If you are unfamiliar with organising, hosting or even attending corporate events, trade shows, exhibitions, awards dinners and the like then your initial thought when you hear the term “event planner” is probably something along the lines of a party planner. To a certain extent, you’d be right, but there is far more to it than just arranging a bash.
Event planning is a serious profession and requires a certain skill set. The wide range of events that an event planner has to deal with through the course of his or her career ensures that they cannot simply be labelled a “party planner”.
The final result of an event planner’s work is often a great party or event, but they have to focus on the goal of the event and ensure that that goal is achieved. This is what sets them apart from someone who just organises a party. There has to be an aim and it has to be achieved through careful planning and attention to detail or the event itself is a waste of time.
Corporate events will have different goals (networking) to awards dinners (staff morale), which in turn will have a different goal to an exhibition (lead generation). A truly outstanding event planner will know the difference and work accordingly.
Some companies will have an internal event planning team or will leave it to their marketing department, while others will hire in a professional event planning company, of which there are many, all with their own particular specialiaties.
Event planners work long hours in order to make sure every little detail is taken care of for a variety of different events, including seminars, conferences, trade shows, executive retreats, incentive programs, golf events, conventions, and more.
Successful event planners will:
- Have excellent verbal and written communication
- Have outstanding organisational and time management abilities
- Be able to manage a project from start to finish
- Be able to multitask
- Be able to work alone and in a team as required
- Be computer literate, with good database management skills
- Focus on the details and work to very tight deadlines
- Remain calm under pressure
- Be able to negotiate – with venues, caterers and all the services required
- Be able to manage budgets
- Have good people skills, able to manage staff
- Have strong marketing and PR skills
- Be able to manage relationships with all levels of staff and management
In addition to the above skills and abilities, a truly great event planner will have extensive experience and knowledge when it comes to:
- Conference Services
In addition, they will also have a database of other service providers like lighting, sound, electricians and a host of others!
Whatever event you’re planning, you should enlist the skills of a good event planner to ensure it goes smoothly. Because they will focus on all the organisational requirements, right down to every little detail, and will always bear in mind the goal of the event, it leaves you free to make sure that those you invite are well looked after and leave your event with exactly the right impression of you and your business.