Event planners all have one thing in common: They vie for the opportunity to get involved to roll out what would be considered a spectacular event in the eyes of their client/participants. Unbeknownst to outsiders, event planning is a very competitive field. Success equates with sustaining excellence in everything we do as event planners. Long-term success of us as event planners rests on our ability to maintain high standards in everything we do. To accomplish that, there are some basic yet critical principles to adhere to in organizing anyevent—large or small.
1. Meeting Objectives
Before you embark on any task in relation to organizing an event, ask [your client] about the meeting objective(s). Clients are at times unable to articulate a clear objective. It’s our job to help them with the task of defining a purpose for the event—the business goals to be accomplished, the relationships to be forged, and the new horizons to be opened.
2. Empower Your Team
Event planners don’t operate in a vacuum. We rely heavily on a team of dedicated staff and dependable vendors. What makes a good employee or vendor is one whose work ethics and passion for success matches your own. Make an effort to match each employee’s strengths with the requirements of the tasks to which they are assigned. Likewise, try to foster positivity among your team throughout the event process—from conception to execution. As Cheryl Cecchetto, owner and President of Sequoia Productions, once said “Positivity is a perspective you choose so that negativity doesn’t choose you.”
3. Know your Stakeholders
Successful event planners invest a great deal of time to first understand their client’s needs, taste and style—and through the client, the expectations of participants—before they embark on the execution of an event. Similarly, it is paramount that they also know their partners in the production of an event—be that their inhouse and contract staff, vendors or third-party suppliers. It is folly to rush into production before clearly understanding—and agreeing to—the event’s goals and expected results.
4. Commitment to Service
Successful event planners all have one trait in common: A genuine passion for excellence in everything they do. This manifests itself best in the course of rolling out an event—no matter how simple or complex. Commitment to service is not specific to one event or one client. It is a “way of life” for event planners who excel in this field—embracing the true spirit of “A job worth doing is worth doing well.”
5. The Power of Communication
Nothing disarms an upset client more than an honest and courteous communication. In the event planning field, there are inevitable situations that something(s) can go wrong [“Murphy’s Law”]. Communicate with integrity and courageously—but also be resourceful and proactive in finding solutions and alternative courses of action to remedy the misstep, if any.
Stick to these simple principles for a lifelong career in one of the most exciting professions and soak in the glory of producing one spectacular event after another one.