Event Planners As MacGyver

For 19 years Babette Hiles was the Director of Special Events for the University of Illinois. As she retired, she reflected on her career in special events.

“The people I work with – sometimes we think we’re like MacGyver,” she said. “There’s always more than one way to do something and we’re good at figuring things out on the fly. That makes me sleep pretty well.”

In the end, she still believes – with good planning and good people and a little luck – it’s possible to pull off the perfect event.

“Stuff will happen, but you have to keep it in perspective,” she said. “You have to be calm and be able to brainstorm, and you have to be able to switch gears. If you’ve planned well, you can put all of your focus on solving any problems that come up.”

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