Going With the Flow

The morning off allowed me to recharge and prepare for what would be an exciting day. I had the chance to work at Super Bowl LIVE. This event is hosted by the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and is free to the public, which makes this event very unique. Super Bowl LIVE is at a prime location in Bayfront Park with tons of activities for the public and media. But before we got going, we had to switch it up and go to the Host Committee Media Party at the Port of Miami but not before we saw an almost 10-foot python. 

The Media Party event was decked out from head to toe. We were taken out to the deck of the event while being briefed and greeted with the best skyline views of Miami. The Media Party was sponsored by different cruise lines. Each one of the cruise lines was portioned up throughout the venue. Each one offered something unique from one another. I was in charge of two things while working at this event, making sure no one exited out of a specific door and greeting all the media members who attended the event. The highlight of my night was getting the exclusive Mickey Mouse ice cream bars and meeting some of the media I interacted with earlier this week at the NFL Transportation booth. I learned how important it is to do whatever is necessary for an event to run smoothly and to just go with the flow.  Another day marked in the books and new lessons learned. 

 

Eels and Escalators

By: Libby Sweeney

 

If there’s two things in life that are inevitable, it’s paying taxes and the fact that working in events always brings something different. The irregularity is something I find appealing compared to the monotony of other jobs, but sometimes it can create a divide of good days to better days, or days that are more fair and enjoyable than others. 

That also can happen when working with a group where people do different jobs. All of us students have the same abilities and access here, but depending on where we’re scheduled, our days can look drastically different. Today was one of those examples. 

I had the morning off and was able to sleep in and catch up on editing blogs (I have no homework, seeing as my first class in Los Angeles met yesterday and I wasn’t there), and in the afternoon I was managing the NFL Transportation Booth. 

Students who worked there the day before were telling me that it was a challenging experience; they predominantly interacted with angry journalists looking to complain about changes, and the students had to find a way to assuage their hostility and explain other options. I was absolutely dreading it. 

But the afternoon and evening for the booth was relatively mild, especially compared to my expectations. Definitely some journalists were still peeved, and they shared that with us, but none of them chewed us out and were all eventually understanding of our position in the end. It seemed they all got their anger out the day before on the previous staff, which made me feel guilty for lucking out on a gentler shift than my colleagues from the day before. 

While we were working the Transportation Booth, we learned that some of our other peers working Super Bowl LIVE at Bayfront Park had to actually shift over and go work the door of the media party that night along the port. They weren’t able to actually attend the exclusive party, but that was initially lost on some of my colleagues when I moved to work in the Social Media Command Center. There were grumblings that it was unfair. I explained that our friends weren’t actually at the party, but validated their frustration at being in the room when their friends were outside along the Port of Miami. Unfortunately, sometimes that is how the pie is sliced up when our days are so unpredictable. 

After being cooped up in the Social Media Command Center with a slow Twitter day, many of us began to lose focus and needed a break. We broke for group photos with Dr. Scott, and took some great photos in the lobby of the Convention Center in front of some of the displays. Someone suggested we get a photo of everyone staggered on the escalators, and it ended up being the funniest thing I have seen in weeks. First of all, everyone got on the escalator like they had never been on an escalator before, like Buddy the Elf. Hannah jumped with both feet together on it for absolutely no reason. Then, by the time the last person was getting on the escalator to go up, the first person was nearing the top and everyone began hollering for people to walk down the escalators to remain on it for the picture. They  were yelling as if a volcano had erupted at the top and lava was about to come down the escalators. I was near the bottom of the escalator, and the last few people refused to walk down. Someone even screamed for absolutely no good reason. It was madness. I was laughing so hard at the pure insanity of it all that I was doubled over, wheezing, with tears coming down my face, and couldn’t stop for about five minutes. It was the most ridiculous and hilarious thing in the world. It was also a great break for the students who had been feeling restless for most of the day, wishing they could have been outside. 

Working in events is that in a nutshell. You never know what can change, so you never know what you may actually do  within an hour or a day. Be able to work on your toes, and then dance on your toes. Have fun. 

Being flexible is one of the best skills you can have in events, second to handling crisis and negativity like a champ. Our staff is phenomenal at that. I am so proud of them for handling all the bumps and changes we’ve had, and understand that they also want to go to Super Bowl LIVE and see celebrities and famous athletes. To me, I have a post to stay at on any given day, and it’s okay that my peers are doing different things and experiencing great learning opportunities. 

My Calling

Today was an exciting opportunity as a few students and myself had the opportunity to meet with one of Dr. Scott’s previous students who now runs a portion of the Super Bowl Host Committee and Super Bowl Live. Karla, Dr. Scott’s graduate student from the University of Miami, acted as the Senior Manager with Dr. Scott for the previous incarnation of the Public Relations Experience Program

We met with Karla to assist her with Super Bowl LIVE which is being hosted near Bayside Mall at Bayfront Park. The venue itself could not be more beautiful. The branding screamed ‘Miami’ with bright and vibrant colors, local foods, live bands, and many more visuals and activities that represent the city and Super Bowl LIV. 

The purpose of assisting Karla and her team is to take media on tours around Super Bowl Live, create usable social media content, and interact with media throughout the park. Although the task is fairly easy, the toughest part is learning a ton of information in a short amount of time. I was very impressed with the questions that the students asked regarding the various booths we visited as a starting point in gathering content. It is really impressive to see how informed they all want to be and how excited they get for the opportunity to interact with media and the press.

The biggest learning point for me today is that I really am very passionate about events. The minute I stepped onto the park grounds I was sincerely energized by all of the movement that unfolded around us. I also wanted to learn so much from Karla. Truly, she amazed me with her talent in being able to multitask by giving us a tour of the park, while responding to hundreds of calls, and still having the patience to answer any questions we had. All the while, still being extremely kind to us. All I could think about is how badly I want her job. As stressful as event management and planning is, it doesn’t really feel like a job. In reality, it’s more like getting things done because you want to have a successful event and want people to enjoy their time there. 

I really enjoyed the tour and learning about the various steps that the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee has taken to be more environmentally conscious. One of the things we learned is that Hard Rock Stadium is the first stadium to go completely waste free. I am so excited to work with an organization that is passionate about sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint in the world. Super Bowl Live has an entire section dedicated to raising awareness and informing people how they easily incorporate small habits to reduce their own footprint throughout the year. .

Smiles, Please and Thank You

Smiles, Please and Thank You

By: Bethelly Jean-Louis

When I work at the NFL Transportation booth, I try my best to smile at everyone walking by. At every minimum wage job I’ve ever had, great customer service was always stressed. Warm smiles and open body language is considered the bare minimum. So when I find myself at the NFL Transportation booth, I transition into my customer service character. The difference between “normal” Beth and “customer service” Beth is like night and day. The customer service Beth’s voice can be described as goin up a couple of octaves, a super animated smile spreading from cheek to cheek and an excessive amount of nodding is involved. Why do I do that ? – I do that because that is my version of being polite. I was taught that these gestures equate to excellent customer service. However, this is not organic.

The biggest takeaway I’ve learned during my time here in Miami is to be authentic. Interactions with people should be organic. It was nice to chat with press members as my “normal” self. They were regular people who were friendly. My face shouldn’t hurt by the end of the shift because I had a fake smile plastered on my face. Genuine smiles and real laughs are way better. People can sense authenticity.That makes a definitive difference between being over animated and polite. Going forwards, I’m going to remember to be polite, while also keeping it real and staying professional.  

 

Special Olympics

The day started at the NFL transportation booth early in the morning. I, along with 6 other students, sat there ready to answer any questions given to us by the important media people walking by. Most of the confusion surrounded the shuttle buses meant to bring media members to the events throughout the week. In past years, buses brought them from the media center, where we were located, straight to the events. However, a lot of frustrations grew due to the face that shuttle buses only depart from the media hotels. Many of the hotels are far from the convention center, making transportation especially inconvenient. Our job was to handle the complaints of the media.

Later in the day while working at the social media command center, our supervisors told us to go out and take photos for the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee’s social media pages. I headed to the Special Olympics flag football game located at NFL Experience. When we got there, one kid received free Super Bowl tickets, which was very exciting. They then played the second half of the game with some NFL players and then had an autograph session afterwards. The social media team chose my photo of one player signing an autograph to post on the host committee’s Instagram (humblebrag). This event was very fun to experience and likely will be one of my favorite memories from the week.

Caturday is Everyday

By: Thea Nagle 

Today’s focus was digital content. We took shelfies, selfies, panoramas, boomerangs, videos and photos. My day of press started with a shelfie with Teacher Lisa. She had her typical Caturday space buns in, a new Saturday staple for me, and deemed that Caturday can be celebrated everyday. The shelfie followed the Transportation Booth group pictures we took this morning. 

Typically manning the transportation booth is a very stressful task because it requires adequate people problem solving skills. When you have to tell someone “no” to every question they ask, usually they don’t elicit a kind response. Our first photo op of the day granted us a much-needed mental break.

The Social Media Command Center faced some complications after various team accounts were hacked, so we were assigned the task of creating content. We split up field trip-style and took photos and videos of everything and anything, even a lizard I found outside (the lizard was not used). Our task brought us into radio row and the broadcasting stages to get content. I was busy taking pictures while everyone else was in a huddle pointing and talking. I thought I was just taking pictures of people and broadcasting sets, but apparently there were famous people involved. I’ve been told I’ve been in the presence of several famous people. I wouldn’t know. 

The series of photos wrapped up with an impromptu photoshoot. I’m talking prom poses, escalator dancing, statue posing, finger pointing, sorority squatting and smiling. The group got together for several photos. Our matching uniforms really came in handy today because we were looking good. Just wait, you’ll see.

Lessons From The Commissioner

My Wednesday was jam packed and was really fun! The only real downer was that I had to get up early again today. Everything else was an awesome experience and it started with Roger Goodell’s press conference. My group got to act as part of the welcoming committee for the press and other attendees of the press conference. 

The press conference itself was really interesting to be a part of. The commissioner was very diplomatic with his opening remarks and how he answered the ensuing questions. I want to be a commissioner for a league one day, maybe not for football, and I learned a few lessons from observing this. One thing I had not really considered was how politically safe you have to be. I understand that a commissioner would be a representative of that company, but I had not imagined much further than that. I can understand how people can dislike Goodell, he reaps the glory and takes the blame. That kind of responsibility and leadership is something I admire from someone in that position. I want to be that person one day for an esports league, and hopefully be even better than the commissioners of today. 

When You Don’t Know What to Write About

Writing these blogs allows us to dissect our day and reflect on what exactly occurred. When we live in real-time, it’s easy to get lost in the moment and feel like nothing really significant happens to you. But writing the blogs gives us a chance to think about it and get all of our thoughts out on paper. Although, tonight, for example, I feel a bit creatively blocked. Tonight, I am really grasping at straws at what to write about. My day was all well and good, no extremely significant events. What now? What’s the lesson I’m supposed to get out of today?

Well, maybe that is the lesson (so cheesy, I know). Maybe not every day is going to be an extraordinary experience. Maybe not every day is going to stand out in my memory for the rest of time. Maybe it’s the little things we should start remembering. Today, I got up, ate breakfast, and interviewed one of the other students for a video I’m working on. I worked at the NFL Transportation booth, but I got a chance to have a nice interaction with one of the women whom works in the office. All in all, I had a good day and even though my life wasn’t completely changed, I’m okay with that.  

A Very Slow Day

By: Calvin Jacey

This was easily the slowest day of the trip so far. I worked a full 13 hours and I feel like I did nothing. My first shift was in the transportation booth, where we give information to the media members about any of their transportation needs. The only problem was there was barely any media in the convention center because there were press conferences in remote locations. The Chiefs had their press conference at a nearby hotel which meant that all the journalists were gone. Then right after the Chiefs’ presser, Roger Goodell had his press conference. Long story short, not a single media member came up to our booth. 

After that shift was over, my second shift started without a break. I was again in the Social Media Command Center monitoring Twitter feeds. This is by far my least favorite thing to do; however, the staff makes up for it. We work with some very experienced and renowned social media experts. Many of them worked or still work for professional teams such as the Heat and the Suns. It is really cool to pick their brains and learn from what they have to say. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know how I could get through seven hours in that windowless room.