The world of event planning is one of the most dynamic sectors in all of hospitality. Catering, entertainment, activities–it’s hard to deny how much fun events can be for those in attendance. And in the middle of it all stands the humble event coordinator, doing everything they can to keep the party train on track.
You’ve already learned all of the basics you need to become an event coordinator in the hospitality industry. However, it’s a position with many things to consider so there are a few key tips you should keep in mind when starting your job in event planning.
Communicate efficiently and effectively
When coordinating an event, you will need to be in contact with many different parties. Due to this, you should be an expert communicator.
Considering most of your day will be spent on the phone aligning with others, each exchange must be to the point. You need to know exactly what you want to communicate and be able to ask the right questions to get the answers you need in return.
Depending on the event, you will be working with caterers, A/V technicians, entertainment, decorators, and countless other parties. You must navigate between them and be able to strike the right tone of communication to get on the same page.
These different entities all have their own lingo and jargon they might throw your way. If someone makes a request or uses some vocabulary that you don’t understand, politely ask them to clarify it for you.
Be highly organized
This is the most important soft skill to have if you want to become a world-class event coordinator.
Planning events requires meticulous organization in order to move all of the separate parts in the same direction. If you have problems keeping track of your weekly calendar or take hours to reply to messages and questions, this isn’t the role for you.
When conducting meetings, you should do a brief recap at the end of each discussion. This allows you to reiterate the key action points both for you and the other parties involved. If something needs more clarity, the recap will reveal it and give you the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings.
After each meeting, there should be a system for recording the important takeaways. It could be in a notebook that you later use to send reminder emails or on a digital app, whatever is most comortable.
No matter your method, you must take notes of your meetings. It will make your current workload and future meetings much easier than relying on your brain power to remember. After all, the shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory.
If you’re organizing a large scale event with many moving parts, you might need something more than thorough notes.
You should consider implementing project software management to help everyone align on upcoming tasks or important deadlines. Apps like Trello or Asana are free to use, relatively user friendly, and will save you valuable time.
Have an outgoing and friendly personality
The role of event planner is a natural leadership role. You need to be able to motivate all of the different teams involved to deliver on time and fulfill the overall vision. While the event manager is the ultimate leader of the squad, it’s the event coordinators who do much of the heavy lifting.
To succeed on the leadership side of things, you must be charming, charismatic, and have an outgoing personality. The job is all about talking to people, explaining what you need from them, then convincing them to do it as fast and cheaply as possible.
Vendors and others are much more likely to work hard for you if they like you as a person.
It’s important not to confuse being outgoing with being bossy or rude. You should see the vendors, performers, or caterers you work with your collaborators, not subordinates. If you have a poor attitude or demonstrate a lack of respect in meetings and discussions, it will be hard to motivate people to work in your favor.
Working in harmony with the different teams will also help you down the line. These are people and companies you could potentially work with on future events.
You should seek to create solid partnerships with these entities as it will make the process of organizing the next event that much smoother.
The life of an event coordinator is dynamic, high pressure, and extremely fun. If you think you’ve got the personality to fit the role, check out the open event planning jobs available on Hosco today!