1. A People Person?
Your event manager is going to have to work with a team that will include you and your staff, your customers and your suppliers to make sure your event is a success. Does she listen? Does she understand? Is she empathetic? Is she a leader? Do you feel your needs are understood? Are you confident she is capable of finding ways to meet your needs? Can she give you options?
Some people are natural communicators and leaders. If you walk away from your first meeting feeling that the event manager has “got” you the chances are you’re onto a good start.
During much of the process of organising an event things are in considerable flux and plans need to adapt accordingly. Ideas get tested and whilst some make it to the final cut, others are jettisoned. New elements to the final event come into play. Your event manager needs to be the kind of person who is able to manage these changes without stress. She needs to be flexible, responsive and quick thinking whilst not losing sight of the big picture and of your objectives.
If your working life is already full of complexity and change or if you are the kind of person who finds constant change aggravating, this attribute in your event manager is especially important as it means you can leave the management of all this change to her.
There’s no way round this, organising events requires energy, time and stamina and the only way to survive the process is to really enjoy it. You need your event manager to be the kind of person who really relishes solving problems. Look for high levels of energy, enthusiasm and a real attention to detail.
If you are going to the trouble of hiring an event manager, you need her to be someone who shares your vision but sees it from a different angle. This helps to ensure that she is adding to your thinking and enriching the plan. You need her to do things differently too – otherwise you might as well do things yourself. The more the event manager thinks outside the box and creatively solves problems the more she adds value to your event and will help guarantee its success.
You need your event organiser to be as enthusiastic about your event as you are. After all in the run up to your big day, many of the suppliers, contributors, exhibitors, visitors and customers are going to have more contact with her than with you so you are relying on her to communicate a sense of excitement and build a sense of anticipation in advance of the event itself.
When you’re choosing your event manager, check your own feelings at the end of initial meetings. Did you come away feeling energised and excited? If you have, so will the other people she meets and talks to.
Director, Happening up North Ltd