Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Do you Have What It Takes to be an Event Planner?

Happy Wednesday everyone! I have a pretty important presentation tomorrow and I know I will do an awesome job but still wish me luck, hehe ;)

Over the past few weeks I have gone to a number of interviews for a variety of event-related positions. I learned a lot about myself throughout this whole process. I realized that you have to have the right personality and skill set to be an event professional. Some people may disagree, but I don't think just anyone can be an event planner.

If you are looking to to get into the event industry or you want to confirm you are in the right profession, here are the list of qualities and skills that I believe will make you a successful event professional:

Ability to plan. This is a bit obvious but you should be able to plan an event from start to finish.You should see the big picture but also be very detailed oriented and determine everything that is required to fully execute an event.

Ability to work under press and multitask. An event planner often has to work under a lot of pressure to successfully execute an event. They also have to juggle a number of tasks and be able to do it with finesse. If you feel you would be overwhelmed multitasking and working under pressure, this profession might not be for you.

Strong organizational skills. Because you are juggling a number of tasks it is also very important to stay organized as I have mentioned before. If you can't keep all your tasks/contacts in order you will again become overwhelmed and it will be hard to execute a successful event.

Creativity. You should have the ability to come up with creative and innovative event ideas in order to execute the best possible event. You should also be able to come up with a number of creative solutions to a variety of problems that may arise during your event.

Strong communication skills. Having good communication skills will help you develop strong relationships with customers, vendors, suppliers and sponsors. It will also help you manage and direct event volunteers and staff and write event marketing material.

Passion. I think it's crucial to be passionate about event planning. If you have passion, you will put your whole heart and soul into planning and executing events and people around you will see this. This passion will help you be a successful event planner.

Remaining calm during high stress situation. Let's be honest, planning and executing events can be stressful. It is important, however,  to portray a sense of calm during high stress situations. Being calm will help you complete your tasks and will show others that you are in control and can handle stress well.

Strong computer skills. It's important to have really good computer skills as you will typically be using Word documents, Excel Spreadsheets, databases, project management software and much more. If you have to learn a lot of software from scratch you may have difficulty completing a number of your event tasks.

Leadership skills. You should have the ability to lead because you will most often have to manage a number of event volunteers and staff. You should feel comfortable with managing others and being a confident leader.

Self starter. Taking initiative and being able to work independently are important qualities of an event planner. In this type of profession you are often managing your own event projects and will have very little guidance from others. It's important to take initiative with all your projects and be comfortable in this type of environment.

There are of course other qualities and skills that you can add onto this list, but I think these are the most important to be a successful event professional.

-Shira :)

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