The world has changed significantly over the last few years. Perhaps the most notable changes are those which pertain to events. In today’s climate, the skills that are required for event management include not only those that apply to live events, but those that apply to virtual, and even hybrid events.
Some of these skills are innate, and readily present in the “natural-born event planner”. However, with dedication and willingness to learn, anyone can achieve some level of mastery over the following 15 event planner skills that are vital to the success of events in 2022 and beyond.
What are the Skills Needed for an Event Planner?
1. People Skills
When it comes down to it: event planning is all about the people involved. Whether the event is in-person, virtual, or somewhere in between; interpersonal skills are essential for an event organizer.
2. Proficiency in Technology
Regardless of the virtual or in-person status of the event, technology is going to be involved in some capacity. The event planner doesn’t have to be an expert computer coder, or a genius when it comes to technology in general. But technological proficiency is one of the most vital skills required for event management.
3. Willingness to Lead
The event planner needs to be willing to take the reins at any point in time. He or she may, of course, delegate certain responsibilities to another member of the team. But if things start to go south or the event isn’t running smoothly, the event planner needs to be ready to take over and right the ship.
Good event planners understand that no event will be successful based on the effort and ideas of a single person. Event organizers need to be willing to listen to their team members and other event staff. This skill is closely related to “people skills”, outlined above.
5. Excellent Research Ability
Event planners need to have solid research skills to ensure that they are up to date on all of the latest information on event-related considerations. Luckily, in the technology age, this information is easily accessible through a simple google search. However, research skill also lies in sifting through the massive amount of available information and finding the most pertinent data.
Those event planners who are good researchers will have an easier time staying on top of any last-minute event restrictions such as capacity limits, which authorities/governments may implement suddenly and with little warning.
6. Calm Under Pressure
Planning is incredibly important. However, there is no way for an event planner to account for every possible thing that could go wrong during an event. The technology could fail, a presenter could get stuck in traffic, or any number of other tragedies could affect the event.
Remaining calm is crucial during these times. Panicking can only make a bad situation worse.
There’s no doubt about it, event planning is a career filled with many highs and lows. There will be days when event planners are so exhausted they can find it hard to get motivated. But the passionate event planner will always be able to push past these feelings of stress and exhaustion to coordinate the best event possible.
8. Accepts Constructive Feedback
There is no one, in any industry, who is perfect at his or her job. Everyone could improve in some way. However, it can be hard to do a thorough self-evaluation. This is where constructive feedback from event staff and anyone else involved with the project is invaluable. Good event planners can absorb this feedback (negative or positive), and use it to become better at their jobs.
9. Able to Have Difficult Conversations
Firing someone, providing constructive feedback to an employee, and other similar conversations are never easy to have. Unfortunately, these situations arise from time to time, and event planners need to be able to effectively navigate a difficult conversation. In the end, the event planner is responsible for putting on a successful event for everyone involved. To do so, event organizing will occasionally involve reassigning a task or removing someone from a position.
Adaptability goes hand in hand with the skill of staying calm under pressure. Sometimes, an event can’t happen in the exact way the event planned had imagined. This may necessitate calling an audible at the last minute or even scrapping a whole plan and going back to the drawing board.
11. Detail Oriented
All events should be planned with extreme attention to detail. Whatever can be controlled before the event begins, should be. This will leave less up to chance when the event starts, creating fewer items that need to be managed during the event itself.
Being organized is a critical skill for not only event planners, but the whole event planning team. Everyone should know exactly where to go or who to speak to when they have a question or concern. Furthermore, any information or items should have dedicated storage/access locations so that no time is wasted searching for necessary components of the event.
13. Ability to Delegate
Some people like to do everything themselves and have difficulty giving up control. But when it comes to large-scale events, event planners need to be able to trust their team members with tasks. Delegation is a skill that takes time to develop but is essential for event planners to have.
14. Uses Time Effectively
Time management is one of the most crucial event planning skills. Event planners can not waste time on trivial matters and need to be able to prioritize. Creating reminders and keeping a tight schedule are hallmarks of successful event organizers.
15. Strives for Perfection
Perfection will never truly be achieved in any pursuit, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try for it. Event planners should attempt to make every event as perfect as possible. This way, even though there might be a few minor imperfections here and there, the event will be a success overall.
While there are many more, the above list contains 15 of the most important meeting planner skills. Honing these skills will improve the success of every event planner and thus, the success of the events he or she puts together.