If you’re considering a career as an event planner, either with a company or as a freelancer, you’ll be expected to possess an impressive set of skills. Some of them are naturally acquired during long years at the job, whereas other are easily picked up and developed.
Here are several important qualities every successful event planner must possess.
Great people skills
In the course of a single day, busy event planners come into contact with lots of people, so they need to be not only engaging, communicative and personable, but good listeners as well. Enjoying in a conversation and understanding people is a part of the job, but there’s the other side, too. It’s not just going from a client lunch date to a cocktail party. It also involves a lot of hard work at the computer and on the phone negotiating with hotels, discussing menus, as well as out of the office supervising an event, meeting with vendors and networking.
Knowing how to behave in different situations in order to make a positive impression and how to relate to different people and connect with them is crucial for success in this business.
A sense of organization
Good organization is key to a successful event. It can be quite challenging and daunting to stay on top of so many things that make up an event: keeping track of multiple tasks, coordinating a lot pf people and their duties and keeping the client happy at all times.
If you already manage to-do lists in your personal life, this will come naturally to you, but do bear in mind that as an event planner, you might need to juggle multiple events at the same time, or even organize an annual event that will take a whole year to plan.
There are many organizational tools you can use, from various software, spreadsheets, templates and checklists. You need to figure out which system works best for you and perfect it as you go along.
Passion for planning and attention to detail
As in any career, you need to be passionate about it. The best people on the job are always full of enthusiasm and creative energy, and if you feel indifferent after a successful event you planned instead of triumphant, you’re probably meant to be doing something else.
Another desirable quality for a good event planner is keen attention to detail as that’s what creates the big picture and yields a good end result. You can delegate certain tasks to your assistants but you need to be involved in every stage of the planning process. It’s crucial for you to be on the big tasks. When you think of event planning, a couple of things immediately spring into mind. Venue, food and drinks. Make sure you are hiring the best event catering service, that you have a secure venue, book speakers or music, depending on the event type. Decoration! Don’t forget to order flowers or hire someone to decorate the place accordingly.
Successful event planners are bursting with creative energy and have tons of ideas. But, it doesn’t stop there. You also need to be able to transform your best idea into a tangible result and bring your vision to life. Resourcefulness is another key ingredient here as it does require a lot of ingenuity to develop an idea on a limited budget.
Moreover, your creativity will be put further to test when you hit a snag, which you will at some point. Event planning is rarely a straightforward process. Problem-solving skills and thinking outside of the box is what will get you out of any difficult situation.
Even if you’re currently planning only one event, you’ll need to manage multiple tasks at the same time, so it’s crucial you can multitask effectively and work simultaneously on various fronts. It may sound overwhelming, but the secret lies in prioritizing and not letting any distractions take away your focus.
Event planning is an exciting profession that can give you a lot of satisfaction and all the skills listed here can be successfully developed with enough determination, willingness and perseverance.
Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter and facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.