Being an event planner involves so much more than showing up in the office at 9am every morning. To be an awesome event planner, you need to embody the working style and lifestyle that will propel you to the top of the field.
If you’re just starting out, these 5 steps can guide you toward a successful and fulfilling career in this exciting industry.
Always start with a plan: Don’t have one? Create one.
If there’s one thing event planners are good at, it’s keeping their cool when things go wrong, making on-the-spot decisions, and “going with the flow”.
But this positive trait also gets event planners into trouble, when planners fail to adequately plan for their event – relying instead on their intuition and ability to get themselves out of desperate situations with guile and calmness (which are great attributes, but shouldn’t be needlessly called upon, unless absolutely required).
Experienced event planners know there’s never enough hours in a day, or hands on deck, to get everything they want done – after all, there’s always “one more thing” that can be done to make an event even better. Technology changes everything.
A single event app, for example, can enable you to speed up registrations, promote engagement, gather feedback, vastly accelerate post-event analysis, and great improve event ROI. Without the help of this technology, these same results simply wouldn’t be possible – even with a bigger event crew, lengthier deadlines, and a larger budget.
Go to (other people’s) events
A common problem that event planners face, is brain drain. After putting on numerous events, there is a real tendency to lean towards going with “what’s worked before”, and expecting similarly positive results every single time.
(Note: This may work a few times, but audiences will expect something new, soon.) Attending new events is one of the best ways to fire up those creative juices again. Plus, this is an excellent way to see plans in action – so you can tell what works, and what doesn’t – without having to experiment using your own events.
What’s more, your learning isn’t only limited to what happens on the event ground. Show your interest in an event early and you’ll be able to see a competitor’s entire events sales process, unfolding in front of you. Once again, there’s a lot to learn here – so get your notebook ready.
Listen to feedback
Often, the most valuable advice event planners can receive, is audience feedback. After all, these are the people we’ve been working hard to impress in the months leading up event day – so why not listen to what they have to say?
Technology is once again our friend here, as an event app or voting system will make collecting feedback – and making sense of the information collection – a piece of cake. Listening to your audience’s feedback may not always be pleasant, but it’s the best (and most cost-effective) way to improve the effectiveness and ROI of your next event!
Treat yourself well
As an event planner, you are the maestro, the MVP… the supreme leader. And if there’s one person who must be at their best on event day, it’s you.
So while it’s important to work hard, also remember to take care of yourself. It may be tempting to sacrifice sleep, but giving your body sufficient time to rest will keep your mind fresh, and body strong. And speaking of keeping your mind fresh, be sure to treat yourself during off hours – spend time on a hobby or catch a movie.
During working hours and busy periods, schedule short meditation breaks to recharge and refocus your mental energy – you’ll need it, and your audience will appreciate it when you deliver an event they’ll enjoy!