Four Skills to Master in Your Event Planning Career

If you are contemplating a career as an event planner, whether that be with an event planning company, in an event planning position within a corporate organization, or starting your own event planning business, it is smart to make sure that the event planner job is a good fit. In addition to learning the ins and outs of event planning and what the work requires, it is equally as important to be sure you have the event planning skills you need for success.

Highly Organized – Keeping track of numerous tasks, multiple vendors, and constantly changing to-do lists all at once – while keeping your client happy — can be challenging for some and daunting for others. Being highly organized is a must for successful event planning. For those who make and manage to-lists to keep their personal lives running smoothly, being organized may come naturally. For others who struggle to remember deadlines or to pick up the dry cleaning, being organized may require more effort. Event planners may manage one event at a time or be in the planning stages of multiple events simultaneously. Organizational tools for event planners abound, from software that tracks registration to templates for forms and spreadsheets. An event planning checklist that is customized for each event is one of the most valuable event planning tools regardless of your natural organizational ability.


Personable – What do all events have in common? People! Who do you interact with and work with in the process of planning events? People! Successful event planners are personable, engaging, good conversationalists and excellent listeners. Event planning is a very social profession in that the end result – the event itself – is or a group of people, large or small. Understanding people and enjoying talking to them are part of the job. This does not mean that, as an event planner, you will spend most of your day out at client lunches and having cocktails at social events. Not at all. Event planning is hard work and much of it is spent at a desk with a phone or computer. After all, in day-to-day life, most of us remember the pleasant, helpful people we interact with and that interaction can make an experience that much more enjoyable for both parties. Knowing how to relate to different personalities, how to connect with someone whom you want to do business with and being someone that makes a positive impression are keys to success so consider this one of those essential event planning skills. No one wants to work with or assist someone who is difficult to talk to, hard to understand or rude and unprofessional in any way.

Excellent Communicator – Excellent communication skills are essential in many professions. In event planning, miscommunication can result in numerous problems for both the event planner and the client, and a simple misunderstanding can have catastrophic results. Being able to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas is a very practical skill that is used on a day-to-day basis by event planners of all experience levels.

  • Written communication – writing event proposals for a prospective client; creating materials to market your firm; writing contracts with clients and vendors;drafting thank you notes to guest speakers and VIPs
  • Verbal communication – ability to explain the scope and purpose of an event;effectively communicating your ideas to a supervisor, client or vendor; understanding and processing information that is provided, such as the concerns of a client or questions from a caterer;skillfully negotiating hotel rates, contract details, or extras from a vendor

Creative – Successful event planners have ideas. Lots of them. And with that creativity the ability to transform the idea into something tangible. They can take a vision and bring it to life. From developing a unique theme for a party to coming up with an affordable decorating solution that meets a small budget, creativity is essential when planning an event. Creativity also comes into play when facing the inevitable problems that arise during even the most diligently, professionally planned event. In this scenario, creativity takes shape in the form of problem-solving. Being able to think creatively to develop solutions to problems can positively impact the success of your event.


Top Event Trends for 2018


Here are the top event trends that will make big waves for the rest of the year. Read up and choose which you can apply to your event planning practice.

Going back to basics – By basics, we mean complete basics. Next year, we’re expecting more and more companies to analyse whether their events are even worth running – let alone reviewing how they’re run.

Doing more with less – Budgets are undoubtedly important, and so are results. The need to demonstrate ROI and ROO is ever-present meaning making the most of your marketing. Doing more with less means thinking of new, interesting ways to generate better results with tighter monetary constraints. 2018 will be about event organisers employing a greater degree of creative thinking, giving their events impact and making them stand out in a crowded marketplace. The key is to do this without losing sight of overall goals, and keeping the holders of the purse strings happy. Learn more about doing more with less here.

Personalisation With the right data as a starting point, it’s surprisingly easy to personalise multiple elements of the event experience, from comms to entry passes, social media to tailored programmes with very little spend. But with some serious investment, a fully personalised event experience for each delegate is an exciting possibility.

Fun factor – Consumer festivals get all the fun, but what about the business events? We think playfulness and interactivity will be front and centre for a lot of branded events next year. Be that treasure hunts, interactive games, polls, conversation, prizes, quizzes, whatever; gamification can engage an audience in ways that a talk or a sales pitch can’t.

Merging of digital and physical space – With stunning advances in augmented and mixed reality over the last couple of years, 2018 looks like the year it’s going mainstream. To date, AR has been lumped in with VR – a side show to attract a visitor to a stand providing a temporary wow factor but not much more. But AR’s true power is in bringing a space to life. Apps can now overlay vast swathes of information over a smartphone camera to give additional information to delegates. More than that, it can be used to creatively tell a story, or place characters into the real world around you. It’s no longer enough to have a meaningless demo at your event, but working with creative partners and collaborators, the event space in 2018 will make the leap to creating more memorable and meaningful AR experiences for visitors.

4 Steps to Having a Successful Event

The success of any kind of event depends greatly on the preparation done by its organizer. As an organizer, you must be able to cover all the event details from start to finish. Are you organizing your first event? Here are some tips that can help your event planning work like a breeze.

Set clear objectives. To begin, define the kind of event you’ll be holding. For example, you want to setup a school fundraiser event. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of this fundraiser?
  • What are the specific goals you expect to accomplish?
  • Who will attend? Who are your audience?
  • Who will benefit from this event?

If you find it difficult to set objectives, seek the help of your colleagues and trusted friends. They might be able to see your ideas from a different perspective and provide helpful suggestions.

Make a checklist. Your checklist should not only include the materials and equipment you need to purchase and rent. It must also include the step-by-step guidelines to organizing and executing an event. This will help you  not to miss any important procedure or transaction before and during the event. If you’re clueless about the items to include in your checklist, download a free template online and just add other items or action points which may be necessary for your event.

Develop a financial blue print for your event. A budget must include all your expenses  like food, insurance, materials, permits, printing,  rent, speakers, security, etc. It should also include revenue opportunities like donations, sponsorship, ticket sales and online fundraising. Read this detailed infographic from School Fundraising to discover how online fundraising can help you run a successful event.


Unexpected expenses are inevitable. Plan your budget ahead of time so that you will have enough money to cover such expenses and continue on with your event.

Plan your marketing strategy. Great publicity is key to a successful event. There are many different methods which you can use to let people – specifically your target audience –  to know about your event. Determine who you want to attend and then target your advertising accordingly. Research about the type  of advertisement that will work best for your target audience. If you’re going to have paid advertisements, consider them with inexpensive fliers, email marketing and word-of-mouth.

You can have a successful event by observing the above-mentioned tips. Don’t be dismayed if your event’s turnout is lower than expected. Turnout is a great indicator, but not the sole indicator of success. If your event was able to achieve its chief purpose, it’s already a success.