Event managers have a lot of responsibilities to juggle, from new bookings and last-minute requests to preparing staff. It takes a lot of coordination to keep all those balls in the air—and having the right habits helps to get the job done.
From using the right tools to following best practices, here are some most valuable habits of today’s most successful event planners:
1. Build an online presence
Looking for a place to engage clients and event guests? Social media can provide just that. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make it easy to promote your events while also giving clients an easy way to get in touch. Better yet, building a strong digital presence provides a space for guests to share their experiences at your meeting or convention with their network of friends and family. Encourage guests to tag your venue in photos or videos to improve visibility of your space and events. All that extra attention will raise brand awareness among your guests—and their networks—and may even lead to extra business down the road.
2. Never stop learning
Set yourself apart from the competition by reading up on current events and industry trends for at least a few minutes each day. The more you know about what’s going on—in the event planning industry as well as the business and tech world—the greater chance you’ll have to provide guests with an experience they won’t forget.
If you’re more of a hands-on learner, consider joining a professional networking group catering to the meetings and conventions space, such as Meeting Professionals International. With plenty of chapters all across the world, you’re bound to find an in-person event that can sharpen your industry knowledge. Sitting in on webinars hosted by organizations like the National Association for Catering and Events and MeetingsNet is another great way to pick up industry best practices.
3. Personalize experiences
From lighting and décor to food and drink, make sure it’s all customized to your organization’s goals or the conference theme. It’s also a good idea to sneak in highly personalized items such as a guest’s favorite bottle of wine. Small gestures—personalized for the occasion—will likely be remembered long after your event ends.
4. Get creative
Winning new business is all about offering something your competitors don’t. Rather than trying to sell the same ideas for your events, switch things up. Ask the venue what you can do to make the room layout more interesting or more customized to your group’s specific needs. You can try new event formats, such as Pecha Kucha or World Café.
5. Leverage the right tools
Incoming leads, constant emails, and staff communications can be a lot to manage. There are event management tools that will help. Whether turning around contracts, managing changes, or communicating with clients or team members, an event management platform can increase efficiency and minimize stress.
Event managers face numerous challenges. But with the right tools, the right resources, and the right game plan, it’s much easier to get the job done. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to meeting planning, it’s important to build the habits that will lead your events business to success.
Alex Lassiter is vice president of customer experience and co-founder of Gather, which offers event management software for restaurants and venues.