You’re planning your event and it’s on track to be a huge success.
But wait, where are the caterers?
It’s a double-booking disaster and you need to stop it turning your dream event into a nightmare!
Having worked in events for over 20 years, we’ve seen our fair share of near misses, total disasters and last-minute mix ups. We’ve also helped over 2,000 Event Academy graduates gain the skills they need to cope with a whole host of event emergencies. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of skills that you’ll need for a successful career in event management.
Relationships make the world go round and the world of events is no different. You’ll be working with a variety of people every day and perhaps speaking with guests too. As an event manager you should be personable, engaging and an excellent listener. Great people skills will also help you build a network of contacts, something that’ll prove invaluable throughout your career.
As an event manager, you’ll be spinning lots of plates at the same time; coordinating staff, schedules and suppliers. Getting everything working in perfect sync isn’t a miracle (although it may feel like it!), it’s down to great organisational skills. Make sure you’ve got an event planning checklist to help you stay on track and customise it for each event before you start work.
Attention to detail
Whether it’s dates or dietary requirements, it’s often when the little things go unchecked that disaster strikes. For your events to go off without a hitch you’ll need to make sure you’re meticulous in your planning. Having a keen eye for detail can also make your events more memorable for all the right reasons. Have a think next time you plan an event: what little things could make this the event of the year?
Creativity is essential when it comes to planning stand-out events that are original and imaginative. Think about how you’re going to inject the company’s brand personality and if you’re running with a theme, how are you going to take a vision bring it to life? Creativity is also the foundation of problem-solving and is vital when it comes to dealing with any unexpected or last-minute issues.
Successful events rely on lots of different people and parts so you need to be prepared to step in and solve problems of all shapes and sizes. Even with the most careful of planning unexpected issues can occur and you’ll need to resolve them quickly. If your chef falls ill or your florist gets snowed in, don’t panic. Combine your creativity and problem-solving skills and work with your team to find an alternative. You never know, it could end up being even better than you expected!
Communication is key when you’re pitching ideas to potential clients; listen to their needs; ask engaging, open questions and be enthusiastic in your responses. Great communication is essential when you’re managing an event too. Giving clear instructions will ensure that everything is in the right place at the right time and being a great listener will help you lead your team and solve any issues that you come across quickly.
When you have a brilliant idea for an event it’s tempting to just dive in head first. But trust us, there’s some truth in the saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. A good plan is the foundation of a successful event and sitting down to make one will always get you better results than if you don’t. It also gives you the opportunity to work out a Plan B in case of any unexpected hiccups.
Most events will have a budget that your client will want to stick to. To avoid running into money problems, make sure you’ve agreed the budget before you start planning, get estimates from suppliers to make sure your plans are achievable and track every expenditure; a simple Excel spreadsheet can help you do this. If you do reach a point where the budget won’t cover the requirements, work with your client to identify areas where you can cut back that won’t affect their guests’ experience.
Identifying opportunities, pitching ideas to clients and developing relationships with a network of contacts are all key business development skills you’ll need to succeed in the event industry. Sales and marketing methods will vary depending on the company you work for but you should, at least, be comfortable in talking to prospective clients about what you do and what makes you the best person to help them organise their event.
Everyone has their own, individual strengths and weaknesses but many of the skills you need to be a great event manager are developed through experience. They can also be gained through courses like those offered by Event Academy. As the number one events trainer in the UK, their specialist qualifications will help you get ahead in your career.
Whatever stage of your events career you’re at and whatever your career goals are, contact us today for tailored advice on your next step and handpicked roles that will help you develop the skills you need to become an amazing event manager.