In a past life, I produced and managed large conferences. When I first started this line of work, I had no idea it would teach me everything I needed to know about launching and running successful projects. The one conference in particular that taught me the most was a week-long conference for 350+ high school students from mostly Muslim countries that were part of a Department of State sanctioned exchange program (not your typical conference in any way, shape or form).
When I managed the first conference for these students, it was- for a lack of a better word- a shit show. The second conference was also a shit show. There were sleepless nights organizing flight information for students flying to Lebanon, missing documents required to take students to the hospital and so on and so forth. When the third conference rolled around, lots had to change. I took what I learned from the first two conferences and revamped the whole planning and onsite execution process. The next time you are launching any sort of project, there are a lot of key things to keep in mind, but this one will be vital.