There are good meeting and event planners and there are bad ones. Like most industries it’s just the way it is. If you’ve been in the event planning industry for a while then no doubt you’ve worked with some of the good ones and, unfortunately, some bad ones too. From my own experiences the best planners are the ones that you don’t mind going the extra mile for. And at the same time whenever I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity of working with bad planners, I would always keep telling myself that I’m doing this for the delegates. That would help make it worthwhile.
The Best Planners Are the Ones That You Don’t Mind Going the Extra Mile for
Looking back at all of the meeting and event planners that I worked with, I’ve determined that all of the good ones seem to possess some common personality traits, characteristics as it were. Good meeting planners, or team leaders, aren’t intimidated by someone else’s strengths. Quite the contrary. A good planner knows how to bring out the best qualities in his or her teams.
Five characteristics that great meeting and event planners possess:
Integrity. Someone whose words you can trust. You know that if they say something then they will deliver. They are true to their words. I can’t tell you how many times my company has put together proposals only to find out that the meeting planners in question then took those ideas and contacted the venues directly. Luckily for us, we had excellent relationships with our suppliers and they would, most often, give us a referral fee for the piece of business.
Listening skills. Believe it or not there are people out there that will actually listen to what’s being said and take it under consideration to make a decision. A great meeting planner isn’t afraid that someone else’s ideas are better than his or her own.
Negotiation skills. Negotiating is a fine art. This is a characteristic that will tell you how much of a leader the person is. If a planner is negotiating by intimidation, my advice would be to run away as fast as you can. To me intimidation shows lack of confidence and ability.
Problem-solving. As anyone who’s been in the industry long enough knows, Murphy’s law plays a huge role in meeting and event planning. But it’s how planners handles the situation that tells you what kind of leaders they are. Are they running around screaming at everybody trying to make things right or do they remain calm (during the storm) while putting corrective measures into action?
Passion. If people get into meeting and event planning because they think the travel is exotic, they’re in for a rude awakening. Now don’t get me wrong, it is nice to get out there and see some of the great destinations in the world. But, as I’ve mentioned many times here before, there are many meeting planners that don’t even know what city they’re in. They are simply that busy. But if the industry is a passion, a planner will rise to the occasion and actually be motivated by the challenges of his or her job.