When we think of event planning, we imagine countless soirees, printing T-shirts in bulk and lots and lots of Prosecco, but a day in the life of an event planner is actually much more meticulous. It consists of tons of enquiries, venue hunting, logistics and time management — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
The day-to-day routine of an event planner
No two days are ever the same in the world of event organising, as London-based events marketer Florence Mosshart tells us. At the busiest of times, she’s at the office from the crack of dawn and out at parties and launches until the wee hours. That’s pretty typical for an event planner, and though it can be exhausting it’s also exhilarating to see an event come off just as you’d planned. A day in the life of an event planner will almost certainly entail a few packed 24 hours from time to time!
What does an event planner do in a typical workday?
Not every day is as jam-packed as this, fortunately! Still, a regular day for an event planner is typically pretty busy. Typical tasks in a day at the office for Florence include researching and sourcing, holding meetings with clients, scoping out venue requirements and visiting caterers.
You’ll also probably spend a lot of time e-mailing, nailing down the fine details for events and contracts and coordinating teams. Don’t forget that part of the job is getting new clients to hire you for their upcoming events as well. You’ll need to scope out potential new clients, prepare proposals and maybe even do a bit of promotion and marketing. Staying inspired and collecting new ideas is crucial — so we’ll talk about that in detail in a bit.
What skills does an event planner need?
Networking is a must! Much of the time, your work will be done in office, but you may also have face-to-face meetings with clients, go see a location in person or check out potential vendors to partner with.
You’ll also need to be very organised to stay on top of all the different elements that event planning involves. Some mornings you may be chatting with clients all day, whereas others you’ll be e-mailing like crazy trying to get final budgets approved. There really is no standard day, but some event planners like to start off the day by tackling with their e-mail and then prioritising that day’s tasks and goals.
How many hours does an event planner work?
Expect your hours to vary. Generally, you’ll be working from 9 to 5 — officially, at least. But when there are big events coming up, you’ll probably be working round the clock to make sure everything comes together perfectly (yes, that includes weekends). Even the most professional of planners has surprises pop up every now and then, so you’ll need to be on top of your game at all times!
How does an event planner find inspiration?
Event planners spend a lot of time during a normal working day online. It may look like they’re just browsing the web for fun, but staying on top of trends and the latest technology is key to being successful in the industry.
Amongst her busy schedule, Florence loves checking out sites like Delicious London’s Pop Out review page, where she discovers the hand-picked culinary delights they can’t help but rave about, perfect for fellow foodies. It’s part of her creative process, and it’s how she makes sure she’s in the loop when it comes to the latest food trends. That way, when a client asks for menu suggestions or restaurant recommendations for an event, Florence already has ideas ready to go.
Barcelona-based local and bespoke event coordinator Emily Elwes has a similar process. She’s a self-proclaimed food fanatic and loves to explore new ways to stay engaged in the event planning market, especially online. She gets really excited about creative, quirky websites like Ginger Line, which heralds itself as “a clandestine dining adventure operating in secret and changing locations along the London rail network”. It doesn’t get much more original than that! And original is definitely memorable.
As an event planner, you’ll want to figure out a way to keep your finger on the pulse of trends in your location. Whether your focus in on having awesome food at an event, the coolest venue in town or mind-blowing performances, get online and get researching.
Learn what works best by attending other people’s events
A day in the life of an event planner will probably involve attending other planners’ events at some point. Attending events on a regular basis is one of the most important aspects of the job. It’s your chance to suss out the competition, get inspired, discover new locations and then take it all home and apply it to your own projects.
Event planners have been using increasingly innovative and unique locations for events in recent years. Florence recommends her go-to sourcing tool, Hire Space, to find something impressive and unusual. Alternatively, We Are Pop Up is an open platform where you can share your shop or venue space for those looking to design events that are truly outside-the-box.
Either way, you’ll definitely want to attend other events so you can get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. You’ll also almost certainly see some ideas you would have never thought of yourself.
Staying current and creative
So how are those in the profession staying ahead of the game? The real difference between a novice and a pro is in the details – and I don’t just mean place settings.
Emily says that by subtly incorporating new technology, you can improve an event tenfold. She recommends Eventbrite as a great outlet for finding events and managing ticket bookings. Their paperless ticket app lets you admit attendees straight into the venue just by scanning their smartphone.
Many event planners also turn to sites like Grub Club for ideas about one-off experiences and interesting spaces. And Pinterest is an eternal favourite amongst the event planning crowd.
What does an event planner do after work?
Florence says she’s usually off checking out new bars and restaurants in search of a fun new site or menu! Her favourite spot right now for an indulgent dinner is Sketch, an artist-conceived restaurant made luxurious by the talented David Shrigley.
Event planning might be one of the most exhausting jobs at times, but it’s also one of the most rewarding!
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