So you want to put on your own events? Then you’ll need all the skills required to fill the role of an event organiser. Fortunately, we’ve got everything you should know right here.
Here are some of the event organiser skills we’ll cover in this guide…
- Organisation and budgeting
- Technical knowledge
- Leadership and communication
- Sales and customer service
Ready to check some boxes and expand your to-do list?
1. Organisation and time management
Right at the top of our list of event organiser skills is the ability to—well—organise and plan. Without this skill, your event will be a circus…and not the intentional kind.
It’s not easy to orchestrate an event. The bigger the event is, the more people are involved and the more things can go wrong if you don’t create plans and backup plans.
Organisational skills are crucial because you’ll be required to…
- Meet deadlines
- Plan logistics
- Manage budgets
- Organise staff schedules
- Run marketing campaigns
2. Attention to detail
The Devil is in the detail, so it’s important to pay attention if you want to avoid having to call a young priest and an old priest to sort out your event.
Was the wine the right temperature? Did the AV equipment work flawlessly? Did the waiters smile? Was there enough staff to handle registration in a timely manner?
You may have everything planned out and organised, but it’s the little things that add up to the experience of the event as a whole.
Next step: You can learn how to develop your attention to detail to increase the odds of a perfect event.
Yes, the dreaded B-word made it onto this list as well. Like any other undertaking that requires resources, you’ll need budgeting skills to organise an event.
The role of an event organiser will require you to understand which expenses you have and where you can find potential sources of revenue to balance your books.
Next step: Read our guide on how to manage an event budget so your books are in order.
The ability to communicate clearly and effectively with people is also one of the most important event organiser skills.
The role of an event organiser will see you deal with a wide range of people:
- Event attendees
- Caterers and other vendors
- Venue managers and staff
- Speakers and entertainers
- Volunteers and charities
- PR agencies
- Influencers and celebrities
- Health and safety inspectors
- Accountants and bookkeepers
- Insurance companies
- Newspapers and radio stations
- Private donors
- Corporate sponsors
- People on social media
You need to listen to everyone’s expectations and concerns. At the same time, you also need to communicate your own vision and expectations to make sure you’re all on the same page.
Here are some aspects of your event organiser role that’ll require good communication skills:
- Writing event proposals and contracts
- Creating marketing materials to sell tickets
- Briefing and debriefing your event team
- Networking with other businesses
- Negotiating with venues and vendors
- Showing gratitude and collecting feedback
- Hosting events and making announcements
Next step: You may find this list of different ways to improve your communication skills helpful.
Part of the role of an event organiser is to delegate tasks to other people. Whether that be event staff, volunteers, family members, or third-party vendors, you’ll eventually need to involve others.
Good leaders are able to…
- Utilise each team member’s individual strengths
- Delegate tasks and provide clear instructions
- Facilitate communication between team members
- Inspire and motivate people to do their best
- Create a sense of trust and transparency
In other words, you have to unify people around a common goal and make sure that everyone gets along and gives their best effort.
Next step: Have a look at this in-depth article that outlines the qualities of a good leader.
Event planning is all about bringing people together. That, in a sense, is about creating a network. But there’s also a lot of networking that goes on behind the scenes.
Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned veteran, you need to constantly build and maintain professional relationships with all the people mentioned above (see #3).
The role of an event organiser may also require you to attend social networking events or join online groups where you can nurture your relationships.
7. Sales and negotiation
If you’re a professional event organiser, then you’re in the events business. That means you also wear the hats of a marketer, negotiator, and salesperson.
You need to sell the concept of your event to potential attendees, donors, sponsors, influencers, and volunteers. That requires sales and marketing skills.
At the same time, you need to negotiate a good price for the venue, catering, supplies, entertainment, and anything else you need to make your event a success.
Next step: Read our guide on how to negotiate with vendors and venues to improve these skills.
8. Customer service
Although you have to deal with a lot of people, from corporate sponsors to social media influencers, none are as important as the people attending your event.
The event attendees are the customers, and the customers are always right—even when they’re wrong and unreasonable and you want to tear your hair out.
Next step: Here is a good list of tips on how to deal with difficult customers so you come out on top.
9. Technical literacy
Event organisers need to have a good understanding of technology. Machines and automation have made it much easier to plan and execute events, but you also need to know how to operate them.
Here are some of the apps and devices you need to understand:
- Event management software
- Social media platforms
- Ticketing apps
- Email marketing software
- Microsoft Office & Google G-Suite
- Project management tools
- AV equipment (cameras, mics, lighting, and projectors)
Next step: Check out our list of free event planning tools to help you better organise your work.
10. Broad knowledge of events
It may seem like an obvious point to make, but you should have general knowledge of what’s required to make an event happen.
You don’t need to be an expert on the job of a DJ, but you do need to know what the DJ needs to be able to do his or her job.
The same goes for everyone else involved in your event. Make sure you’re clued up on the basics of what they do so that you can delegate and accommodate.
Here’s some other broad knowledge of events that you’ll need:
- How to make a floor plan
- How long dinner service takes
- What AV equipment is required
- How to estimate venue capacity
- How to research event vendors
Do you feel equipped?
If you can master all of these 10 event organiser skills, then you’re well on your way to a successful career in events.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section below and share with your fellow event organisers.