MONO Japan by Maartje


Heloki dear readers. My name is Maartje Schreve and I’m a newly inducted intern at JCE. My first experience working with JCE was during MONO Japan last month.

I’m very interested in learning how to run big events like MONO Japan. At my university we did have subjects like event management, but actually working at an event is a whole different experience than just learning about them. That’s why I think that helping at MONO Japan would be a good opportunity to get some hands on experience. Besides, I’m also interested in crafts, so many of the exhibits that could be seen at MONO Japan appealed to me. Of course, most of the time there was work to do, but I had the fortune to be able to visit all the exhibitors at least once.

Even so, helping out at an event is very different from actually organizing an event. You can see that the organizers try their best to keep as many aspects about the event in mind as possible, but events are always subject to a small amount of unpredictability. I don’t mean that anything big went awry during the event, but you see all the small things that also need to happen to make the event run as a slightly better oiled machine. Such as placing workshop schedules in the elevator where visitors can be reminded of them so that there are more participants for the workshops. Or folding a towel just so that they look more appealing and more people buy them. Or which way to direct visitors so they don’t miss out on certain rooms. I think these lessons then get used to also make the next event slightly better, so they are all parts of a learning curve for everyone involved.

These may seem like obvious things to do if you think about it, but I still liked noticing these small details. Because despite being fairly simple, it’s not something you get to learn from books.

Lastly I just want to mention how many interesting people I met, and how many interesting stories I heard during MONO Japan. This was my first time being involved with JCE and MONO Japan so everything was new for me. Aside from my upperclassman Mike, who was also an intern at JCE, I didn’t know anyone. Some of the people, like my fellow interns, I will still get to see during my internship at JCE. However, others, like some of the exhibitors have since returned to Japan. It’s a bit of a melancholic feeling after such an event where you meet so many people you might not see again. Even still, hopefully they will return next year. I’m already looking forward to it.