I have this feeling that I may have executed on my last event today in my career and it is such a huge relief. I mean I started doing this 10 years ago and it brings me a lot of satisfaction, but at the same time a handful of stress and a pinch of anxiety. I used to love doing events because I loved seeing something that took weeks to put together come to fruition. The end result is the best. The appreciation and postive responses make everything worthwhile, but boy – am I tired. I had to unwind at my favorite Pho restaurant across the street to come down from whatever “this” was – something that I adopted way back when and still do today. Good to see how some habits never change. To kind of close the chapter on this, I thought it would be nice to write down a few of my thoughts on what I think it takes to be a good event planner.
- You have to love who you’re planning for. Well, if you don’t love them, you should at least like them. Putting together an event for people that you don’t enjoy very much is like torture and you shouldn’t do that to yourself. When you’re planning for people you like, your job is easier. You start to pick up on things you know certain individuals will like. You get excited about the ideas you come up with and you don’t tell them because you want to keep it a surprise and make them even happier. This is my favorite feeling!
- No event is perfect. There are always things that you’re not going to anticipate and things that you would’ve done differently. Acknowledge them to yourself. Accept that this happens before it happens and strive for better next time. Because of my experience with planning and my personality, I tend to be overly criticial of myself sometimes even at the event as its happening and this is something that I wish I could’ve worked on before getting to this very moment.
- Haters to the left. What’s worse than being critical of yourself? Having others critique your work. No one understands what you do and unless they’ve been in your shoes and have planned an event before, then all they can really do is have an opinion. My co-worker once told me that it’s important to “listen” to all feedback, but you don’t have to take every piece to heart.
- You didn’t do this alone so give thanks. This is my most favorite tip and honestly, I’m writing this post mainly because of this lesson that I learned very early on from my mentor when I was 15. It’s likely that you never did an entire event on your own because larger scale events take so many people to help you get to your big day. My mentor taught me always to be extremely grateful to every single person that helps you along the way. When you arrive to your event, introduce yourself to every person helping you and every vendor. When you leave your event for the night, make sure you make the same rounds and thank everyone for being their and helping to make the event a success. This is the strongest piece of advice that I have learned and it is has carried me a long way! I remember at one of my concerts, an inebrieted student had come up to me asking to get past a barrier and when I refused things escalated pretty quickly that one of our security who had noticed the incident and who had met me early on in the day came over to step in. That student was thrown out and while I didn’t find myself in immediate danger, I feel pretty confident that I wouldn’t have had backup had I not personally met with our security staff beforehand.
What a journey! These were the immediate four that came to mind and I’m sure I’d have much more to share if I wanted to spend more time on it. While I’d like to think that it’s my last event, I feel like that’s probably…maybe… not entirely true. Who knows what will happen?