I was saddened to learn that Marshall Solomon had died. Our paths crossed when he chaired two Eizenstat Family Memorial Lectures.
To say that Marshall was the consummate event chair is an understatement.
I learned a lot from working with Marshall, especially on the lecture featuring President Bill Clinton. As the event consultant I came to rely on Marshall’s sage advice and willingness to keep the committee and ultimately the event on point.
In honor of Marshall I share some of the lessons I learned:
- A committed event Chair is key to success.
- Work with the Chair to hold a brainstorming session when you begin the planning.
- A personal invitation from the event chair to serve on and/or chair a committee goes a long way.
- A Chair cannot oversee the event- at- large if not updated in ‘real time’.
- If you make a mistake be sure your Chair is informed so he/she can be part of the solution.
- Know what personal mark the Chair wants to make and help him/her achieve it.
- The Chair means having to make big decisions. Respect the decision.
- Never forget that being Chair is a volunteer position & most have other responsibilities to family & work.
- The only compensation is acknowledgement of a job well done and a thank you.
- You can’t recognize and thank your event Chair enough.
- No matter how organized and experienced the Chair and committee Chairs are, something will go wrong. So be prepared to deal with it.
- An event Chair with an understanding of budgets and the backbone to keep the event on-budget is worth his/her weight in gold.
- An event is a team effort. An event Chair is the quarterback and cheerleader.
Marshall and I had different interests. But, when it came to working together on an event we had a single focus.
Thank you Marshall.