When we look back through our lives, we see a series of events: birthdays, school formals, work functions, weddings, engagements, Christmas parties… the list goes on. Good event managers facilitate the forging of these memories. But, it takes a lot of experience to become an expert in event management.
Once you have the experience, the sky's the limit with event management and there are plenty of opportunities to see the world doing a job that forms rich moments of significance in in people’s lives. But, you have to start somewhere, and budding event managers should focus on three things: honing their attention to detail, communication, and time management skills.
Perhaps the hardest part of organising any event is communicating with various people at different levels of professionalism, but it's a skill easily sharpened by experience, patience and a bit of effort. A conversation with a client, guest or sponsor is going to be different to conversations with a catering company, the florist or the DJ. Event managers have to be conversational shapeshifters, changing their skin for each interaction they get the best results for the event. But, it’s not just speaking effectively with people that event managers need to master. Surinder Aggarwal, a teacher in the Diploma of Event Management recalls organising an event for Melbourne Polytechnic in China where because of the language barrier, he had to use universal hand signals and his laptop to communicate with event staff. Of course, the event was a wild success - communication in any form is key.
Attention to detail
Managing an awesome event usually means engaging with a lot of different service providers and they’ll all have their own way of working, their own rules and expectations. Part of being a good event manager is making sure every detail on the day is seen to. Some clients will have special requests, such as a bride wanting a speech to happen before the dessert is served, but after the couples first dance. In the haze of running multiple events and managing the guests’ sweet tooth, this seemingly small request could be forgotten. A good event manager will ensure this small request happens, among many others. This level of attention to detail will have everyone leaving the event with a smile.
In line with communication and attention to detail, time management is an important trait for an event manager because of the number of stakeholders involved in every event. Time management begins with understanding how long certain tasks take, and recognising how much time you actually have. Efficiency and planning are key. Efficiency comes with understanding the industry. If you know how long a meeting will take with the florist, it's easy to plan around. If you know how long it takes to serve a main course to 200 people with 10 wait staff, it's easy to plan around. With good time management you can mitigate small problems that arise during events, such as if the band is late or the finger food isn’t ready. At the end of the day, according to Surinder, event management is for those who like to meet people, travel around and those who don’t like the idea of a desk job. If you believe you have the potential to switch your mind from talking to a sponsor to chatting with a tradie, while noticing he/she is putting up the wrong light then perhaps a world of free travel and food awaits. Contact us about our Diploma of Event Management today
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