Event Manager: Expert Tips to Bring the Party to Life

by | CAREER GUIDANCE, Career Paths

Your first months after becoming an event manager will be as challenging as they are fun. You’ll have elaborate plans to set in motion, new vendors to negotiate with, and big ideas to execute. It can be one of the most rewarding hospitality jobs for the right person with a dynamic personality. 

Executing a successful event in hospitality requires a wide range of skills and experience. You will grow a lot just by planning and delivering events then learning from your mistakes, but there are some practices you can start using now to make things run much smoother.

To help this process, we’ve gathered a list of helpful tips to start your event management career off right!

Begin with the 5 W’s (and 1 H)

Before you can start planning an unforgettable event for your client, there are 5 questions you should ask yourself:

  • Who - Who are all the interested parties and stakeholders?
  • What - What type/size of event do you want to plan?
  • When - When is the event going to take place (month, day, time)?
  • Where - Where (country, city, and venue) will the event take place?
  • Why - Why are you putting on the event? (i.e. what is the purpose of the event?)
  • How - How are you going to execute your vision for the event?

If you sit down and start your event planning process by answering these questions thoroughly, you should have a clear idea of how to move forward. The answers to these questions will be guideposts for you to use to stay on track in your early days of planning.

Start planning early

When you look at your events calendar for the upcoming year it can be overwhelming. You may be tempted to focus only on the event directly in front of you and ignore what’s coming down the road. However, that would be a grave mistake because extra time is an event manager’s best friend.

Waiting until the last minute to finalize the specifics of your event increases your chances of forgetting something. Or, even worse, that your preferred suppliers and partners won't be accessible on the day of the event.

If it’s an event you’ve done before, some of the pre-planning phase will already be streamlined so you won’t need as much time. But for a brand new event, the best time to start organizing the little details is four to six months before. This includes choosing a date, reserving the venue and vendors, organizing the catering, equipment rentals, and other things on your to-do list.

Know your audience

To plan your event, you'll need to know who you're trying to reach. When you truly understand your audience, you can create an event that is focused on their preferences and interests.

Who would be your ideal guest? The content of your event will no doubt be influenced by your target audience. This includes the speakers, vendors, or entertainment you choose and the marketing plan you develop to promote your event. As a result, it's critical to have a clear idea of  the type of people who’ll be there.

While you could ordinarily invite participants in person, virtual events allow you to extend your audience and enhance your reach. You’re able to target prospective guests that cannot attend physically in order to potentially draw them into your concept.

Creating and using guest and potential guest “personas” will help you identify the traits of your ideal attendees. After establishing this, you can adjust your planning and marketing approach accordingly.

Set a budget and stick to it

It’s great for an event manager to have creative ambition. However, where your creativity will be tested the most is when you are forced to stick to a budget. A hard limit on how much you can spend will give you a clear idea on what you're capable of doing for an event. 

In the early stages, you will have to lay out the estimated cost of planning and executing the event. 

Depending on where and how you work, you may have a unique budget for a single event. Or, you may be the event manager for a hotel that has an annual budget for events that you must allocate throughout the year. 

To avoid burning through your yearly funds before spring arrives, it’s important to create a reasonable budget. This budget should include an overview of all of the costs that will contribute to the bottom line.

To help come up with a realistic budget, try shopping around for prices on your primary expenses such as the venue, the food, the equipment, and the event staff. Get quotes from two to three suppliers in your area and use that feedback to establish your budget.

Planning events is one of the most satisfying and fun careers in the hospitality industry. If you’ve got an out-going personality and eye for details, check out the open jobs in event management available on Hosco today!



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