Unexpected Skills to Focus on Now for Your Event Planning Career
It is clear that what we expected to be a few months…6 months…a year, tops…halting of the events industry, will be a much longer challenge in how we pivot and adapt. Uggh, yes, the most overused word of 2020…pivot. But it’s our realities as event planners…we need to adjust our offerings, reassess our business strategy, and plan creatively for how we can survive the remainder of the Pandemic and thrive in a world that will operate differently than the one we left last Spring.
So, what organizational upgrades can you work on now that are going to help you sustain the near future and attract new opportunities for years to come? Obviously, you could spend some extra effort perfecting your floral design talents and updating your pricing sheet, but here are some out of the box ideas on ways to implement efficiencies internally and create additional client values.
Get hands-on with graphic design
Let’s be honest, we live in a world that thrives on pretty, polished visuals and well-rounded branding. Instagram feeds of color palette perfection will forever be trending and refined marketing campaigns will always reign King for memorable graphics and imagery.
So let’s stop outsourcing the development of our event branding for every little project and get hands-on with the artsy stuff. With Canva, a graphic design platform created for non-professional designers, it has never been easier to test the waters with your graphic design work. Pre-made templates provide inspiration for fonts, color, layouts and even copy. It will take a bit of working within the software before you feel like a Pro, but the platform is designed for the amateur. Being able to create cohesive graphic messaging quickly in-house will enhance your overall planning capabilities and timeliness.
Test your tech skills with the basics of websites
If you’re reading this three courses into a WordPress training…kudos to you for already being on the tech train! And, that definitely is a route to go if you want the ability to customize code and practice advanced site integrations.
If you just need the ability to make beautifully designed sites, quickly for your events and company, getting familiar with a website builder can be a fun and useful skill to start practicing now. Whether you opt for Weebly, Wix, SquareSpace or another, you will have access to customizable templates and tools to get you started in the process.
We have found that having direct access to edit our sites has increased our flexibility and responsiveness to inevitable changes of the event world, especially in our current fluid circumstances.
Organize your internal information using modern platforms
Companies big and small will tell you that a crucial step in increasing company-wide efficiencies is implementing a unified Project Management system. It can take a bit of negotiating to get all players on board and to determine how this software can work for the specific needs and processes of your company, so now is an ideal time to begin. Asana and Monday are some of our preferred platforms. We also use Slack (Microsoft Teams is similar) for internal communications and using these together creates organized speedy communication oriented around goals and deadlines. Out are the days of back and forth emails…these times call for structured planning utilizing tech to enhance organizational communication.
Create effortless flow with automations
Streamline your businesses processes using the magicians of tech by automating sequences of events so that execution happens on an individual level without you having to do a thing. By spending some additional effort upfront and utilizing existing platform technologies, you can create a flow for work that happens without you having to think about it.
In the event planning world a few key areas of automation would include your client payment systems, exhibitor management, ticket buyer systems and so much more.
Still confused?…Let's say you are registering artists for booths at an art show. Beneficial automations might be…
·..An automated email that sends out to an artist once they have completed the online registration form detailing how to prepare for the show and a breakdown of upcoming communication to expect.
·..An automated email that sends out to all registered artists two weeks prior to the show with specifics for the day of.
·..An automated text that sends out to all registered artists 24 hours prior to the show reminding artists of the check-in location and including the cell phone number for their day of liaison.
Get personal with your audience and build YOUR brand
There is no longer an excuse for not having a presence on social media. Our society now expects as standard that at any given time they can open up Instagram and get a quick read of your company, experience, and personality. Determine your platform(s) and a weekly posting goal that is attainable and stick to it. Use photos and captions that demonstrate your expertise but also humanize your company. People like to know about people and social media is driven by people’s desire for an insider’s look.
Most importantly, don’t let your commitment to your social presence fall to the wayside when events get rolling again. Stay consistent and committed and regardless of your follower account, you now have a place for people to learn about your company in a format they are accustomed to.
Have you taken on these organizational upgrades already? What else have you been working on? Event planners have skills that range from a deep knowledge of linen fabrics to the technical jargon of virtual streaming and it’s important we continue to expand our horizons as we transition into a new world of events and expectations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenna Thompson
Jenna is a mountain based Yogi with a love for veggie focused foods. When she's not in Warrior Pose you can find her spending time with her Avalanche Rescue Dog Luna with a Matcha Latte in hand!