B-D-SCENE Event Organizer Interview With Elaine Claire
B-D-SCENE EVENT ORGANIZER INTERVIEW #7 – Interview with Elaine Claire who was the Organizer for TEDx Youth Singapore.
Elaine was part of the core team of TEDxYouth Singapore organising team where she was a content curator for the event by determining which speaker is eligible for the event. Prior to that, she was also Food & Beverage Coordinator for Formula 1 Singapore’s GP in 2018 and been involved in major events also.
Elaine has been involved in various non-profit organizations event committees such as ACRES charity gala, Special Olympics National Games where she forefronted the event for the special needs and also VSA True colours festival whereby she managing the event for the disabled.
Hi Elaine! what made you involved in organising events?
It started when I was doing a roadshow for a non-profit organization called ACRES whereby I was a merchandiser seller. Also, my extroverted personality that pushes me to come out of my comfort zone to try new challenges and events was the only way for me to embrace uncertainty.
What keeps you motivated in organising events? has it always been a passion or you’ve made yourself a home in organising events?
For me, I believe is the intrinsic motivation that keeps me going in organizing events – while some people work for events because of the rewards and monetary benefits, the gratitude from the audience and the people who I’ve worked with allows me to feel fulfiled in creating a positive impact for them.
Let’s talk about your role as the organiser of TEDxYouth Singapore, what were the key factors before considering to organise a TEDx or similar level event?
1) Communication Plan
2) Target Audience
As every TEDx has a unique and specific theme, how do you keep your team, to be aligned with the same goal?
Well for a team to work, I believed that it needs constant reassurance and encouragement and also compromisation in driving the same goal as everyone comes from different backgrounds so we need to understand that.
What were the major challenges that you had to deal while organising the event?
Well, members coming and going out of the team which makes it difficult to have a consistent team. Conflict of interest – when the venue partner decides to take control of the event when they suppose to be focusing on just the venue. Budgeting – Is difficult to stick to a small budget when you’re organizing a large event. Therefore we had to get some funds from the government to sponsor us as TEDx Singapore couldn’t reimburse us till the event was over.
Let’s share something that you are no stranger about which is Event Management. If anyone were to start a route like yours, what will be your advice?
Put yourself out there, start with volunteering as volunteering would let you experience behind the scenes and without being paid there’s a lesser expectation but more exposure.
What are the typical rookie mistakes when they are organising an event?
The typical rookie mistakes lies in the miscalculation of resources being planned for the event, technical issues such as the powerpoint slides being hanged even though a veteran organiser would know that no matter how you try to prepare ahead of time, these mistakes are bound to happen on the event day as mistakes are unpredictable in the field of events – Having managed the different kinds of events, we need to learn to minimise the impact of the mistakes and this comes with consistent communication between stakeholders and vendors. The key to minimising the mistakes lies in being a problem solver for any crisis that’s bound to happen for any event. I think most organisers tend to take it for granted that everything will go smoothly despite the many preparations ahead of time, there should always be a plan B and an alternative solution in dealing with the typical mistakes, I would say mistakes are inevitable – and the more mistakes you make the easier it is to rectify on the event day itself. At the end of the day, mistakes are the key to being a better events manager.
Last but not least, what do you seek to achieve in 6 months or 2 years in terms of personal and professional goals?
Personal goals – I would like to continue to be a voice for the community through advocating for special needs.
Professional goals – I hope to be a mentor for aspiring event organizers and also be an example in creating a better work environment for events, not forgetting exposing myself to events which I’ve never organized before.