Like many professions, the world of the event manager has changed greatly in recent times due to the advances in technology. Software developments mean that it is easier than ever to handle some of the technical and organisation sides of the job while communications are quicker with everything from email to chat apps. But this doesn’t mean that the human component is less important – instead, those skills and qualities of a born event manager are even more to the forefront. But what are they?
Top interpersonal skills
Top of the list of things that are taught at the best Event Management Courses is that you need to have great interpersonal skills. This is about more than just handling customers – this is about working with your team, liaising with other companies, talking with staff at venues and more. An events manager needs to have great skills in these areas and while they are often natural for some, you can also work at them.
Flexibility is a very important quality for an event manager because there are always going to be things that go wrong, that don’t work as planned or that go completely off the rails. The key thing is how you deal with them, how you manage to adapt to the changes and ensure that things keep going. The aim is always for the event manager to take control of the situation when things change unexpectedly and find ways to get things back on track.
Energy and passion
Being an event manager isn’t the role for everyone and the ones who are the best at it have an energy and passion that keeps them motivated. They thrive on a successful event, on seeing people enjoying themselves or a function that goes smoothly. They have a passion for organising that is contagious to other people in their team and they can use that to motivate themselves and others.
As an extension of being flexible, coming up with creative solutions to problems and innovative ideas is a great quality to have. The saying about thinking ‘outside the box’ works well for event managers where you are often required to find novel solutions to problems, new ideas for events or even creative ways to use a venue. This problem-solving approach is definitely one to cultivate.
Eye for detail
As an event manager, your role is to look at the big picture, but it also pays to have an eye on the details, to see that all of the smaller pieces of the puzzle fit together. So the ability to look at the details of a project, to spot those little potential amendments that can be made or problems that could develop is a key quality to have.
Time management skills
For many roles, time management skills are very important, and this is no different for event managers. It is important to be able to prioritise your workload, to know what must be done when and also to be the most productive with your time that you can be.
Not everyone is a natural leader, but the good news is that you can learn about this – it is often a big part of event management training. By having the passion and enthusiasm for the job, you can learn how to manage your team, how to get the best out of people and create that enthusiasm in others. You can also learn to guide others towards building their own skills and ensure the team is constantly growing and improving.
It goes without saying that an event manager needs to have great organisational skills, but these are more than just organising yourself. You need to orchestrate your team to work together, to organise other companies who are involved with the project and even organise clients to some degree. So mastering personal organisation is just the first step.
Finally, as mentioned at the beginning, event management is now much more about technology than in the past. Usually, if a company has a bespoke system they use, they will train staff on this, but it is good to have a solid tech skill base on which to build this specialist knowledge. This includes things like event ticketing software, venue management programs and even project management.