“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a good plan and not quite enough time.”
Play to Your Strengths
One of the wonderful things about becoming a mature person is realising one has earned the license to recognise and honour one's own strengths.
I have had a most extraordinary life, filled with many adventures and challenges, which have helped me to recognise that I am blessed with three key talents:
I have a very 'Big Picture' brain, which happens to be combined with keen executive function & excellent organisational process.
I am extremely good at organising events!
My International Debut
If something is missing - make it happen
Being a lifelong learner, I am ever in search of the people who can share their knowledge.
In 2006 I needed to learn much more about how Chinese Medicine can best be used in Fertility and Pregnancy treatment. At the time I was working in the Harley Street office of a prominent obstetrician, and also working with one of the UK's leading fertility consultants.
This was the time when IVF had become available on the UK's National Health Service, and was rapidly moving into becoming a mainstream treatment.
I have always campaigned for Integrative Health, and I saw a great need to educate Chinese medicine practitoners about the Western treatments, and to help our Western medicine colleagues to better understand the value of how Chinese medicine can support their treaments.
So, what do you do? Well...
organise three, 3-day conferences at the Royal College of Physicians and invite all the best experts from around the world.
I look back on that experience and feel somewhat amazed at the audacious-ness of those 9 days, and quite marvel at what an outstanding success it was.
With a dose of talent and a lot of heart, and being the right person in the right place at the right moment, we (the Naturechild Team) brought together a most extraordinary series of international conferences.
As a result of this series I was invited to the MA Acupuncture faculty of Oxford Brookes University, to write and teach the Obstetrics and Gynaecology modules.
When the MA programme was discontinued, I retained my material and for the next 10 years I organised and taught, on average, ten 2-4 day seminars per year.
These many hundreds of full day post-graduate courses ran throughout the UK and the EU, and in total I have taken them to over 15 European countries.
It was during these years that I morphed into one of the experts I had so earnestly invited back in 2006, and since then I have spoken at many international conferences.
This is highly relevant in as much as I have had great exposure to the inner workings of what makes a conference successful, and have been able to learn a great deal from my many colleagues in the conferencing sphere.
With Lorne Brown, organiser of the annual IFS, worldwide considered the top Integrative Fertility event.
Events & Parties
In addition to Seminars and Conferences I have, for more than 25 years, hosted many hundreds of smaller events. I truly love hosting events.
As Chairperson for both the Acupuncture Childbirth Team, and the Acupuncture Fertility Network (national organisations in the UK) I have set up many promotional events all over the UK, for the public and for the medical profession.
I catered a Persian Picnic for 250 guests at Oxford University's Linacre College, Now that was a feat! My lovely friend Nadjwa taught me to cook Persian celebration dishes, and with some sweat (but no tears) we created a highly authentic evening.
Not least, as a Mother I was ever involved in the many events that filled my boy's schoolyears - PTA/Cub Scouts/Rugby BBQ's - and of course all the many parties we hosted as a family; for which, it should be noted, we had a stellar reputation for always hosting a (better then your badass) Fabulous Shindig.
I do believe this was the secret sauce that made the Royal College Conferences so successful. I approached it with the same level of attention I ever gave to a birthday party and simply ramped it up by several thousand degrees.
The Art in the Plan
The art to creating a successful event always lies in the planning.
The 'Art' is what occurs when an event happens with seamless flow, and there is no overt sense of orchestration.
When my guests / delegates / participants experience flow, then I know I have succeeded.