Being an event planner / event organiser is one of the most dynamic jobs in the world, as well as one of the toughest. For the last few years I’ve looked at the role of the event organiser to try to keep up with how much it has changed. The “event planner / event organiser” role has changed quite dramatically in this year alone!
So, now is the time, to look at the NEW tasks and the NEW areas that we event professionals are expected to be able to cover.
Skills needed for organising an event grow, and grow every year
If you want to move from being a good organiser to a great organiser then you must ensure that you concentrate on adding new skills each year. New event organiser skills will really help you develop, and stay at the very cutting edge of your profession. But what skills should an event organiser / event planner focus on as we make our way through 2017?
Here’s our list of new event planner skills that the cutting edge planner should add or hone:
1. Be social
To properly understand social media, event planners have to be social. It is great to see an increasing number of event planners blogging and taking part in twitter chats and forums. Planners have to share, follow, post and engage. If we become super users of social media our events will reap the benefits.
2. Become a listener
We have to ensure we listen to our stakeholders, our attendees, visitors, exhibitors all the way through the whole event management process. More than ever people are willing and able to give us their opinion. We have to collect, monitor and act on these opinions. In an environment of increasing competition we can no longer simple move on to the next event; we have to listen to our stakeholders.
3. Understand the indirect and direct impact of your events
The more events we run, the more of an opportunity we have to make a positive impact in the locations we run our events, or at least to minimise the negative impact we may have. I have covered the impact of tourism / events in Barcelona in previous posts. I think more event planners should be, at least aware, of the “impact”, both positive and negative of our events.
4. Understand the power of Live Video
Live video is already playing a huge role in our events. Julius Solaris at EventManager blog pointed to it being the most important development to hit events in years. I would agree that it is important for events. But in terms of skills to be added to Event Planners, it is no more important than the other areas on this list. However it is crucial that event planners familiarise themselves with the technical aspects of live video. It is a space that is continually evolving.
5. Buddy up
Planners can reduce costs / save money by “budding up” with other planners. Bulk buying and working with other planners (both internally and externally) is an area that will quickly and impressively add value to your events. Too often we just don’t have the time to ask our network for recommended suppliers or rarely would we ask to buddy up for pruning services or transport. Time to change!
6. Become a quick fire designer
We have to promote our events using more engaging material. The modern event planner can knock you up a cracking flyer in only a few minutes. This is becoming an increasingly important part of the modern event planner’s arsenal. Basic design skills are fast becoming crucial for any role which has to create engaging content.
7. Boost your project management skills
As our events become ever more complicated, event planners have to master the project management discipline. Not only do we have a lot of complicated tasks to oversee, or complete ourselves!, we are also likely to have to manage a number of staff and contractors. Events have always been closely tied to project management, but that relationship is becoming much closer.
8. Know how to find the experts
To deliver the best possible event is becoming increasingly impossible for one event organiser or one small team. The successful events are adding experts to help them deliver the best possible event. The modern day event planner does not have to be an expert but they do have to know who those experts are. The modern event planner must have a “little black book” or at least the ability to search “event consultants UK”, for example, to find experts who can add value to their events.
So fast paced is our industry that I imagine I will be able to add at least a couple more skills before the end of the year. Being an Event Planner / Organiser is a day job like no other!