Go To Maa-rket 101
Dawned on me this March that prepping for a child’s birthday party is much like launching a new product at work. You see, first you have to do some (many) interviews with internal users to understand their vision. Scary monsters or La la land? Peppa Pig or Powerpuff Girls? Chhota Bheem or Handy Manny? Pivot or Diversify?
I want to tell them that it may seem like this Birthday here will change the course of how birthdays are celebrated the world over ushering in more tolerance for differences while at it, but no ok? So just decide, there is room for all sorts of birthdays out there.
Next, you have to do some secondary research to figure out feasibility, budgets and timelines. Competition is fierce. Return gifts are suitcase sized bags of gaudy trinkets and goodies, parties are in club lawns with themes that require kids to come down in hot air balloons. This “why can’t I” aspiration notwithstanding, you have to figure out ways of subtly coercing everyone toward the vision you had to begin with anyway.
“Child, home party this year. Fantastic theme idea — ‘Tis the time to Disco! How much yayxcite!”
Then you realise internal resources to help pull this off be umm, under equipped on agency and time. Because “Sunday is the only day I get to watch sports and what are event planners for?”. So urban crap the universe for ‘birthday party organisers in my area’ and sift through self written reviews and listen through “Don’t worry, we’ve got this one” (every agency ever). And just when you think having outsourced like a ninja that you are nigh near done, you realise the creative firm won’t do production. I mean the event planner won’t do catering or some such. So now long story short, you have to manage 4 external partners to deliver one birthday party in less than 2 weeks. And somehow, you also have to: design the invite, buy return gifts on Amazon, plan just so we are not short but also don’t have 5 extra guitars lying around for the rest of the year. Two kids out of the 20 will only eat home khichdi and 5 kids won’t come without parents so there’s got to be lemonade AND sangria.
Mental note by this point: Should have studied arts and worked on the socio-economic condition of marijuana cultivators while staying single and hipster in Malana and not slogged tashrif in B-school.
At the end of it all event planning agency will beam and add photos of ‘another successful launch’ on their Facebook page.
School moms will cosy up to husband and say, “Thank you for the wonderful party, you are such a hands on dad!”.
Mom-in-law would chirp, “Hamare time mein to birthday party ka saara khana ghar pe banate the”.
And child will remark, “This was nice, but I really wanted La La Land” #likeaboss
And that ladies and gentlemen, is why women make kick-ass maa-nagers.