A few months into my new position as the operations manager at the Bridge View Center, there has not been a single day that has gone by in which I have not learned something new. Day after day, event after event, there are so many pieces and variables that go into an event regarding the pre-event, event, and post-event process that individuals outside of our industry do not know about. The number of hours, employees, communication, and logistics special events require in order to make an experience guests will never forget is monumental. Before entering this industry, as an event attendee, I would have never thought about the particular layout of chairs (classroom style, theater style, etc.) or how often trash and restrooms must be checked, the means of egress, the guidance and training each part-time and full-time employee needs, and the skill set needed to ensure that all staff members have the tools and information they require in order to do their jobs successfully.
As a young professional, I am sure many of us feel that impatient feeling of wanting to know everything at this exact moment and sometimes feeling a little foolish for not understanding why certain things are done. However, I am now beginning to realize that this is our rite of passage. Every expert was once a beginner. Every venue management professional has made the mistakes necessary to learn and eventually improve their trade. Speaking to colleagues and mentors has helped me realize that I have to enjoy the present. The knowledge necessary for the next step of my journey will come with time. These tough learning experiences must come first in order to have a better understanding of the larger picture. I truly believe that if one is willing to work hard, be willing to learn from mistakes, and ask questions in order to understand larger processes, not simply complete the tasks assigned to them, young professionals will achieve as much they can dream.