Our story started at the beginning of the spring semester in a lecture in B-block. We were told that we would have to execute a group communication project which required each of us to spend 40 hours on the project. In other words, it was the equivalent to one week working hours of a full-time employee at a firm in Finland. In the next lecture, good news arrived as we were offered to help set up a seminar for a distinguished and well-reputable North American Non-for-profit organization working to expand Finnish-North American collaboration through exchanges of talent and knowledge. Guess what the organization is? It is Fulbright Finland Foundation and the topic of the seminar was: “Making democracies resilient to modern threats”.
How our team successfully handled it:
To get to know the organization, we set up a meeting where we shared responsibilities among us and set the stage for us to prepare for the seminar. As a well-functioning conveyor line where a worker performs one single function, the team fairly divided the responsibilities among us including; venue booking, coffee break arrangement, marketing of the event through social media, brochure preparation and technical arrangements to name a few.
Our team begin to liaise with other stakeholders such as Sodexo for coffee break, a photographer etc. to book them for the event. Our group wrote and sent out the invitation and posted about the event in various channels to attract people. As the conference date approached, we met to share the final responsibilities at the venue in order to make sure that we didn’t miss anything and that everything was prepared in a timely manner. This was the first half of the pre-event stage.
The day before the seminar
I would say that this was the most time-consuming part of the project. Why do you think it took up more time than the first stage? Well, if you are aware of the Strategy and Implementation Course, I would say that after planning a well-thought-out project in a proper way, the execution takes place.
On the day before the conference, we showed up at the venue to set it up for the following day. We moved chairs to free the room from anything causing obstruction. Then we prepared name tags and cut wifi password cards so that we could give them out along with the name tags.
Meanwhile, some were deeply busy checking whether the microphones and presentation equipment were working well. Others moved hangers in the corridors so that guests could leave their clothes in the cloakroom and some prepared tables for Sodexo to serve our conference guests in the coffee break the following day.
With the venue now prepared, we were literally ready for the event itself.
The day of the seminar
On the actual day of the seminar Wednesday 14 March, we arrived at 9 am to be briefed as to what we are going to do. Afterwards, we moved downstairs to the ground floor to set up the registration tables. Some of us were assigned to the cloakroom and others liaised with Sodexo for the coffee break. We worked hard the whole day and remained until all the guests had left in the afternoon.
To wrap up, the experience of managing the project from its planning to its final implementation gave us practical event organization skills we can build on in our next projects. We will definitely benefit from it in the long run. We also received excellent feedback from the Fulbright Finland Foundation.
Post by Akylbek from Kyrgyzstan, a second-year IBL student who transferred to Metropolia Business School from Mikkeli UAS in the fall of 2017