Mastering the role of an event planner: 5 essential planning skills
The profession of an event planner may seem one of the most thrilling undertakings in the world. And in many ways, it actually can be one of the most rewarding jobs, especially when a project is executed flawlessly.
However, what many people from outside of the field don't realise is that for every rewarding moment, there are countless struggles and obstacles that need to be overcome daily.
A career in event management is considered one of the most stressful jobs out there, which is why the skills and character qualities that are required are demanding as well.
But what types of skills does a person require to succeed in the field?
Let's go over a few of the most crucial ones below.
Attention to Detail
As any event planner will tell you, planning events involves countless different tasks that need to be taken care of. But while the to-do list tends to be never-ending on most days, the best event planners must be able to not only maintain their sanity throughout the process but also to make sure that each detail is executed flawlessly.
Attention to detail cannot be understated as an essential quality for event planners, as organising a successful event means that all parts of the process are intertwined, and if even one detail is off, the entire thing might crumble at the worst possible time. This is where a product like Blerter can help you streamline the delivery of your event.
The most sought-after event organisers are natural-born perfectionists, who take pride in their work and will do whatever it takes to make their event as good as it can be. Even in the face of adversity and things going wrong, these people manage to keep their focus and poise, executing each part of the event in the best possible way depending on the circumstances.
The vast majority of event planners don't have a blank check to work with when organising their events. In fact, many times, clients have unrealistic expectations and expect a stunning event for a shoestring budget.
But while that might not be possible, a good corporate event planner must be capable of getting the most out of every single dollar that is allocated, and that requires excellent negotiation skills for getting the best deal in every situation.
As an event planner, you will need to arrange the venue, the suppliers, the caterers, the entertainment, co-ordinate with attendees and manage countless other details, all of which can end up costing a fortune if you're not careful.
Therefore, you need to have a strong will and a determined attitude, it might make more sense to take the opposite approach and charm your way into a fantastic bargain. Developing the feel for how to approach different situations is an art form and requires experience. Still, a certain level of intuition is necessary as well if you want to become exceptional in the field and it's important to make sure the experience is engaging for your event crew, especially for volunteers.
If there's one thing you can count on as an event planner, is that if something can go wrong, it probably will. In fact, it will probably go wrong at the worst possible time, when you let your guard down for just a second.
Providing event management services requires people to have ice-cold blood running through their veins so that even when everyone else is panicking, and everything seems to be falling apart, they can remain calm and collected, carefully evaluating the available options and then taking decisive action to mitigate the situation.
In the events world, seemingly disastrous crises can seem like a funny mishap just 20 minutes later, at least if you're able to think on your feet and solve problems on the go.
Whether it's a speaker that's running late, a caterer that mixed up the orders, or a venue that didn't provide the amenities that were promised, you will likely deal with a wide range of scenarios, so you must always have a backup plan and be able to solve problems in the most efficient way possible.
When planning an event, it can sometimes seem like you're on an island and have to do everything yourself. However, more often than not, you have a team that's counting on you to show direction and communicate the best course action in any given situation.
No matter how confident you might be in your ability, the success of any event requires every person involved to play their part. Therefore, you need to be not only responsible for yourself, but also be able to lead and inspire others to perform at their best as well.
Sometimes, you need to be tough and hold people accountable for their attitude, while other times, you need to be encouraging and help people grow in their roles towards something bigger.
Understanding people and being able to stand up and lead them through difficult challenges is another crucial event planning skill that the very best event organisers possess. There are different leadership styles that depend on the personality of the person, but no matter the approach, the most important thing is to achieve the results that are necessary.
From the outside, it can sometimes seem that even planning is a rather rigid process that has a strict set of rules and best practices.
However, while experience in the field and in-depth knowledge of the industry specifics are essential, creativity is still the trait that separates ordinary events from truly spectacular ones.
The best event planners are not afraid to challenge ideas and traditional approaches, and will often take calculated risks when they spot an opportunity to provide a truly exceptional experience for their audience that will set the tone for events in the country for years to come.
Disclaimer: This post has been written by a guest contributor. All views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author, and may not represent those of Blerter.
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events - leading conference organisers in Birmingham offering event production, venue finding and team building services in the UK. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago as time progressed she became an avid blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.