From weddings to corporate events, you need to be on top of your game if you’re the one doing the planning. You and your team need to be prepared for challenges, and have the personality to deal with challenging events – and people – that come your way. Here’s a quick overview of the best event management tips, and the skills necessary to be truly great event coordinator.
Five must-follow event management tips
As an event manager or coordinator, you can never have enough tips for creating an event your customers and clients love. These five event planning tips will keep you organized and ready to take your event management career to the next level.
1. Understand your audience
No matter what kind of event you’re planning, you need to sit down and talk with your clients about their budget, colors they like, themes they’re interested in, and food or catering requirements. Get to know the must-haves as well as the wants so you can make a thorough plan for the event.
Along with knowing your objectives, make sure you set expectations. Your clients need to know what’s realistic based on the timeline and budget you’ve been given.
2. Get started early
If there was one event management tip that tops the list, getting an early of a start as possible is it. While it’d be nice if everything could come together in a few days, the reality is that a good event can take weeks or months to plan. Start planning early, and focus on reaching out to venues or caterers that may book up early. When possible, start planning around 6 months in advance so you have time to be flexible with venues, caterers, designers, and others you may need to work with.
3. Save money with negotiation
An event can easily go over the intended budget, so it’s up to you to negotiate with vendors. Sit down with your clients and clarify the budget, and then, discuss your budget with the vendors. It’s helpful to offer around 5%-10% less than you can afford to pay because this gives you some wiggle room during negotiations.
4. Build a strong contingency plan
Events rarely go as smoothly as you’d hope, but with a contingency plan, you can adapt on the fly. As you work on a plan for the event, build in contingencies. Discuss with your staff how you’ll keep the event running if a DJ is late or you run out of food early.
5. Do an event run-through
Whether this is your first event or you’ve worked on many in the past, one of the best event management tips is to do an event run-through around 2 weeks before the real event happens. This quick run-through helps you identify any possible issues, like missing items or orders, with enough time to make corrections.
With these tips, you can be a better event coordinator and keep the event moving smoothly.
The top 5 must-have event management skills
It’s one thing to be able to follow a few rules, but truly great event planners and event managers have key skills that set them apart. Some of those skills are communication-based, like being able to listen to your customers and talking with them about their goals.
Others are related to organizational behavior. If you can’t process information well or are disorganized, you could find yourself struggling to tackle large events and scrambling at the last minute to make everything come together.
If you can master these top five event management skills, you’ll truly set yourself apart from your competition and excel in your field:
Be on time
Whether it’s your first meeting with a client or you need to schedule catering for an event, make sure you plan for timeliness. You need to arrive on time on-site, and you need to plan for delays and issues that could negatively impact an event. Learn to schedule ahead and keep detailed notes and plans for any event.
Another thing to remember as an event manager is that organization is the key to an event going well. With good organization, you’re less likely to miss appointments or forget to order something your client has requested.
Accidents and emergencies happen. Delays occur. Often, those issues are out of your control. Be willing to be flexible on the day of an event, and be prepared to rearrange the schedule or adapt to sudden changes due to vendor or staff-related issues.
Stay calm in emergencies
It’s almost inevitable that emergencies will come up during an event. Maybe the photographer got lost and will be a half-hour late, or maybe the family has arrived a little early for a party. Stay calm, stay positive, and be ready to step in and guide the event until it’s back on track. A calm, pleasant demeanor can go a long way in building relationships and trust with your customers.
Accept feedback willingly
No one goes through life without making mistakes, but your clients and customers will have feedback. Be willing to accept it with grace, because their feedback is what’s going to help you grow and improve as an event coordinator in the future.
Use these event management tips to become a better event coordinator
With these event management tips, you can create better events from the start by planning in advance and getting organized. The right approach can make your job much easier so you and your customers are happy with the outcome. For help balancing catering needs for your next event, visit us at ezCater.