Champagne Events on a Penny Budget: and other reasons why event planners make great managers.
Our guest today is a former event planner at an international destination management event company. After taking a break from the events industry to start a family, she harnessed her experience as an event planner to begin working in nonprofit management.
What has benefited me as an event planner in my current role? Let’s talk about life as an event planner. For starters, you need to learn how to talk to many different types of people when you are managing an event. The way you talk to your clients is different from the way you talk to the hotel or venue. You need to learn how to talk to everybody in every industry and with every title. The way you interact with a CEO or your boss is completely different than how you would talk to your employees. As an event planner, you need to talk to everyone in a way to make sure you don’t burn any bridges because if all goes well, you will be working with these people again in the future. That is a wide array of people from venue, to client, to catering staff, event vendors, and entertainment.
You need to be able to talk to a client off a ledge or how to tell them no. Often a client will change their mind and want to make last minute changes. You need to know how to politely tell your client that they are planning a festival that’s not within their budget. Quite possibly you need to explain why they can’t get a floating aerialist at the last minute because they don’t have the right permits for that. You also need to know how to talk to your crew because you could be managing a program for 5,000 attendees with a crew of 200 people. You need to learn how to gain their respect and for them to listen to you because you need them to execute your event. You have to know how to manage all these personalities. That’s what makes a great manager.
Let’s talk about working under pressure. There’s a reason why event planners are always on a “Top 10” list of most stressful jobs. Say you have a multimillion-dollar event with a big name like Doobie Brothers. They cost a lot of big penny. As an event planner, you must be quick on your feet. When the green room is missing something, you need to learn how to pull something else out of your hat and make everyone happy. One thing can ruin your event and you know you can’t let that happen. You need to know how to think under pressure and you need to know how to fix a problem on the spot. In job interviews, everyone always say they work well under pressure, but only event planners have been truly tested. Being good under pressure with a spreadsheet is different because you can erase and correct data. How many times have event planners stood in the middle of a site visit and a wall collapsed? “It’s going to work out, just you wait and see.” Or your driver is missing? I’m sure a lot of event planners ran to the parking garage and became their own Uber driver at times like that. It’s a skill you only learn through experience and being put under pressure.
You have so much to offer as an event planner. Let’s talk about staying on or under budget. During the Enron days, everybody started scaling back. How do you produce a memorable experience with very little budget? First and foremost, negotiation. People always say they have great negotiation skills. Do you really? Have you ever worked on a penny budget to make a champagne event? But that’s just what they do. They make miracles happen on the daily. Event managers are great for doing nonprofit because they’re so multifaceted. You are working with very little and you have to learn how to make something from nothing. At for-profits, maybe you are really great at becoming a team manager. You know how to handle different personalities, how to handle crowds. Essentially, what are managers for? You have the worker bees to do the work but you are the one they go to for problems. Essentially that is what event planners do. They are the one that solves the problems, and everyone goes to them.
At TISOH, The International School of Hospitality, in Las Vegas, NV, we offer world-class, industry-leading programs to train the next generation of Meeting and Event Planner Professionals. Students at TISOH receive one-on-one individualized attention from professional faculty who have true industry experience. TISOH offers a Diploma in Hospitality Operations, which is a great way to gain a full spectrum of the industry along the core skills that will boost your resume. Couple that with the Conference Management and Event Planning, a focused certificate program, and you’ll be able to customize a career path that is right for you. Graduates of TISOH’s programs enjoy extensive career placement services, and TISOH boasts a 90% placement rate for diploma graduates.
If you are ready to take the next step towards becoming an event and conference manager all while gaining a killer skill set, call TISOH at 702-602-9689. You can speak with our helpful and friendly admissions representatives, who are always available to discuss your career options, and will even help you begin the enrollment process. Why wait? Call TISOH today!