What different agencies and clients look for in an event planner varies greatly depending on the person and the occasion, of course, but there are some qualities that tend to be intrinsic to this profession.
Flexibility: It doesn’t matter how many months you spent planning or how many excel sheets you’ve created, there will always be last minute changes! It is also important to remain flexible when it comes to the needs of your customers.
People Skills: When working in the events industry you will not only work with your client and team, you’ll meet all sorts of folk, from vendors to speakers and anything in between. If meeting new people is not your thing, then maybe you should reconsider your choices.
Organisational skills: Event planners need to deal with many things simultaneously. It would be ideal if asking for permits, looking for venues, and contacting sponsors could all be done in neat, separate steps, but usually a professional in the field will find themselves juggling all at the same time. Thankfully, there are tools that will make the life of an event planner a lot easier. We wrote a post about that.
Passion: A good requisite for pretty much any job. Passion will give you that extra push you need when things get hard and you feel like giving up.
Time Management skills: Oh, time management. We’ve all heard of it. Specially me, not that I’ve ever missed a deadline, mind you *whistles*. As with organisation, time management is crucial to keep track of everything. Events require tight precision to be pulled off. Any delay could cause a domino effect of epic proportions.
Resourcefulness: If something can go wrong, then it will go wrong – some say. Event planners need to be able to solve any problem that may arise on the last minute quickly and creatively using the tools at his/her disposal.
Attention to details: One of the best teachers I ever had once told me: “The difference between a professional and an amateur is the attention to detail.” She was talking about graphic design, but I feel like it can apply to anything.
A levelled head: What HR loves to call being able to “work under pressure”. Again, here we have a quality that could apply to almost any job, but I feel like it is particularly important to event managers as they have to deal with many variables at the same time.