How to tell between a bad and a good event planner

good event planner

What’s the difference between a good and a bad waiter? What’s the difference between a good and a bad Uber driver? What’s the difference between a good and a bad personalised T-shirts designer?

There are careers where it is easier to notice who’s excellent and who doesn’t deserve your tip, but then there are others where the layers make it harder to see the flaws. Event planning is one of those.

Here’s Printsome’s list of what makes a good event planner:

Event planners usually work in teams that make it harder to see who’s at fault. Then there are also the times when the backstage is hell but still the attendees leave satisfied because the production team was able to put on a veil over the problems. Is that still a good event planner?

Priority number one is to satisfy the client but if nobody wants to work with him because he’s disorganised or treats people poorly, would you still rate him as a good professional?

Always has a plan B

C, D, E and F. When it’s live, it’s live and that usually means that anything can go wrong and when you least expect it. Good event planners always have a backup plan for anything from catering to technology. It’s never a bad idea to keep things like spare laptops, batteries and cables at hands-reach in case something fails at a crucial moment.

Plan B’s are particularly important when organising an outdoors event. There should always be a roof nearby where attendees can take cover from the elements.

 

 

Has an extensive list of contacts

Throughout their career, event planners will come across with all kinds of customers with all kinds of needs. Having an extensive list of contacts in your address book will increase the odds of finding the best possible professional for each event — may that be a speaker, supplier or caterer — and satisfy even the pickiest of customers. There’s no such thing as knowing too many people, at least in this industry.

If organising your contacts list is a hassle, here are four apps that can help you with the task.

Delegates

In order to be successful (and not die trying) we must learn when to delegate. It is simply impossible for a single person to do all the work. Especially when it comes to big events like conferences and congresses.

A good planner always knows when they must delegate a task to someone else. This is particularly hard for those of us perfectionists out there, but it is a skill we must learn if we want to stay sane be successful.

Is a good listener

Being a good listener will not only allow you to provide your customer with what they need but it will help you assess the best course of action when things go south — which leads us to our next tip.

Don’t know if you’re a good listener? Then answering the following questions might help. Do you pay full attention when someone else is talking or are you multitasking, like playing with your phone? Are you able to repeat what someone else said or do you often forget? These are both signs that you’re not really listening.

Stays Calm

This is nowhere near as easy as it sounds. When things get rough, the adrenaline starts to pump through our veins telling us to PANIC. This made sense for our ancestors who had to share food with sabre-tooth tigers and other dangerous creatures, but our lives are not really threatened anymore. Simply put, our reptilian brain still hasn’t quite caught up with the times. Just because the caterer cancelled at the very last minute, it doesn’t mean we need to run into battle — or maybe we do?

 

 

Staying calm throughout the worst of times is the sign of a true professional. When leaders get tense, it trickles down through the team and eventually is reflected on the outside. It is never a good idea for an attendee to see the event manager running around and flailing their arms while screaming ‘WHY ME?!’. Needless to say, people with bad tempers are considered unbalanced and therefore not trusted.

Note: If you want to learn more about what NOT to do when things go wrong, check out our post ‘What to do (and not to) when an event goes wrong

Goes over every detail

Attention to detail is crucial in almost every career — not just event management — but here it makes the difference between average and excellence. When attendees see spelling mistakes on a website or a logo that’s been printed the wrong way, it makes people wonder if you took time enough to do your job properly.

There are people who are simply not good with details and never will be. This is fine, we’re all wired differently. If this is your case, then hire someone who complements you. The best teams are formed by both people who get the big picture and those who can get down to the nitty-gritty.

Has a good work/life balance

The dilemma of the 21s century worker only got a bit more complicated for the event manager who is expected to be available 24/7. Most events don’t take place during office hours which is why the people who help organise them don’t work during office hours. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t disconnect. In order to be fresh at work, we need to take our spare time seriously.

Resting is invaluable. It recharges us allowing us not only to go on but to keep our mind active and give tasks the attention they deserve. When we have a good work/life balance, we can do the work we want with the attention it deserves.

Acts professional, always

When organising festive events or occasions that involve alcohol, it is very tempting for the event planner to forget their manager role and join the guests. While fun, this must be avoided because if not, then the event manager will lose their ‘leadership’ position and may risk the respect of their team and/or guests.

 

 

Every situation is different and they must always be looked at with discretion but as a general rule, it is a bad idea to indulge in substances that might alter your behaviour — trust me, I’ve seen it all.

Stays updated with the latest trends

The event planning industry is highly competitive and fast, so in order to stay on top, the event planner must stay updated with the latest trends. In order to do this, they must check events organised by other people, attend conferences and read specialised online publications like Conference & Incentive Travel.

Note: If you want to learn more about trends in the event planning industry, then check out ‘Technology trends to rock your event in 2017.’

Knows when to say ‘No’

I used to work for a ‘yes’ sayer. At first, they seem like the best event planner ever because they can take on anything. They’re always saying ‘yes’! They must know a lot and have so much ability to be able to tackle so many projects at the same time.

Wrong!

‘Yes’ sayers are usually people who want to please everyone. And being one myself, I can with full confidence tell you that it always ends up blowing in your face — it is simply impossible. Got to birthdays on the same day and at the same time? You’ll have to cancel one or at least split your time between the two — but then your friends will probably complain that they didn’t get to see too much of you. Not to mention that you’ll probably be tired from going back and forth.

50 tips on how to get more attendees


Printsome is a T-shirt printing agency in the UK based in London that delivers all across the UK, from printing T-shirts in Brighton to York and anywhere in between. So, if you’re after a T-shirt or custom clothing, get in touch for a quote and indulge yourself in some awesome customer service.

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