Chapter 4 – The Pursuit of Business Meeting Etiquette
“This part of my life is called internship”
They say that a first meeting with a client is just like a first date. Now, I get the reference. I guess it is because of the nerves, making a good first impression and having to prove to someone how useful you are.
I can’t help but notice a major flaw with this analogy though. How many people do you know that have been on a date with 6+ people at once?!
Is there some kind of formula to business meetings? Like some kind of unspoken system that everyone is aware of but no one speaks about? Because my experience of them so far suggests to me that I am starting from the bottom of this system for sure… *cough* thanks Drake *cough*.
If you haven’t read my first blog article, I talk about my interview and first official meeting. Although no animals attended this one (shout out to those who read it!), I definitely didn’t start this meeting giving off a great first impression.
I wont lie to you, it was clear that no one was expecting much from me. At all. But you know, we went through the typical process. Everyone introduced them selves, giving anecdotes and mad tales about how they have found their way to this prestigious hotel. We spent ages discussing the moments that lead us all to being sat across the table from other successful Jazz advocates.
This part of my life…this part right here? This part is called “being stupid”
I wont lie to you; there is still a little part of me that in these social situations wants to rebel. You might have picked up on this from my blog, but sometimes, words come out of my mouth when, they shouldn’t really…Don’t get me wrong I don’t offend anyone. But even now, when I think about being sat at the table and being asked my name there were so many opportunities. So many missed opportunities…
– My name is (what?) My name is (who?) My name is…*slicker slicker* Slim Shady.
– My name’s Jeff!
– You talkin’ to me?
– My name *dramatic pause* is Optimus Prime.
But i’ll stop there before I get carried away. Can you imagine though, the looks on their faces if I had responded with any of those…priceless!
Anyway! I pretty much did the usual, my name is Rosie, I am a student…Doesn’t have the same flare in my opinion but hey, we are adulting now!
The point of this article is really just to show you guys that despite my tendencies to embarrass myself or mess up the simplest of things, especially in the work environment, I am growing up.
See, at this particular meeting I was assigned the job of minute taking. And was expected to make everyone’s tea. Side note – none of these things were the reason I was actually invited to the meeting.
And don’t get me wrong, I understand that sometimes when people go on placements, they only get given jobs like this to do. But I honestly feel like I am valued more at my placement, so wasn’t best pleased when empty mugs were being intentionally put on top of my notes (while I was writing them!) by people I have never met before!
There were a lot of topics to cover at this meeting. So, the duration did extend by quite a lot. The topics that Mike and I were there to discuss were towards the end of the schedule. And only one or two really were relevant to us.
This part of my life…this part right here? This is called “happiness”
The ‘client’ is the Bournemouth Jazz Festival. Mike threw his idea of a Jazz village (for the free events) in the centre of town, on the table. And I surprised the panel with my idea for an Air Saxophone competition to build momentum online throughout the event.
At that moment, as if I was the young Jayden, I could hear Will Smith telling me – “If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”
I explained my concepts behind the competition and how it would be structured. In the corner of my eye, I could see that the Simon Cowell of Jazz and Events (who had the most impressive Jazz CV at the table) was impressed. Result!
I do accept applauses, pats on the back, red roses…you know, whatever you like…But long story short, I am now in charge or organising and running my idea, and am also on the Management team for the Bournemouth Jazz Festival! (woop woop!)
But seriously, after my interview, first official client meeting, and then how this meeting started off, I felt like Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happiness when he finally got the job! (You know, with less set backs and misfortunes…)