I am sitting in the sun. Fresh golden rays of early spring are reflected in glass-in-lead windows and the silent water of an old Dutch harbour town. History and commerce is what the beautiful 17th Century buildings are made of. At a certain point in my life I disrespectfully nicknamed this pittoresque little jewel of Dutch history as Horny Town. I was young. An interesting yet unconscious need surfaced. To challenge or counter balance some heavy and rich historical remnants of sturdy West Frysian inhabitants. Frysian people are independent and self contained. They don’t relate to Romans nor to South Europeans nor to more Southern Dutchies like me. Side path, that is not the history meant to be written here.
Now, in a more conscious way experiencing this little town bordering at what once used to be the so called Southern Sea (!), I perceive it completely different. Obviously Hoorn has been overruled by history in general and the significant Dutch accomplishment of ‘sea grabbing’ in specific. What once used to be the Southern Sea is now our big lake IJsselmeer, ‘damned’ by our most famous dike: the Afsluitdijk. But I imagine the hussling and buzz of ‘those days’. For example a fresh spring day in the year 1602. In this year the Dutch V.O.C., United East Indian Company, is installed. Hoorn sends seven delegates. Hoorn and it’s inhabitants back then must have deeply experienced the economical swing and energy of those revolutionary times. Albeit no Horny sexual energy, a lot of creative and regenerative power went around, fierce fully. Ships and vessels come ashore, unload their precious content, immediate buying and selling takes place, trade and people that meet to do business, women who weep over lost sailors, kids and pets are running around, steeling or receiving love and other forms of nutrition.
People come together not only because they like to come together. People come together because they have to. In order to meet their basic needs. The example of a roaring harbour town at the start of the Dutch Golden Age may evoke images of some famous creative outbursts that resulted from it: Dutch painting. What does it has to do with our present day event business?
People gather to meet their basic needs. Non material emotions and material stuff have to be interchanged. It’s often difficult to distinguish between the emotive and the material ingredients. If you look at it as an outsider, from another moment in time even, it’s difficult to identify material demand and its satisfaction from emotional demand and its satisfaction. For an outsider this is difficult. For the subject him or herself as the participant in the event, it’s impossible. Afterwards you may ask yourself. Did I actually get what I came for or did I feel, act and think as I was expected to? By whom?
Here event controllers come in. I hope you don’t mind me calling it so. Event planning, organizing and hosting are three different processes. Together these form event controlling.
Why do people gather at an event in the first place? To fulfill an emotional or a material need? Let an event not be created without having answered this question. Are you facilitating, selling or pacifying emotions. With or without material stuff? What they come for at Wall Street is obvious. However you can ask yourself, when they stay, are they in for the money or is it the priceless thrill and excitement of the prospected possibility to gain money that glues them to the location?
Event creation for me is synonymous with controlling an event: planning, organizing and hosting. They go together like horses and a carriage. Taking care of peoples emotional and other defenite human needs such as food&beverage, is part of the most basic and most important ingredients of ?
And what else?
So this is what the actual contribution of the event controller is all about. If you look at it from this angle, organizing and coordinating human gatherings, it’s something that doesn’t require a certain personality or any studies. It requires being human and preferably some practice in, and an idea of, heritage of the humanities. As events are made of basic human needs, they should ideally be created by basic human beings. We are not human doings. Do less, BE and stay aware to be able to attentively pave the road and facilitate creative and regenerative processes.
Coming together is a basic need in human affairs. Proud to Facilitate.