One of the things I’m learning as an event planner for International Week and Night (at the University of Oregon) is that I cannot do everything by myself. If I tried, I would be responsible for getting 600+ people to come to my event, create a weeks worth of events and cook for every event attendee. Fortunately, I have five different committees that are responsible for helping me take care of those tasks and others, but even with 30 people dedicated to helping out, we are still unable to take care of everything by ourselves.
As an organization, we have a community that we can rely on to help us out whenever we are in need. But, being that we’re a college organization, turnover for other student groups is relatively high. Therefore, it is imperative that we forge new alliances with other like-minded groups.
Forming alliances like this can sometimes seem like a daunting task (do I have to buy gifts, make a financial contribution, make a presentation, ect.), but small gesters of kindness and goodwill are sometimes all it takes. For the other organizations I want to build coalitions with, I, along with the rest of my organization, will donate an hour of our time to helping them with whatever event they need help with.
This works out pretty well because events are on a weekend and everyone usually has some free time. And once we show that we are willing to help them out, we usually receive a fair amount of help in return. A significant amount of our production efforts are aleviated by volunteers, and most of those volunteers come from other groups that we help.
As the old saying goes, “No man is an island.” But no organization is completely alone either, at least not in the world of event planning. In any situation I’m in, if I look around me hard enough, I can make and find allies who will stay help me accomplish my goals.