1. Time Management?
Scheduling, multitasking and prioritising are absolutely key to the event management process and the more bespoke your event is, the more important these attributes become. These skills allow your event manager to optimise what is achievable within the time available so look for evidence of how she is able to streamline effort and make one action serve several functions. Procrastination is death to event management but for swift action to be effective, judgement is needed too.
2. Detail Oriented?
In all of this, it can be easy to lose sight of detail and, as we all know, that’s where the devil lies! Getting all the little things right, seeing to all the minutiae of planning, investing time and energy into planning for contingencies and rehearsing the event’s schedule all help to ensure that things run smoothly on the day. Look for a keen eye for detail in the observations your organiser offers and the questions she asks when you first start discussing your event with her. Her level of preparedness for your meetings could well be an indicator of her talents in this area.
This is a crucial area since command and control approaches simply will not work in such a collaborative and complex operation as event organisation. Beyond all the process, administrative and organisational aspects of event management you need your organiser to be able to inspire, motivate and command a loyalty to the project. Resilient, patient and tenacious, she will also need to manage the performance of volunteers and people whose prime roles lie outside of the project.
During the event itself, everything has to be smoothly coordinated so that each aspect of your event’s schedule goes smoothly. The keys to this kind of orchestration are attention to detail, a refusal to compromise on quality and clear communication to everyone involved. There will be evidence of these skills in the event organiser’s tender for your event. If that holds water, you’re off to a good start. Testimonials are also a good place to look for evidence of this skill set.
5. Digital Smarts?
Whilst you are not looking for an IT manager, your event organisers will work much more efficiently if they are able to make the most of technology both for organisation and planning and for communication. Look for evidence of a familiarity with ticketing systems, social media, project management technology and on-line application systems if not in your direct contact then somewhere in her event management company.