Working in the conference organising business is like getting on a carnival ride that you can never get off. And what a ride? There are ups and downs, but here are my reasons I love it and what motivates me:
1. You meet a lot of very different people who share a passion for what they do. Nothing beats the feeling when an event comes to life as planned after many long hours to make it happen! There is even a feeling of sadness when the event is over and the delegates have left.
2. No two events are the same. Each one is different, making your job and life interesting.
3. Travel. I have travelled all over the world countless times to conferences in interesting and diverse places meeting all kinds of interesting people, an experience I could not have gained elsewhere.
4. Creativity. Being able to utilise my creativity after my albeit different scientific training is enormously rewarding. You need to be able to creatively design the delegate experience, websites, flyers a whole suite of artistic and creative roles.
5. Bringing people together. This is what events are all about. Like hosting a dinner party but on a grander scale.
6. Wow factor. I love it when I get the opportunity to put on an event with a wow factor. This doesn't happen very often due to budgets but when I do have a budget wow what ideas and what we can do!
I remember dinner for 260 guests on the edge of the Caldera in Santorini where each course was timed and served to perfection, a conference BBQ on Cable Beach under the stars where we all had to dodge the tide coming in on the way back and the frozen Lake Louise where the only wow factor needed was the conference venue itself.
Of course, it's not always 100% fun, there are dull tasks, and it can be highly stressful. Every event has a deadline. The nearer it draws, the more hectic it gets but after 18 years I'm still here and still loving it.