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How Not to Get Fired From Your Event Planning Job

By Kelli White

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A job in the event industry requires event planners to juggle a lot of plates. Here are 8 things to note if you seriously don’t want to get fired!

When you are first starting out in the event industry you might feel like you are just trying to keep your head above water. The challenging and fast-paced nature of the job can leave anyone scrambling and during extreme times worried about the security of their position within their company. Finding ways to stay professional and on track will not only secure your role in the event planning sector, but make you an in demand assets that every company will value.

  1. Put Professionalism First

Keeping professionalism at the forefront of your career is always a good idea. Whenever you encounter a moment that makes you think twice about your decision always take the proper and professional route.

When it comes to customer service, social media management, working with difficult colleagues or making business decisions with vendors always take the high road and represent yourself and your company in the best possible way.

  1. Listen to Instructions

So often the little details get missed or overlooked due to a lack of communication. In order to stand out and earn your stripes in the industry you should always be listening and observing the people who are senior to you.

This will show that you have the ability to take direction and act on the instructions that are given. So often missing the small things can add up to big problems. Paying attention and listening will help you to steer clear of avoidable errors.

  1. Ask Questions

Once you have finished listening to the instructions you are given you should always be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand. Never assume anything. Assuming is what will get your reprimanded at work.

Your manager would rather answer multiple questions, than have you making poor decisions based on what you thought was the right thing to do. Don't be afraid to ask for help or additional clarity on any topic. We have all been in new roles or working for new companies and everyone expects you to ask a lot of questions when you are first starting out.

  1. Maintain a Positive Image on Social Media

Social media can be a really quick way to get yourself fired. There are countless examples of social media gone wrong that have led people to the end of their careers. Don’t be this person.

Just as you plan to be professional on site and in front of your customers you should behave in a similar fashion on your personal social channels. We’ve all seen people learn this lesson the hard way and in the age of new social media channels being developed seemingly every month you can never be too careful.

This is very important for young people who are new to the industry. You go from living the college life to having a full-time job where you immediately become a representative of your company, boss, sponsors and clients. Please be sure to take the time to think about your message before you publish.

  1. Dress The Part

Event planning can have it’s perks when it comes to the fashion world. On one hand you might work from home or in a more casual office setting during the planning period, but when you are meeting with clients or onsite at an event you will most likely need to be looking sharp in your business attire.

Make sure that you are putting your best face forward each and every time you are in front of potential client, customers or vendors. The relationships you build now and the perception people have of you will last throughout your career.

Simple things like having your clothes dry cleaned for gentlemen, or spending a little extra time on your hair for the ladies will set you apart and really make you stand out. Appearance isn’t everything but presentation can make an big impact in your success or failure in the professional world. If you show up looking unpolished and messy everyday this sends out the wrong messages and could lead to big problems for your career.

  1. Think Before You Act

We mentioned thinking before you post, but thinking before you take action in your career is just as important. With every decision you make be sure that you are really thinking through the repercussions that your action might have.

Topics such as safety and security at events are really big ticket items these days. One bad decision can truly compromise an entire event and possibly a company's reputation. Even though we work in a very fast-paced atmosphere you should always be clear headed in thinking about the impact your decisions will have on the event and your attendees.

  1. Arrive Early and Stay Late

Nothing will make you more valuable to your company than having the ability to simply work hard without complaints. Show up early or at the very least on time every single day. Stay late when necessary and don’t complain about it.

In order to earn a positive reputation within this industry you have to be ready to go above and beyond. This very simple thing can really make the difference in how your company view’s you as part of the team. Plus, you very, very rarely hear about the extremely hard-working person getting fired.  

  1. Be a True Team Player

Event management is such a team sport. You work with many different people and personalities. Showing your boss that you have the ability to adapt and seamlessly gel with any group will speak volumes for your future success.

Be flexible and easy going. Learn how you can best help your team and offer to take on any project that is thrown your way, no matter how big or small it may seem. Do your best to be observant and helpful.

These are the qualities that we all want on our team and they will keep you in the good graces of your co-workers, clients and managers.

In Conclusion

Avoiding the chopping block in the event industry is easily accomplished by focusing on some important details. If you follow all of the tips above you will find yourself in a positive place with your current employer and perhaps a desirable candidate at many other companies. Keeping your relationships in tact, working hard, communicating well and presenting yourself in a professional and thoughtful manner will keep you and your events career on the right track for many years to come.

about the author

Kelli White
Kelli White has 10 years experience in event management, creative marketing, volunteer coordination and non-profit fundraising. You can follow her at @kellimwhite.
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