We have heard many people say, “What is so hard about organising events … Tie some strings together and you have the event.” In reality, the work of an event organiser is very stressful, needs quick reaction, the ability to plan well and to think at least 3 steps ahead and have plans B and C in addition to plan A.
In 2016, a list was compiled of the most stressful occupations. It turned out that the work of an event organiser is in top 5 with regard to stress indicators. We would here like to emphasise the best and necessary characteristics of an event organiser who often remains in the background.
1. Good people skills. There are moments in this work when you have to talk to all kinds of people – executive managers, state officials, intermediaries, colleagues, sponsors, clients, teams and event participants. You have to read people to be in the same wavelength as the conversation partner. Often, you have to have a quick reaction to avoid conflicts, be a good negotiator and at the same time keep a sense of humour with a good tone.
It is important to bear in mind regarding all of this that the process has to be enjoyable and jokes must be made as well. This is how the colleagues and the clients enjoy cooperation. The key to success is to have a good relationship with all parties.
2. Flexible in work duties. The event organiser may sometimes need to be a cleaner, a technician and at the next moment act quickly to solve some problem. All of these situations have to be solved quickly, quietly and with good results. This has to be done so that no one notices. It is important to keep calm and your head cool, fix things to carry on with the plan.
3. Good listening skills. The ability to read between the lines. Understand what the vision is that the orderer has in mind when describing the event, what the purpose of the event is, what is desired at the event and what is not. It is vital to understand the needs of the client and make certain that all of the parties have the same expectations.
4. Organised. Event organising has often may loose threads to fit together so the event organiser has to think about tens of details at the same time (depending on the size of the event). In order for everything to run smoothly and the result to be flawless, the event planning process has to be extremely detailed – confirm what was agreed on with the client and the cooperation partners, allow wishes of the service providers, forwarding necessary information to the guests before and during the event. The event organiser has to get a detailed brief from the client before making the initial offer.
The event organiser has to see the bigger picture, but it is especially important to pay attention to small details. Depending on the size of the event, it is necessary to involve an assistant who performs work that takes up a lot time of the organiser.
5. Passionate about work. Under a heavy stress burden, the person has to have an internal desire to organise something big, magnificent, memorable and thereby contribute to the business purposes of their client. Honesty and passion in this work help to get over difficulties and emotional lows. Passion to do something cool puts the creativity of the people to work in other ways, this is used to organise unforgettable events filled with emotions for the clients. This work cannot just be about making money, because this work can often be unappreciated and at these moments, it is the PASSION inside the person that carries him/her on again.
It is possible to learn how to use time and be organised, but nobody can be taught how to be passionate. A successful event organiser is passionate.
6. Good communication skills. The communication of the project manager has to be clear and skilful. It is better to set the purposes of the project like this, pass these on to the cooperation partners and guide all parties. Each small link is of extreme importance in the functioning of a successful event. Therefore, communicating with all parties in a clear, precise and controlling manner is important.
7. Good stress tolerance. In the case of any questions, the project manager is the one to turn to. At stressful moments, the project manager has to stay calm and remain firm to himself/herself and to the made plan. This, however, presumes a previously made good plan (A, B, C) which is used to make decisions.
8. Good and creative problem solver by nature. Regardless of the specific plan of the planned event, something may still go wrong which may be caused by completely uncontrollable third parties (for example, the transport of the main performer is delayed, unexpected blackout, etc.). Therefore, unexpected problems must always be solved creatively. This must be done in a way that the participants of the event do not notice.
9. Determined. Often, the event organiser has to make several decisions at the same time and do it quickly. Depending on the decisions, it may be necessary to reorganise the project. In order to handle this reorganisation well, you have to be determined.
10. Big baggage of skills. The clients will trust more a person and an agency that has a big portfolio of various experiences in that field. In addition, experienced people have a good network of contacts whom to call in an emergency, if necessary.
Each project provides learning opportunities and experiences for beginners as well as old hands at event organising.
Write to Frank. Let’s meet up, discuss and find the best solutions for your event and for you.