Ideas are a fanatical thing. Sometimes they come to me in the middle of the night, forcing me out of bed and running down the hallway to my office to jot scribble a note in the dark, hoping I can read it the following day in the light of the morning. Sometimes they load up my desk on tiny bits of paper scattered about in massive, towering piles. Sometimes, and this is only when I am feeling tremendously creative, they are tidily typed and organized on a text document.
Ideas are the portion of the festival planning process that never ends. More ideas come to mind than can ever be accomplished. I always strive to accomplish them all, and as our team of coordinators grows, we get closer and closer to that goal. Yet, as we get nearer, more ideas come to mind and spring forth like a kitty in the grass, hunting a grasshopper. My list of thoughts for this year’s festival has reached 30 pages and is growing. As you can tell, this may be one of my favorite parts of the process. I think without high-quality, strong ideas, and a gang of silly ones that might be out of reach, that we cannot provide the paramount festival that we do your utmost to bring you.
Plenty of the ideas come from others as well. I get ideas from the coordinators of the festival, from guests of last year’s festival, and from friends and family. In fact, I would like to give credit to Rosemary for her brilliant idea to have the festival on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. Upon her suggesting the venue to me, my first year as the chair for the event, I was skeptical that we could afford such a beautiful venue. Nor did I think they would have enough space for us. I had previously visited as a young person and only could recall the grand ballrooms, and while they are beautiful, they are not large enough for thousands of guests. We visited, we negotiated, and we got it! Thank you Rosemary for your fabulous idea.
Taking these ideas and running with them, or assigning them to others is an even greater task. Taking an idea to fruition is a brilliant feeling. I am always looking for others who would like to help us turn our ideas from notes on paper into actual, living things. I am so fortunate to have the team that I have now. Without them, I could not accomplish the incredible feats that bring us such a magnificent festival.
I would love to hear any ideas that you have for the festival, Cairo Caravan, whether you have been or not. Maybe there are things that you wish other festivals had that they don’t have, or maybe you’ve always had a brilliant idea of how you could do something better than a previous festival chair; either way, I would love to hear them. Please leave your ideas in the comment box below.