Event Management Lessons from the Parent of a Teenager

Every parent’s nightmare: The teenage years. Challenging, bickering and plenty of slammed doors. Funny enough, I’ve found that my experience as a parent of a teenager is a lot like the experiences I’ve had while managing events.

Events often seem unruly. So many details to track, so many moving parts to conduct – just like the life of a teenager. New friends, new experiences, and new boundaries. How can you ever manage it all? Communication is key. Check in regularly on all the details and let your team know you’re always available for support, but trust that most things are under control. With events – like my teenager, I’ve seen almost everything. The phrase “expect the unexpected,” has long been a waste on me. So, make it the same for yourself. The stress from directing all moving parts of an event that is approaching is overwhelming. But, remember that even with the most detailed planning, you can’t control everything. Embrace surprise because, in the end, everything will be okay. Sharing the responsibility of discipline, communication, and love makes it so much easier as a parent. In the event world, success is found by working with your team and partners that share similar experiences and approaches.

And, just like a teenager sometimes feels uncomfortable talking about certain topics with a certain parent, have an event partner there to be another avenue of communication for your team. This can be a place where your team works through concerns or opportunities they feel uncomfortable sharing with you, the supervisor. So, take a deep breath; everything will work out. If you can handle a teenager, you can certainly handle an event – and if you can handle an event, a teenager will be a breeze.

By the way, I’m proud to say we’ve almost gotten through the hurdle of picking out another semi formal dress. Not to mention the Pre-SAT classes we’ve finally convinced her to take.

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