Event planning is not for the faint of heart.
It can be highly stressful, challenging and keep you up at night contemplating whether or not you forgot something. Yet, even with its pitfalls, events management is a career in which many professionals seem to thrive.
Well, for starters, it’s about knowing how to keep organized. However, it takes a lot more skill than just that.
Carlo Parentela is an entrepreneur and executive in the hospitality industry. He is the owner of Chateau Le Jardin Event Venue in Vaughan, Canada, outside of Toronto. Here, Carlo looks at the 5 things the most successful event planners do every day.
Make a List
The first action a successful event planner does is they wake up early to get the ball rolling.
“First thing in the morning I wake up and respond to all of my emails. Then, I start writing down all of my business ideas and make a To-do list. I find that keeping organized helps me accomplish all of my goals that I have set for the day,” Carlo Parentela explains.
Whether it’s keeping an Excel spreadsheet, using a voice recorder or asking Siri verbally to make a list and recite it back to you, event planners must keep every client’s timeline on schedule and make sure vendors and deliveries show up on time. If there’s one guarantee in the world of event planning, it is that something is always bound to go wrong and sometimes you won’t know what that is until the day of the event.
Carlo Parentela: “Always keep a cool, calm and collected demeanor and a positive attitude in front of clients and vendors. They rely on you to lead, so don’t let the stress overwhelm you. It’s got to be a two-feet forward mentality.”
Busy event organizers are on limited time, so it’s important they understand the key areas to focus on. They must be able to roll with the punches should a challenge occur and put all their effort to getting things back on track. In the meantime, planners must always have concrete data about their events, be able to relay that information to their staff and implement processes to ensure that these priorities are carried out.
Carlo Parentela: “If you have a wedding in the afternoon, but you are focused on a business luncheon that isn’t happening until tomorrow, then you are not prioritizing tasks in the order of their importance. While you have to be able to multitask, you still need to be able to focus on what’s happening first.”
Research Ideas and Trends
A successful event planner is only as good as their competition, so they make time to read industry news and blogs to stay ahead. “With new products, technology and services developing seemingly every day, it’s vital to keep your finger on the pulse,” adds Parentela.
He also says it’s important to relay your ideas to your team and ask them for feedback.
“Brainstorming with the team is a necessary process and you should always get ideas from it. This is how the business slowly comes to life.”
As with any business, your metric of success is measured by the relationships you have with your clients. When an event is over, simply reach out to past clients and show them that you are interested in helping them with any of their future needs. It is okay to ask them to recommend you to their friends and family by handing them a business card. Chances are, if they were happy with their event, they’ll tell others about it too.
At the end of the day, event planning is one of the most stressful positions out there and it can seem like the weight of the world is upon your shoulders. If something didn’t go as planned or you overlooked a small detail, it is important to take a step back, reflect and come up with a better solution for next time.
“As part of their performance measurement, successful event planners ask for feedback from their attendees, participants and staff. The only way you are going to be 110% at your game is if you keep working to improve yourself.” Some good advice from Carlo Parentela.