What is interesting about street festivals is that the entire goal and mission is to engage and attract the local community. Additionally, many of our events partner with a client in order to benefit their specific community or charity. My interactions with the local community are most notable through being in charge of answering the office telephone. I receive a wide array of calls each day. From locals asking questions about upcoming events, to spam calls, to locals trying to find coupon codes and discounts for our upcoming events, answering the phone has exposed me to a large range of different personalities. Dealing with a variety of customer demands and questions has strengthened my customer service skills. I am able to remain calm, polite, and helpful over the phone despite what is being received on the other end. I also have learned how to swiftly and professionally speak to those on the phone when I may not know the answer to a question being asked. Typically, I put them on hold and ask another employee or I look up the answer on our website. I have learned to never say “I don’t know” over the phone, and instead stay committed to getting people’s questions answered.
In addition to attendees calling the office, I also receive a lot of phone calls and emails from vendors. Vendors represent the local community through the diverse and creative products they sell, whether these are handmade products, merchant products, or cultural foods. Through speaking with vendors and helping them complete their applications for upcoming events, I have learned a lot about the diverse community that makes up Chicago. It’s cool to see these diverse vendors bring in a diverse audience, and to see all these differing people come together for one large event. It is a great way to see all aspects of the local community.