I work with hundreds of events managers every year and after assisting so many with their campaigns have come across some great, even brilliant ones and others… well, let’s just say they’re not.
So what does it take to make a great events manager?
You might think that in this day and age, with all the technology that’s available to us, anyone could pull up an events software package and get the job done. But the fact is, there’s a lot more to it than that. Technology can, of course, speed up certain tasks, and make it easier to get things done, but in the final analysis, if you don’t have the qualities that make up an effective events manager, all the software and tech gadgetry in the world isn’t going to make a difference.
Based on my day-to-day experience, here’s a list of qualities I see in the really good (and even great) events managers.
- Energy and Passion
Organizing an event is a very demanding job, so a good events manager has to have a practically bottomless source of energy. He or she also has to be passionate, love a challenge, and have the will and desire to overcome the obstacles that will inevitably crop up in the course of setting up an event.
- A People Person
An events manager is never going to be able to work alone. There’s always going to be an immediate team, and a network of suppliers and subcontractors whose job it is to ensure that everything goes according to plan. Accordingly, the events manager has to be able to work with all sorts of different people effectively. Superior interpersonal skills are an absolute necessity.
When you’re organizing an event, nothing is ever etched in stone. Given that an events manager is dealing with so many people, things are bound to get complicated. A good events manager should be able to go with the flow, make changes when necessary, and be a “think on your feet” type of person.
- Detail Oriented
Good events managers have an eye for the small things that make all the difference. This means nipping issues in the bud before they turn into huge problems, and also making sure that everything is in place for the event.
Successful events managers are able to “think outside the box,” and find creative solutions to problems. They realize that it’s a rare problem that doesn’t have more than one solution, so they’re always able to come up with a variety of alternatives and choose the one that makes the most sense.
- Effective Organizer
If an event is going to be successful, it has to be well-organized so that each stage of the event goes off without a hitch. Good events managers have superior organizational skills, along with the ability to prioritize. Essentially, they can work more productively than most people, and achieve a great deal in very little time.
- Technically Competent
Of course we began by stating that no amount of technology is going to help out the person who simply doesn’t have it within himself or herself to be an effective events manager. However, that doesn’t mean that an events manager doesn’t have to be tech-savvy. By taking advantage of the available technology, like venue management packages and ticketing software, an events manager can get things done more quickly and be more productive.
If you have these seven qualities, congratulations! You have, in my opinion, what it takes to be a good, or possibly great, events manager.