IRIS-The Incredible Sojourn
I was always enthusiastic about reaching out to successful people. Questions like how they do what they do and also their inspiration for living the life they had chosen to live would always grapple my mind. Feeling deeply their notions, inspiration and plight in creating a niche for themselves, I decided that if I ever get a chance, I’d work to bring such people in my college.
And through IEEE-VIT, a technical student chapter of my college, I got the chance to work earnestly for the same. A series of guest lectures was to be conducted on a particular day, and we wanted speakers, not only from technical background, but from various domains and walks of life. The event was christened IRIS-Inspire, Resonate, Integrate and Succeed. The goal was clear: bring students across achievers that could propel them to succeed in life. I was overwhelmed when the IEEE core committee decided to make me and my class fellow Tejas Kulkarni the ‘Event Coordinators’ for IRIS.
The task was colossal, and it required equivalent efforts from the side of the coordinators. It took an entire team and weeks of experiments to come up with an IRIS logo, a draft mail for the speakers and all the intricacies that lead one to perfection. Simultaneously, we came up with a huge list of speakers to contact, with every person suggesting someone or the other. Then came the mammoth task of mailing these speakers. The task was pretty simple, yet it had to be handled meticulously. Tejas and I mailed most of the speakers, and in the due process, we made multiple errors. Some were so silly that we deserved some hammering from the heads. But what we got is immense trust and motivation to work better.
As I mentioned before, I wanted to meet these people personally. And IRIS gave me the chance to interact with the speakers on a personal level. We got opportunities to visit them at their places of work, know them more closely and get inspired. What I learned from this experience is far more important than how well I could contribute to IRIS. I was new to Event Management. I learned various aspects of how to save your event from conking out. The priorities were clear- to make the speaker and the audience happy.
Before IRIS, a prequel guest lecture was organized, by the name of Pre-IRIS, where an ex-IPS Officer and dignitary was called. We were honored to meet this gentleman, who expected just one thing from us as event organizers. He wanted to see what he liked to call a ‘dignified crowd’, and I remember when we had gone to meet him in his office, we had gone cold in our feet.
Yet we assured him and took the risk of bringing relevant people to hear him out. The Publicity team did a fabulous job here; for it required meticulous methods of publicity to reach out to the correct audience. After the event was over, Sir himself appreciated us as he found that the crowd and arrangements were up to his expectations.
With the success of Pre-IRIS, our resolve to pull off IRIS strengthened. IRIS was to be conducted two days after Pre-IRIS, and we had had very less time to make and supervise all the arrangements. The two days went very stressful. Everyone was sleep-deprived. Moreover, few of our heads looked off color; it was our responsibility as coordinators to ensure that their bad health doesn’t plant the seed of negativity regarding the event’s success. “Failure is not an option’,” is what resonated in my mind, and I was happy to see what had been left of the team to work with the same ethic and fervor. Everyone had made IRIS their sole aim, and worked relentlessly towards the same.
The day had finally arrived, and to everyone’s relief, IRIS went well. It was a success, as there were people who had messaged us, or posted on their WhatsApp stories that they really liked coming and learning something new. As dusk neared, sadness engulfed me, as the journey would come to an end. The incredible journey, for which everyone worked exceedingly hard, would end now. We celebrated among ourselves, cherished all the days of toil, and then thought-what’s next? In the next two days, we were refilled with the same vigor and vision to undertake the next mammoth task, the next event. For man’s satisfaction never gets satisfied, does it?
We were now ready for the next incredible sojourn,
our new voyage!