Event planning is a stressful job, anyone would agree. But the toughest job in the world? You might think that is a bit of a stretch. Would you be surprised to learn that the recruitment site CareerCast conducted a survey that ranked ‘Event Coordinator’ as the 5th most stressful job, after jobs like soldier and firefighter? But why is that? Let’s look at some reasons.
An event planner needs to be beyond organized to be able to do their job. Organizational skills are the hallmark of a great event planner. Most event planners are working on several different projects simultaneously, all of which have different deadlines. Some might be short term, and others planned well in advance, like 6 months to a year ahead, not to mention all the different clients and elements associated with the individual events. That’s a lot of information to keep track of, to ensure everything goes smoothly.
No matter how well organized an event planner may be, if they can’t multitask, they’ll drop the ball eventually. The job entails juggling a ton of tasks all day, every day. And all of these tasks have to be executed at the highest standards. A superior event planner is able to supervise one event while live tweeting, and finalizing catering for next week’s conference.
Attention to detail is the key of successful event planning. Think about it. Your average event planner has to manage dates, times, venues, attendees, sponsorship, catering, and the list goes on. For the event to be a hit depends on the event planner’s ability to plan down to the smallest level of detail and ensure that all of them are well executed. The devil, as they say, is in the details.
Along with being super organized, a multi-tasker with attention to detail, an event planner also has to have a talent for time management. They have to squeeze every minute out of the day to get the job done. And it’s hard to do, as so many delays and hold ups are things beyond the event planner’s control. In a typical day, there will be early mornings, late nights and missed lunches, on top of all the worrying about whether the event will go off without a hitch.
While budgets are shrinking, customers’ expectations are soaring higher than ever. This means that event planners have to manage on tighter budgets, and do more for less. They have to get creative with ideas and props, and maintain a network of people who can be called upon for favors.
Event planning and marketing go hand in hand. A good event planner will know how to use all of the latest marketing tools and social media platforms to get the word out about their latest event. Writing press releases, dealing with the media, posting on online platforms and taking pictures for Instagram is all part of the job.
No event planner can do his or her job without being tech savvy these days. They have to know how to navigate event websites like Eventbrite and apps like Webmobi and BusyConf. They know how to live stream, and use registration and ticketing platforms. That makes it a lot of master and lot to keep under control.
The most important part of the job however, is to be likeable and a people person. Event planners have to constantly deal with people, who are their clients, their vendors and suppliers, all the while remaining professional and sociable. It requires excellent communication skills, in person and online, plus an ability to adapt to different personalities. Patience is welcome trait, as are listening skills. When someone hires an event planner, they buy into the person as well as their credentials.