Have you got what it takes to organise and deliver spectacular events? Can you think on your feet? Do you thrive in stressful scenarios? Do you have exceptional interpersonal skills? These are just some of the essential skills you’ll need if you want to be an awesome event manager. Dakota Murphey, working in a project with professional conference venue finders Function Fixers, has put together what we think are the must-have traits and skills of the most successful event organisers. If you think you have what it takes, event organising could be the rewarding career you’ve been looking for.
- Communication Skills +++
You’ll need to be an exceptional communicator at all levels. You will have to work with a whole team of people from cleaners to technical staff, clients and event speakers. You will have to be able to tell people what to do and listen to feedback. People skills and communicating effectively are key to the success of your event. Understanding your client’s brief and ironing out any issues is essential to the process. You’ll need to quickly build great relationships to get things done.
- Organised and energetic
You’ll need to be a master at organising multiple complex projects. Event planners often co-ordinate several projects at the same time. All of your projects will require seamless choreography. Your ability to organise is probably the most overtly important skill you’ll need alongside communication. Every detail needs to be considered to ensure events run smoothly. While organisational skills can be learned, mastering them to perfection is much more difficult. It takes a born natural to do this effortlessly. You’ll also need to have boundless energy to keep on top of everything.
You’d be crazy to believe your meticulous timeline will be followed to the letter. Good event planners need to be able to adapt to a multitude of changes, from budgets to staff changes and speakers cancelling, and even a change of venue. Your problem-solving skills will have to be right up there with the best. You’ll need to be able to adapt to the near impossible and you’ll definitely need to be unflappable.
Your list of contacts needs to be extensive from venue finders to speakers. When things don’t go to order, you’ll need a back-up plan. Collaboration is absolutely essential. Flexibility and being able to take things in your stride are essential traits that will hold you in good stead.
Forget normal business hours. When you’re leading up to an event, you’ll need to be available at all hours. You’ll need to be around all through the event too, just in case there are any hiccoughs. If your suppliers or clients are in different time zones, you’ll need to cope with that as well. Awesome event managers are wedded to their jobs. There’s no getting away from it. Event organiser roles require steely dedication.
- Passionate and enthusiastic
As an event planner, you’ll be wanting to build an impeccable reputation. Your passion and enthusiasm for what you do won’t go unnoticed. Alongside your exceptional communication and organisational skills, your infectious energy and dedication will provide a winning combination in the world of event organising. Keeping your team going when things get tough requires a certain level of enthusiasm and passion. Inspire your team and you’ll go far.
- Creative and innovative
When you are faced with changing goalposts, you’ll need to be able to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions. To stand out from the crowd in the world of event planning, you’ll need to be bold and brave. Thinking outside of the box has to come naturally. You’ll have the innate quality of being able to solve problems calmly. You’ll definitely need to be able to see problems as an exciting challenge rather than a bother.
- Professionalism, respect and tact
You’ll need to be cool as a cucumber at all times. Sometimes things go wrong and you’ll need to be able to handle any difficulties with professionalism, respect and tact. Good planners won’t yell or belittle others. Exceptional planners will work collaboratively with others to resolve problems and get things back on track. A person with a diplomatic approach is definitely more suited to event planning than someone who shouts to get things done.
- Leadership skills
Great event organisers show impressive leadership skills. It will need to be one of your inherent qualities. You’ll need to able to motivate people to be one step ahead, and that takes great skill. Guiding a team towards a common goal is no easy feat, but it’s crucial to make the event a rip-roaring success.
- Eye for detail
No stone can be left unturned when you are organising multiple events. You really don’t want any nasty surprises. You’ll need to be able to keep tabs on the small details, while having your eye firmly on the prize. From organising handouts, to co-ordinating speakers and arranging technical equipment, you’ll need to have everything covered.
Do you think you’ve got what it takes?