Are you finding it difficult to focus lately? Do you ever feel like your bouncing from one thing to the next? I have a theory about this – the event industry is rapidly changing and you can’t be a one trick pony anymore if you want to deliver for your clients or organisation.
On any given day as an Event Manager you have to be a psychologist, accountant and rockstar all rolled into one if you want to create an engaging conference and event that will inspire, motivate and achieve measurable results. That is why it is more important than ever to set and track objectives on a project by project basis to regain your focus.
Our job hasn’t just been about table centrepieces, room blocks and transfers for a while, we are responsible for so much more! So to help me focus and understand what I am trying to achieve with each aspect of the project I have made a list of just a few roles I play each day. This helps me know what hat to put on for each situation and therefore drives the best outcome for the project. Perhaps you might find yourself playing some of these as well – I suggest you embrace them.
To create a real connection with your client’s target audience you need to know them inside out. What do they see and say? What do they hear and think? What frustrates them? What motivates them? With a comprehensive audience profile you have tools to develop a compelling program and comms strategy.
We need to know our numbers and be an Excel whizz to know if the conference or event we’re looking to produce is financially viable in the first place. You also need to be realistic, can you achieve the event’s vision and objectives with this budget?
Event Managers are continuously liaising with a variety of stakeholders – the client, their clients, suppliers and speakers in some instances. We seek to understand each stakeholder’s role and responsibilities to ensure the best outcome is achieved for the desired budget.
Delegates are more health conscious than ever. As an Event Manager it is our job to provide a healthy and inclusive environment for all. We need to source catering that is rich in nutrients and mindful of the never ending list of dietary requirements…
A Sales Director
We are often selling something. Whether it be a space on an exhibition floor plan, sponsorship package or facilitating ticket sales. Everybody including the Event Manager has a part to play in the sales process.
A Risk Manager
We have a duty of care to ensure there is a safe environment for our staff, suppliers, guests and members of the public. We may need to conduct a risk assessment and develop an emergency plan based on this. If there is an emergency it is our responsibility to ensure there is a considered process in place…
A Travel Agent
Event Managers more often than not are travel experts. We secure discounted accommodation and track down the most cost and time efficient flights for our speakers, clients, delegates and the list could go on.
A Data Analyst
Data is everywhere and I can bet you are monitoring it, looking for opportunities and identifying weaknesses. Who is attending a particular session, who is talking to your Gold Sponsor and who attended the conference.
A Procurement Officer
We use our networks to attain the best possible price and conditions for goods and services. It is all about the fine print of venue contracts and multiple phone calls to ensure that pull up banner arrives when it should.
Any self-respecting Event Manager has a handle on Twitter, Facebook and everything other platform in between. They can identify opportunities, build FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and create relatable content.
Last but certainly not least, we need to be creative. We need to bring ideas to life and sometimes in creative ways as budgets aren’t what they used to be. Think virtual speakers, local experiences and digital conversations.
Event management is all about the strategy and good storytelling. We are flexible individuals who have the logistical expertise and content smarts to ensure our clients events are engaging, efficient and cost effective.
These are just some of the roles you may play in a day’s work. If you can’t do it – make sure you have a team member who can or perhaps outsource it.
They say in order to overcome whatever obstacles are in your way, you must address the problem. I believe one of the reasons event management is considered a high stress job is because we are having to be so many different things to so many different people. But by breaking down the roles, I believe we regain control and focus. What else do you do? I’d love to hear from you!