Experiences of a first time Event Planner
Finally I decided to take up the opportunity presented to me at a Youth Run Leadership Training to organize a community event. It was a must for us to graduate from the 10 Week Program.
The Purpose of our community event was to educate the youth on the importance of Peace during the elections.
Call them towards Peaceful coexistence with their fellow countrymen and Help them vote for Honest and Reliable leaders.
Organising an Event has a lot of moving parts, and here are some of the skills I relearnt and practiced in my responsibility as the Fundraising Coordinator.
- The Skill of Working with others.
As a melancholic thinker and Proactive person, I struggled to work with others. Mostly I preferred the silence of my own company prefarably with a book.
So imagine my surprise when I came to know that working with People is one of the toughest challenges one can undertake.
People are influenced by action rather than words I learned.
Especially actions that lead to results.
Earlier we decided on doing A Peace Walk and we were still in the early stages of planning for it. But one of the Executives suggested we make it a Peace Talk Instead. And what a wonderful idea. It paid off immensely as I will come to know in the 5th skill.
2. The Skill of Resource Mobilisation and being pragmatic.
One of the key skills I aimed to experiment with and practice was resource mobilization.
Of the Resource we required for a peace talk was a venue to host it. And With the help of a friend, I went to visit a hotel to host Our Peace Awareness Talk. And Man they informed us that we needed to pay an amount that was too high for a couple of university-age students to come up with in under a week.
So I started looking into a community hall where we won’t be charged for using the venue. On thinking about this Masjid Al Ameen Islamic Center came to my mind. I went to visit them right after with my friend.
At masjid I introduced myself and Gave the Ustaadha binded copy of our project Proposal detailing who we were and the justification for using their available space to host Our Community event.
On the first day I was told I needed to wait for a response in the evening and I left to undertake my other businesses for the day. And As you can expect I was not contacted back.
Consequently the next day I decided it was today or never.
I went back to their offices and waited. After a while I was informed that in my project Proposal I did not mention the management in name and I failed to specifically state in official capacity what I wanted from them Exactly.
So I did that, right there in the Masjid library. And after I was done I took it to the Ustaadha who then gave it to the manager of the Masjid Al Ameen Center
And he gave me his approval to use the Arena of Masjid Center.
Accordingly We were instructed to follow specific guidelines in respect of the Place which was a Place of worship for the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.
It Included no Music of any Kind plus Modest and Respecful dressing for the Sisters.
I was so happy we finally had the venue we needed so much that I said Yes almost Right away. Besides when in Rome do as the Romans do.
3. The SKill of delegating Responsibility to others.
I remember in our last leadership training session we were told to share the responsiblity in the planning and execution
But the Overconfident and agreeable me went on to state that I will undertake the responsibility of looking for a venue and undertake the responsibility of Getting someone to make a digital Poster for Our Community Event.
And the facilitator repeatedly told me, “Abdihamid You can’t do everything yourself”
And I Listened. which takes me to the Next Skill
4. The Skill of listening.
Listening is a luxury in Our world of Highly Opinionated and emotionally charged online debates.
In the book the leader with no title Robin Sharma shares that People fail mostly to listen because of their egoes. To listen effectively requires putting down the ego, he puts best when he wrote,
May my ego be silent so I can hear what others say.
I have witnessed on several occasions how truthful that statement is. Cultivating the capability of just listening. So next time you are with someone physically or on the phone try listening to what they are sharing with you in spite of the ego.
5. The Skill of Assertiveness
With only a few instances of assertiveness in the past I decided to own the part of me that is able to speak up in a way that is honest and respectful.
Being assertive is the only way I was able to do the responsiblity of securing a space for our talk. To get things done we must cultivate the skill of being assertive and it shows that you respect yourself because you’re willing to stand up for your interests and express your thoughts and feelings.
6. The Skill of Active learning
Learning actively requires focus which requires participation from the learner.
I have always enjoyed the practice of active learning. If I do not learn actively I simply will not enjoy the learning process very much. Early on I decided to apply my primary learning methodology of choice to the Taifa Teule leadership experience learning sessions.
And Man did I enjoy myself. From the Weekly activities we had including writing of Kenyan National Anthem in the Arabic language to discussing the personalities of renowned leaders such as Martin luther King Junior. Learning actively results in joy in the learner.
Key lesson. Learn actively.
And A Bonus Point for reading this far.
Activities are an excellent way of fostering a positive learning eniviroment.
Thank you I wish you a happy and blessed day or night :)