“Good planning I’ve always thought is in the details…Plan it out, make it interesting, and you’re sure to pull it off!”Eddie Ross (author, editor and producer)
These words by Eddie Ross (author, editor and producer) pretty much sums up what it takes to be a successful “event organizer”.
Planning an event whether physical, virtual or hybrid is not easy and requires a particular skill set. It is not without a reason that event organizers are famous for being multitasking geniuses. No matter whatever the challenge, a skilled event organizer seems to overcome it without missing a beat.
According to a report published by statista.com, the United States meeting, convention, and event planning market employed a whopping 125,900 people in 2020. This clearly indicates the potential of the event industry and demand for a skilled ‘event organizer’. What does it take to be a successful event organizer/planner? This blog focuses on the event planning skills that one should have to be an event organizer. So, let’s dive-in.
- Become a Data Analyst: In today’s world the secret to guaranteed success is Data, Data, Data! You not only will need to collect data, but using big data and machine learning make sense of it. Whether it be market research, customer behaviour, personalize content, predict trends or make better decisions – Data analysis is the most important skill of the future
- Organized and meticulous: Any event be it virtual or hybrid has a number of dynamic elements . As an event organizer managing multiple events at the same time, and having top-notch organizational skills is non-negotiable. Day to day activities such as ordering, invoicing, meetings, and all the other details must be initiated and executed at the proper time.
- Tech-savvy: 2020 totally changed the event industry. The world moved from in-person events to ‘virtual’ and ‘hybrid’ events. This meant partnering with technology and its working. Today, with most events taking place on a virtual platform it is extremely important for event organizers and planners to be hands-on with technology.
- Research oriented : A detailed research is the foundation of any successful event. An ace event organizer spends time in understanding the audience profile, their needs,and expectations.
- Attention to detail: A well executed event is all about ‘attention to detail.’ An event planner must keep a tab on client timelines, budgets, and the smallest details such as arranging travel, or selecting the cutlery for a dinner party. Each component of an event must get the attention it deserves.
- Passion for planning: Albert Einstein once said, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” Being fully invested in planning is one of the key skills needed in event organization. A good event planner is invested in an event with heart, soul, pride and energy to ‘wow’ clients every time.
- Creative : Being creative is important to develop new and fun ideas for clients. A naturally creative event planner will bring imagination and originality in every format whether virtual, hybrid or in-person events.
- Multi-tasker: An event organizer needs to be a multi-tasker. Seamlessly managing multiple projects, deadlines, and assignments at once is essential. The backstage of an event is like a battlefield with many things happening. The onus to orchestrate every detail to ensure all comes together lies with the event organizer.
- Strong negotiation skills:Negotiating contracts is one of the prime roles of an event planner. One needs to negotiate the best price and terms for venues, entertainment, food, etc. Virtual event planning will involve negotiating with content creators, tech infrastructure and support team, clients, etc.
- Sales and marketing skills: Events are all about glitz, glamour and making an impression. Event management is a service, not a tangible product. A good event organizer should be able to sell that dream and vision to the prospective client.
- Deft leader: An event planner wears multiple hats. So many responsibilities demand a deft leader who can delegate, direct multiple teams and ensure they all work in the same rhythm with each other and not against each other. Strong project management and coordination, transparent communication, agilityn, ability to remain calm during pressure, are the required qualities for a good ‘event organizer.’
- Customer centric: A successful event is all about being relevant for the target audience. Formulate a customer-centered event strategy keeping in mind your customer’s vision. Prioritize your customer’s needs at each stage – pre, during and post the event. An event planner’s job is to provide recommendations, support, and the ability to turn a customer’s vision to reality.
- Communication skills: The ability to communicate effectively with the client, suppliers, and all parties involved is a must have for an event planner. Being polite and respectful and being open to feedback and other people’s views is important too.
- Problem-solver: In the world of event planning, there are a few qualities that have proven to be indispensable. Half the solution of problems are to identify & define the problem. Once articulated, brainstorm or research solutions. Setup a plan with the most practical solution. Don’t forget to evaluate its effectiveness and be flexible to change it.
- Be Ready For The Unexpected: Everyone has a plan until they get punched. Being adaptable on the day of the event becomes essential, so that you can handle surprises well. Use your experience to be quick on your feet.
- Work Under Pressure : Event planning is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. So be prepared for it. Anticipate possible problems, think ahead and maintain composure at all times. Take a timeout for few minutes before you jump back into the situation.
- Learn From Mistakes : Don’t ever hide or ignore a mistake. Take time to do a post mortem to reflect the causes. Such insights can give you a competitive edge and make you more confident in future.
Planning and managing an event is like driving on a long and bumpy road. Event planners constantly juggle to balance brand and sponsor interests, attendee must-haves and other high-value integrations. The event industry has seen a paradigm shift in the last few years. Migrating to virtual and hybrid events has been sooner than anticipated. Though we have encapsulated what it takes to be a stellar event organizer, the role is fast evolving with change in the industry.
However, these qualities will always be desired by event organizers as these are more of a life-skill.