Is Event Management Making Your Head Spin? Here’s How to Cleverly Deal with It
Planning an event and pulling it off has its stresses. If your event manager is making your head spin, you have to deal with it, sooner than later.
An unqualified and uncooperative event manager can ruin your show from the get-go if you don’t deal with it. But, here’s how to cleverly deal with it.
Is event management making your head spin?
The International Institute of Event Management says, “The event planning profession is unique in that it takes a blend of people, business and program management skills to succeed.””
The best event managers have:
• Organizational skills to manage and monitor people, schedules, vendors, and more.
• Laser focus on every detail, especially those that matter to the client.
• Patience, empathy, and flexibility to handle crises.
• People skills to build client relationships and please guests.
• Leadership skills to coordinate services and providers in project management with a successful event as a goal.
Unfortunately, you don’t always find this skill set in your event manager whether you are planning a wedding, seminar, business conference, or convention.
The things you have to deal with:
• Lacking people skills. You expect a little more from your event manager, something charismatic and engaging. They are party hosts, as it were, and they should exude a positive attitude.
As the client, you are in the position to caution the apparently unfriendly or dismissive event manager that he or she appears tired or preoccupied. Invite them to explain their problem but let them know you need something warmer and outgoing.
• Lacking organization. Your event depends on the event manager being on top of things, complex as they may be. They are project managers tasked with being multi-taskers. They must organize and manage physical, entertainment, audio-visual elements, and much more. If you don’t see order in their personal habits or office, you may have a problem.
You can deal with signs of poor organization by advising the manager how important detail is to you. You might invite the event manager to meet with you periodically to review process and progress. Or, you might put the event in the hands of experts like eCubed.
• Inclined to micromanagement. The vice of micromanagement usually appears in poor people skills. It usually appears in poor communication and a demanding style. While you do need a manager with detail focus, it can cripple delivery systems.
Again, you can use a regular meeting with the event planner to mention what you have noticed. If you can connect it with poor or untimely outcomes, you make it important but not personal. You can let the event manager know you appreciate the attention to detail, but that you need a more comfortable working environment.
• Lacking interest. You need to feel energy in your event manager. The event is exciting for you, and you need someone to share the enthusiasm. Banquet, business conference, regional or national conference, the event manager needs to share your stress and commitment to excellence.
You might explain the pressure you are under to meet individual and group expectations. You may be trying to please family, employees, peers, or bosses, but you do answer to someone. Help the event manager share the big picture with which you are working.
Is event management is making your head spin?
Marin Bright, writing for Forbes, noted, “ Planning meetings and events is a lesson in Zen. The preparation is rigorous and extensive, but there is only so much of that you can do. At one point or another, the attendees get there, the caterer has an emergency, or the venue floods and you just have to set your expectations free and think on your feet.”
But, if and when the event manager worries you, you must step up early to stop or redirect the problem. It will not get better with age. It will not get better without confrontation. But, the confrontation does not have to be angry or emotional.
You must manage the event manager. Hopefully, you’ll find help in these suggestions on how to cleverly deal with it.