(8) The way forward


Someone once told me, ‘You never know anything properly until you’ve found your own way to do it’. Indeed, Sarah Nixon (2013) of Liverpool and John Moores University recognised this as the individual learning styles of different students.

PDP is going to be a challenge. As I’ve indicated in these blog posts I started with a tenancy to do things on the fly and I do like the leave room for spontaneity. In point of fact, ‘organic approach’ could be my middle name.

I know as I develop, as Stella Cottrell (2003:1) says, ‘your ambitions may change.’ This has never been a problem for me. I find myself looking forward to the future, learning event management skills and the tools that go with them. Knowing they will help me to pursue things I want to do but don’t yet know how. Not just directly, but with what I think of as professional habits I hope to develop strategies and take some of the stress out of organising an event. Thankfully, according to a study at the University of Strathclyde (Patricia Barton, 2005-2006) worries that I have now will change over time.

There will be many things to discover and try out.

SMART (specific measurable achievable relevant time-bound) apparently has it’s fans as a way to develop skills, but it also has it’s detractors, such as, Charles W. Prather (2005) who feels it works well for known areas where results are predictable but falls down when it come to innovation or breaking new ground. Which is where I’d like to go.

I’ve tried browsing some of the event planning software available, but it may be early days for me yet, and for some for the software. In a study measuring the impact of event management software Anneke De Klerk ( De Klerk, 2013) found that SEMP (Summit Event Manager – Pro) while helping with time management, lacked flexibility. This will change I’m sure as developers, well, develop their software.

There is still a fog but now I have more of a direction, a compass if you will, in the form of my studies. I’m struggling with it, the way you might struggle with a pile of rope, but I’m starting to unravel it and see what I can do with it. Who knows, I might even learn some patience.

And I have build on that most useful of things, experience. For instance, as I go on I’ll have a clearer idea of what I what to achieve. As Derrett (2015: 13) observed, ‘Some practitioners suggest that two vital characteristics of enduring festivals are vision and leadership.’

As I go into the future, which hopefully will include developing the Bethnal Green Art Festival with a friend ( I’ve heard that Bethnal Green has more artists per square meter than any other place in the world, but no art festival. Now there’s an itch waiting to be scratched) and these will be things to bear in mind. I have experience to build on and should learn the skills to .maximise this. I know now it’ll start with research, and that will start with what someone once told me was just a basis for change, a plan.



NIXON, Sarah. 2013. Personal Development Planning; an Evaluation of Student Perceptions. Liverpool and John Moores University. Available at: http://www.pestlhe.org/index.php/pestlhe/article/view/92

COTTRELL, Stella. 2003.  Skills for Success: personal development and employability. Palgrave Macmillan.

DE KLERK, Anneke. 2013. The Impact of Event Management Software on the Standards of Practice Within the Event Management Sector of Capetown. Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Available at:  https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9476/08f449230a412b8b91c348dbaec6642a4c32.pdf

DERRETT, Ros. 2015. The Complete Guide to Creating Enduring Festivals. New JerseyJohn Wiley and sons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *