This past year at Freemind has been a blur. When I sat down to try and write this blog post, I didn’t know where to start. I must have started half a dozen times with just as many ideas. The goal was to be sentimental and heartfelt but also informative. To share all the knowledge I’ve gained and the fun times I’ve experienced this year. From starting out as an Event Coordinator in a contract position to being brought on full time as the Event Marketing Manager…it’s a lot! Too much for a blog post in my humble opinion.

So instead, in no particular order- here are just the some of the best things I’ve learned this year at Freemind. Some are about the industry, some are about myself, some are about the team. I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed my first year at Freemind Seattle!

Fun Facts about My Year At Freemind:

*fun as defined by Victoria

No, I do not just throw parties or ‘party’ for a living unfortunately. But I knew that going into this.

During Tradeshows there are a lot of early mornings and late evenings (that turn in to early mornings), and a lot of waiting…A LOT of waiting.

Tradeshow bacon is apparently a THING and people truly love it.

People skills are important in events, but I feel like I’ve learned more in the technical sphere this past year. A lot of new Excel tricks, database software experience and PowerPoint tips!

Melissa & Kori LOVE 90’s Hip Hop- I have a few video clips of them singing and dancing in the car on the way to events. I also may have shocked them once or twice by singing along 😉

There would be more events in the world if things weren’t so expensive!

Kori has a special coffee drink she orders during tradeshow days-cause we all need that extra treat to keep us going.

Melissa is Unsweetened Iced Tea (all day every day)- until it’s time for (good) wine.

Don’t be surprised when something has to be changed last minute. Just expect it and be ready to pivot.

There is not just one type of event. I’m a year in and still learning all the different ins and outs of specialty events. A birthday party is not a wedding, a wedding is not a corporate event, and a corporate event is not a tradeshow. And a fashion tradeshow is different than a tech tradeshow. I could go on and on!

Melissa & Kori are the coolest. The most accepting and supportive humans I have ever worked with. My wish for all of you reading this is for you to find a team that you are as comfortable with as I am with mine.

No one looks good under florescent lights. So no judgement!

I realized that my true passion is working with people. No matter the industry, no matter my own initial interest in the subject matter, I love people. Seeing people excited, happy and engaging with something that they care about is the best!

Melissa & Kori know where all the good snacks and food are. When in doubt, take more than one!

I really do know a lot of random, useless knowledge….

Sometimes, the thing you don’t think of as one of your “strengths” is actually your superpower. Like being able to stay calm when being swarmed by people for SWAG giveaways.

Trashy Reality TV, Horror, Dr. Pimple Popper- talk to Melissa

Ghost Shows, Sappy/Bonkers Hallmark & Lifetime Movies- go find Kori

I love weddings, don’t get me wrong, and I love to attend them….as a guest. I’ll be the best bridesmaid and helper on the day of if you need me, but please dear lord, do not ask me to be your wedding planner. I’m leaving that to J. Lo. And I can recommend some amazing ones located around Seattle for you if you need!

The best break from tradeshow stress is talking about your pets or kids. Ask me about my cat Louie if you ever need to destress! (see, don’t you feel better already?)

Everything in the tradeshow world is attached to a cost. From whiteboard markers, to moving something 6 inches. Everything costs money.

There is no set time schedule or work week in this job. I thrive on that! If you need a strict routine, this probably isn’t the job for you.

OMG the acronyms! The event & marketing world have their own language for sure.

Just. Be. Nice. Melissa and Kori are big advocates of the golden rule, “Treat others how you would like to be treated.” Events can get stressful, so lean on your teammates, don’t lash out. On the tradeshow floor everyone is on the same team!

Yes, sometimes you just have to drop an F-bomb *ahem, Kori*

People LOVE free stuff…but it is also hard to make ‘free’ worth it to all involved. Again-everything costs money.

I spend equal parts of my life at this job staring at excel & word docs as I do at events. I LOVE the variety!

Being on a diet or having food restrictions can be tough when working large multi-day events and working on site. I may have broken down and eaten some gluten in a moment (or many moments…) of weakness. Tradeshow food is NOT for the health conscious most times. *see Bacon note above.

I’ve now seen the same few convention centers set up for multiple different tradeshows. How we take an empty concrete box and turn it into a custom little city still blows my mind.

Project Management reminds me of trying to herd a group of cats & toddlers. Trying to get everyone on the same page, at the same time, but some just do not care and others are throwing a tantrum about why the sky isn’t green. Difficult, but you’ll feel so accomplished when you’re done and you’ll have some amazing stories to tell. HA!

Messy buns for the win.