Confessions Of An Event Organizer – Dan Bolton

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    What is it really like to be an event organizer? What aspects of your job do you love? What lessons have you learned along the way?

    With our Confessions of an Event Organizer series, we’re hoping to get under the skin of our interviewees and find out what it really takes to be a event producer.

    Dan Bolton

    This week we’re talking to Dan Bolton, Director & Co Founder of Dan Bolton talent management and creative agency. Dan was also previously President of ILEA ME, the association for event industry professionals.

    What I was most surprised to discover when I started working in events…

    A: It’s not as glamorous as it’s made out. I would look at events and see them in their full glory, not really understanding the work and effort that goes into a production on any given day. It’s a relentless industry, fast paced with long hours. In the 20 plus years I have been doing this I have learnt that its all about commitment and routine, getting up every day and constantly working hard with a vision and dedication to always try and do something better. Instagram pics and stories only show the nice stuff!

    The advice I wish I’d been given at the start…

    A: Making mistakes is ok. Sometimes we can often be too hard on ourselves and those around us. I have learnt (and still learning), often the hard way, that making mistakes is actually ok and an opportunity to learn and not repeat them. In an industry where many of us strive for perfection the reality is that it’s almost impossible to ever achieve, perfection is subjective. Sometimes we need to accept that, learn from it and work to be better next time.

    Something I wish others understood…

    A: I think this relates back to the work life balance comment. Sometimes we do have to make personal and professional sacrifices. We might have to spend a long time over seas on a gig or miss that important birthday as we have to be in the office working on something late. I have often found that many people that are not in the industry do not understand the erratic and differing work hours we often have to undertake.

    A part of my job I wish I could change…

    A: The challenges between work and life balance. It is still very much work in progress and over the last few months for a variety of reasons I have begun to understand the need to balance work commitments and what needs to be done for the business with what I also need to do personally. The Grey hairs that are emerging at a rapid pace are a stark reminder that I am actually getting older. There is a need to slow down slightly, appreciate the wins a little more and spend time with those and doing things that matter most in life.

    My secret weapon is…

    A: My team and those around me. Without any of them I would not be able to do the things I love, share incredible experiences or be fortunate enough to work every day in building a business that aims to lead, provide a platform for their own personal growth and support the incredibly talented people we work with.

    The biggest lesson I’ve learned…

    A: We all change. It’s inevitable that over time you are no longer the carefree 18 year old you once where. With age comes responsibilities and other things in life that make you happy. Your priorities and focus shifts. It’s taken me a while but I’m starting to be happy about my grey hairs and wanting to be in bed at 9.30pm on a Friday night.

    My scariest moment (and how I pulled it back)…

    A: There have certainly been a few. The one time we were kind of kidnapped on an event in Libya was particularly interesting to say the least. Let’s just say there was a lot of heated discussion and a phone call with the Foreign and Commonwealth office. All worked out in the end. We did the event and left pretty rapidly.

    My secret ambition is…

    A: Well it would no longer be secret if I told you! But in all seriousness my ambition is to build and create a company that produces amazing experiences. Not just professionally with events and entertainment but also personally with the team and those that we encounter. I love to travel so I would personally like to visit every country in the world before I die. I’m hoping that by building my company I can do that and in the meantime also work on the worlds best events with the world’s greatest people

    What the attendees don’t know is…

    A: Something that they don’t need to know… it’s our job to fix everything that you don’t want the attendees to know. So that when they come to your event or watch your show, they don’t see or know about the last minute drama’s, the challenges, the fact that 20 minutes before show time you are still painting the stage, that performers are waiting back stage frozen with fear… the show always goes on.

    This was embarrassing…

    A: I’ve had so many to be honest. Back in my performance days I used to do so many random gigs to cover the bills. I’ve ran around dressed as an old woman, streaked at football match and unintentionally set myself on fire a few times. Thankfully back in those days we only had my space and no real social media.


    Dan Bolton is a leading talent management and creative agency that specialize in producing entertaining and engaging content for the live events industry. We do this through the artists and creatives we exclusively work with, our innovative & creative ideas, the partnerships & collaborations we seek whilst staying true to the core values of the brand, which is to truly do what you love.

    Co Founder and Director, Dan Bolton has had an illustrious career in the entertainment industry. Starting off as a circus artist & dancer performing at events and venues through ought the UK and Europe, he landed on the shores of Dubai in 2008. In 2015 he co founded the talent management and creative agency we see today, which has been fortunate enough to work on, and support, some of the most prestigious, globally recognisable creative events throughout the Middle East region and beyond.

    Dan’s experience in the industry spans over 20 years and has touched the four corners of the globe, his role today encompasses business development within the agency, managing our extensive team of industry professionals as well as heading up our special projects involvement across the world.

    www.danboltonme.com

     

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