7 Characteristics of Event Planners

(promotional sponsor – University of San Diego Professional and Continuing Education)

Have you thought about a future in Event Planning but you’re just not sure if it’s right for you? You are not alone; we often hear the same concern from individuals just like you. So, we spent the past several weeks speaking to various students, graduates, teachers, and working professionals, to determine the main characteristics an event planner must have to be successful in this industry. Here are the 7 characteristics an event planner must have, and if you have at least 3 out of the 7, the event industry is for you!

  1. Organization – Event planners create and follow schedules, coordinate teams, and complete projects. They are deadline driven so organization is key to their day-to-day work. Organizational skills are natural to some individuals. If you are naturally organized or if you have worked hard to become an organized individual, then event planning may be for you.
  2. Creativity/Thinking Outside the Box – Event planners have to be creative in almost every respect. From coming up with a great event concept to creating and designing themes and decorations, putting together volunteer and production schedules and resolving unforeseen problems; event planners are constantly thinking on their toes, facing and tackling new challenges. Those with a creative passion will do well in event planning. If you are a creative individual, then event planning may be for you.
  3. Problem Solvers – Events live by Murphy’s Law: what can go wrong inevitably will go wrong, no matter the size of the event. Event planners need to be prepared for anything and everything. Problem solvers can often see a problem before it arises, and are able to plan ahead to avoid undesirable results. If you are a natural problem solver, then event planning may be for you.
  4. Magicians – Although not great with party tricks, event planners have to create magical experiences. Every event seeks to create excitement for all who attend. The memories one walks away with from an event organized by an event planner are the result of hard work and dedication. Although there are a lot of moving parts to each event, event planners make the event seem flawless and natural so that attendees walk away with the best experience possible, making great memories. If you enjoy making people smile, then event planning may be for you.
  5. Wear Multiple Hats – An event planner can be an entrepreneur, marketer, bookkeeper, project manager, entertainer, waiter, caterer… (and the list goes on…). An Event Planner has the ability to see the entire event from a strategic perspective, see gaps and connect the dots. Often times in a moment’s notice, an event planner may need to play different roles required by the event as it unfolds. If you enjoy a fun and dynamic atmosphere where you won’t get bored, then perhaps event planning is for you.
  6. Thinking Independently and Work Cooperatively – Event planners tend to think like entrepreneurs. They are motivated and self-starters who can make things happen. Nevertheless, events are a group effort, so these individuals must know how to work well with others for events to be successful. If you are a hard worker who enjoys working with others, then event planning may be for you.
  7. Excellent Customer Service – Event planners have excellent skills when it comes to customer services. They are always smiling and strive to provide event attendees with the best possible experience. Although it is rare to have a truly flawless event, regardless of the outcome, event planners keep a cool head and always remember that it’s all about customer service. If you pride yourself in making others happy, then event planning may be in your future.

Whether you are an administrative or executive assistant, HR generalist, entrepreneur, or current event professional at an entry level position who is interested in becoming responsible for coordinating small to large-scale events including meetings, fundraisers, conferences, corporate programs, weddings, reunions, sporting events … the USD Event Management Program is for you!

University of San Diego’s Professional and Continuing Education is a PMI® Registered Education Provider. As a R.E.P. we have been approved by PMI® to issue professional development units (PDUs) for all our project management courses.

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