You would have all of the initial tools and mechanisms that you need to get started as a legitimate, professional event planner. Now, it’s Just a matter of honing a special set of skills and practicing good habits on your way to mastering your craft. Again, you have to stay mindful of the fact that while you may have good intentions in serving your market, you also have competition. There are other people who are Just like you and they are trying their best to capture market share as well. In order to stay ahead, you need to be doing everything you can to fortify your business and make sure that people understand why they need to go to you for event production services.
You have to realize that it’s not Just a matter of flawlessly executing an event and then thinking that you don’t have anything else to learn for the rest of your life. In fact, It’s very rare (almost impossible) for any novice event planner to not get anything wrong, especially on their first few tries. As you try to make a name for yourself in the Industry, you are going to learn so much about who you are as an event planner and how you’re going to fit into the market that you’re trying to penetrate. This introspection and self-learning is great and it’s a valuable asset that you can use for yourself moving forward.
Think of your event planning career like a complicated meal that you have to cook. As it is with any meal that you make, there are various ingredients that are involved to make the meal taste better. In this case, the recipe to become an effective event planner calls for certain skills and habits on your part to make sure that you are able to offer quality professional services. The better your service, the likelier it will be for them to go back to you over and over again for whatever you can offer. This chapter is going to offer you the essential recipe that you need to churn out a palatable event planning business. Now, it’s important to take note that you shouldn’t worry too much if a lot of the items listed here don’t necessarily apply to you Just yet. No one expects you to be an expert just as you’re starting out. Natu-rally, the learning curve Is still high when you’re a novice. It’s just a matter of you staying aware of all the skills that you need to be sharpening and all of the habits that you need to be instilling in yourself.
Essential Skills of an Event Planner
While it can be very rewarding to be able to do something that you’re passionate about for a living, it can also be very stressful. Naturally, you are someone who enjoys being an event planner and that is why you have chosen this as your vocation in life. However, just because you are passionate about something doesn’t mean that you’re going to be free from any potential stressors or headaches. In fact, plenty of seasoned event planners will tell you that they have very stressful lives as a result of the problems that they face in their careers. This is why it’s essential for you to develop a certain set of skills If you really want to thrive in this industry. Usually, a lot of these stressors only arise as a result of an event planner’s inexperience or ineptitude. If you make it a point to sharpen these skills, then you would effectively be minimizing the amount of stress that you deal with in your job. Here is a com-prehensive list of skills that you definitely want to develop over the course of your career.
One of, if not the most, Important skill that an event planner must possess and develop over time Is organization. When you are an event planner, there is the potential for so much clutter to enter your life. You are going to have to play many different roles and wear multiple hats at any given time. You have to keep track of so many dates, people, objects, suppliers, and various other details just to make sure that a single event goes well. All of these headaches only multiply when you’re handling multiple events at a single go. In order for you to be able to effectively manage all of these moving parts, you have to have great organizational skills. Failing to develop your organization skills could result in you overlooking various aspects of an event that you should be staying on top of in the first place. Essentially, by having good organizational skills, you are doing yourself a favor by making sure that you minimize potential mistakes you would make In a professional capacity. Also, details that you need to ensure the success of an event become more accessible to you when you are able to organize data and Information In an orderly fashion.
When you are an event planner, you are going to have to talk to a lot of different people. At the start of the event planning phase, you will have to talk to your client. Communication skills are important during this phase so that you are able to really understand the needs of your client, as well as make sure that they understand what you are able to do for them. Communication also comes In handy when you are working with your team. When you are organizing very large events, it would help if you have a solid team of professionals working together with you. In order for you to be synchronized and orderly in the way that you work together, effective communication is paramount. Communication is also important when you’re working with external contractors or suppliers to ensure the success of an event. Also, keep in mind that communication isn’t just about you being able to express yourself clearly and effectively. It’s a two-way street and is never merely one-sided affair. It’s also about you being able to listen to others and understanding their ideas and their points of view.
Creativity isn’t just a skill that is important in the arts. Of course, when you think of creative people, it’s normal for you to think of painters, musicians, poets, writers, graphic artists, directors, and other professionals in the creative industry. However, event planners must also foster creativity in themselves if they want to find success in their field. As an event planner, it’s normal for you to have the responsibility of conceptualizing and creating an entire event from scratch. Sure, a client may come to you with certain visions or ideas of the events that they want you to organize. However, it’s your responsibility as the professional event planner to really be creative, not just in the design of the event, but in the ways that the stage production is executed. Sometimes, you will be confronted with certain challenges and setbacks that will require creative solutions in order for you to overcome them. This is absolutely why it’s important for you to develop skills in creativity as an event planner even though it isn’t necessarily part of the ‘creative’ industry.
No matter how organized you are as an event planner, it’s going to be next to impossible for you to avoid putting yourself in situations where you would have to multitask. Ideally, you would want to have a job process that is more linear in nature wherein you only have to focus on one task at a time. Unfortunately, that’s not a luxury that people in the event planning industry are going to have. The event planning process is rarely ever a linear one. A lot of the time, you’re going to have to juggle multiple tasks at the same time. Of course, this can get very difficult for people who don’t know how to multitask and handle multiple jobs at once. If you are easily overwhelmed by having to accomplish multiple things at once, then that could serve as a problem for you in this industry. This is especially going to be very difficult when you start handling multiple clients with overlapping events.
When you start an event planning business, you have to understand that you can’t do everything on your own. Sure, you might be really skilled in terms of organization and creativity. But if you don’t establish proper relations with suppliers, contractors, and other stakeholders in the industry, you are never going to be able to maximize your full potential. In event planning, networking is particularly important for three reasons. For one, through proper and effective networking, you would be able to branch your business out and acquire
potential talent to grow your team. Also, if you network properly, you would be able to establish real relationships with potential suppliers and contractors who can help bring your vision of events to life. Lastly, networking is a great way to put your brand out there and put yourself in full view of potential clients or sources of income. It’s particularly important for start-up event planning businesses to amass an impressive clientele through word of mouth.
Versatility and Adaptability
When you talk about adaptability, you’re talking about one’s ability to be able to fit into different situations or circumstances. When you speak of versatility, you are talking about an individual’s capacity to develop or master different skillsets and disciplines. In a way, these two skills are related with one another, and they are both essential to the success of a professional event planner. This is especially true if you have the long-term goal of eventually growing your event planning business into one that handles different kinds of events. Also, when you are versatile and adaptable, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to accommodate odd requests from clients. You would essentially be in a better position to provide adequate services as compared to someone who is rigid and is unable to cater to the varying needs of different clients. You also have a better shot breaking out of your niche or field of specialization as an event planner if you are more versatile and adaptable.
Attention to Detail
As an event planner, there are many things that you need to be keeping track of to make sure that the event is a successful one. This is why it’s absolutely essential that you have an eye for detail. For sure, it’s good that you have a good eye for the bigger picture and that you always understand the grander scheme involved in planning an event. However, it is also just as important to ensure that all of the tiniest details are ironed out and well-put together. Ultimately, it’s the sum of all these tiny details coming together which determine the overall success of an event. As an event planner, you should be the one who is able to see things that your client or guests would typically miss during an event. It should be your responsibility to ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to the design, planning, coordination, management, execution, and assessment of an event.
Again, this is another one of those important skills that shouldn’t be exclusive to just the event planning industry. This is a life skill that is valuable to anyone regardless of their field of work. When you are an event planner, you are going to have to work with a lot of different kinds of people. You will be dealing with the members of your team, your suppliers or contractors, your clients, and maybe even the various guests at the events you organize. Given that, it’s important that you have developed social skills that will allow you to interact with these people in a healthy and mature manner. Also, when you have good social skills, it will become easier for you to get the people around you to help you succeed in your personal goals.
Foresight and Contingency Planning
It doesn’t matter how good you are at planning and managing events. There will be times when disasters or emergencies arise out of nowhere and you will have to scramble for a quick solution or a fix-up. For example, a caterer might cancel on you a few days before an event. Maybe a natural disaster like a hurricane or heavy rain will compromise the event space, and you are forced to look for a new one on short notice. Maybe a bridesmaid or a groomsman will not show up on the day of a wedding and you have to replace them quickly. Whatever the case, these kinds of situations do arise. And the best event planners are the ones who are able to act fast and have various contingency plans in place in case of such emergencies. Also, event planners are very good at crisis management. They shouldn’t be frantic or panicking whenever something unexpected takes place. As an event planner, you should always have full control over whatever situation you are in.
When it comes to events, time is always of the essence. When you set a meeting with a potential client, you should always make sure that you show up on time to give a good impression. It’s also the professional thing to do. When you settle on a deadline with your client or with contractors, you have to make sure that these deadlines are met. When you set timelines for yourself or your team with the event planning and coordination, then you have to make sure that these timelines are followed. If you have a tendency to waste time or procrastinate in this industry, it’s going to be very hard for you to stay on top of everything that you need to be doing. In event planning, you are constantly racing against time and you have to make sure that you consistently come out on top.
Financial Management Skills
Being an entrepreneur, you have to be good with money. You are never going to succeed in the business world if you are irresponsible with the handling and management of your finances. This is why you need to develop your financial management skills. Through gaining a better understanding and appreciation for your money, you would have a more profound insight into the cash flow of your business. This means that you would be in a better position to price yourself as a service provider. Also, you would be wiser in handling the amount of money that is entering and exiting your company. It doesn’t matter how good you are as an event planner, if you don’t know how to handle your money. You wouldn’t be able to sustain your event planning business on mere coordination and management skills alone. You also need to acquaint yourself with the financial aspect of running a real business.
If you’re not embracing technology today, then you are already lagging behind in the game. The world is practically run by technology these days. And if you refuse to accept that, then you will essentially be digging your business’s grave. In any industry, it’s important for any business owner to be keeping up with the trends with regards to technological innovation. If there are various tools out there like event planning software or communication devices that can help streamline your business processes, then you should be taking advantage of these things. You want to do whatever it takes to make your business more efficient and effective in the delivery of its services. Most of the time, this means making use of all of the technological tools that are available at your disposal.
Lastly, you are definitely going to want to develop your leadership skills. Any business owner must be competent in leading and managing a group of individuals who are all working towards a singular goal. If you’re just starting out as the sole proprietor of your business and it’s a single-person operation, then perhaps your leadership skills don’t need to come into play just yet. However, as you grow your operation and recruit more members onto your team, you are definitely going to have to learn to manage these different personalities and make sure that you maximize their potential in helping you achieve your personal career goals. At the end of the day, the best business owners and entrepreneurs are always going to be the most effective leaders because they are able to extract the most out of their teams.