Who will be in charge of managing your next company event? Maybe it is up to you to select a person or team. Or perhaps you are the person your company has selected. Either way, it can be helpful to think about the important qualities that an event manager needs in order to plan a successful event. If you are selecting a team, it pays off to choose people in your company who exhibit these traits. And if you have been called upon to help plan or manage the event, you will need to display these same qualities in order to do a good job at it.
1. Time management skills
One of the most challenging things about planning or managing an event is trying to work out all the timing details. If you are putting together the event, you will need to coordinate with many different individuals inside and outside your company. You will have to work with the venue, caterers, entertainers, speakers, and company officers. It takes great time management skills just to get all of this done in a timely fashion! You will need to work out the timing for the event itself, so that there is a nice pace which keeps your participants engaged, but not feeling rushed. During the actually event, your time management skills will continue to come into play as you coordinate different aspects of the event in real time.
Enthusiasm by itself is not a qualifier; it does not stand on its own. It can greatly enhance the success of any event, though, when combined with the other qualities listed here. Simply wanting to plan an event is not a good reason to choose someone for your event management team, but enthusiasm combined with time management and other concrete capabilities is a very good reason to choose one team member over another who may have the skills but not the right attitude. Enthusiasm comes into play when your team comes up against hurdles. It is also contagious, and you want your event managers to spread that attitude to attendees later.
Event managers need to have excellent turnaround time when it comes to following up with others. The faster they are on their feet and the more clearly and respectfully they communicate, the more will be achieved. Miscommunication between event managers in your company and event planners outside the company, venue owners, or others can lead to disaster. Clear communication is key. Each timely email, voice message, or conversation acts as a stepping stone, forming a path to success.
4. Understanding of the company culture.
This is a trait that no outside organization can supply. You can hire event managers from outside to help you set up your event and coordinate with caterers and other services, but you cannot hire outside help to understand your company. The person or team that the company puts in charge of the event will need to have an intimate knowledge of company culture. This knowledge should inform the tone of the event. A company that has a laid-back, carefree culture will probably want to aim for an event with a similar atmosphere. One which has a very serious, traditional corporate atmosphere will want to incorporate that into an event.
The company officer in charge of managing the event will need to communicate clearly to outside event planners about the company’s culture and the tone that the company wants to set. That way the event planning company can provide helpful suggestions as far as décor, entertainment, setting, and other aspects are concerned.
5. Knowledge of the goal of the event.
Just as it is essential that the company’s event planner understands the tone an event should have, he or she should also have a strong understanding of the goal of the event. Is the purpose of the event to entertain? To honor employees for their hard work? To launch a product? To celebrate an anniversary? The goal of the event also plays into the tone, and determines a great deal about the setup and timing for the event. This is something else that no outside organization can supply. When working with an event planning agency, make sure you carefully communicate the purpose of the event you need planned.
6. Budgeting skills.
Even if you choose to hire an event planning company to square away the details, the company team in charge will still have the task of budgeting. In fact, you will need to set a budget for the event before you ever hire an event planning agency, since that may determine which event planning company you go with. Know exactly how much you have to spend on the event as a whole, and try to estimate how much the company is able to spend on each individual aspect of the event.
Perhaps the most important trait for any company officer planning an event is adaptability to change. Planning an event is a fluid process, one where changes constantly crop up and cause the event planning team to need to make swift adjustments. Event planners need to be ready to make changes quickly and seize hold of opportunities, all while sticking with the budget, goals, and tone they have decided upon. This same flexibility is essential on the day of the event itself as well.