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What Soft Skills do you Need to Organise an Event to Remember?

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If the term “work hard, play hard” applies to your career, you might work in events. As much as the stress of planning and coordinating will get to you, event organising is of the most exciting industries out there. A recent survey showed working in the events industry is one of the top 5 most stressful jobs in the world. However, the vast majority of event managers wouldn’t swap careers.

If you are in the industry, you know that event managing occurs everywhere. If you aren’t, try to think of a public event – a concert, a baseball game, a fundraiser or a community development project. Each of these has three things in common – they were planned, marketed, and executed.

A successful event needs extensive planning, directing, coordinating, and organising in all areas, not to mention direct marketing and sales. Event managers are the individuals that orchestrate and coordinate events. In his book The Eventrepreneur, author Jason Allan Scott gives you the low-down on the industry as well as the skills you’ll need to run an event to remember. 

So, what are the soft skills that you will need to get your next event off without a hitch?

Communication: Key to an Event’s success 

In this industry, you’ve got to love people. You are going to be dealing with a lot of people and you’re going to need to communicate effectively with them. Whether it’s your client, your boss, the catering staff or the entertainment, unless your message is communicated clearly, you could go from running a successful event to running it into the ground. Think of the La La Land – Moonlight mix at the 2017 Oscars and you’ll quickly grasp the importance of effective communication.

Organisation: Great Events require Great Organisers 

Organisation is kind of a given. In fact, it is in the title -Event Organiser- but without some serious organisational skills, on the day of your event you’ll be running around like a chicken with its head cut off (actually, as any event organiser will likely tell you, you’ll be doing that no matter what). An organised event planner will need to have lists of quotes and prices, venues, talent, menus, names of important event-goers and clients, and the list goes on (in-fact you’ll likely need a seperate list of all the important things you’re going to list!).  

Service-Minded: Event Organisers go Above and Beyond 

It’s not quite the “The customer is always right” speech you received from your manager at your first cashier job but being a service-minded person is key to your success as an event organiser. At the end of the day, your job is to make sure the experience for everyone involved in your event is a positive one and this can sometimes mean bending over backward for requests that may seem tedious or ridiculous (“The salmon absolutely has to be Pacific, not Atlantic. Oh, and we’ll need to accommodate for 15 more guests, thanks!”). But grin and bear it. When your client smiles at you in the middle of an event running like a well-oiled machine, it will all be worth it.

Sense of Humour: It’s your Event, Laugh it off 

The ability to find humour in a stressful situation may actually be the most valuable soft skill an event organiser can possess. Things will go wrong. Guaranteed. But if you have successfully used the three previously mentioned soft skills, you’ll be able to laugh anything off. Your client knows that not only do you have a plan and a backup plan, you’ve got your backup-backup plan in your pocket, ready to pull out at any minute to ensure your event is still going to be one to remember for the right reasons. A sense of humour will not only make you a more likeable organiser, and more likely to be hired, but it will help to lighten the mood in the middle of a client meltdown.

The Eventrepreneur

The Eventrepreneur by Jason Allan Scott explores how to understand personal characteristics, employee preferences, preparation, planning and evaluation skills and applying this to a career in event management.

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