Knowledge Factory – a daylong festival of knowledge, insights and trivia was recently conducted in St Agnes College located in Mangalore. The event was all about the discussions and conversations on the topics which are related to everyone’s life, with a tinge of entertainment and laughter.
In the span of a little more than three months, I got this opportunity to manage the 4th edition of Knowledge Factory. During the course of my professional life, I have always been on the other side as a participant for whom the amount of work done behind the scenes remained invisible. I had never seen the kind of efforts and energy that goes into planning an event and the creativity that flows parallelly while designing it.
The moment I landed up for the event, I was primed for what to expect. I had a myriad of emotions ranging from nervousness to excitement. Mangalore is one of the finest coastal cities I have visited so far in the country. The landscape is characterised by hills, beaches, churches and Portuguese structures. It is a city of multiple languages. It seemed like the perfect setting for #KF2020!
Knowledge Factory is an event where professionals from different sectors come together to share, connect, learn and engage. In the fourth edition of Knowledge Factory, there was an array of speakers lined up in order to create the perfect blend of topics. Looking for a speaker who can connect well with the audience, be it a politician, a Bollywood actor, an author or an inspiring entrepreneur was really challenging. The regular engagement with the speakers was done by the co-founders’ senior journalist Madhavan Narayanan and social entrepreneur Meena Vaidyanathan. They did everything from mailing, chatting, sharing links of previous versions to personally meeting them in order to secure confirmations.
For the very first time, Knowledge Factory took place in an educational institute, which recently celebrated its centenary. Behind the event, with a huge gathering of more than 1,200 attendees and fabulous panel of speakers, there was a core team of four members who were the planners, decision makers and executors. Also, the volunteers from St Agnes – students and teachers alike were of great help by being on their toes throughout the event. The panel was a mix of the speakers from big names to lesser-known individuals.
The core team arrived a day before the event in an attempt to avoid confusion and remain around while setting up. The event crew also involved graphic designers, photographers and videographers. The teams had their marching orders and were focused on accomplishing their respective tasks. From standees to structures, technology to activation, there was a lot to do.
Finally, on the morning of 10th January – it was Showtime! Everybody was full of energy and enthusiasm to welcome the guests. The devotion, hard work, focus and even frustration at times, from months, weeks and days finally submerged into this moment. None of the late nights, the missing creatives, sudden dropping out of speakers, the reworked designs, the last-minute decisions had gone wasted when we saw attendees arriving in full swing and in no time flooding the space. The floor was occupied by young students who were all excited and full of zeal to engage and learn. The auditorium was buzzing. Conversations and discussions took over the quiet space in the room and filled it with energy.
The entire Knowledge Factory experience was a huge learning for me right from day one and I look forward to more…
(by Vineeta Khatri)