Event Planning Skills You Need for Success
High-profile weddings, product launches, and more have glamourized the life of event planners. But let’s face it, event planning is more than just attending fancy parties. Event planning is one of the most stressful jobs in the world and requires specialized skills. It is a rewarding career for a rare breed of hyper-organized, hard-working individuals. If you think you were born to be an event planner, see how many event planning skills you have.
Event Planning Skills
person filling out checklist
Event planners have great organizational skills. Some people can work in chaos, but as a planner it’s important to rely on process and method if you are part of a team. This means, keeping your team informed, adhering to timelines, budgets, and appointments as well as keeping important documents and information organized. After all, a well-executed event doesn’t happen by accident. It requires sharp organizational skills and attention to detail – right from planning to post-event analysis. A successful event planner can recall the minutest of details and is on top of everything – forever with a smile.
Another must-have quality of an event planner is the ability to interact and build a rapport in a short time. Event planners possess great communication skills and aren’t afraid to talk to C-suite executives, event attendees, donors, brand sponsors, and, of course, vendors. Strong interpersonal skills are a must to ensure everybody involved in the event understands their role and things run without a glitch. You also need to possess equally strong writing skills to convey information accurately with confidence, respect, and clarity. Event planners are great listeners, which helps them understand the needs and wants of their clients.
Event planners are savvy networkers. Networking is an essential event planning skill since the events industry is based on relationships and is heavily people-driven. It demands a widespread network of vendors, including photographers, lighting and A/V décor, DJs, bands, videographers, etc. This is a network of people you’ll bank upon to make your events memorable.
A Basic Understanding of Events
It may be a no brainer, but to be a great event planner you need to understand events. Having an understanding of how events work is an important event planning skill. As a planner, you should know how to create a floorplan or draft an RFP, how to review a contract and analyze event data. You should also be well-versed in the basics of bands and DJs, A/Vs, florists, décor, etc. It is an artistic job that requires a deep understanding of what is realistic and what isn’t. These skills require learning and practice and are acquired over time.
One of the most difficult aspects of event planning is making clients happy. Bottom line: your stakeholder, whether clients or senior management, want something and it is your job to make it happen. To do this with grace, event planners need to have a strong dedication towards serving clients. Even if the task is near impossible, you need to be polite with your replies.. When you’re courteous and amicable, it eases any anxieties your client may have.
Successful event planners can solve any problem with a cool head. Their resourcefulness is not just limited to sticky notes and safety pins. They can quickly make a decision during unforeseen challenges – all while staying calm. They can keep an audience engaged while the keynote speaker is stuck in a traffic jam or eliminate long lines for lunch. This event planning skill keeps event organizers nimble, adaptive, and creative. Problem-solving skill also comes with time and if you are just starting, you can improve your response by focusing on pre-event planning to iron out any kinks. The key lies in continuously checking for holes in your plans and creating backup plans in case things turn south.
Negotiation and Budgeting
calculator and budget
If you consider yourself good at bargaining, then you possess an important event planning skill. It is crucial for event planners to be able to negotiate a contract with a sponsor or get the best possible deal while booking a venue. Negotiating is an art that requires a mix of preparation, tact, and confidence. Budgeting requires forecasting and tracking spend while juggling invoices, proposals, and expenses.
For event organizers, multitasking is not an option but a must-have event planning skill to create unforgettable events. You need to juggle a lot of tasks, including ticket sales, event promotion, sponsorship acquisition, and day-of logistics. Adding to that, there are multiple events that you need to plan simultaneously. If you have a team, you can delegate some work, but ultimately it is your job to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Qualities That Show You Are A Born Event Manager
It’s true the world of event management has changed tremendously in the last few years, especially as newer technologies are making their way to make things better. Different kinds of events software help to make the event run smoothly, and if an event manager uses technology prudently he can gain an edge over his competitors.
However, this does not diminish the importance of certain qualities that some event managers are born with. It is these qualities that distinguish an outstanding event manager from an okay one. If you have these qualities, you can say that you are born an event manager and are bound to be great in your job.
Great Interpersonal Skills
An event manager has to work with a team and other people in order to ensure the event is a success. This means that the manager should have the ability to tell and listen without any issues. It is important that the event manager understands what the client needs and then find ways to fulfill those needs or come up with different options.
Developing interpersonal skills is a necessity, but some people are born with these skills. Such people are able to manage their team or communicate effectively and it is these people who often make great event managers.
Nothing is fixed when organizing events. Everything is in a state of flux and things can change at a drop of a hat. Hence, an event manager should be flexible to take these changes in stride and work accordingly. You need to be ready to face any sort of situation and be able to think on your feet. If you have always been flexible where work is concerned, you are carved to become an event manager.
Events are extremely demanding and if you want to host a successful one, you should be full of energy and passion. Do you love to deal with every challenges with zest and passion? If so, you are born an event manager without a doubt!
Creative and Innovative
To be a successful event manager, you need to do things differently. This requires innovation and creativity. If you are the kind of person who always thinks out-of-the-box, you are destined to be a successful event manager. This means that problems and challenges are not an issue for you, as you have an innate ability to resolve them creatively.
Keen Eye for Details
It is the small things that matter. Do you always delve into things and look at minute details and try to get everything right? Well, then you are fit to be an event manager, as your keen sense of observation will prevent small things from blowing up and turning into big issues. Attention to detail allows you to ensure that everything is properly organized and in place for the event.
Good Time Management Skills
Your multitasking abilities are an indication that you are tailor-made to be an event manager. You have the ability to prioritize things at work and this allows you to be more productive and achieve more within a limited time period.
Socialise and Get to Know All Sorts of People
More than your personal skills, what matters most is that you make a lot of connections and for that being sociable is a must. You should be highly approachable and put people at ease when speaking to them.
You are working closely with people from different backgrounds and with different ideas. Be it a supplies vendor, corporate executive, government liaison or security personnel, you need to be respectful and accommodating.
A friendly, inviting personality with the thirst to learn, listen and deliver are highly necessary event manager qualities not only to work the room at the functions you organise but also to get people through the door in the first place.
Nerves of Steel
Even a pro can sweat from time to time and event management can be pretty stressful at times, as we’ve mentioned. Sometimes it might feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Brace yourself to have your successes not talked about as much but your few shortcomings follow you around like a vulture following its prey.
But the ability to remain cool, calm and collected when the florist fails to deliver the order, a keynote speaker bails or the venue you had in mind is booked up is truly an asset. Convey a positive outlook and energy and things will more often than not work out.
Top Traits to Look for in Successful Event Planners
Not everyone is born a natural event planner. What traits does a successful event planner need to display? If you are choosing someone to manage your conference or event, here are some specific qualities we think you should look out for…
1. Being prepared and planning for contingencies
The success of every event is in the detail. The best event planners are the ones who have a complete system for how they go about preparing for events, foreseeing potential threats and risks and staying one step ahead.
2. Having passion for what they do
Event management can be very stressful and often involves a high level of “fire-fighting”. It involves working with lots of diverse customers with different needs – from you, the client, to event sponsors, to delegates/attendees – who all have different expectations. At the same time, they are working with any number of suppliers, which presents its own challenges. So planners must be passionate about their profession and thrive on all the challenges that stand between them and a successful event.
In an era of shrinking budgets and shorter lead times, event planners must be quick thinking and able to put things together fast as well as change course without hesitation if required.
4. Staying level headed while under fire
Event planning is not for those who are quick to panic! Clients, sponsors and attendees are all looking for guidance and those who can think on their feet, maintain their composure and stay calm while fixing any type of problem make the best event planners.
5. Having a vision
Most people think that, when it comes to event planning, having a vision applies mainly to event design, but in truth this applies to the event in its entirety. Vision in event planning includes being able to see all the disparate elements of an event coming together, including the event theme, targeted attendees, venue, design/decor, speakers, entertainment, cuisine, sponsors … the list goes on. The key here is to see the bigger picture and have a vision that delivers on what you, the customer, wants and expects.
EVENT PLANNER interview Questions and Answers :-
1. How would you prioritize an event?
Priorities usually depend on the event time and size. I usually find out what a client feels is the most important part of his event and I focus on that primarily.
2. Why do you want to work for us as Event Planner?
Most employers are looking for people with a passion for the company and what they do. Knowing as much as you can about the company and the job is key to showing how passionate you are about the job opportunity. The best way to do this is to set aside three to four hours to learn as much as you can about the company you may eventually end up working for. Use resources such as their website, Facebook page, press releases, and the job description itself. Learn as much as you can about your prospective employer’s products, services, customers and competition. This gives you an advantage when trying to answer many such related questions. Most importantly, the fact that you spent time researching the company, demonstrates your initiative and passion.
3. What Types of Events Do You Plan?
Event planning encompasses many different happenings, including corporate meetings, seminars, lunch-and-learns, hospitality suites, trade shows and conferences. Some event planners focus on private parties such as weddings, children’s birthdays, family reunions or Sweet 16 parties. Sports marketing requires event planning for races, tennis, golf and volleyball tournaments, leagues and exhibition matches. Ask the interviewer to tell you her specific event focus and to give you some examples of events the company has recently planned that exemplify the type of business the company wants.
4. Please explain why did you leave your last job?
I left because I felt I need to utilize my expertise on a bigger platform.
5. Can You Order Desired Skills?
At many event-planning businesses, employees must multitask. You may need to meet with clients to negotiate the contract, help plan the food and beverages, and handle logistics, such as tables, chairs, booths, staff, lighting and music. Ask the interviewer what tasks you will need to perform if you are hired and to rank them in order of importance. This will let you play up certain areas of your experience as you know what the client wants most.