Event planning is full of surprises. The executive meeting on a ranch in California – sheep don’t look anything like they smell. The national sales drive that the VP of sales decided to cater exclusively with beef jerky in bulk – what’s your fixation with beef jerky, Cliff? The annual family picnic – where can I buy 3 pallets of Sun Chips and 2 pallets of water? You can’t control everything. Sheep will be sheep. The meat won’t be the only jerk at the sales drive. And you know the cousins will find a way to spill chips and water all over the car on the way home. But you can control some things when planning a big event. With the right kind of support, you may even be able to have fun.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been speaking with people who throw events. Professionals like CEOs, event managers, executive and administrative assistants, office managers, and HR managers. And also with individuals — friends, family, strangers. They all have one thing in common: They talk about events with both passion and frustration.
The passion shines through first. They’ll tell you about the satisfaction of seeing two co-workers at an executive meeting bury the hatchet; the look in strangers’ eyes at an eclipse party when they, for a split-second, truly appreciate their place in the universe; and the sight of people from different cultures and ethnicities sitting down, getting along, and maybe even getting a little tipsy together at the family picnic. They’ll tell you about the immutable sadness and immense joy of watching a family that hadn’t eaten yesterday sit down for food on Thanksgiving or the glee in a child’s eyes after receiving a backpack stuffed to the brim with nutritious food and snacks.
The question is, what can we do to reduce the frustration? Here at Boxed, in our own small way, we try to do just that. We help heroes have a slightly easier time being heroes. And we get the opportunity to tell their stories. Here’s the story of one group of heroes we helped to throw a spectacular event.
Each year, The Bush Center gathers about 20 veterans for the George W. Bush Institute’s Warrior 100K. They are invited to go on a bike ride with former President George W. Bush at his ranch. Yes, W, actually rides with them. He’s apparently pretty darn good. The quote we heard was: “he brings it.” Our team was lucky enough to work with an incredible group of loving people that manage the event.
Natalie Lomont lead the planning in 2017. She was struggling with all the different food and beverage vendors they had to use to get things sorted. After seeing an Instagram ad for Boxed, she called into our customer service line and was connected with Justin on our sales team, who helps with super-sized orders. Together, Natalie and Justin identified the key issues she needed to solve, figured out how many pallets of snacks she needed, organized a pickup of healthy fruit for the event, and even worked out the necessary logistics. Rance at our Dallas fulfillment center was kind enough to volunteer his time and drove a truck all the way to the event. He picked up the fruit on the way and even stopped at the hotel where Natalie and the team were staying before heading to the ranch to help unload and organize everything. It’s a point of pride that our team was able to help, but what happened at the event and afterward was truly special.
The George W. Bush Institute’s Warrior 100K isn’t one of those handshake, meet-and-greet, assembly lines you see at most political events. Each veteran and their family gets quality time with the President. They also got a lot of time with each other during and after the event to talk about their lives and what they have been through. After the event, many of these veterans and their families stayed in touch. They’re called “Team 43.” When you hear them speak about how two days of their lives have made such a big difference and the meaningful relationships they built, it just about breaks you. In a country we love so much, it’s just as inspiring to see this event as it is heartbreaking to think about all the veterans who still feel alone, who still feel like we left them behind. We want to do better. And we hope that we can. There is a first step we can all take… click here to go to the George W. Bush Institute’s Warrior 100K site to learn about the many things this organization is doing to support our veterans. If you wish, contribute to the cause or another one that supports our veterans and brings to light all the reasons we should be thanking them every day. Whatever you believe, whichever political party you belong to, however you gauge right from wrong, these are people who fought for us. Let’s see if we can do something for them in return.
Questions? Hosting your own event? Set up time with our pallet and event ordering expert, Justin, here.
Photo credit: The Bush Center