Event planning is not for the faint of heart. To be a professional event planner you need to become a sort of jack-of-all-trades with a great work ethic and resolve. I’ve put together a list of skills that, for an event planner, are essential for keeping your head above water.
When we’re looking at the hefty burden placed onto an event planner, it’s important to have all your ducks in a row. Your client is looking for you to remember and care about any and all details regarding the event. This means note-taking, record keeping, filing, and careful observation. In other words, organization. With solid organization, your client will feel comfortable with your guidance and ultimately appreciative of your service.
2) Time Management
Deadlines are standard to most careers and it’s no different for an event planner. Regardless of who your client is or what event you’re working on, it will eventually come to fruition. So, when it does, you’d be much better off if you’ve been time efficient. It’s incredibly important to balance multitasking micro objectives while simultaneously focusing on the big picture. This way you’ll get the work done efficiently while making sure all of your small actions fall in line with the end result that you and your client are looking for.
An event planner can get by with playing it safe, strengthening a routine and utilizing experience for future events. However, a truly professional event planner does more than get by: they perform. And as nice as it would be if true, the world is anything but predictable. An event planner will be in the hot seat when there’s a wrench in the system. That’s why to thrive as an event planner, you need flexibility, you need to be resourceful and you need to be adaptable. Some professionals would say an event planner needs to be a sort-of Teflon swiss-army knife, having a multitude of fixes at the ready and be able to bounce back after anything happens.
4) People Skills
Being a people-person is a given when you’re an event planner. Being able to cultivate relationships with vendors and other people, in general, ensures your ability to consistently get things done. And done properly. Your reputation depends on your track record and your creativity in times of crisis. You must have a vision and be a driving influence for it to come to fruition. As uncomfortable as it may feel at first, this includes resolving problems quickly as well as cracking the whip from time to time. It’s also necessary to keep composure when things don’t go exactly as planned. As the person in charge, you’re going to influence all those involved, that’s why it’s important to keep calm and think coherently when it counts. A neurotic leader would be the last thing necessary for your team’s success, and ultimately, the quality of the event. Possessing strong interpersonal skills can aid an event planner in interactions from high-level executives, vendors, sponsor representatives, supervisors, supplier, and even government officials.
If event planning is just a job for you, you will only ever be average. Instead, get passionate! Your passion will make your event planning more productive, exciting, original and meaningful. The creative elements of this business become more prevalent and fun once it has become a passion for you, and you’ll see the improvements in your bank account. Passion will allow you to have internal motivation, granting you the ability to overcome simple failures and learn fast to push to the next assignment.
Event planning can be a difficult, thankless job that has seemingly endless hurdles to overcome. To be at the helm of this business is absolutely challenging, but incredibly rewarding if you adopt the aforementioned traits and if you believe in your abilities.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”