Would you like to start planning events ? or maybe recruit an event planner ? Whatever your interest in this career, you should know that it is a very specific job requiring a wide range of skills. We work with thousands of event planners and know exactly which assets help them accomplish great things. Here is a list of the 10 essential qualities that any good event planner should have.
- Social intelligence
- Listening skills
- Organisation skills
- Communication skills
- Decision-making abilities
The first quality shared by successful event planners is their ability to work with all kinds of people : corporate managers, elected representatives, traders, colleagues, sponsors, customers, associations, suppliers, staff, participants, volunteers, etc. Successful collaboration with such a wide range of people requires the ability to skilfully resolve conflicts, negotiate confidently but respectfully, and adapt your sense of humour to that of others.
To do this job, it is important to have fun. Share your enthusiasm with the people you work with, and they will continue to work with you for a long time. You can’t succeed on your own. Building relationships and trust is essential.
The days of an event planner are generally dictated by the constraints of the event, and not by “traditional” office hours. You may not even have an office at all. Event planners may have to travel often and work in unusual locations : temporary office, train, hotel…
The ability to understand what your contacts expect from you and your event is crucial. They may not have both feet in the event industry and probably have difficulties interpreting your jargon or understanding whether their demands are realistic. You need to identify their needs and ensure that everyone shares the same expectations. Pay attention to what is said — and what is not said — during key discussions. Integrating these expressed — or underlying — needs into your event planning will help you stay one step ahead.
This quality is quite literally at the root of this profession’s name. It is therefore impossible to miss it, but it is also important to remember why an organiser must remain organised. To make your event a success, you have to know how to handle dozens of things at once. This multi-tasking prowess is necessary both to plan in the medium-long term and to smoothly execute the plan during the event. The best organisers have flawless procedures, detailed checklists, and helpful technological tools. Working in the event industry requires having an overall view, while keeping an eye on a series of small details. To avoid overworking, learn to delegate some of the more time-consuming tasks. And if something doesn’t go as planned, don’t be afraid to move on to plan B.
You must really enjoy what you do to cope with the stress of this job. A sincere passion will help you overcome the obstacles standing in your way and stay calm when everything seems to collapse under your feet. Passion increases your creativity and inspiration to achieve beautiful things. Skills like time management can be learned, but not passion… and you will need it to succeed.
Clear, firm, and caring communication defines you as a team leader, guides everyone on the right path, and ensures that the objectives of the event are clear for all parties involved. It also helps you share your vision effectively and generate enthusiasm around you. Communicate respectfully with everyone and do not denigrate anyone. Accept constructive criticism and stay open to new ideas. Each individual has a responsibility to ensure the success of an event, so be sure to communicate with them in a clear, confident, and exciting way.
Constantly under some form of pressure, you must keep your cool no matter what. Your team needs a leader who knows how to make the right decisions and keep their composure. Successful event planners remain calm and continue to treat everyone with respect, regardless of the turn of events. If you are a bundle of nerves, take the time to let off steam outside of working hours. This will ensure a healthy and life-saving balance.
Creative problem solving is not for everyone. Whether it is repairing a piece of scenery with three pieces of string or replacing a speaker at the last minute, the event planner must be resourceful and imaginative to overcome these obstacles. No matter how prepared you are, the unexpected happens faster than you think. You will be better equipped to solve these issues if you enjoy looking for creative solutions to every challenge that arises.
Event planners must be able to make several decisions at once, and quickly. The most important thing is actually to know when it is too late to change your mind, and have the determination to continue the project with positive energy.
Your contacts will trust you more if you show them that you have already carried out similar projects. Actions are usually worth more than words, and it is up to you to prove that you know what you are doing, and that you are doing it well. As a result, as the years go by, you build up a contact book full of people who trust you. If you have little experience and contacts at the moment, be patient and go and get them yourself.
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