1) Strong organizational skills and the ability to communicate them
Above all else, it is imperative that you are an insanely organized person. The ability to coordinate not only yourself, but the scheduling of the entire team helping with the event. It’s all about planning, and re-planning and scheduling. As a good event manager you need to coordinate a number of responsibilities and manage many teams simultaneously.
2) Flexibility with respect to understanding your clients needs
With years of experience in events, there is always something that requires a creative fix. Whether it be a piece of artwork, or re-working a presentation or an overall concept. You have to be very resourceful and use what you have. Regardless of what goes right and what goes wrong, the success of an event, and all its coordinates, is the manager's responsibility.
3) Be Good Communicator and Multi tasker
As a successful event manager you need to be communicative, with the ability to listen and understand what the client is looking to achieve, as well as being able to convey the concept when selecting and negotiating with vendors. Be a good – no great – multi-tasker. At any given moment on any given day, an event manager is juggling a number of completely different projects. You must research hotels for a project happening in six months, finish the billing from the last project, be writing the content of the brochures for the event in two months, and be finalizing the last-minute details for the trip you are leaving on tomorrow. Your mind must be able to "switch gears" at any given time without notice, and remember to complete every detail of every task. All in all it takes great people skills, an event manger shares ideas and visions openly with the entire team. Communicate on a level that is respectful to everyone around you. Everyone has their part and it ultimately leads to your success as an event manager.
4) Be passionate and have the ability to creatively solve problems
Without passion you cannot overcome the bumps and triumph when all seems lost. You can learn time management, but no-one can teach passion. The world of events has become amazingly diverse, creative, and competitive. An event manager must have an internal passion and zeal to overcome simple failures and learn fast to be able to move on and see the bigger picture.
5) There is no problem but always a solution
You have to be able to carry out your vision and resolve road bumps and issues quickly. In addition you must be able to stand calm at zero hour when something doesn’t go as planned. You must be able to see a problem, work it through calmly in your head, and think through to find the most logical, economical, and all-around-best solution. This includes every day of the many months leading up to the event, and of course once you're on-site and the event "goes live."
6) Customer Service Oriented
Some people want to be an event manger because they think it's all about wining, dining, and relaxing at fun parties. Wrong! When it comes to meetings and events, it's all about the client and the attendees, not you. You need to do whatever it takes to get the job done; even if it means helping an under-staffed venue pick up dishes off the buffets. Seriously, you need to have a never-ending sense of customer service, or else your client will go elsewhere.
About the Author
Bronwyn is a Senior Account Director at M&a.Follow on Twitter More Content by Bronwyn Cook