I am often asked what I think are the right event planning skills one needs to be successful. It usually starts with can I pick your brain about … And I am always happy to share my thoughts and perspective when it comes to what I think is the best industry. I try and appreciate all those planners that came before me and laid down the foundation. So the rest of us could learn and thrive. Whether it’s the event planning industry or not we all poise some of the same questions “Is this the right path for me? What does it take to be successful? Can I do it?”
I always enjoy the opportunities this industry has given me. And whenever possible jump at the chance to pass on what I‘ve been lucky to learn through the years. At a recent community college lecture and Q&A session the topic was “What event planning skills does a planner need”?
Event Planning Skills…Next Question
Another question that I get asked quite a bit is; hey I’m good at planning family parties that makes me a great event planner, right? And for some the answer is yes and for others not so much. Which often leads to me explaining what an event planner actually does do? The basic definition is “An event planner is someone who coordinates all aspects of professional meetings and events. They often choose meeting locations, arrange transportation, and coordinate other details.” And an event can be anything from a meeting to a wedding, a conference to a gala and a product launch to a sporting event. A planner organize each and every event detail from start to finish. Administering and managing all the logistics required for a successful outcome. The extent of education and experience can vary depending on the job. But a great event planner must be organized, creative, flexible, great at time management, strong at customer service, able to negotiate and budget, a multi-tasker and an excellent communicator.
The speaker before me featured the event planning traits that are definitely needed to be successful. And included were the ones outlined above and more. Then it was my turn to get up and impart my words of wisdom (she says tongue firmly planted in cheek). I never would have made it this far without those all-important skills the first speaker spoke about. But along with industry expertise and business skills I believe it’s also imperative to have a truck load of essential interpersonal skills. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what actually makes a planner stand out and a joy to work with. Someone amazing that is able to almost always anticipate you’re needs. Finding that right formula has helped me to realize success and a passion for planning of all things. And for me the best event planning skills start with a sense of humor; the ability to laugh sometimes at yourself will take you a long, long way. And personality, drive, enthusiasm, energy, confidence, leadership, problem solving, patience, thoroughness, vision, decision-maker and get-up-and-go help to make a good planner a great one.