|Posted on November 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
Top 10 Qualities
Did you know that “event management” was listed as the fifth most stressful job in 2016? And that’s only behind enlisted military personnel, firefighters, airplane pilots, and police officers. Successfully running events takes a wide range of skills — and nerves of steel.
To celebrate the everyday heroes of the event industry, here are our top 10 qualities of successful event managers:
1. They have people skills. The number one quality shared by successful event managers? People skills. You need to be comfortable connecting with high-level executives, government officials, vendors, co-workers, sponsor reps, customers, supervisors, suppliers, staff, and event attendees. To successfully work with this wide range of people, you’ll need to be able to nimbly resolve conflicts, be a confident but pleasant negotiator, and maintain your sense of humor.
Remember to try and have fun with the work you do, and the people you work with, and they’ll want to work with you again. You can’t do it all by yourself, so building relationships is key.
2. They’re flexible. Event managers must double as janitors and firemen. Cleaning up messes and putting out fires — quickly, quietly, and efficiently — is part of the job. Stay calm, get it done, then get back to running the show.
3. They’re good listeners. The ability to understand what key stakeholders want to from your event is critical. These folks may not be in the event industry, so might not speak the lingo or know what’s realistic. You have to be able to discern their needs and make sure all parties share the same expectations. Pay attention to what’s said — and what’s not said — in key conversations. Tapping into these spoken (and unspoken) needs throughout your planning process will help you stay one step ahead.
4. They’re organized. To successfully run any event, you need to be able to juggle about 50 things at once. This multi-tasking prowess is required for both smooth planning and flawless execution of an event. The best event managers have foolproof systems, highly detailed production schedules and handy tech tools. Working in events requires the ability to focus on the big picture while keeping track of all the little details. To avoid burnout, get comfortable delegating some of your more time-consuming tasks. And if things don’t go according to plan, don’t be afraid to switch to plan “B.”
5. They’re passionate. With all the stress of the job, you have to really love what you do. Genuine passion helps you overcome bumps in the road and stay cool when all seems lost. It also leads to bursts of creativity and the inspiration to create something great instead of just trying to get through the day. Things like time management can be learned, but you can’t teach passion, and you’ll need it in order to succeed. Being an event manager can, at times, be a thankless job; it needs to be about more than just a paycheck for you.
6. They’re good communicators. Clear, firm, and kind communication establishes you as a leader of the team, keeps everyone on track, and ensures that the goals of the event are clear to everyone involved. It also allows you to effectively share your vision and get others excited about it, too. Communicate in a way that is respectful to everyone and doesn’t put anyone down. Accept criticism and be open to new ideas. Everyone plays a part in the success of an event, so make sure you’re communicating with them in a clear, confident, and empowering way.
7. They’re calm under pressure. Your team will look to you for answers to almost everything. In moments of stress, the last thing they need is a shaky leader who makes poor decisions because they’re cracking under the pressure. Successful event managers stay level-headed and continue to treat everyone with respect, no matter what. Try to remain cool, calm, and collected when dealing with other people, even if you’re a bundle of nerves inside.
8. They’re creative problem-solvers. Whether it’s tracking down some emergency gaffa tape or reworking a keynote presentation at the last minute, you have to be resourceful with what you have. No matter how well you plan, something will go wrong. And it will be a lot easier to address if you enjoy finding creative solutions to the challenges that arise.
9. They’re decisive. Event managers need to be able to make several decisions at once, and make them quickly. And, perhaps more importantly, they need to be able to recognize when it’s too late to change those decisions — and have the resolve to stand by them.
10. They’re experienced. It will be a lot easier for people to trust you if you have a significant amount of experience. And your job will be easier for you once you’ve seen the range of challenges an event can throw at you. Plus, the experienced manager has a network of trusted professionals to call on when things get tough. If you don’t have a ton of experience yet, don’t worry — just give it time!
|Posted on October 5, 2016 at 9:05 PM||comments (0)|
This is what I would consider to be the typical planning process behind many of the events hosted by corporate enterprise….
We need to hold event “X”. The reason for the event? Most likely because it’s held every year. Numbers attending will be roughly the same as last year. Requirements will be roughly the same as last year. The program will be the same as last year – using last year’s program as a template.
We’ll build the agenda copying last year’s event, so it will likely then include the customary motivational speaker, team building component and, of course, a ‘knees up’ gala dinner with live performer and DJ.
We can work on the theme and decide on that later.
First things first….where shall we hold the event and what venues would be appropriate? And so, the initial action becomes venue sourcing.
The venue costs are likely plugged into a spreadsheet to build an overall budget – an estimated total spend.
And that, in my experience, is how most events get started. But this event planning practice (habit) is fundamentally flawed for many reasons.
Firstly, no event should be held just because it’s held every year and no event should be copied.
There should be a reason – at least one but better still, several reasons – to hold any event.
The reasons should be objective-based and clear goals should be established and how the objectives will be measured should be determined in advance in order to demonstrate ROI.
The event program should be designed in a way to support the objectives.
Certain tactics can be employed to help support objectives and measure success.
The event theme should be decided before a destination or venue is selected. Why? Because you might end up in a venue completely at odds with your theme.
How would “Be Extraordinary” go down in an old 4-star CBD hotel? What about “Facing the Future” in a heritage-listed venue built in the early 1900’s?
However, before any event planning kicks into gear, one key question should be asked as standard, but it rarely is (if ever) and that is: What do we want people to do when they leave the event? What (new) actions do we want them to take? I would agree that there is benefit and some ROI if an event increases positive feelings or stronger emotional bonds to a company or brand.
However, an event should seek to influence behaviour for major outcomes to occur.
Without behavioural change (new action), there are no tangible outcomes. Without outcomes, there’s no value or ROI. The answer(s) to this question influences all other decisions. Start at the end.
If you’d like to learn more about how to make your events fresh, innovative and effective have a chat with us at Eastwick Events www.eastwickevents.com
|Posted on October 5, 2016 at 9:05 PM||comments (0)|
When planning in event production, we lay out a set of tasks that bring about our goals as successfully as possible. It’s that very reason that makes contingency planning for events so difficult: it flies in the face of everything we’re attempting to achieve. When we’re constantly thinking about how to do it best, it’s hard to shift gears and plan for the worst. Furthermore, there are an infinite number of things that could go wrong. How can we possibly anticipate all of them? For which do you plan? Where do you draw the line?
The answer lies in risk assessment. That’s a fancy sounding phrase for, "Ask yourself which bad things are most likely to happen." Once you've done this, you’ll likely be able to narrow the list significantly. For example, when working with clients on an event, do you plan for the possibility of needing additional lighting or do you reinforce the structural integrity of the entire venue in case a Jumbo Jet crashes into it? I'd be willing to bet there are events that answer that question differently.
Once we recognize the most likely issues at our particular event, we can then begin preparing for them. There is one thing that is above all else, important to remember.
Prepare everyone, not just yourself.
Events are large and handling emergencies will required the combined efforts of a lot of people. There’s no time to pull a plan together once the emergency has happened. Here are some standard levels of severity and how to plan for accidents at any event.
1. Additions & Changes
These are relatively common occurrences. Take the lighting example from above. We can begin to address this by having additional equipment on site and being ready to add staff at short notice. Production managers should never set foot on site without taking a hard look at the event and trying to anticipate where changes are most likely to occur. Do this with your department heads and staff as well. Often, they’ll see things that you won’t. As an added benefit, you’ll look poised and professional in front of your client, seeming to anticipate his/her needs.
Evacuations can happen at any time and encompass a variety of situations including fires and weather incidents. When visiting a site, create maps with evacuation routes. Assign staff to specific duties for getting people safely to the exits. Write scripts for a few possible announcements so you don’t have to come up with the words in the middle of a panic. Rehearse the announcement out-loud. Hearing yourself say the words will make it that much easier to say in the moment.
Unfortunately, injuries happen, and we need to be prepared for them to ensure our team, client, and event attendees are taken care of as quickly as possible. Know where the nearest hospital is. Know where the 1st aid kit is. Are you CPR trained? If not, get certified now. It’s easy and may save lives. Designate a staff member to call 911 in case of an injury. Designate staff to guide emergency personnel into the venue. Do all of this ahead of time.
Contingency planning is a vital and often overlooked part of the production process. Once you assess the risks that could be associated with your event, create your plans and practice them. In the moment of an emergency, it becomes much more difficult to think. Emotions and adrenaline start getting in the way. Having rehearsed ahead of time can help calm your nerves and make it easier to do what you need to do because you’ll have that motion or speech already in your body. Write scripts. Say them out loud. Create muscle memory that you can fall back on when emergencies arise. Your colleagues and your clients will thank you.
|Posted on October 3, 2016 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
Health and safety can sometimes seem like a load of time-consuming red tape – when you’re busy planning an event, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of proper health and safety planning.
From a risk-management perspective, it’s important not to lose sight of health and safety – what’s the point in carefully planning fun and engaging events if someone is going to become injured or, in a worst-case scenario, killed? Financial ruin and potentially criminal responsibility is neither fun nor engaging!
This introduction to health and safety intends to discuss who you are responsible for under the law and provide some tips on how to make sure you run and safe and fun event!
WHO ARE YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR?
You are responsible for the health and safety of:
1. People who work for you
2. Your attendees (whether the public, or invited guests)
It is important to note that “people who work for you” also includes volunteers – payment isn’t a requirement to health and safety.
WITH THOSE PEOPLE IN MIND…
There’s a three step process you should take to tackle health and safety at your event: Plan-Monitor-Review.
During the planning phase, you should first decide who is going to help you with your health and safety duties: Are you going to manage it all yourself, or are you staff going to take on certain responsibilities? Would it be better if someone from outside your organisation handled all health and safety matters, leaving you more time to handle other aspects of your business?
In any instance, it’s important to ensure that the people who are handling particular aspects of your events health and safety are aware of their responsibilities and can be trusted to handle them competently.
Next, you should consider creating a safety plan.
Health and safety has a risk-based approach and what that means is that if you’re running a coconut shy, it will require less detailed health and safety planning than if you’re running a bungee jump. There’s a big difference between a misdirected ball hitting someone on the head and a snapped bungee cord!
When considering your safety plan, should you consider the size of your event, its audience, its location, what kind of activities you’ll be putting on, how long it will last, and the time of year.
You should engage with all stakeholders during this phase, including your event staff, venue owners and managers, your contractors, local authorities and (if appropriate) emergency services. These people will provide valuable input and insight in to the health and safety risk of your event. Contractors should be selected on their ability to deliver a competent and safe service. Your staff should be fully trained to manage the risks associated with their job and how to handle them (are they lifting heavy things, for example? How do they minimise back injury?)
You should develop an emergency plan: Yet again, this will be risk-based and the level of emergency planning put in place should be proportionate to the event. You’re not going to need ambulances standing by for champagne and nibbles, but you would if you’re planning a rally race.
Some emergency risks to consider are fire, injury, bomb threats and natural hazards though there may be others due to locality or risks involved. You should consider what response there will be to each emergency risk – do you need a first aider on site? Will the event need to be evacuated? Where will you evacuate people to? Will the emergency services need to be standing by?
Emergencies are rare, but often have big consequences. Some emergencies tend towards certain activities more than others, but you should consider your risks in light of your activity and plan accordingly.
The important thing to remember here is that you’ve made a plan: Stick to the plan!
During the monitoring phase, you’ve identified all your risk and put in appropriate steps to minimise their impact and ensure that everyone’s going to have a great time.
You’re setting up your event – are your staff setting up in line with agreed health and safety protocols? Are contractors showing that level of care and competence expected?
Your event is now underway, and everything’s going great – or is it?
During the monitoring phase, you, or your appointed individuals, should be feeding back information periodically to ensure consistent health and safety delivery. You should be reporting on how the careful planning you’ve prepared is being delivered and if something does go wrong, handle it according to the plan!
Consider “near-misses” – this is where an accident could have happened, but luckily didn’t. Where, for example, something fell and nearly hit someone. Next time, it could be a miss and it’s important to log near misses as much as actual injury as it will be important in your review stage.
Your event is over: Nobody has died and with the exception of a paper-cut from a particularly sharp raffle ticket, nobody was hurt.
Although you may feel after such a successful event just sitting back and relaxing, it’s important to review and reflect on your event and determines precisely what happened in practice and whether or not there are improvements you can make next time.
This is why near-misses are important – although it may have seemed like a remote possibility in the planning stage, did the reality of your event pose an un-thought-of-risk? If it really was unforeseeable, then nobody can blame you for this, but they can and will if you fail to act on it next time.
POINTS TO TAKE AWAY
1. You’re responsible as event organiser for your staff, your guests, and your contractors.
2. With those people in mind, you should follow a plan-monitor-review approach to your health and safety planning
3. All health and safety is risk-based – the greater the risk, the greater the level of planning and monitoring.
4. You should contingency plan for all plausible issues by engaging with all parties. Local authorities will be helpful in determining local issues.
5. Who is responsible for ensuring delivery and reporting back to you or an appointed individual?
6. You should plan for emergencies and put in place procedures to deal with things when they really go wrong.
7. During your event, you should periodically monitor how your planning is put into practice.
8. Near-misses are just as important to note and deal with as actual injury!
9. After your event, you should review your practices and consider what happened on the day and any near-misses that may have occurred. Use this to plan your next event if appropriate.
10. There are hefty fines for breaches of health and safety. From a financial perspective, can you really afford not to follow it?
11. Where an individual is personally responsible for a serious breach, you could even face criminal sanctions. Plan, plan, plan, plan some more, and make sure it’s happening!
|Posted on July 15, 2016 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
It’s true the world of event management has changed tremendously in the last few years, especially as newer technologies are making their way to make things better. Different kinds of events software help to make the event run smoothly, and if an event manager uses technology prudently he can gain an edge over his competitors.
However, this does not diminish the importance of certain qualities that some event managers are born with. It is these qualities that distinguish an outstanding event manager from an okay one. If you have these qualities, you can say that you are born an event manager and are bound to be great in your job.
1. Great Interpersonal Skills
An event manager has to work with a team and other people in order to ensure the event is a success. This means that the manager should have the ability to tell and listen without any issues. It is important that the event manager understands what the client needs and then find ways to fulfill those needs or come up with different options.
Developing interpersonal skills is a necessity, but some people are born with these skills. Such people are able to manage their team or communicate effectively and it is these people who often make great event managers.
Nothing is fixed when organizing events. Everything is in a state of flux and things can change at a drop of a hat. Hence, an event manager should be flexible to take these changes in stride and work accordingly. You need to be ready to face any sort of situation and be able to think on your feet. If you have always been flexible where work is concerned, you are carved to become an event manager.
Events are extremely demanding and if you want to host a successful one, you should be full of energy and passion. Do you love to deal with every challenges with zest and passion? If so, you are born an event manager without a doubt!
4. Creative and Innovative
To be a successful event manager, you need to do things differently. This requires innovation and creativity. If you are the kind of person who always thinks out-of-the-box, you are destined to be a successful event manager. This means that problems and challenges are not an issue for you, as you have an innate ability to resolve them creatively.
5. Keen Eye for Details
It is the small things that matter. Do you always delve into things and look at minute details and try to get everything right? Well, then you are fit to be an event manager, as your keen sense of observation will prevent small things from blowing up and turning into big issues. Attention to detail allows you to ensure that everything is properly organized and in place for the event.
6. Good Time Management Skills
Your multitasking abilities are an indication that you are tailor-made to be an event manager. You have the ability to prioritize things at work and this allows you to be more productive and achieve more within a limited time period.
7. Passionate and Enthusiastic
This is an inherent quality and people are often born with this quality. It is only then they can excel in their chosen line of work. As a successful event manager, you have to have passion and this is what allows you to be productive and overcome obstacles that you face while organizing events.
8. Leadership Skills
Leaders are born and not made. This is an old saying and it is true for event managers as well. You have an innate quality for leading people and this is what shows that you were born to be an event manager. Your outstanding leadership skills help guide your team towards the end goal and that is why your events are a roaring success.
9. Superior Organizational Skills
Everything in an event has to be seamlessly choreographed, so that each step of the event goes off smoothly. However, organizational skills can be learned, but mastering them is difficult if you are not born with them. So with your superior and exceptional organizational skills, one can easily say that you were born to be an event manager.
10. Tech Savvy
Event management has changed tremendously with the availability of technology, so you should be well-versed in using it. This will help you get things done faster and also make you more efficient and productive as an event manager. Today, event managers have access to a wide range of event management software, such as event ticketing software, venue management software and more that makes their work easier.
If you possess these qualities, it is an indication that you were born to be an event manager. These qualities mean you are tailor-made for this great profession. So, jump into event management with enthusiasm and you’ll soon carve a place for yourself in the industry.
|Posted on January 20, 2016 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
An event manager with experience knows that one of the most important aspects of putting together any event is being ready for anything that can go wrong.
Therefore, putting together a coherent and thorough contingency plan becomes an essential part of every project – only preparing for all likely and not so likely worst-case scenarios can ensure that an event will be successful, even if things do go wrong.
After all, when it comes to event management, one thing is certain – with literally thousands of details that make up an event, there’s bound to be at least a few of them that were missed, or that simply didn’t go as planned because of unpredicted circumstances.
Preparing a complete contingency plan is not just about putting on paper all the things that might go wrong. Another aspect that’s simply a reality in the events industry are budget restrictions, which often means that event organisers are forced to produce results on a below-modest budget, and that leaves little to know extra room for financing contingency situations.
So what’s the solution?
The truth is, there isn’t an easy solution for the problem, as clients will always want more for less, and events organizers will often be ready to try and meet those demands. However, there is an approach that can help at least carve out space in the budget for a contingency plan that can actually provide a safety net for the entire event.
The gist of it comes down to setting the expectations for the client early. While the negotiation process usually centres around the main requirements for the event, pitching the importance of preparing a contingency plan, as well as explaining the main reasons for its importance, can help the client become more willing to spend additionally to make sure that the event is protected from unpredictable circumstances.
The additional costs can begin to seem very reasonable when faced with the prospect of the entire event being ruined, and if this is communicated clearly and concisely, with specific solutions for a contingency plan that apply for the event, it almost becomes a no brainer to implement the necessary recourses.
Of course, in the end, it’s not only the size of the contingency plan’s budget that determines if it is actually effective. Some parts of the plan, such as preparing for bad weather or having backups for suppliers, don’t have to cost anything up front, and are still an essential step for almost any event.
But having the flexibility in the budget to actually implement the contingency steps, if need be, is the real safety net that, in case of emergency, can turn even the worst potential disasters into minor hiccups in the event management process.
|Posted on January 4, 2016 at 7:55 PM||comments (0)|
Don’t let the zombies ruin your event
Fear. I live with it almost daily. Truth be told, I have a bit of an anxiety problem, and paying attention to current events doesn’t help. I can imagine the worst-case scenario in any given situation, which can suck the enjoyment right out of an experience.
One thing that does calm my nerves is always having a plan of action. I keep water and blankets in my car, and I always know where the exits and fire extinguishers are inside a building. I own dozens of torches. In 2011, when the U.S. Centres for Disease Control & Prevention ran a Web campaign with instructions on how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, it was partly in jest. But the premise was strong. After all, if you’re ready for zombies, you are ready for anything. And I am ready for zombies.
Today’s event managers need not worry about the walking dead, but there’s no time like the present to implement your own plan of action for emergency situations. You’ve made sure that Suzie won’t be getting any shellfish and Bob can’t have gluten, but what about that storm headed toward the venue, the smoke coming from the electrical outlets or the guest who collapses after a team-building exercise? We simply cannot be laissez-faire about any phase in planning for the well-being of our guests.
There has been a surge in recent years in the number of articles and blogs focusing on event safety. Many give excellent tips on preparedness. All suggest having a checklist. Unfortunately, reading a blog and having a checklist are no longer sufficient. It’s time to be proactive. According to Jim Digby, founder of the Event Safety Alliance (EAS), “It’s not the plan that will save lives … it’s the act of planning.” You should be so familiar with your safety protocols that they are automatic. Once the zombies are at the door, it’s too late to go looking for granddad’s shotgun.
There are procedures that you should implement immediately. Create a crisis-management plan, and practice it with your staff. A well-trained staff can make the difference in avoiding tragic consequences.
Determine if you’ll need a private security team. If there will be more than 1,000 attendees, you need one. Still, security teams are just a small part of overall safety, which can include metal detectors at entrances, crowd control and more, but not all events need every measure.
Consider the type of event you’re holding and the venue. What kind of crowd is expected? Will there be any high-profile guests who expect a private guard? Don’t be scammed by someone claiming, falsely, to provide security. Get a referral for a reputable company and verify its licensing.
How to be proactive
Familiarize yourself with hotel security. Do so even if you’re using a private team. Most hoteliers realize the importance of an excellent security team. They should be your first point of contact in preparing your plan. Make this part of your site selection criteria.
Communication is essential. Your staff and team must know who to report to and when. Make sure one staff member has a list of all the guests. Have a rallying point in case of an evacuation. Use two-way radios or mobile phones to keep in touch. Don’t be shy or embarrassed about having a practice run with your staff.
Brief your attendees. Make sure they know where all the exits, fire extinguishers and defibrillators are located. Include emergency information with your program materials. Let attendees know how their actions can impact their own safety, give them point of contact information and the rally point location.
Have mass text capability for all staff and attendees. Use social media and event registration platforms.
Become certified in crowd management and CPR.
Vet your suppliers. Are your lighting people complying with Ocupational Health and Safety standards? Has the stage crew been properly trained, licensed and insured?
It can be scary knowing that lives are in your hands, that people will look to you during a crisis, but it need not be overwhelming.
|Posted on January 1, 2016 at 7:55 PM||comments (0)|
To maintain a professional experience at any event, it’s important to abide by several codes of conduct as an event producer to ensure you’re not only being professional, but also creating an organized and unique experience for event attendees.
The best event producers strive to be the best they can be for any event. They find it imperative to go above and beyond no matter what issue or obstacle they may face. There should be no question as to how an event planner should act around his or her team, or event attendees. Here are a few codes of conduct all event producers should keep in mind while working on any event.
Maintain Professionalism at ALL Times
One thing your guests will never forget from any event experience is the level of professionalism the event staff provides. Event producers should walk their teams through a list of do’s and don’ts during the planning process. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to interacting with sponsors, talent, guests, or anyone else they may work with.
Producers should have an overall high-level of knowledge concerning any event. As the go-to person, it’s important to know everything from names and numbers of venue staff and suppliers you may need as a backup to help out at the last minute. No matter what, the most important thing an event producer should do is always keep your cool, and stay level-headed. You ever know what may pop up, so reinforce the code of professionalism over and over again as your event mantra.
Provide Customer Service 24/7
Event producers should also abide by the code of compassion. Just like any other job, customer service always goes a long way in the minds and hearts of recipients. Be fair and show respect to everyone you work with on an event. The relationships you build from event to event will continue to grow as you progress in your event career. These relationships sometimes turn into more than just work contacts, but will end up becoming your team as you lean on one another to help pull off amazing events time and time again.
Remember to not take things too personally, and to not discriminate against any ideas, concerns or suggestions brought to you. Stay true to the values you are working to uphold for your event, and not fall under persuasion. Everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to event planning, but as the leader of your team you must refrain from letting others pull the reins from you. Stay positive, listen, and be respectful to your team, even if you have to turn down ideas from time to time. Compensate your team when it makes the most sense, and show them you care. Be a responsible and compassionate event producer at all times.
Avoid Professional Risks at All Times
There are several areas that can become a risk for event producers. Some of these areas include accepting gifts when not appropriate, showing a poor attitude when overwhelmed, providing bad answers to colleagues, or giving away confidential information when not acceptable. At the end of the day it’s very important to communicate, listen and stay professional at all times. The last thing you want is to become known as the producer who never keeps their cool, or will add a speaker to the agenda because of a bribe.
Make sure you review event ethics with your team, and help them to understand how to handle unethical behavior. Finding the right matches to do business with is crucial as an event producer. You should never put your professional or personal life at risk no matter what the situation may be. Uphold top etiquette and protocol at all times during an event. An example here may be evening events where guests network and mingle after a long day of sessions. Remember you are still on the job, and should not get too personal – always maintain a high level of integrity in these situations. Be the role model you want your staff to look up to – think about how you want to be seen as the producer of an event at all times.
These are just a few codes of conduct you can begin to establish with your team, and for yourself as an event producer. Create a list of ethics and conduct, and start by using them in your day-to-day role planning events. You are the leader of your team, and your staff looks up to you and the manner in which you act around them. Always be professional, have a good attitude and be respectful of everyone. Remember, it’s not always about you – let others shine and step away from the spotlight from time to time in order to let others help where needed.
|Posted on June 6, 2015 at 8:55 PM||comments (0)|
1. Join Clubs or Professional Organizations
When you are new to any industry a fantastic way to meet people is by joining clubs or organizations where your peers or future co-workers are hanging out. Event planning is no exception and joining student organizations will help you to connect.
These clubs, groups or professional organizations give you a chance to ask questions, learn more about the industry and discover your interests. Many high level professional groups offer discounted student memberships. Within these groups you can gain access to valuable resources and connections at the beginning of your career.
2. Gain a Variety of Experience
Many planners start out in one type of event planning niche and they don’t take the time to broaden their horizons early on.
Hindsight is always 20/20, so take the time to discover as many aspects of the industry as possible. Try job shadowing for a wedding planner or working for a conference centre, concert venue, etc. You can also earn a unique perspective by volunteering for events in your community.
You may think you’ll never be interested in some aspect of the industry, but you never know what might be of interest later on in life. This is what makes event management so wonderful! The list of opportunities is endless and the more diverse your experience, the more prepared you will be to take your career in any direction you choose.
3. Intern Within Your Niche
This may sound a bit contradictory to number 2, but it is just as important. Once you spend time exploring and gaining knowledge, you should find a high quality, hands-on learning experience within your niche. This might be an internship or even an entry-level job, but you want to find something that will propel you towards becoming a leader in your sector of the market.
4. Build Quality Relationships
You hear it time and time again, but you never know who you might meet and who they might become. The girl to your left in class could end up becoming your business partner one day. The person, who teaches your 8 a.m. lecture, might serve on the board at an organization where you’d like to work in the future.
You just never know where your path might lead, so make connections early on in your experience and foster those relationships as you move into your professional career. This will pay huge dividends in the future.
5. Keep an Open Mind to Feedback
Constructive criticism early on might seem like something you can ignore or worry about in the future, but you should start paying attention to your strengths and weaknesses now in order to improve for the future. Being self aware and working towards improving yourself professionally can go a long way when it comes to getting a job, working on an event team or hiring employees.
Feedback can sometime be tough to swallow, but it will make you a better employee and leader down the road. No one is perfect and we can all learn from our mistakes. Take each bit of criticism as an opportunity to improve!
6. Attend Conferences and Networking Events
Once you get towards the end of your student career, start attending conferences and networking events within your community. Events like these can provide you with excellent continued learning opportunities and the chance to build relationships with people from not only your area, but all over the world.
Many conferences provide information on cutting edge technology or tactics that are sure to set you apart from other event managers. They are oftentimes a lot of fun to attend and can lead to excellent career opportunities.
7. Find Your Outlet
Event management is known as one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Since you have decided to jump in to this crazy world, find a good outlet to relieve stress and keep your mind right.
For some people it might be spending time with family, writing in a journal, going to the movies or, on occasion, a tall glass of red wine (just one!). Find something that will take your mind off of the work and find time to relax.
This can be a big challenge early in your career, but the work will still be there when you get back from the movies or that long run. Finding time to enjoy your life will help you to enjoy your career so much more.
8. Never Stop Learning
Just when you thought you were done with school! Learning can come in so many forms and fashions these days and it truly never stops for a high-quality event manager.
The business world is constantly evolving, so doing your best to stay educated and knowledgeable will make you attractive to potential clients and employers.
|Posted on May 26, 2015 at 8:50 PM||comments (0)|
The event industry has come a long way from the binder toting days of the 80’s. New and superior technology, along with the cultural and economic changes of the last 2 decades have streamlined and revamped the way events are planned and experienced.
And just like any other creative position, there seems to be a disconnect between what event planning looks like from the outside and what it actually requires. Because of this, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding event planning which have graduated to full on myths.
1. Event Producers are Party Planners. Period.
In addition to scads of first hand experience I can quote you of people exclaiming, “Ooh, so can you help me with my birthday party/wedding/engagement?” after hearing that I’m an Event Producer, several of my colleagues agree that most people assume event planning is synonymous with party planning. It’s like as soon as you say you plan events, people begin imagining Jennifer Lopez from The Wedding Planner.
This is not to say that there is anything wrong with planning social events. Quite the opposite in fact. However, no one wants to be known for something they are not. And I can tell you right now, a M.I.C.E. planner is NOT a party planner.
2. Event Producers are the Party.
Similar to the idea that all planners work the social scene, many people on the outside looking in seem to feel that all Event Producers do is attend the party. Nothing could be further from the truth. Event Producers are marketers, copywriters, social media experts and project managers who happen to oversee creative details like theming, technical production and entertainment.
Personally, I am of the opinion that the next phase of event production will embrace the fact that events, marketing, and public relations are all working toward the same goal, from slightly different angles. Each of these fields is about disseminating brand culture and ideology to a specific audience.
Going away with the cliché that event planning is an isolated career path will only elevate the industry.
3. Only Large Events Require Event Producers.
Of course, if your company is planning a 3 day incentive trip to Bali, you will need a point person to plan the trip and the logistics. It is easy to convince people of the value that exists in a trip of this magnitude, however that is not to say that a smaller scale event could not benefit from a Event Producer.
What event specialists bring to the table is a veritable wealth of experience on how to get an event from the concept stages in the board room to a real life experience at your venue. Event Producers know how to go about acquiring media attention and have their hand on the pulse of various trends in food and beverage, decor, tech, and more.
4. You’re Only as Good as Your Last Event.
Okay, this is still true. As an event producer, your credibility is directly affected by the success of your last event. However, this little phrase has wheedled its way into the event community and has caused a subconscious shift away from what is truly important in our industry: innovation.
It is true that your last event is the barometer by which potential clients will measure your effectiveness, but be sure that your mind is focused on your NEXT event.
Your last event is over. Your next event needs to be consistent with the quality of the last, but needs to exceed expectations with regard to attendee experience. Feel free to push the envelope – follow the latest trends and follow up with attendees to be sure you are providing the best service you can. Your last event is over. Don’t forget it.