Being in the events management business is like being on a rollercoaster ride. The adrenaline rush. The speed. The sometimes scary, sometimes thrilling adventure. The fact is, once you’re on this ride, it is almost impossible to get off.
Whether you are a fresher, who is stoked every time you see a stage being prepped up for a concert at your college festival, or whether you’re a seasoned marketer who has been dabbling in other verticals and is now keen on entering the events space, there are some qualities you MUST have.
You will need creativity to be your mantra
As an events manager, you are responsible for taking a project from concept to fruition. This calls for an exceptional amount of creativity. Events are never dull, so neither are the jobs, and neither can be your concepts. In fact, creativity helps establish a unique style to the event, setting it apart from the rest and affording a novel experience to the attendees. From designing interactions to crafting email invitations to even the food being served during the event, your role in the events space will call for a unique perspective at multiple levels in the design process.
You have to be a people person
Irrespective of whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, being in the events business means you should have the ability to tap into your social skills when it is needed. An event is very much akin to customer service – great customer service results in strong partnerships, strong partnerships lead to increase in revenue. From managing vendors to dealing with the client to brainstorming with your own team members, you will constantly be required to be on your feet, juggling multiple stakeholders simultaneously. Events, after all, is about bringing people together. Whether you end up working on trade shows or corporate conferences, you will be setting up events to help people learn, be inspired, entertained and most of all, to connect. So it is imperative that you must be a people person too and have good networking skills.
You need to be amazing at multitasking
When you work with an events company you could be working on anywhere from an event a week to as many as three! You will need to be adept at coordinating and managing multiple tasks simultaneously. Events may start off slow at the planning stage but as the deadline approaches you will find stress levels running high, the soles of your shoes wearing thin and you’ll find yourself keeping your fingers crossed, hoping that everything keeps going well. Managing the work pressure is of immense importance because if you burn out before the event is done you may find yourself making poor decisions and running around in a firefighting mode.
You must be good with numbers
You are going to need quite a few skills up your sleeve when you work on events. Negotiation is one of them. Negotiating a contract takes confidence and strong communication skills. Another skill you must have is to know how to manage the budget well. You may not intuitively think of this as a required quality, but employers are looking for it – the ability to not just manage a budget but to also streamline it, plug leaks and make things more cost-effective. Coming up with stellar concepts is one thing. Being able to do it feasibly within a given budget while maintaining efficiencies is quite another skill altogether.
You will need to be proactive to get some experience
At the end of the day, the events industry is a fast-paced, dynamic area that calls for proactive people. You must be a hands-on person and be willing to hustle. You may opt for a specialized Master’s program or a Marketing degree. But in the events space, an experience will always trump academics. As a fresher, you can begin by volunteering at your college festival or intern with an event agency, or better still, work with a non-profit for a fundraising event – they are always in need of more staff and you will learn a lot of what to do (and what not to do). This will help you gain valuable experience, get you some points for your CV and prepare you for a life as an event planner or manager.
The truth about events is, it isn’t really a job. It’s a passion.
Working in events is stressful. As you near the day of the event, the pressure mounts, the more hectic it gets. But like-minded people, who literally shed sweat, sometimes a tear, and who knows, maybe even blood, can come together at the end of the long hours spent on the event and feel an immense sense of achievement – of having taken a concept and transformed it into a living, breathing experience.
Want to know how you can make your mark in the events space? Chat with Saurabh Garg to learn more.