Tis the season when many meeting and event planning companies increase their employment levels. Soon many internships will be winding down and those students will be looking for event planning jobs. That’s certainly the goal anyways. Maybe it’s just me but it bugs me when I’m looking at job ads and the top characteristic sought for a potential candidate is something related to technology. Seriously, you’re going to hire someone to represent your company based on their ability to compile spreadsheets? For me, whenever I’ve had to hire, the number one characteristic that I look for is something that I can’t teach. Personality.
It’s true that our industry embraces new technology and that is a good thing. However many event planners tend to focus more on efficiency over personality. A wise man once said you can teach someone how to use technology but you can’t teach them how to have a personality. In case you’re wondering it was Walt Disney. And that principle seems to have paid off rather well for that company now hasn’t it?
Event Planning Jobs Require Interaction with People
I really don’t care whether my new hire knows the difference between double stacked or rear projectors. Of course eventually I do want them to know the difference and which setup would work best in a particular environment. Here’s another example. How many times have you attended a conference where the registration staff, or any staff member that you’ve interacted with for that matter, had not smiled or even looked up at you? Yet they were very efficient in their jobs. More times than I wish to count. I would much rather be approached by a person who is friendly and smiles. You know someone who is genuinely trying to do their level best but maybe struggling a little bit with technology.