When it comes to event planning, the most I had ever done was coordinate a birthday dinner or a meeting among friends. That all changed this past summer during my internship where I was tasked with helping to plan, organize, promote and execute events all over New York City. These events included fashion shows, after parties, vodka tastings, and exclusive restaurant events. While it may seem to be totally glamorous and carefree, I’m here to tell you about the five skills you need if you want to succeed as an event planner.
There are so many little details that need to be kept track of from beverage cups to photographers to sponsors and it is so easy to forget something huge. If you can’t keep track of each of your vendors or volunteers, you’ll never make it through the event.
The client trusts you to take their brand or vision and bring it to life. This requires you to creatively work within a budget and think of ways to make the brand stand out. It’s also imperative that when something goes wrong the day of the event, you can creatively find a solution without the client realizing anything was wrong in the first place.
Event planning means dealing with a lot of different people who have schedules just as busy as yours and don’t always get back to you in a timely manner. You may not get the immediate answers you want while planning an event, but if you possess patience, it will all come together.
I guarantee you, when it comes to events, not everything will go exactly as it was planned. Someone will forget to bring napkins, the press will ask a curveball question or the client will decide last minute that everything needs to be changed. Being able to adapt to any situation and having back up plans is crucial to having a successful event.
It is sometimes tough to remember when you are working an event that you spent countless hours planning that you are not a guest. It is your job to make sure everything runs smoothly so it is important to stay focused. That means no drinking on the job with the guests, no hanging around in the bathroom the whole time and dressing appropriately.
Before my internship this summer, I would not have chosen any of these five traits to describe myself. Getting involved with event planning definitely pushed and challenged me as a budding communications professional and I am so grateful for the experiences. While it is a lot of hard work being a part of event planning, there are also so many benefits. You never know whom you are going to meet or what connections you are going to make, you get to eat all the amazing leftover food at the event, and the best part is, you get to feel a sense of responsibility and accomplishment when the job is complete.
Written By: Amanda Schuman
Amanda is a Junior Mass Communications major with minors in Journalism and Interactive Media. She is currently involved in Social Media Ambassadors, PRSSA-UD and is working towards starting a chapter of Her Campus at the University of Delaware this upcoming year. Follow her on twitter @bluehen_amanda