For the past few months I’ve been involved in the final stages of a project for a new function venue in Kramerville which was launched last week. I was brought on board because of my experience in the events industry and have been managing a lot of the admin processes. I have created cost estimate and proforma invoice templates. I have compiled the fact sheet and bar list. I have setup some social media profiles and now manage those. I am also the main point of contact for venue enquiries and handle all the venue hire quotes and bookings.
Now for those who don’t know, I technically have two jobs… Not only do I work for this new venue, I also work for the events company behind this new venue. My days are spent attending to venue-related things like quotes, site visits, enquiries, etc, and events-related things like booking staff, capturing staff timesheets, attending meetings, running events, etc. A LOT of my day is spent attending to emails coming in to my FOUR email addresses. Yes, four email addresses! I used to love the sound of a new email on my phone. Now my eyes don’t even search over to have a look. But anyway…
So although we’d had a sneak peek of the venue for select clients in August, a proper launch party was a must! Once a date had been decided on, I was tasked with putting the guest list together. I was also asked to get a list together of all the events management companies so we could add them too. It was no easy task. And I ended up having a lengthy relationship with Google’s “next” button while I trawled page after page, clicking through links to see whether the company listed did in fact organise events and if they were based in Johannesburg. The list came together and then it was time to start sending the electronic invitations off.
Unless certain guests were from the same company, each guest received a separate electronic invitation via email. This meant sending out hundreds of emails. And then having to deal with out of office replies and delivery failure notifications; calling some people to get their correct email address or following up to find out if they would be attending. So most of the guests were from the events industry, and you’d think that since they know how important an RSVP is that they would RSVP themselves… I can’t tell you how many invitees didn’t RSVP.
So the launch day rolled around and I spent the entirety of it at the venue. I was there to manage the setup and make sure everything came together for the 5pm start time. Now anyone in the industry will tell you that no event is ever complete smooth sailing. We began with contractors still painting the walls. Add to this some of our staff helping in cleaning up the venue with mops and brooms. (Hello hayfever attack!) There were two bars to stock. There were bathroom cubicles to stock with bins and toilet paper. There were napkins to fold and small handtowels to roll. There was furniture to place, caterers to manage and decor to check.
The real fun started when one of our sponsors’ furniture items were late in arriving. Murphy’s Law it would be the sponsor that we’d requested the most items from. But the adrenalin surges. You find yourself moving a heavy couch with ease. Not feeling the bashing of chairs and barstools against shins as you move furniture around. Not noticing that you actually haven’t eaten the whole day and you’re now shaking. Not realising you can hardly breathe and need your Asthma inhaler. Or how you multitask between briefing the staff on what they need to do that night and ordering other staff on where to place that chair or table.
And suddenly everything falls into place and you have a second to breathe before rushing to the bathroom to change just as the first guest arrives. Thank goodness I’d had the foresight to pack a change of clothes, some perfume and some make-up.
The launch went really well! We were lucky that the weather was on our side and we could enjoy the views from the rooftop deck. The food was great. The drinks were cold. And the waiters ensured everyone had their full of both. I was ecstatic about everyone’s excitement over the venue, particularly those that had seen the space while still under construction.
I won’t lie, I’m really excited the launch is out of the way because now I can focus on attending to quotes, following up on enquiries, managing confirmed events, and just generally keeping on top of things.
Now for some pics… These have been taken during the course of the last few months. Some from the sneak peek we had in August while it was still under construction. Some a little while later when building rubble still littered the floor. And some from the party last week.
The other weekend I joined my friend Justine at the international polo match between South Africa and the United States. I have never been to a polo match and was really excited to go.
My memory brought up images from Pretty Woman of beautiful ladies wearing gorgeous dresses, wide-brimmed hats and sexy shoes. And then I had a mild panic attack wondering what on earth I would wear!! Luckily I had bought a dress earlier this year to wear at a friend’s wedding in June. It ended up being too cold to wear it then so I have been waiting patiently to wear it and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
I paired the dress with a pair of wedges since I didn’t want to have to walk painstakingly around trying not to get my heels stuck in the grass. And I think I rocked the outfit…if I do say so myself!
This past Saturday I attended the much anticipated, once-a-year all white dinner called Diner en Blanc.
If you haven’t heard about this fabulous event then let me fill you in… The idea behind the event is almost like a flash mob where you arrive at a (secret) location en masse. The process is as follows: you dress all in white, you arrive at a specific meeting point where you board a bus and then get driven to the secret location, you then setup your table and chairs (handed to you at the location) and set your table with crockery, cutlery, glassware and decor. Once everyone has done this, you wave your white napkins and sit down to tuck into your feast. Either you can purchase a picnic hamper that is provided by a selected caterer which you collect at the event, or you pack your own picnic basket.
Had I known I would have to work at a function on the day of this dinner, and had I known how heavy the picnic basket would be, I would definitely have ordered a picnic hamper (even though it was a lot more expensive than the food I bought from Woolies).
I decided to disobey the rules and started on my feast as soon as my table was set. I had only eaten a massive ball of candyfloss the entire day so I felt my rebelliousness was warranted.
Luckily we did start early and managed to get through most of our main course before it started raining. At first we thought it would just be a light rain and then we could continue with our dinner, but we were wrong! Lightning and hail soon crashed and thudded and we all ran for some cover. In the middle of the downpour I decided to go start packing everything up so we could head home Besides standing in ice cold puddles and ruining my shoes (oh the horror!!), it was pretty fun running around in the rain and not caring that my wonderfully straight hair was slowly turning into a dreadful tangled nightmare. The plus side of the rain? Not having to wash the plates when I got home!
Thanks Hans for letting me use some of your pics.
This was one of the things added to my list to do this year. See what else I’ve got up to or what I plan to get up to over here!
A couple weeks ago I was invited to a Facebook event for Yoga in the Park. I wasn’t able to attend but made sure that I went this time around. Every Sunday morning a small yoga class takes place at Emmarentia Dam under a tree. I happened to know the instructor today as she has taught me at my yoga studio, and the usual instructor Steven has taught me before as well.
I didn’t have a good yoga experience today. My body wasn’t cooperating with me and I felt like I couldn’t balance or do the poses as easily as I normally can. It could have been the heat. It could have been the change in venue and the fact that I had stones digging into my back and feet. It could have been that I felt self conscious considering the other park-goers stopped and stared. It could also just have been that I was tired and have had an emotionally challenging week. So overall it was a bad yoga day but I still had fun nonetheless.
Definitely going to try and make this class once a month as I think it’ll make for a nice break, out in the open, getting some fresh air, some sun on my translucent limbs and some wind through my hair. I’d think it’ll make a nice addition to my plan of more exercise.
The I Heart Joburg music festival took place this past Saturday and it had been something I had wanted to attend since I first heard about it. I was really lucky that a friend of mine works at MTVBase and was able to get a few complimentary golden circle tickets and chose to offer me one! Of course I said yes! Who would ever turn down a free ticket to an event showcasing some amazing artists/bands (some I absolutely love)!
The stage and set were phenomenal and I really loved the heart decal on stage and the hearts framing the screens. And it was awesome to get to sing along to Jason Derulo and see the awesome dance routines he put on; to witness the amazing performer that is Jessie J; to jump to Panic! At The Disco’s songs; and get low with BOB and T-Pain. It was definitely a day to remember!
My sky dining experience was originally supposed to happen in June, but the weather was not on our side and we had to postpone due to unseasonal rain. We finally managed to reschedule to this past Sunday and although the weather was still a little chilly we all had a lovely experience.
This amazing experience is organised by Sky Events and is currently situated at the Fairway Hotel and Spa which is at Randpark Golf Club. It is a unique dining experience for anyone that wants to transform an ordinary meal into something fantastic.
We arrived half an hour ahead of our scheduled snack time so we could sign indemnity forms and enjoy some light refreshments. (I think the champagne being served here was to help calm a few of the guests who were getting more and more nervous at the thought of the crane hoisting a specialised table to a height of 40 meters…)
When it was time for “lift off”, we were led down a red carpet and laid eyes on the special table for the first time. Guest seating is on the outside edge with a small table ledge in front of you. The inner section is where the waiters/barmen and entertainer stand to assist with serving. The table accommodates 22 guests per session and each chair is a bucket seat with strapping to keep you in place. We only discovered when we touched down again that the seats could recline! I suppose I’d have freaked out if I’d found that out while I was 40 meters up in the air!
After a quick safety briefing, plates with cloches were placed in front of us and our crane operator began hoisting the table to the highest point we would go. It took us a matter of minutes to get up and it was a really smooth journey.
As soon as we were up we were served some drinks and we tucked in when our cloches were removed from our plates. We were served a small selection of snacks – a chicken satay kebab, a vegetable springroll with a sweet chilli sauce, some meatballs, and some deep-fried fish with a tartar sauce. I do think there should have been something sweet served afterwards to end off the meal even if it was only a chocolate, but that’s just my sweet tooth talking.
The snack time slot allowed us to be up for about 45 minutes which was just perfect as it was a little chilly with the wind. I’m glad the weather hadn’t been on our side previously as we may have frozen going up in the middle of winter.
To give you an idea of how high up we were, that blue speck with white on top is one of the workmen on the ground.
This was one of the things added to my list to do this year. See what else I’ve got up to or what I plan to get up to over here!
Continued from part 16…
It’s amazing how quickly things can change that leave your life turned upside down and inside out! This next instalment was supposed to feature our glorious honeymoon to Thailand which also happened to be Gary’s first overseas trip (I was super excited to have been able to spoil him). That post would then have been followed by a look back on our first year of marriage, and then our second. It would have featured our adventure in making our new house a home and filling it with a child or two… All the things that were to be but will now never happen…
The biggest thing to have come to terms with is how much things have changed. I lost a friend, someone who I loved unconditionally and shared every piece of myself with. I moved out of the house that promised to bring so many hopes and dreams to fruition. I said goodbye to the doglets that added a different dimension to my life. Through all these losses I also had to conquer a million other hiccups that life dealt me – health issues, drivers license problems, new jobs, a stolen car, finding a place to stay…
When I look back over the last 10 months I see all the obstacles I have managed to overcome. I was forced to find strength through these adversities and am definitely not the same person I was. I’m not sure what the future holds or whether I will get to have a happily ever after. For now all I know for sure is that things are “to be continued…”
The entries for iPhoneography 2014 opened a couple months ago and I was most excited to enter my favourite images once again.
I must say it was really difficult to choose images this time as I think I’ve taken some beautiful pics since last year. After a lot of uhming and ahing, I managed to narrow my favourites down to eight or so. And then it was the very hard task of selecting the few to submit.
Of the ones I did end up submitting, this is the pic that’s been selected for this year’s exhibition (entitled All Lined Up)! Excitement!
I’m now wondering whether this would be the type of image that someone would want to buy at the exhibition? Do I want to put it up for sale and risk it not being sold? Do I not want to print it and keep it for myself? What do you think?