What’s Missing from an Event Planner Job Description?
If you love the thrill of planning memorable events, then you probably have an idea of what event planning jobs demand from their planners. But there’s a lot more to the job besides the opportunities for travel and the joy of seeing people in celebration. Job descriptions often leave out the most important parts of the job—what event planning is actually like from day to day. Yes, that means the un-glamorous, nitty-gritty stuff.
Since the industry is so specialized, event production companies expect applicants to already have thorough knowledge about the local industry when applying. As a novice planner, you probably have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. Don’t stress, we’re here to help! Keep reading for some of the skills and tasks you might not expect to see in an event planner job description.
You need people skills
As an event planner, you’ll work closely with your suppliers, distributors, vendors, and clients. And if you’re planning milestone events, you’ll also have to collaborate with family members and friends of your clients.
Get used to being thoroughly transparent and connect with your clients. Especially for private and personal event planning, emotions may run high. Being empathetic and understanding can go a long way—you may even earn yourself a repeat client.
Excel in writing and communication
Excellent people skills and communication skills are a must in this line of work! A communication breakdown can happen at any time, from the initial call to the client consultation to the day-of. If this happens, it means that one or both parties are frustrated and may have the wrong information. If your clients are frustrated with a lack of clarity and communication from you, you may earn some nasty reviews from them. If you’re just starting out, it can kill your career!
Needing to have strong oral communication skills may seem obvious to you. But what’s not obvious is that you must also have strong writing skills. You may excel at speaking to people (this ties in with those people skills!), but being equally persuasive in your writing is tough. You’ll be writing many proposals throughout the course of your career. These proposals will determine whether a client chooses you over the competition. So brush up on your writing!
Set expectations about your event planning services
If you plan to start your own event planning business, you’ll need to get this right. No one will be able to clarify your services on your behalf! Be sure to let your clients know exactly what you’re responsible for and what you aren’t. Sometimes, you may encounter clients with crazy expectations. In these cases, learn how to say no. You don’t want to make promises you can’t fulfill. Relay your fees and the timeline associated with your services—there shouldn’t be any grey areas!
Finally, write everything clearly into a contract and invite questions. You don’t want to take chances with your business. Take the advice of QC Event School tutor Athena DeVonne, and get a lawyer to review your contract!
Be flexible and reliable
You aren’t going to be working a standard 9-5 job. If that’s what you’re expecting, then you may be in the wrong profession. Some days, you’ll have zero appointments but many office and administrative tasks. Other days, you’ll be slammed with back-to-back appointments. You’ll have many long days and nights, especially in the days leading up to the event!
Over the course of your career as an event planner, expect to do lots of driving. From venue appointments to client meetings to supplier check-ins, you better be able to cart yourself from place to place. Costs for taxis and Ubers can quickly add up, and the bus just isn’t reliable. Being punctual is of the utmost importance—your clients need to know that they can rely on you!
You need to be tech-savvy
The degree of tech-savviness depends on the specific types of events you plan within the events industry. If you’re in charge of planning a rustic wedding, for example, you probably won’t need to know the ins and outs of online event marketing. However, if you are planning a corporate conference, you’ll need to know how to use social media to engage event attendees.
As your event planning business grows, you’ll hire more event planners and assistants. Managing schedules and keeping your business organized can suddenly become much harder. You’ll need to acquaint yourself with the latest and greatest tech to ensure your business can keep up with the demands of a 21st-century planning business!
You won’t have a chance to sit
Event planning is more physically straining than you think! You’ll be on your feet for most of the working day, running around from appointment to appointment. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the day of the event!
Now, we’re not saying that you have to be in the best shape of your life. But exercise should definitely be part of your daily routine to prevent injuries on the job. After all, you may have to help move boxes of event decor, and you’re definitely supposed to help deal with the event venue aftermath…
Your job isn’t done before the big event
Those new to the field may think that all the planning work takes place before the event and that’s it—it’s called planning, right? But no matter how well-prepared you are for an event, there’s are still lots to do on the day of (and after!) Day-of coordination is a huge part of the job! That’s why some DIY engaged couples will plan their weddings but still hire day-of wedding coordinators.
You will also be expected to help clean up. Unfortunately, you can’t always “wait for the clean-up crew” to do it all. Especially if an event runs late, you’ll be paying a premium for staff to stay on-site to accommodate the event guests. That means you’ll have to use your expert skills to help wind down celebrations and then stay late to help clean up.
Even after the event is over, there’s still work that needs to be done. It’s important to follow up with your venues and clients to thank them for working with you. Maintaining a good relationship with your past clients will do wonder in building up your business’s reputation (get those reviews!). And don’t forget—the best type of marketing is positive word-of-mouth!
Any other tasks and skills often missed in an event planner’s job description? Let us know!