Written by: Kimberly Bean – Owner/Partner, KBT Creative Support Services
In preparing and planning for an event with the purpose of generating more business there are several important factors to consider. As an event coordinator, you are a project manager from inception to completion of the entire production. A good plan begins with a comprehensive list of needs, expectations and priorities. If you do not have a clear vision, it is unlikely the event will yield the outcomes desired. Communication is indispensable with goals and achievements clearly defined.
Research is a vital component in order to connect with your desired audience. In the world of event planning, you are only as good as your last event. Potential clients are often attendees and have witnessed your work firsthand, others have heard from colleagues. Reputation and attention to detail are absolutes in this business. You must also be a fierce advocate for your clients, while practicing transparency and understanding suppliers – it can be challenging to maintain good relationships in tough situations, but integrity speaks volumes of your character and work ethic. Word travels quickly within the meeting planning industry and the business community, your work is distinctive and unique.
It is essential to know your audience and what makes them tick. Often, it isn’t the most sumptuous of details that are appreciated; it is a mix of creativity, design and genuine hospitality. When a client knows an event manager has their back and acts on their behalf in a sincere manner, trust is gained. Expertise is proven by relationships formed along the way and a strong business partnership is developed when goals are achieved, events are successful – which makes the client look good, communication is consistent with good or bad news and budgets are respected. Records must be maintained and easily accessible and sometimes you must work smarter and harder, however a seamless event (at least from the outside looking in) is the desired outcome, which translates into more business and a legitimate reputation in the event industry.
There are more tools and opportunities available today than ever before to prepare and educate: event apps, online forums, associations, webinars, books, networking events, volunteering with seasoned professionals and certification courses are all means in which an event manager can learn the latest trends in the industry and tailor a special occasion specifically for a client. An event manager must be upbeat with the ability to work with many personalities and recognize talent and proficiency in others. Schedules, agendas, spreadsheets, budgets, risk management, expenditures, vendor quality, employee procurement, processes involved in venue selection, food and beverage management are key in managing and executing an event and growing your business. You must lead by example and remain positive in the most difficult of circumstances – that is when you shine, confidence is gained and accounts are awarded!