Event Planner Characteristics: The Key Traits for Success
From our earliest childhood memories, events have been a special part of our lives. We looked forward all year to our birthday party; the presents, fun, games, and food. As adults we are inundated with images of parties, bridal and baby showers, product launches and weddings. At some level, we intuitively understand that there are a myriad of details at the heart of any planned social gathering. Afterall, even a family barbeque at Grandma’s house requires planning, coordination, and communication. This basic understanding of event planning has helped to form a perception of what it takes to be a professional Event and Wedding Planner.
Hollywood has also contributed to the perceived notion of what is required. Not surprisingly, this version is not entirely accurate. While it is true that movies often portray planners as capable professionals, they don’t always reflect the realistic characteristics required for the job. If you were to ask the average person what they viewed as important personality traits of a planner, the answers would invariably be as diverse as the people asked. So what are the top event planner characteristics
Perhaps the most important event planner characteristic is a passion for planning. Event planning is a busy, exciting career that demands time and attention. A planner needs to be dedicated and willing to work long hours. The bloom will fall off the rose very quickly if a planner is not passionate about the many details involved in their chosen vocation. Event and wedding planning is constantly changing and evolving. This type of attention to trends requires a person who is truly inspired about what will be the next great idea. A passionate event and wedding planner cares deeply about bringing a client’s vision to life. Waking up, buzzing with ideas, the passionate planner will strive to turn every event into the unique, special occasion it is meant to be.
Every event, even the barbeque at Grandma’s, requires organization. The family needs to know the date, time, location, menu, and entertainment. “Success is in the details”; if every detail is attended to, the event will be successful. But how do you keep track of every detail? Not surprisingly, being highly organized is a key event planner characteristic. Every event has numerous tasks, budgets, vendors and constantly changing checklists. Additionally, at any given time a planner may have multiple events in various stages of completion. A planner must be able to juggle every detail, and meet every deadline. For some people, this trait comes naturally. For others, it is a learned skill. A recent survey found that 83% of event planners use an event app. As technology advances, there are more apps, templates and checklists that can be created, customized for each unique event, and designed to help keep a planner organized.
Being an event and wedding planner is a very people-driven, relationship-based career. It therefore makes sense that being personable is another key event planner characteristic. A planner is in constant communication with clients, vendors, staff, guests, and colleagues. A planner needs to be able to connect with potential clients in order to secure their trust. A non-approachable personality will not lead to success in this area. Furthermore, being personable works well when negotiating a contract with a vendor, as well as when networking and building relationships.
Think back to the last few organized events that you went to. What do you remember about them? Is it the food, décor, entertainment, or the overall ambience? One thing that can make an event stand out, is the event planner’s creativity. Take for instance a wedding: a couple has a vision for their special day. A successful wedding planner can visualize this and bring it to life. Creativity, an event planner characteristic, enables a planner to create something unique for every client.
Unfortunately, no event is without glitches; there are always going to be issues to be dealt with. A great way to problem solve and to create a solution is to think outside of the box. Creativity is what drives this solution-driven mentality. Being able to focus on the issue at hand and see the bigger picture, allows for a planner to resolve the problem creatively.
As mentioned previously, event and wedding planning is a very trend-sensitive industry. It is constantly evolving and changing to reflect the latest colours, technology and styles. Clients want something as unique as themselves and that can often mean incorporating the latest and greatest trends. Afterall, no one wants to repeat what their friends or colleagues have done. Event planners need to be aware of what is new, what is in and what is out. Curiosity as a event planner characteristic will naturally encourage a planner to stay on top of what is trending.
Wedding planners often face a serious challenge: a recent study found that 83% of brides say that social media plays an important role in the planning of their wedding. If an event planner isn’t curious about what is trending on those platforms, they may not be able to deliver exactly what a couple envisions for their special day. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it is an invaluable characteristic of a successful event and wedding planner.
Event and wedding planning can be viewed as something akin to juggling. Both professions are in the entertainment industry, and involve keeping many “balls” in the air. A professional planner requires certain characteristics in order to succeed in their chosen vocation. This exciting, vibrant career requires passion, organizational skills, a personable demeanor, creativity, and a natural sense of curiosity. Whether or not these traits are innate or acquired, the end result is a competent, successful planner. Whether you are planning the barbecue at Grandma’s or a 3-day conference, these event planner characteristics will ensure a successful result.