Fiesta Sri Aman
Anyone has ambitions to be an Event Manager? Most of the jobs that occupy our duties are event management. Pesta, Carnivals, Exhibitions, Launching ceremonies.... you name it, by the time I am about to retire I guess I could turn to being an Event organiser. But it has its ups and downs. The recent Fiesta Perayaan 45 Tahun Dalam Malaysia held on 28 to 30 November 2008 - Sri Aman Level almost broke my spirit if not for the 'agi idup agi ngelaban' or never give up attitude of our members involved in the Fiesta coordination.
Three Days Before
The Resident Office was all set to give the Sri Aman folks a grand fiesta in conjunction with the Sarawak 45 Years in Malaysia Celebration. Decos were up, the Organising Committees were making a last minute check. Everything went well... so we thought. One lesson for event managers - never discount bad weather, especially a real mean weather. As Hamidah says - the force of nature.....in the same line as our former Samy tune - "itu semua Kuasa Tuhan". So one thing that potential event managers need to equip themselves when they do outdoor events - you must pray very very hard for good weather.
26 November 2008 - A Significant Date
As events were unfolding on 26th November 2008 in Mumbai, India - the sign must have been in the occurrence of freak weather that wreaked havoc in Sri Aman on the same date. An urgent phone call from Miss Annliza alerted me about the incident. 'The tents have collapsed' - that was her message. I did notice the strong wind outside my office and I had thought that it was not that serious. When I reached the Exhibition site, I was speechless. It was as if a Tornado had struck the exhibition site.
24 Hours To Launch
In consultation with the Resident, the Organising Secretariat immediately summoned the suppliers of the destroyed canopies and also the affected exhibition participants. We had our contigency plans executed and managed to source some extra tents all the way from Kuching within a span of 24 hours. Everyone chipped in, the incident did not damper our efforts to put up a good show for our Sri Amanian folks who have been looking forward to it.
Launch Day: Zero Hour
The opening ceremony was started off with a War Dance by the Regimen Askar Melayu DiRaja Ke 13 of Kem Pakit, Sri Aman
So the question again - do you wish to be an event manager? There's one lesson that we can all learn from this recent event. True grit is a necessary ingredient for making events successful and this was shown by the Sri Amanians. With almost two third of the exhibition infrastructure in tatters after the 'wind incident'. There was even a call to minimize the 'show' with less exhibition materials. The Resident and myself assured everyone that the show must go on and so they just closed their eyes and started to rebuild. I have to salute the spirit of those in the Committee and their members. In the meantime I am still recovering from the Fiesta, not from the celebrations but the mental stress and challenge of seeing this one through. And of course the sunburn again...ouch.... Thank you all!