4 ‘must have’ attributes Event Managers should posess


In today’s world, event management is a definite career path and those involved own their own job title and job description, albeit it incredibly broad and varied. Now, rather than falling into event management, people are preferring to becoming skilled before joining the ranks. This is a good thing as the industry needs well trained people to run successful and safe events so it’s important to know if event management is for you before committing to study for a career that might not really suit you at all. We’re here to help. Here are the top 4 ‘must-have’ attributes every event manager should possess. We’re not suggesting you possess all these attributes in massive doses but a little bit of most might be the difference between becoming an average event manager rather than a five star ‘movin’ on up’ event manager.

1. Organised bordering on OCD*

This is a biggy. The successful execution of an event requires considerable multi-tasking skills which means being organised is key. And while the devil is in the detail and the bigger the event the more complex the detail, it’s an important skill to be able to see the big picture too. So how do you know if you’re organised or not? Would you make a check list for a simple dinner party for friends (and stick to it)? Do you like to prioritise? Do you start planning way ahead of time rather than at the last minute? Do you use Pinterest incessantly for events that you haven’t even thought of yet? If you’ve answered yes to most of these questions, you can safely tick the YES box.

2. People Person with great communication skills

Event managers have to communicate consistently with all types; from suppliers to ground staff, from entertainers to executives, from attendees to police and everybody in between. Each have their own unique language and you’ll have to speak it. For example, no one will ask you to hop up on to a ladder and rig up the lighting but you’ll certainly have to direct the lighting technician using the appropriate industry jargon. As you can imagine, communication of this sort can be crucial to the success of an event and it’s as much about listening as it is about talking. If you relish the thought of getting to speak to everyone in your team to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing, you can tick that YES box too.

3. Creative Problem Solver

Even the best laid plans can run into trouble due to unexpected factors (although you probably should have thought of all unexpected factors in your risk analysis document). In a situation like that, a great event manager has to take charge, get creative and fix whatever needs to be fixed. Here are some of the most dreaded problems faced by event managers;

  1. No one shows up at your event
  2. Too many people show up at your event (not quite as drastic as #1)
  3. Your speaker/entertainer doesn’t show
  4. Your venue is double booked
  5. The weather
  6. Audio visual problems

Think back to a time when something didn’t go right for you. How did you handle it? Did you stay around and fix the problem to the best of your ability while keeping your cool? Or did you run the other way? If you stayed around… good for you. You’re on the way to becoming a great event manager.

4. YES Person willing to go the extra mile

We have a lot of students going out into the field for the first time to experience events first hand. Nearly all do what is required of them; they show up on time, they do the task that they’re given and then they go home. So why do some stand out more than others? Why, when we ask the host organisation the next day, do they comment about one or two and not the rest? It’s about going the extra mile. Those people get noticed every time. Why? They’ve shown initiative by suggesting how something could be done better. They’ve stayed a bit later than their allocated shift to ensure that everything has been taken care of before they go home for the day. They’ve actively participated in every task given with great energy and positivity. They’re vibrant and energetic. They look like they’re really loving what they’re doing because they probably are. If you know that you’re willing to do extra, your last YES box is ticked and we hope to see you at College of Event Management very soon!

Interested in learning more about what it takes to be an event manager?? See next month’s post titled ‘Why Event management might be the career for you.’

*Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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