Event Management Skills Event Managers Need
What is event management?
Event management is the organisation of any large or small event, ranging from personal events like weddings and parties, through to business to consumer (B2C) events like festivals and business to business (B2B) events like conferences and exhibitions.
There are plenty of crossovers in events management. For example, a tradeshow can be aimed at businesses, such as Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona each year, or can be aimed at consumers, such as the Ideal Home Show held in London.
Event management may refer to any part of the organisation and management within the event such as setting targets, choosing suppliers, establishing timelines and managing the event on the day itself. Within any event, there are lots of moving parts, and only one chance to get them right, so strong event management skills are essential to success.
What an event manager does
An event manager is a person who is in charge of ensuring an event, wedding, conference or festival goes to plan and achieves all of the event objectives originally set. They are responsible for a checklist of items such as ensuring suppliers turn up on time and that the presenter schedule is booked, to wider items such as ensuring that the event adheres to health and safety or sustainability concerns.
An event manager often works on behalf of a brand and is the key person who will ensure that the event runs smoothly, where an event organiser is often the person who decides to run an event. An event organiser may need to identify gaps in the events market, research competitor events, plan new events and run a schedule of events throughout the year, whereas most of these parts will already have been done by the time an event manager is brought in. Event organisers may work for a brand or in-house at an event organisation company that specialises in the running of events. An event organiser may hire event managers, or have those within their team, who help to ensure the event’s success.
Event coordinators help to ensure the successful running of an event and may be responsible for one, or a series, of aspects within the event planning process. For example, some event coordinators are dedicated to event administration such as registration or speaker liaison, or may look after wider responsibilities like design and styling.
Traits Of A Successful Corporate Event Coordinator
Some of these traits are applicable to managerial positions in any market, while others are tailored specifically for events-based leadership. If you can find these traits in a qualified applicant, you’ll have found the perfect match for your company.
1. Leadership skills
Any position with the word “coordinator” in the job title requires leadership skills, but I would argue that is even more true for event coordinators.
You get only one chance at a first impression, and an event coordinator is tasked with leading entire teams to make these impressions for each new corporate client.
It’s one thing to lead a team toward a flexible and tentative goal, but it’s another to lead a team when the deadlines are as inflexible as your guests’ expectations. That is a lot of pressure, and it takes serious leadership skills to lead an event to success.
When hiring an events coordinator, here are the leadership qualities you should look for in your candidates:
- Effective communicator: The best leaders know when to speak and when to listen, they’re precise with their words, and they can pick up on nonverbal cues. Managing an event team will require input not only from the coordinator, but also from the team itself, and an effective leader will make time to hear their team’s concerns.
- Delegator: No event coordinator can do everything by themselves, which is the purpose of having an event team. An effective event coordinator and leader will have the capacity and willingness to delegate responsibilities to each team member according to their abilities.
- Positive thinker: Leaders set the tone for the rest of the team. And in the events industry, with all of the changing variables of planning and executing an event, a positive outlook is needed to navigate these tasks. Your events coordinator has to demonstrate their positive outlook in the face of numerous challenges to maintain healthy team morale.
- Responsible: Most importantly, any events coordinator has to demonstrate responsibility not only when things go right but even when they go horribly wrong. Making sure each team member is where they need to be and every vendor is set to execute on the day of the event requires a lot of responsibility on the part of the coordinator.
Your event coordinator should be able to demonstrate these leadership qualities in their previous experiences in the events industry.
2. Technology know-how
The events industry is constantly changing and upgrading with the times, especially with the introduction of new technologies.
The most effective event coordinators stay up-to-date on these new trends and look for ways to embrace these changes in their own work, whether that be new event management software, attendee tracking tools, or ways to make their event more personal and experiential.
3. Organizational skills
There is no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in organization, which is something every good event coordinator should know.
An event coordinator will be in charge of the events team activities, the vendors and what they’ll provide, negotiating and finalizing contracts, overseeing the execution of the event, and reporting back to you, their supervisor, on the progress of the event.
To do all of this, your candidate will need excellent organizational skills.
Event coordinators do more than manage a team and put together events. Event planning and coordination is the constant challenge of finding new ways to accomplish old tasks, such as managing attendee check-ins, coordinating themes, and gathering guest feedback.
The best event coordinators find creative new ways to tackle these problems with outside-the-box ideas and new technologies.
These individuals must be skilled at creating aesthetically pleasing sights and sounds at events, which means they need experience with color coordination, creative writing for marketing, and interior decorating, just to name a few skills.
5. Time management skills
Finally, an events coordinator must juggle all of these responsibilities in a timely manner to meet event deadlines. Otherwise, your events team will forever miss these deadlines, leaving vendors and clients very upset with unmet timetables and delayed (or incomplete) events.
You need to make sure that your applicant can handle the stresses of managing and executing your events without falling behind.
Event-Planning Skills You Need for Success
If you are contemplating a career as an event planner, either as an independent entity or with an event-planning company, make sure you’re a good fit for the role. The most successful event planners have an impressive skill set. Below are five event-planning skills you will reach for on a regular basis. These skills can make or break your success.
Event Planners Are Highly Organized
In event planning, success is in the details. And there are many of them! Keeping track of numerous tasks, multiple vendors, and constantly changing to-do lists all at once—while keeping your client happy—can be challenging for some and daunting for others.
Being highly organized is a must for successful event planning. For those who make and manage to-do lists in their personal lives, being organized may come naturally. For others who struggle to remember deadlines or to pick up the dry cleaning, being organized may require more effort.
Event Planners Are Personable
What do all events have in common? People. Successful event planners are personable, engaging, good conversationalists, and excellent listeners. Event planning is a social profession in that the result – the event itself – will include a group of people, large or small. Understanding people and enjoying talking to them is part of the job.
This does not mean that, as an event planner, you will spend most of your day at client lunches and having cocktails at social events. Event planning is hard work, and much of it is spent at a desk with a phone or computer; however, a personable demeanor is a must when tackling one of these common event-planning tasks:
- Negotiating with hotels
- Discussing menus with catering managers
- Meeting with vendors
- Pitching your event ideas to a prospective client
- Networking anytime and anywhere
- Supervising event staff
- Working your event and interacting with guests and workers
Listen and Communicate Clearly
Excellent communication skills are essential in many professions. In event planning, miscommunication can result in numerous problems for both the event planner and the client, and a simple misunderstanding can have catastrophic results. Therefore, the ability to listen is crucial so that you understand the needs of the client.
Here are a few examples of communications and how these event-planning skills are used when planning events:
- Writing event proposals for a prospective client
- Creating materials to market your firm
- Writing contracts for clients and vendors
- Drafting thank you notes to guest speakers and VIPs
- The ability to explain the scope and purpose of an event
- Effectively communicating your ideas to a supervisor, client, or vendor
- Understanding and processing information that is provided, such as the concerns of a client or questions from a caterer
- Skillfully negotiating hotel rates, contact details, or extras from a vendor
Willingness, Flexibility and a Positive Attitude
Attitude is a state of mind which can make or break you as an event manager. You have to be flexible and adaptable – there is no room for single mindedness. This adaptability doesn’t just apply to the many things an event manager can find themselves being asked to do on a daily basis, it also applies to the new methods and innovations which continue to flow into this fast-moving industry.
All the experts agree that having the ability to handle budgets is key to success. Whilst a natural aptitude for numbers can certainly support this, the ability to manage budgets, plus skills in negotiating as part of effective money management, are certainly professional skills which may also be learned.
Attention to details
While we all look at the big picture, event managers are the ones who take care of the tiniest details. To make sure that the event runs smoothly and successfully, it is important to pay keen attention to details. This is when event managers come into the scene. They are involved at every stage of the planning including drafting emails, booking vendors, looking after the seating arrangements and more.
Creative and Innovative
When choosing an event manager, you must pick a person who thinks out of the box. He must be creative enough to innovate things around your requirements. He must be prepared for the worst-case scenario and come up with a solution to deal with the situation. You must choose a person who can easily resolve n number of problems or challenges thrown toward him..