January 25, 2019
By Amrutha Sarayu

Once you have taken the plunge into the wondrous, creative and exhilarating world of event planning, there is no denying it will reap rich rewards for your career. By improving your organisational and social skills manifold, and tapping your creative potential to the maximum, you will witness an incredible transformation both on the personal and professional level. However, the smoothest of journeys can be easily derailed if there is no structured path ahead.

Yeah, you have taken an excellent decision to become an event planner.

Now what?

It is important to ensure you map your career properly and steer the ship of event planning successfully in order to avoid running into rough waters.

What steps should you take to make event planning a healthy and fruitful venture?

Here are 5 ways how you can go from being a good to a great event planner:

#5 Embrace the learning curve

Event planning does not mean to merely connect with the client and plan a proverbial affair that would barely linger in the memory of the attendees. It means to create a memorable, enriching experience that would get people talking for days as well as provide optimum ROI for you and your client. For this, you will need to gain deep understanding and expertise in several areas, right from client communication and logistics, to leveraging technology for increased efficiencies and time management, to displaying leadership skills and developing contingency plans. The learning curve is steep (and also very satisfying) and you need to be mentally and physically prepared to face the challenges ahead!

#4 Risk management

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

Murphy’s Law is an adage that is most synonymous with the event planning industry. No matter how well you plan an event, there is a likelihood that disaster could strike due to both intrinsic and extrinsic forces.

A sponsor may withdraw at the last-minute, inclement weather could disrupt the plans of attendees, resulting in several cancellations, or a medical emergency might arise – there are several possibilities.

It is always recommended to have a risk management plan in place beforehand rather than attempt to deal with an issue after it has occurred. To become a successful event planner, you must learn to manage risk around event planning. Identify all the risks that could prove to be a detriment to your event, prioritise them as per their severity level, and chalk out the most efficient strategies to tackle them.

#3 Develop leadership skills

Being an event planner means you will have to deal with different people, from clients to vendors to attendees, each with their own set of specific behaviours and peculiarities. Some could be reasonable and understanding, while others may be as stubborn as a mule with their obstructive and unaccommodating demands.

Let one thing be clear once you embark on your event planning career – this is not a field for the soft-hearted. You will have to endure difficult people and learn how to deal with them in the best possible manner. You will have to learn the art of diplomacy without offending your stakeholders and put your point across in such a manner that people get convinced that your way is the correct way.

Simply put, become adept at negotiation, develop leadership skills and become a silver-tongued charmer who can convince anyone and everyone!

#2 Expand your network

Networking is the rock upon which the dome of event planning is built. For any event to be successful, a planner needs to build a solid network and establish long-term relationships that will bear fruit more than once.

For example, imagine this situation:

D-day is approaching, and your event has been planned to near-perfection. You are relaxing and taking a much-deserved breather that you were desperately hoping for. Horrors of horror! Due to some unforeseeable circumstances, your marquee company just drops out with barely an apology.

What should be your course of action in such a situation?

You can either stay unprepared and run around like headless chicken or you could just refer to your precious list of contacts of companies who could fill in as a backup and save the day for you. The second scenario won’t be possible without building and nurturing your network daily!

#1 Maximise efficiencies, ROI

Once everything is done and dusted, the success of event planning comes down to more quantifiable metrics like ROI and efficiencies.

Did you optimise your time and resources to ensure your KPIs were met while also implementing cost savings?

Did you leverage proper technology before, during, and after the event to analyse your marketing ROI and social media engagement?

What were the new opportunities created with the latest event?

Did you follow the best practices for your email campaigns, post-event surveys and everything else associated in the entire process?

You will have to diversify your knowledge in the fields of planning, budgeting, marketing, finance as well as tech to become a hotshot event planner. Learn, improve, implement – this is the cycle whose wheels you need to keep well-greased!

Amrutha Sarayu

Amrutha Sarayu

Amrutha is a content writer and marketer at Cvent. She mainly writes about the meetings and events industry, with a special focus on technology that is designed for making the lives of planners easier.

When not writing, she can be found taking part in reading challenges or watching food videos on YouTube. 

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