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If you are considering a career as an event planner, it’s important that you go into it whole heartedly, with creativity, passion and an understanding that not every single detail you plan will go over smoothly.
Event Planners have great charisma, creative ideas, are usually overly organized, and know when it comes time for the big day of their event taking place they will be putting in super long hours, and must have a go-to attitude and smile on their faces at all times. Event planning is not a career where one can sit back and expect others to do everything for them, or hope their team will pick up slack when the planner wants to go grab a coffee and kick up his or her feet for a break. A bad attitude, stressed out mentality, and procrastination will not work in the event planning world.
Do you think you’re cut out to be an event planner? If so, it’s definitely one of the most rewarding and fun careers one can embark on, but if you’re not prepared to take the giant leap into the fast-paced wonderland that is event planning, you may want to rethink your career choice. Below are 5 signs you’re not cut out for the event planning arena.
Next Stop – Procrastination City! Please Get Off the Bus.
Event attendees prefer to hear from planners months in advance about the events they attend. Some attendees go to the same events year after year, and look forward to the who, what, when and where about these events via email, social and digital, so planners who are “on it” know that communicating in a timely and creative manner is crucial to effortlessly managing any event. Other event planners who slack off, and forget to send save the date for events, or only send emails with updates about an event only once a month are seen as completely unorganized to the attendees’ eyes, and this can also come across as super frustrating when you’re waiting to hear important details about events such as travel info, hotel accommodations or even see a full agenda to decide if the event is worth your time and money to attend.
Event planners may think by waiting until the last minute to communicate to attendees, or going another route to gather information and pass it along is different and cool, but taking shortcuts and prolonging vital information is not seen as “cool,” but rather down right annoying.
Living in Digital Poverty
This is not the early 2000’s, it’s ok to update your phones and move away from print outs and big, fat binders when planning events. So many event planners today still carry around huge binders full of attendee, sponsor, speaker and vendor information – why? Why are they technologically stumped? Your event attendees want to be able to use event apps to have easy access to real time information. Here you can provide them with news updates, changes that happen on that fly such as room swaps, speaker information, happy hours and party information, etc. It’s also important to verify other areas of your event are up-to-speed digitally. Put money into the Wi-Fi at events, the registration process to ensure it runs seamlessly, and the social so that everyone knows your hashtag and campaigns you may be running before and during the event. There are so many other areas where technology comes into play at events, so be sure you don’t find yourself skimping where it will pay off, or your event and you as the planner may not get the reviews you were hoping for.
Event planning may not be the best area of work for you if you’re finding yourself coming across as very annoying to not only the attendees, but also vendors, speakers, and basically anyone involved with the event. Overly communicating and instructing people at or attending an event is the wrong way to approach communication. There’s no need to send email updates on a daily basis (unless someone on your events staff asks for updates every day), so be sure to keep people’s inboxes mindful when typing away and pressing send. Consolidate your thoughts, and remember to only communicate what’s important - leave some of it as a surprise if it’s meant to be when they show up on the show site!
Too Tired to Try
There’s never any excuse to give up as a planner. Those of you who do should start checking the wanted ads. If you’re seeing areas of your event not fully executed start hustling to make them a blast! Did you promote your networking sessions enough? What about every speaker besides the keynotes? If you’re giving up too early, miserable from thinking and not wanting to think outside of the box then step away – you’re only going to hurt the event. Let the creative minds pull together the fun ideas, and make sure your attendees have a relax station to go to, networking events, water stations, etc, etc.
Sigh. If you’re being told again and again what speakers need, sponsors are looking for, and are selecting a poor choice of vendors for your events, then you’re misunderstanding the requirements for the event to be successful. Listening is a key part to making any event a success, so make sure you hear everyone out from your team, vendors, and especially the attendees – their feedback is very important to making sure your event happens again.
Are you sure you want to be an event planner now? Do you have what it takes to keep the ball rolling, listen, communicate, come organized and ready to go for a full day or week’s work of long hours with a great attitude 24/7? If so, then you’re going to make a great planner!
Or if all of the above sounds super painful and you’d rather be doing other creative outlets where you don’t have to be “on” all the time, then perhaps event planning is not your cup of tea!