Event Planner or Jack of All Trades? – 7 Unexpected Roles of a Planner that will Surprise You
Updated: Jul 8
As an event planner, you take on many different job roles when you are producing your event. Not only are you answering questions and directing the whole production, you end up doing quite a bit of heavy lifting – both literally and figuratively! Here are some unexpected roles you might encounter in all areas of the planning process.
1. Personal Assistant – When producing an event you also have to make sure your client is taken care of. If they need a radio or some sunscreen or water etc you should be prepared to step up into the personal assistant role to make them happy. Our advice is to always go the extra mile, cranky clients don’t benefit anyone. If your client is happy then you’ll be happy!
2. Janitor – There isn’t an event that goes by where you don’t end up cleaning up trash some way or the other. During set up especially there tends to be a lot of leftover plastic bags etc that you don’t want our client or attendees first walking in to see so you will constantly be picking up things to make the event look pristine. You know what they say, first impressions are lasting impressions!
3. Accountant – Quite often as the event planner you end up in charge of the accounting at events as clients may be unfamiliar with the proper procedures. You become responsible for developing the methods to manage and track the money that is coming and going from the front gate, bars and activities. Keeping a calculator (aka charged cell phone) close by is always recommended!
4. Waiter/Bartender – If a waiter or bartender doesn’t show up or if the system gets overloaded, you may need to step in and slang some drinks or deliver some food. If a wheel pops off of the bus you gotta jump in and help out! One team – one dream! And keeping the guests well fed and hydrated is key to a successful event.
5. IT – More often than not you also end up being the IT at events – the person to call if the wifi stops working or the iPad Square transaction does not go through. If you don’t have a background in IT you can imagine what a delight this would be. But as an event planner you make it happen and even though a lot of trial and error goes into our job, the goal is to make it look effortless to those watching.
6. Graphic Designer – At the last minute right before a big event you may realize there is some sort of sign missing and you need to create something on the spot and fancy it up to be event ready! It’s good to have some basic knowledge (we recommend being familiar with Canva) so that you can step in as a graphic designer in a pinch!
7. And the most common of them all – Therapist! It’s interesting how as an event planner you end up involved in our clients personal matters whether about the event or not! You end up being a trusted safe haven where they can vocalize their frustrations or share their concerns. But adding this level of connection helps you to bond with your client even more and build trust.
Through every new role taken on, it will help you to build your skill set and become a stronger and more confident event planner! Whether you become a janitor or a therapist, as the planner you want to do anything to make sure the event is a smashing success! And if you’re lucky you’ll end up with some fun stories to share over drinks at parties ;)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Taylor Kahle
Taylor is a Sunday Brunch enthusiast who goes everywhere with her Chihuahua Stella. On a weeknight you can find her relaxing with a fun face mask, a nice glass of red wine and some fancy cheeses. Talk about self-care!