Organizing an event is hugely rewarding, but it’s not easy. Success depends upon your skills and your personality.
With that in mind, in today’s article, we’re going to take a quick look at just a few of the most important, must-have skills for organizing an event. Let’s get started.
Communication is a key skill for any event organizer. At its heart, the job is all about communicating with the various speakers, ensuring that they know what’s expected of them. Communication skills are particularly important in the run-up to the event because there will be plenty of calls and emails to deal with.
Organization skills are vital for event organizers because there are a huge number of moving parts to stay on top of. Organizers need to be able to manage both themselves and the rest of the team responsible for delivering the event.
People skills are important because, as an event organizer, you’re going to spend a huge amount of time interacting with different people, both in the run up to the event and during the event itself. You’ll also spend a lot of time interacting with event attendees, answering any questions that they might have and soliciting their feedback to be incorporated in future events.
Technical skills are needed because, as an event organizer, you can find yourself dealing with everything from sound and lighting to ensuring that speakers’ laptops are hooked up correctly to networks, sound systems, and projectors. You’ll also need troubleshooting skills so that you can tackle any issues that come up.
Marketing skills are important because simply setting up the event isn’t enough. You also need to be able to effectively promote it to bring in visitors and to generate a buzz around the event. Incorporating promotional giveaways can be an effective method to attract and engage attendees. You should also liaise with the speakers to encourage them to do some of this work for you by promoting the event to their followers, but think of this as a useful helping hand as opposed to being your main source of marketing.
When you’re hosting an event, you’re going to find yourself having to make all sorts of decisions, often with little available thinking time and few data points. Decisions can range from what refreshments to offer to how much to charge for tickets and which sponsors to work with.
Events are fantastic networking opportunities, and while this is true in general for all attendees, it’s particularly true for speakers and organizers. You’ll need to have decent networking skills so that you’re able to take advantage of the opportunities on offer, and networking skills can also come in useful in advance of the event when you’re trying to source speakers.
Unless you’re specifically bringing someone else in to be the master of ceremonies, it’s likely that the job of introducing the speakers at a small event will fall to you, the event organizer. You might also be required to moderate discussion panels and Q&As. Because of that, you’ll need to have decent hosting skills and feel comfortable talking to an audience, even if you’re not delivering any presentations yourself.
Arranging events can be a logistical nightmare, and it becomes even more of a challenge if you’re working on something like a conference or a trade show, which can take place over multiple days and multiple rooms. That’s why it’s a good idea to brush up on your logistical skills. You may also be called upon to help the speakers find accommodation and transport to and from the venue.
Budgeting skills are important to meet your budget for the event. You’ll need to finance everything from venue hire to speaker fees and marketing from this budget. The only way to make sure that those costs don’t suddenly spiral is to have decent budgeting skills and to keep an eye on every penny that you spend.
Time management skills
Time management skills will help when you’re working on the creation of the event, but they’ll be particularly useful on the day of the event. That’s because you’ll have a specific running order to adhere to, and it will be your responsibility to ensure that you’re not falling behind. One of the big challenges here is that it’s not just about managing your own time. You also need to manage the time of your helpers and speakers.
Very few events are managed by a single person, and so it’s likely that you’ll find yourself working as part of a larger team. Because of that, you’ll need to be able to work with other people and to delegate tasks to them. The aim should be for you to only take on the jobs that have to be carried out by you. If someone else can do it, let them.
Now that you know our top picks for the must-have skills for event organizers, we want to hear from you. Which of these skills are you particularly strong at, and is there anything that you think we missed?
As always, be sure to let us know in the comments so that we can keep the discussion going, and to follow us on your social networking site of choice for more. We’ll see you soon!