I’m starting this blog post with one big sigh of relief and a feeling of immense accomplishment.
Last Thursday and Friday, my company hosted its first ever Wakely Educational Conference at the Hyatt Resort & Spa on Clearwater Beach. This was a two-track event that we held for clients as well as outsiders to come learn more about various Medicare and Commercial topics. Now what does that mean exactly? I actually have no clue. I work at an actuarial firm, but the work that I do on a daily basis couldn’t be further from that. Thankfully for our attendees I was not a scheduled presenter. Our actuaries handled that part.
As Wakely’s first ever titled Events Coordinator, I knew it was SO vital that this event went off without a hitch for two reasons: 1. We wanted to impress our clients, and 2. This was going to be one of my biggest accomplishments with my new title. Not to mention, it overlapped on its first day with our All Employee Summit being held at a completely different hotel. Talk about a logistical challenge.
Nervous was an understatement as I worked through the final two weeks to make sure things were up to par. Double-checking our registration lists, triple checking our hotel agreements, reviewing audio visual lists, running around for supplies, almost submitting an $18,000 print order to Fedex Kinkos for presentation books – the list goes on. At the moment, I forget what an under 40 hour work week feels like.
But, you know what? I love it. I also loved arriving Wednesday night to the Hyatt with a surprise two bedroom suite upgrade. Y’all, it was literally nicer than our condo. Ben and I immediately put on our robes that were waiting for us in one of the suite bathrooms. We found a fruit and cheese plate with celebratory wine waiting for us in the fridge. It was the best way to kickoff our arrival before the event ensued on Thursday.
Although I basically consider this event my first born child, it doesn’t go without saying that I had a lot of support through the process. I learned how many details go into an event of this scale, and that sometimes it’s important to delegate even if you’re a terrible delegator. It was truly a Wakely team effort to get this event up and running. Even Ben was my right hand man with setup on Wednesday night, and the $18,000 Fedex Kinkos scare.
The most rewarding part of the entire process was watching this conference come to life for the first time last Thursday. Wakely as a whole had no idea how this event would be perceived by our clients. We didn’t have anything to compare it to because we had never done anything like it before. Could this turn into an annual event? Prior to last week, we weren’t sure – but I think we received our answer when a client asked us when the next conference was going to be.
As I left the Hyatt on Friday it was a bittersweet moment. Everything that I had put my energy into for the past few months had come and gone. It was successful. It was an experience. It was a reminder that I started at Wakely as a meal-errand-runner-bascially-borderline-intern and now I’m here as an event coordinator for a growing company.
Most of all it was, as my boss put it, a great example of “proving that I really could do anything”.
Until 2017, Wakely Ed Conference.