QC Event School Student: Nathan Hyland
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I work full time at the National Academy of Sports Medicine as the Live Events Manager. I also do some contract work for event promotion in mixed martial arts entertainment. In my free time I hike, box, and do Brazilian Jiujitsu. This year, I won the State and National Championships at Blue Belt and will soon travel to California to compete in the World Championship. I am in business with my identical twin brother, Nolan. Traveling, learning, and GIFs are my other hobbies.
Why did you decide to go into event planning? What about it appeals to you?
Being the one to bring the people together is what made me decide to go into event planning. When I was in college on the rugby team, I offered to help plan and promote the Homecoming Game and the post-game party. I was so stressed feeling like I would be the one to blame if the party didn’t go well. It motivated me to go above and beyond to ensure everybody had a great time. After the event, the level of euphoria and satisfaction I experienced was almost more than playing in the game itself!
The most appealing element in event planning is the satisfaction of seeing an event through from start to finish. Putting the entire event details on paper and then watching it come to life truly enriches my soul. There’s nothing like the day of the event after all of the hard work and preparation when you get to stand amidst the venue with your event team and see the attendees jovially enjoying themselves.
The second biggest appeal of event planning is the problem-solving aspect. I love puzzles and I live for critical thinking. I always tell my team, “We’re going to have three small, two mediums, and one big.” That means three little things will happen the night of the event that we didn’t expect, but small potatoes. Two larger problems will emerge that we need to circumvent, and then one monstrous, mind-boggling problem will surface that could annihilate the entire evening. Of course, this is just bracing for the worst case scenario.
On a typical night we might only have one medium and two smalls, but we were prepared for the worst and we wouldn’t be shocked if something terrible did arise. It also helps us think and stay in problem-solving mode. When your mind is shifted this way, you look at risk management in a whole new light.
Why did you decide to enroll with QC Event School?
I decided to enroll with QC Event School after having a handful of years’ worth of practical experience under my belt, but no formal education. You get to know the lingo from other people in the industry you do business with, and for me I kind of followed the “fake it until you make it” philosophy. However, I thought there might be some other elements to learn and adopt. Lacking a sound educational foundation, you can potentially build bad habits in practice without even knowing it.
With a simple Google search, and asking around from colleagues in the industry, I decided QC Event School would be my school.
Did you have any experience in the field before starting your course?
Yes, I have been putting on mixed martial arts events since May of 2014. In January of 2017, I took on the role of Live Events Manager with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. We put on over 175 workshops through the U.S. for our fitness professionals. Also, I oversee the NASM Annual Conference, Instructor Training events, and other company parties and gatherings.
Your QC tutor, Heather Hawes, sent us rave reviews about your work! So far, what’s been your favorite topic to study in your event planning course?
I was amazed when I read Heather’s bio! I am so fortunate to have her as my tutor, and was blown away at the honor to be highlighted by QC. Thank you!
My favorite topic to study so far was Milestone Parties. I would love to do more of these as there are so many fun things you can do with the themes. The sentimental value and the level of thankfulness from the recipients are very fulfilling as well!
And your favorite assignment?
My favorite assignment so far had to be B2. It was fortuitous that the assignment called for the grand opening of a health club. I had a blast injecting ideas that have worked in the past, along with new ideas I would like to try next time into this project.
Congratulations on all your hard work! What are your future career aspirations in the event industry? What is your ultimate goal?
I’m still relatively early in my career and I am so excited about where my future will go in event planning! My ultimate goal is to be CEO of a Fitness or Martial Arts Company and always have a hand in the planning of live events and conferences. In today’s day and age, there is an app for everything and technology is constantly pulling us away from human connectivity. Society has lost the importance of personal contact with other people. I think our job as event planners is to bring people together for live interaction; enjoying the company of others.