Professional meeting, convention and event planners are the penultimate Jacks and Jills of all trades. They take care of every last detail from finding a location for the event to hiring the caterers, arranging the entertainment and overseeing the cleanup. Good event planners are the utmost organizers and possess effective communication skills, both creative and critical thinking abilities, and exceptional customer service leanings.
Good communication begins with listening very closely to the needs of the client. Event planners must ask specific questions to make sure they understand the totality of the project they’re undertaking. Following up those instructions with a written contract validates the event planner's understanding of the client’s desires. Event planners then must communicate those needs to the vendors hired to fulfill the contract, the facility managers and the event staff.
Putting together an event is like arranging the music for an orchestra. Each musician needs perfect directions to blend with the rest of the orchestra to create the final masterpiece. Event planners face tight deadlines and need to ensure that every aspect of the event comes off at precisely the right time. Juggling multiple tasks, teams of workers and deliveries must be precisely orchestrated so nothing gets dropped.
A good event planner has connections in every area of the industry. As competition grows for prime projects, event planners need to have speakers, caterers, event suppliers and facility managers on speed-dial. Effective event planners know what’s going on in an industry that’s expected to grow by 44 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They need to stay in tune with event planning trends and popular themes, the top-rated speakers and entertainers, as well as what other events are going on in a certain location at any given time.
Flexible and Easy Going
Event planners expect Murphy’s Law to kick in at any stage throughout the planning process and during an event. The good ones prepare for things to go wrong and always have back-up plans. According to the International Institute of Event Management, experienced event planners keep their cool and seem to effortlessly solve problems as they arise. Being flexible and prepared are qualities that no event planner can live without. They remain calm in front of clients who rely on a good event planner to manage problems as they arise.