I, Event Coordinator

It’s been a familiar sight at film and music events over the last couple of years.  See Nikki Young running an event, and you know you’ll find her assistant close by to help keep things moving smoothly.  Usually in a suit…

Since 2007 it has been my privilege to be Nikki’s “right-hand man” (or, as it were, “write-hand man”).  And beyond that, it’s been a rather amazing learning experience.  I suppose it was inevitable that one day I’d have to put what I’d learned to the test.

As it turns out, the day was last Saturday.

It’s not all that unusual for us to have two events to run/attend in the same weekend.  But it’s a little less common to have two events on the same day.  And to have two events running nearly simultaneously, on the same day, in two separate cities, and both requiring the PrimaDonna Presence?  I wouldn’t have expected that one either.  But that’s what happened last week, with the Texas Motion Picture Alliance‘s Annual Meeting taking place in Dallas while the Texas Music Coalition was hosting its annual Meet & Greet here in San Antonio.

Consider that Nikki has served as both Elections Chair for TXMPA and Scholarship & Grant Chair for TMC; one meeting would introduce TXMPA’s new Board of Directors, while the other would announce the winners of TMC’s Jack Skiles Scholarship and Fred Weiss Grant.  This could have been a bit of a problem.

But it had already occurred to her that I was available.

So the plan was set.  Nikki (aided by Chadd and our 2009 intern Eddie) would lay the groundwork; then, while she and Chadd were in Dallas to help make things happen for TXMPA, I’d make my way to Casbeers to help run the Meet & Greet.  Which meant making sure that the volunteers had their table, the MCs had their talking points, the DJ had a place for his sound system,  the musicians who brought CDs had their music played, the winners had the Big Checks, and everyone had a good time.

I arrived fairly early at Casbeers and started coordinating with Steve Silbas (the venue’s co-owner) to make sure the necessary space was available.  Carol Sowa (TMC’s Vice President) arrived shortly thereafter, soon followed by the expected unexpected, which is to say that we were left without a vital piece of equipment just half an hour before we were to begin.  Granted, that’s not quite the sort of thing you want to hear when you’re a first-time event coordinator.  But we made a few calls, and we were blessed to have another member come through with that piece of equipment, which made it possible for our DJ (who, as it turns out, is married to a cousin of mine.  Funny how that happens) to do his job.

So the event began right on schedule, with The Tim and Bob Show‘s Don Hymel handling MC chores before TMC’s current President, KONO DJ Steven O. Sellers, took over.  Both did a terrific job, and with help from our DJ and a few guest MCs, they kept the music playing and the crowd – more than 60 known attendees – engaged.  And the scholarship and grant announcements went over really well too.

In short, we had a hit.

In the last week I’ve received a lot of kind comments from people who were there, including a very nice write-up from Carol and an incredibly generous shout-out from Steven O. Sellers.  And I appreciate all the support and feedback.  But I’ll continue to maintain that it was a team effort.  So in that spirit, thanks to all who volunteered, all who brought their CDs, all who applied for the TMC scholarship and grant, and all who contributed in any way to making this event happen.  It’s a very long list (and it’s up at TMC’s website), so if I haven’t mentioned your name, please know that I appreciate your support no less for it.

Most of all, thanks to everyone who trusted me with my part in this.  I genuinely appreciate that trust, and I hope I was able to live up to it.

And so, the test passed, ended my first experience as a full-blown Event Coordinator.

I get the feeling it won’t be my last.

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