The skills necessary for event management in the today’s world go beyond those that apply to live events. You need to think of how to apply those skills to virtual and even hybrid events.
Some of these abilities are innate, and can be found in the “natural-born event planner.” However, with dedication and a willingness to learn, anyone can achieve some level of mastery. With that in mind, here are the key event management skills and qualities I have become efficient in over the past decade:
1. Being organised is not something you buy
Event planners are extremely organised. Some people can work in a chaotic environment, but as a planner, you must rely on streamlined processes and also tried and tested methodologies if you are part of a team. This includes keeping your team informed, adhering to timelines, budgets, and appointments, and organising important documents and information. After all, a well-executed event does not occur by chance. From planning to post-event analysis, it necessitates sharp organisational skills and attention to detail.
For each successful event I’ve organised so far in my career, I had to remember the smallest details and stay 100% on top of things – always with a smile.
2. Good communication is essential
Working with people all the time entails the ability to communicate effectively, which is essential in this field. Clients do not want to be kept in the dark or treated as if they are bothering you every time they ask a question. They want you to communicate with them on a regular basis so that they can be confident that everything is going as planned. So my biggest learning on this point is to respond to emails and phone calls as soon as possible!
3. There is nothing mythical about customer satisfaction
Making customers happy is one of the hardest aspects of event planning. The bottom line is that it’s your responsibility to fulfil the wishes of your stakeholders, whether they are senior management or clients. You need to have a strong commitment to helping clients in order to accomplish this with grace. Be courteous in your responses, even if the task is nearly impossible. Your client will feel more at ease if you are polite and friendly.
Your client will most likely want the best event possible, something that will impress everyone. So, always strive to exceed expectations and make every event spectacular – while staying within budget!
This is something I’ve always worked hard at in order to exceed expectations, so going above and beyond has set me apart from other event managers. It gets people talking about your event, your client, and you.
4. Creativity is not heritable
Events management is a creative profession. You will not impress clients by organising a dull event. Use your imagination to create something more exciting. What I have learned is that when you plan or coordinate an event, you cannot rely on using the same old template everyone else does. Why hold conventional events when social media, multimedia, or new event technologies are available?
Customers aways want someone they can rely on to know what is currently hip, fashionable, and trendy when it comes to décor, music, and entertainment. Do your research and stay current.
5. Hybrid is the new normal
If hybrid events are something you are after, note the following. There are more demands associated with hosting both remote and in-person guests. Ideally, your venue should have an onsite support team to ensure that the internet, technical, sound, and digital equipment are all connected and working properly. If your venue does not offer this, be sure to work with a trustworthy technical supplier – it is key to get this right the first time. Collaboration is essential in this situation. You want a team that is approachable, easy to communicate with, and willing to participate in dry runs. Practice makes perfect, and do not settle for less.
6. Bring in back up
Always have back up power! Never run an event without a generator or two on standby. It is not just loadshedding that plays a factor in this, some venues (expecially the older, less modern ones) cannot withstand the intensity of the power that is used (even if you are being sustainable).
7. Create safe spaces
Have breakaway rooms (if your event calls for it). Ensure there are areas or safe spaces (as I like to call them) for your guests/ attendees to use should they need to huddle/ brainstorm/ discuss certain topics – this is crucial for conferences. By setting yourself up for success, you can create a memorable impact.
8. Incorporate sustainability into your events
Events play an important role in the world we live in. People enjoy them, and brands benefit from hosting them as they help build relationships with customers and employees. Events are a wonderful way to bring people and communities together – but they also have a significant environmental impact.
Sustainability is the concept of living within our resource limits, to continue living comfortably without depleting the planet’s natural resources. People are more concerned about sustainability now than before the pandemic. Avoid using plastic. Avoid using paper. Serve organic, locally sourced produce.
9. Solve problems on the spot
As a successful event planner, you should be able to think quickly and clearly, and resolve almost any issue. You can’t just be good with sticky notes and safety pins. When confronted with unexpected difficulties, you must act quickly while maintaining composure. This ability helps you as the event planner to stay flexible, adaptable, and creative. The ability to solve problems is something you learn over time, but if you are just getting started, you can enhance your response by concentrating on pre-event planning to work out any kinks. The secret is to constantly look for gaps in your plans and develop backup plans just in case you need them.
10. Learn to juggle, without dropping any balls
To plan memorable events, multitasking is a necessity rather than an option as an event organiser. Your tasks, such as ticket sales, event promotion, sponsor recruitment, and day-of logistics, should be balanced. On top of that, there may be multiple events that you need to plan simultaneously. You can assign some tasks if you have a team, but it is your responsibility to make sure that nothing is overlooked.
In my next blog post, I’ll delve a little deeper into the topic of sustainability with events – but for now, feel free to reach out if you need creative, strategic, or on-the-ground support for your next event. Here’s how we like to do things: https://bit.ly/yellowdoor-events