to plan (at least one thing) but EVERY event is a success if you’ve planned, prepared and are passionate about participation! From an opening ceremony, awards presentation, 2-day summit and finally an interactive workshop, everything worked out even better than the clients (and participants and delegates) expected. This is my “why” and is why I write this with a big grin on my face.
Remember you are responsible for the success (or failure)
A good friend and mentor of mine pulled me up this month when I was sharing one of the experiences at a session I designed and moderated in Sitges.
I was sharing the feedback from the client (who said it was one of the best they had done in 15 years) and mentioned what a great audience they were, which made it easy for me. He quickly stopped me and said, whilst they might be a good audience, they need to be having a good experience which is exactly what you moderated and designed. Accept the fact you were integral to this. He (as he is Dutch 🙂 ) also shared that, as a moderator, you should never say you had a “bad crowd” as again, this is in your hands to change. Don’t take my word for it, if you would like to see the testimonials, they are here!
Luggage loss! 🙁
Looking back, I have to be grateful that it’s taken this long for it to happen. I’ve travelled thousands of miles and always, even if it was last on the carousel, my trusty suitcase would trundle out. I had sympathized with friends, especially a friend who seems to be a unfortunate regular of luggage loss (The lovely Cherryl Brazier of the Anchor Collection)
I have always made sure my essentials and important things are on my person. Apart from (of course, you’ll say) this trip. I was lucky to extend my trip to include a few days of rest and relaxation in beautiful Sitges. So, I had moved from the professional business traveler to, dare I say it, tourist! My brain had begun to wind down, I was wearing flip flops and playing tennis (not at the same time); enjoying all the things that I’d missed out on this month due to the busy work schedule.
This was when the airline that shall not be named decided to leave our suitcases (yes, at least 50 of them) in Barcelona. The flight has been horribly delayed, and I was tired and anxious to do my laundry before the next trip 36 hours later, so no luggage was NOT what I needed.
Whilst I appreciate these things happen, if there are any airline people reading this, please can you COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PASSENGERS! The biggest frustration is that no-one was taking accountability for what had happened.
As a professional MC, if the event isn’t working, it’s my responsibility to get it on track. As an airline and airport, it is your responsibility to treat your passengers with respect. Anyway, 24 hours later, a drive to Slough and back, the bag was returned, the laundry got done and repacked for Toronto. Lessons learned, don’t treat a leisure trip any differently, anything you need, keep with you.
Make time for learning and for play
I had the absolute pleasure to attend MPI’s World Education Congress held this year in Toronto. It was the first time I’ve attended this event as a simple delegate! No chapter leader work, no business development for others. Just Samme Allen Ltd, doing what she does best, learning and playing! It was a great conference. Some great speakers, and education that is really going to help me with my business. I got to reconnect with good business friends from across the world and expand my network with some great new business connections. For once, I also enjoyed some “play” time and extended the trip to go on a road trip with the wonderful Judy Elvey (MPI UK & Ireland President as of July 1 and Cvent Director of Marketing in Europe)
We visited Niagara Falls, got to go on the boat trip right into the falls (Samme Allen Bucket List – check!) and then spent a couple of days in Niagara-on-the-Lake, visiting beautiful vineyards and sampling some delicious wine. I recommend the Megalomaniac Narcissist Riesling. I’m not even joking 🙂
So, what’s in store next? I hear you ask…
July is quieter in terms of travel, which is handy as I need to move house this month! I have some great clients I am working with these next couple of months, developing some innovative and engaging workshops, re-imagineering content and a few other surprises so watch this space and of course the website for further details.
But enough about me, how are you doing? I’d love to hear where you are, what you are up to and any comments on my blog.