If you are considering a career as an event planner, as a freelance entity, or in an event planning company, make sure you are right person for the job. The most successful event planners in Maryland have an inspiring skill set. Below are five event planning skills you’ll use regularly. 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! Keeping track of many tasks, multiple vendors, and ever-changing to-do lists all at the same time – while keeping your customer happy – can be difficult for some and intimidating for others.
Being very organized is a must for successful event planning. For those who make and manage to-do lists in their personal lives, getting organized can come naturally. For others who have trouble remembering deadlines or dealing with dry cleaning, organizing things may take more effort.
Event planners can tackle one event at a time or be in the planning stages of multiple events at the same time. Some events, such as annual conferences, require more than a year of planning, so event planners need to stay organized for the long haul.
Organizing tools for event planners abound, from registration tracking software to template forms and spreadsheets. A custom-made event planning checklist for every project is one of the most valuable tools you can have, regardless of your natural structural ability.
Find an organizing system that works best for you, because being organized is essential for a career in event planning.
Event Planners Are Personable
What do all events have in common? People. Successful event planners are friendly, engaging, good people to talk to, and great listeners. Event planning is a social profession in that the outcome – the event itself – will include a group of people, large or small. Understanding people and liking talking to them is part of the job.
That doesn’t mean that as a wedding and event planner you will spend most of your day at client lunches and 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 personal attitude is a must when tackling any of these common event planning tasks:
- Negotiate with hotels
- Discuss menus with catering managers
- Meeting with sellers
- Present your event ideas to a potential client
- Network anytime and anywhere
- Supervise event staff
- Work on your event and interact with guests and workers
In everyday life, most of us remember the pleasant and helpful people we interact with, and this interaction can make a much more constructive experience for both parties. Knowing how to relate to different personalities, how to connect with someone, and make a positive impression are the keys to success. No one wants to work with or help someone who is difficult to talk to, hard to understand, or rude and unprofessional in any way, so consider this an essential event planning skill.
Listen and Communicate Clearly
Excellent communication skills are essential in many professions. In event planning skills, poor communication can lead to many problems for both the event planner and the customer, and a simple misunderstanding can have catastrophic results. Therefore, the ability to listen is crucial for you to understand the customer’s needs.
Here are some examples of communication and how these event planning skills come into action when planning events:
- Writing event proposals for a potential client
- Create materials to market your business
- Drafting of contracts for customers and suppliers
- Writing thank-you notes to guest and VIP speakers
- The ability to explain the possibility and reason of an event
- Effectively communicate your ideas to a supervisor, customer, or supplier
- Understand and process the information provided, such as a customer’s concerns or a caterer’s questions
- Skillfully negotiate hotel rates, contact details, or supplier extras
Event Planners Are Creative
Successful event planners have ideas – lots of them. And with that creativity comes the ability to turn the idea into something tangible. Event planners can take a visualization and bring it to life. From crafting a unique theme for a party to creating an affordable decorating solution that fits a low budget, creativity is essential when planning an event.
Creativity also plays a role in problem-solving. Being able to think innovative to develop solutions to complications can have a positive effect on the success of your event.
Event planners are multitasking
At different stages of the event planning process, there are many tasks to manage. You can negotiate a hotel contract, meet with a client to discuss potential guest speakers, book a caterer, interview rental providers, and explore entertainment options. And that’s only for an event. Add multiple events to the planning stages simultaneously and a result is an act of juggling. Successful event planners need to know how to effectively multitask and get many aspects of the event going simultaneously without losing the ball on any of those tasks.
Success in event planning lies in the ability to prioritize and focus on each task without getting distracted by other things or being overwhelmed by the many details that require your attention. Staying calm, focused, and flexible are the attributes of successful multitasking.