Event planning is an art, and not everyone knows to master this art.
Starting as an event planner and succeeding as one are two totally different things. You can start your career as an event planner but you may not get a lot of success in this field if you don't learn and sharpen your skill set with time.
While some people are born with the traits of an event planner, others have to work at it. Nevertheless, you can always imbibe them by learning the necessary event planning skills.
Planning an event requires passion, a lot of hard work, time, and dedication. From idea conception to programming to logistics there is a multitude of details that need to be coordinated and scheduled. To coordinate each and every aspect of event planning, you require certain qualities and certain skills to master. Only those who are able to handle stress, can multitask productively, have a knack for great interpersonal, technical, and management skills can carry it off without a hitch.
It is up to you to carefully examine your strengths and dedicate yourself to learning them in order to thrive in your career as an event planner.
In this article, I would walk you through the most necessary qualities that all successful event planners share:
1. Great people skills
Event planning is all about dealing with people so it’s imperative for a great event planner to have great soft skills more commonly known as “people skills”.
As an event planner you must be comfortable connecting with all sorts of people at all levels including senior-level executives, government officials, sponsor reps, vendors, supervisors, staff, event attendees and make sure all the working relationships run smoothly.
You should possess strong leadership skills in order to guide a team towards achieving success and on top of everything, you should be responsible, decisive, a positive thinker, and highly passionate about your work.
Strong communication and listening skills are other fundamental “people skills” that an event planner must possess because it encompasses your persona and ability to get along with others. Events rely on effective communication at every stage. If you can convey information with confidence, clarity, and respect and are able to listen without interruption then you are very near to succeed at your work.
The event industry is constantly and rapidly evolving with the availability of new technologies. Almost every week we come across a new event planning tool or solution in the market that promises to make event planning easier and events more exciting. Only those event planners who stay up to date with the constantly evolving world of event tech, update their skills, and look for ways to embrace these changes in their work will be able to thrive and flourish in their career.
We have seen impressive growth in the use of event management software, attendee tracking tools, the emergence of social media, mobile apps, and live-streaming over the past decade. We’ve also seen a growing focus on event data analytics and the application of new platforms like AR, VR, and AI technology in the event industry and how it enhanced the event experience in the past few years. While you don’t need to know the intricate details of every event tech, it’s nevertheless important to have at least a basic knowledge of how to use them. Being aware of changes as they’re happening in the event industry can give you an edge over your competitors and make you more productive as an event planner.
3. A keen eye for details
A great event planner is one who is meticulous and pays keen attention to the tiniest details while planning an event. There is a lot that goes into the planning and execution of an event. Having a keen eye for details is crucial to ensure that everything is properly organised, and nothing goes off without a hitch.
Planners are expected to remember lots of information such as dates, times, locations, seating arrangements. Remembering all the details in the head is not easy so always make a habit of carefully noting down all the details, even the simple and obvious ones. This habit can save you from trying to recall every minute detail in the heat of the moment.
4. Productive Multitasking
One of the most common traits of successful event planners is the ability to multitask productively. The event planner is the one who coordinates every aspect of an event, thus constantly switching from one task to another. Bouncing back and forth between things is not easy as it seems to be. Switching from one task to another takes our brain, time to readjust, and concentrate on the second task however, if you learned how to overcome this challenge or how to deal with it, then you have already achieved a lot.
Here are 5 multitasking tips that can help you to multitask effectively while planning an event.
- Prioritise your tasks.
- Use a timer to make sure that you aren’t overspending your time on a single task.
- Eliminate the diversions at work.
- Leverage the tools and apps available to help you accomplish multiple tasks at the same time e.g Trello.
- Focus your energy on individual tasks to achieve a high level of productivity.
5. Good stress tolerance
The most fundamental quality that is shared by the most successful event planners is the ability to stay cool and calm in all situations.
Planning an event is rated as the most stressful job. As an event planner, you will be dealing with scores of people. Since every individual has a distinct personality there might be times you get annoyed with some people and your emotions run high. You should learn to be patient with them and rise above the stress and frustration in these situations in order to succeed in your career.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but I think it covers the most important qualities that you must possess to do a great job at being an event planner. Even if you don’t have all of these event planning skills, you can still become a successful event planner since most of these can be developed through persistence and eagerness to learn.