'Out of office'

Last week was like a dream. This was a week before it was time to put that Out of office auto reply on my work email and the week after the hectic conference. 

Two Sunday mornings ago the alarm rang at 5.30. You might wonder why. By god why? Barely four hours after we had gone to bed. In order to get 45 minutes more sleep I decided to take a cab to the station and an hour later I was having a wake me up breakfast at Arlanda Airport. Never the one to say no to work (like ever) I was heading to Copenhagen to work another MCI conference and to breathe some Danish air. From 9 am to 6 pm it was full speed preparing for the guests to arrive and then handing out badges until I finally zipped up my pink suitcase and got a cab back to the airport.

But that’s not where it started. No, cause as everyone knows that the week starts on Monday. Or usually it does. That one had a nifty bank holiday inserted on Tuesday so really it felt like it started on Wednesday. Any who, that Thursday me and Isabelle, the event assistant took the bus to a castle (of sorts) located fifteen minutes (without traffic, 35 with) from the city centre. I had volunteered to work an event for another teams event: the 30 year anniversary of a French bank. 

 A castle with a view. 

 

French speaking people and men in suits. Two things I love, so I really didn’t have to think too hard before saying yes to working an evening after a 24/7 week at work. 

Okay, so technically I didn’t exactly know that it was a bank event nor that it had any connection whatsoever with France. But I like to think that I was a bit psychic in that moment and sensed it. Either way it was a surprise in the same class as being served a truly delicious glass of wine with your steak. Yum. 

The Thursday began as all events do: in pure panic. True story. It’s sort of the charm of working with events. No matter how much you prepare there is always something that turns out wrong and you have to run around like a maniac to handle it before anything happens. 

So about thirty minutes or so after arriving at location we discovered that the clients carefully prepared presentation was in a format not supported by the television devices. Upon discovering this we quickly found out that it was working on two of the four screens. How the f* was it doing that? It turned out there was some mysterious tech guy out there who had reformatted the presentation on two of the USB sticks and then like dust he had disappeared. Now I don’t believe in ghosts, or anything but… No just kidding after some minor investigative work (nowhere in class of Sherlock Holmes) we got hold of him and after listening to a quick tutorial of what he had done I gathered all the sticks and got to work. It quickly turned out that though he had managed to make the presentation work it was just less than half of it there and 25 pictures where missing. 

We re-grouped, I took the presentation and the other two took everything else. Two hours and a whole lot ot running up and down and up and down the stairs later 

   - to see if it worked now, nope? okay, back to the computer on the top floor! - it was finally done. 

After that it was business as usual. The night went on, there was drinking (wine), oysters, dancing and after midnight it was time for us to pack up and head home. 

I admit it, 3 hours of sleep followed by 9 hours work didn’t exactly result in an overly energetic me, but after a swift shirt-change at the airport restroom I did feel somewhat more…alive! 

Dinner, a stop by Starbucks (!) and then it was time to fly back to Stockholm. Unfortunately the plane was packe and thus my hand luggage was involuntarily checked in - so instead of being able to quickly grab it at the airport and run home, I had to wait and wait, for it to appear on the conveyer belt. Sigh

At last landing at my flat I changed into pyjamas and was just about to have a midnight snack when I remembered something. Damn. The water bottle! I quickly opened the freezer and there it was. On the top shelf the glass water bottle, which I had nicely put in the night before, you know to have ice cold water, had exploded and there was glass everywhere. 

There it was. The perfect end to a hectic weekend! 

Anniversary - Arlanda - Copenhagen - Events - French bank - Lifestyle blog - MCI - Sherlock Holmes - Starbucks - Travel - Work - out of office - sunday

Behind the scenes

I left the office a bit after ten PM the night before and was more than ready to get a few hours of sleep before Wednesday. 


Seeing how this was my first congress as a Delegate and Hotel Coordinator at MCI and that I had just started barely a month earlier, it wasn’t only a guest list with requests out of the ordinary to manage but a brand new operating system to learn on top of that. 

Know the feeling when your workload is so great that it feels like no matter how many things you check off your to-do list it just never seems to get any shorter? and you find yourself wondering ”What the hell did I get myself into???” You can say that I got a jump start into the role as Coordinator. 

So back Wednesday, we ordered a cab pick up for half past two and at quarter past I still hadn’t packed up my computer or work-shirt for that matter and forget about lunch! (Yes, so my priorities differ quite a lot when I’m working from when I’m not. On my leisure it takes a great deal for me to go more than two hours without eating but at the office, one meal keeps me going for about ten hours.) And no, I didn’t starve. A lovely colleague ran to the store and got me a huge sandwich and a piece of chocolate (how sweet isn’t she?) and another one forced me to eat it in the cab on the way to location. There we unloaded all our luggage and reasoned that hey of course we can carry eight bags by ourselves (clever huh?) and slowly made our way into the conference. We managed alright too, if you disregard the small misshapen of me dropping one roll up in the middle of the revolving doors and stopping the whole shebang. 

Two hours later however we had set up the printer and made ourselves at home behind the Green counter were we would spend the upcoming days. The name tags were ready to go and so were the purple lanyards and we were officially open for business. As it was still the day before the actual conference and exhibitors were only just setting up, it wasn’t crazy busy yet but rather a preview of what was to come. When we closed up it was time to prepare for the following day. Working behind the scenes means the work begins when everything closes down for the public. 

The charm of working with events, right? #LoveWorkingBehindTheScenes 

         

On Thursday it was time for my virgin journey à la Titanic and the morning started with a cab ride to the Waterfront Conference at Radisson Blu. 6 in the morning it was still ghost town but that changed an hour later when the delegates finally started to arrive and making some buzz that didn’t stop until late that evening. 

A little after nine PM everyone had left and I and the Project Manager were the last ones standing. 

Leaving the scene of events we decided to have a quick last minute dinner before finally going home for some sleep before it was time to return early (early!) in the morning. 

- Enjoying the asian cuisine I came to the conclusion that food never tastes better than when enjoyed with a scenery of trains, airplanes or people in movement. It just sort of adds a unique spice to it. 

 

           

When Friday arrived I had on record time gotten used to the onsite-procedure of taking a cab to work, which tells you a little something about me: I adapt quickly to new conditions. And taking a cab is quite luxurious - I mean I rarely even take a cab home after leaving the party at four in the morning but will rather wait forty minutes for the bus… But that’s just me. 

Friday was D-day with the main event ’The Closing Dinner’ taking place in the evening and it was the hot topic all day as the pressure for tickets was high. Though I wasn’t working that evening (unfortunately) I did get a sneak peak of the settings before I left. 

As my colleague A who was in charge of the running schedule gave me a quick description of her work assignments for the evening I was not just a little bit jealous. Attending the party was probably great but me, I get my kicks working being behind the scenes. Obviously. 

So in the afterplay, leaving the office late before prepping for working three intense days onsite, I’ve been asked if I am tired or even exhausted? 

But honestly I am completely unfazed - I absolutely LOVED IT! 

 
         
 
The sneak preview before it was time to open the doors. 
         
 
Beautythroughscience - Coordinator - Events - Lifestyle blog - MCI - MCI Nordics - Radisson Blu - Stockholm - Waterfront
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Full disclosure

I’m just putting the finishing touches to the post about my first event this past weekend and it will be up on the blog tomorrow! Don't miss it! 

Oh, FYI that's what I've been doing with myself lately, in case anyone was wondering. 

In May I started working as a Delegate Coordinator at MCI in Stockholm and the past weeks I have been spending all my time, short of sleeping at the office, preparing for that very first exciting and slightly nerve-wrecking event: a big international congress with close to a thousand participants. 

Just to clarify: I’m not going to tell all. 

Working behind the scenes of a big (or a small) event is (at least to me) thrilling to say the least and unexpected things happen. It’s Murphy’s law. I think it’s like a must when it comes to events. And honestly if they didn’t it probably wouldn’t be as much fun as it is. 

As I have just finished wrapping up the first conference, I couldn't be more excited and looking forward to many more onsite-events while at MCI and (of course) to write about them. Having said that I’m not going for full disclosure, cause what’s the fun in that, right? No, I say let’s keep some mystery and I won't tell too much but just give you a sneak peak into life behind the scenes and what it is I do. 

 

Oh and there are two events just this week, so make sure to stay tuned! ;) 

 

 
Congress - Coordinator - Events - Lifestyle blog - MCI - MCI Nordics - Preview - Radisson Blu - Stockholm