10 must have skills for Event Organisers
I’ve been organising events since 1996 and those events – as a whole – haven’t changed that much. Conferences, exhibitions, festivals, road-shows are much the same as they were twenty years ago. However a lot has changed around the edges and it’s time to review the skills for event organisers and look at the role of the rounded Event Organiser.
During the 1990’s most events businesses sliced and diced the role of the organiser. Specialisation was the key: if you shone in sales you were moved to sales: if marketing was your thing, marketing called and you answered. However as the industry moves from the idea of a ‘product’ and all the manufacturing terms like ‘conference producer’ to the idea of an event as a ‘service’ the rounded organiser is back in fashion. So what skills does an event organiser need now?
The rounded skills for an Event Organiser are making a comeback
Here’s Gallus Events’ view of the modern day event organiser top ten skills:
1. An understanding of logistics. This is and has always been a key requirement for an organiser. Our rounded organiser has to understand room layouts, the proclivity of people when queuing and where the best stands are likely to be located on a floor-plan. They also need to consider sight lines, maximum room capacities and a thousand other things that no longer conveniently fall under the jurisdiction of ‘operations.’
2. Marketing. No one has the event so close to their heart as the event organiser. This is why an understanding of the discipline of marketing an event is a must have skill.
3. ‘Experience’ not event design. In order to ensure that our events are more than ‘people and logistics’ a deep understanding of meeting design is key for the reborn ‘Event Organiser’. It’s not just the learning environment that has to be considered but an understanding of the phycology of attendees which even filters down to their on-site food and beverage consumption.
4. Social Media. Understanding the role of Social Media in promoting and engaging attendees in our events is a recent but undeniably crucial weapon in our ‘rounded organisers’ arsenal.
5. Event Technology. With mobile apps, voting and engagement pads, gamification and all manner of gadgets and gizmos our organiser has to be ‘tech’ savvy like never before. This is why we run events like Tech Fest.
6. Hybrid Events. The extent of Hybrid events has yet to be properly measured but there is no doubt that they will become an increasingly bigger player in the world of events. Along with its sisters ‘live streaming’ and ‘web casting’ our organiser has to be fully versed with these new ways of delivering our content and experiences.
7. Budgetary control. Rather than keeping to a rigidly set budget the organiser has to design this budget to ensure that value is added to all of the parties involved in the event while of course brining in the target profit.
8. Negotiation. A very traditional function and still a core skill for the organiser. But even this has changed: it’s not now just about getting the lowest price. Organisers must leverage Social Media, other forms of marketing and consider how to bring suppliers into the event experience. This approach focuses on adding value as well as working for the right fees and charges for venues, speakers and even other suppliers.
9. A people person. A part of the role that has and will never change. Firm but approachable. Decisive but flexible. Fun but serious. On site and in planning this facet of the role is kernel to an events success.
10. A true industry representative. Our modern day organiser has to be more like ‘Mighty Mouse’ than a ‘Teddy Bear’. The all-round organiser has to represent an industry still struggling to be recognised and appreciated. They have to be dynamic and they have to shout about the value and the importance of events to so many types of businesses in so many different sectors.
We hope by completing a list like this others will see exactly why it is a very difficult juggling operation to run modern events. We’d love to hear your top ten or perhaps you don’t agree with any of our top ten. Visit our Facebook page to continue the discussion.