Whether it’s a pop-up foodie experience or a large-scale music concert, management is key to running an event, whatever the size. Now, more than ever, it’s a good idea to have an event management plan in place that takes unforeseen challenges into consideration. After all, even though COVID-19 restrictions are easing, there’s always a possibility that government regulations may change.
To create a solid plan and take on everything from choosing suppliers to establishing timelines, you’ll need great management skills. With that in mind, here are the key event management skills and qualities to work towards gaining.
1. People skills
The number one quality shared by successful event managers? People skills. You need to be comfortable connecting with high-level executives, government officials, vendors, co-workers, sponsor reps, customers, supervisors, suppliers, staff, and event attendees. To successfully work with this wide range of people, you’ll need to be able to nimbly resolve conflicts, be a confident but pleasant negotiator, and maintain your sense of humour.
Remember to try and have fun with the work you do and the people you work with, and they’ll want to work with you again. You can’t do it all by yourself, so building relationships is key.
Event planner duties and responsibilities vary day-to-day. You’ll double up as a cleaner one minute and a fearless leader the next. Clearing up messes and making tough calls — quickly, quietly, and efficiently — is part of the job. Stay calm, get it done, then get back to running the show.
The ability to understand what key stakeholders want from your event is critical. These people may not be in the event industry, so they might not speak the lingo or know what’s realistic. You have to be able to discern their needs and make sure all parties share the same expectations. Pay attention to what’s said — and what’s not said — in key conversations. Tapping into these spoken (and unspoken) needs throughout your planning process will help you to stay one step ahead.
To successfully run any event, you need to be able to juggle about 50 things at once. This multitasking prowess is required for both smooth planning and the flawless execution of an event. The best planners have fool-proof systems, like an extensive event proposal, step-by-step checklists, and handy tech tools. With all of this to think about, it’s no wonder that some creators look into hiring event management companies to help them make sure everything goes to plan.
Working in events requires the ability to focus on the big picture while keeping track of the little details. To avoid burnout, get comfortable delegating some of your more time-consuming tasks. And when unexpected obstacles get in your way, like changing COVID-19 restrictions, don’t be afraid to switch to plan B.
With all the stress of the job, you have to really love what you do. Genuine passion will help you to overcome bumps in the road and stay cool when all seems lost. It can also lead to bursts of creativity and the inspiration to create something great, instead of just trying to get through the day.
Skills like time management can be learned, but you can’t teach passion, which you’ll need to succeed. Being an event manager can, at times, be a thankless job. So, it needs to be about more than just a regular salary for you.
Clear, firm, and kind communication establishes you as a leader of the team, keeps everyone on track, and ensures that the goals of the event are clear to everyone involved. It also allows you to effectively share your vision and get others excited about it, too.
Communicate in a way that is respectful to everyone and doesn’t put anyone down. Accept criticism and be open to new ideas. Everyone plays a part in the success of an event, so make sure you’re communicating with them in a clear, confident, and empowering way.
7. Calm under pressure
Your team will look to you for answers to almost everything. Successful event managers stay level-headed and continue to treat everyone with respect, no matter what. Try to remain cool, calm, and collected when dealing with other people, even if you’re a bundle of nerves inside.
Whether it’s tracking down some emergency duct tape or reworking a keynote presentation at the last minute, you have to be resourceful with what you have. No matter how well you plan, something will go wrong. And it will be a lot easier to address if you enjoy finding creative solutions to the challenges that arise.
The role of an event planner requires you to be able to make several decisions at once and make them quickly. And, perhaps more importantly, you need to be able to recognise when it’s too late to change those decisions – and have the resolve to stand by them.
It will be a lot easier for people to trust you if you have a significant amount of experience. And your job will be easier for you once you’ve seen the range of challenges an event can throw at you. Plus, the experienced manager has a network of trusted professionals to call on when things get tough. If you don’t have a ton of experience yet, don’t worry – just give it time.
Become an expert event planner
Once you have these event organiser skills down, you’re ready to take your event planning up a notch. Our event planning templates will help you to streamline your workflow, solve your biggest challenges, and gain the loyalty of your attendees. Plus, we can help you to grow your events business. From marketing and community engagement to analytics and reports, explore our suite of tools and see how you can take your event to the next level.