You can probably picture it: people filtering in through the door, milling about before the big event begins, admiring the decorations or simply the organisation, listening to keynote speakers or a band, gathering around a meal, training, or doing whatever it is you have on the schedule for the night. Can you close your eyes and imagine exactly how it would play out? Or does that scare you because you’re not sure how to go about it?

If it’s the former, then here are a few key tips to make it far in the events industry:

1. People Skills

Listening is a key part of an events team, from the assistant right up to the Event Director. You must be able to pick out the client’s true goals and dreams, and you find a way to make them happen. You resolve conflict easily and kindly, you are energetic and excited, and you live to see people enjoy themselves with a little bit of your help. Whether you are treating a patient as a medic or giving some customer directions to get around the event, being able to communicate both verbally and in terms of body language is paramount.

2. Organisation and Time Management (with a hint of flexibility)

A close second for importance is your ability to juggle multiple projects at once—and with grace. You don’t get stressed out about having a full schedule, and you like everything to have its place. Event organisers have all the contacts they need at all times, and they know exactly what to do in nearly every situation; and, if they don’t, they can figure it out quietly and efficiently. That’s the thing: few things will ever go exactly as planned, so you must be flexible and ready to respond well to any arising situation. You have a backup plan and you’re willing to get your own hands dirty.

3. An Eye for Taste and Detail

When you imagine the event, you can picture the design. You can figure out who to call and who to put on a team to make the event look and feel exactly as it should. No one wants to walk into a formal business event to see Piñate decorations hanging everywhere (well, maybe some people do?). You are able to see the big picture, but you know that the details are the key to success: what will the room smell like? Will music be playing? What colours are the decorations? Which speaker would be most inspiring? What venue is spatially best for a large training? Is the room too dull? There are endless things an event manager can ponder over—and they like to!

outdoor event festivalImage Credit: Proud Events

4. Enthusiasm and Creativity

You see things differently; you are an out-of-the box thinker who can dream up things no one has ever seen before. You are so excited about bringing these ideas to fruition that other people get excited right along with you. With enthusiasm things get done and often done better and more easily which is important when working in the event environment. Oh did we forget to mention being enthusiastic makes work a lot more fun?

5. Budget and Negotiate

Another endlessly important skill to have in event services is the skill to negotiate and budget. You have a financial mind (or, at least, have a partner or team member who does) and can create realistic goals. You have an aptitude for tracking your expenditures and sticking with your limits. On a similar note, you have the ability to negotiate contracts with clients and vendors alike. You must be firm but graceful.

Most of these things take a lot of practice and diligence, but if you’ve got the passion for it, you’ve already won half the battle! Get out there, get some experience, and see how you can make this world a better place with the unique skills you’ve been given.