by Erica Krystek, Event Coordinator
While there are an abundance of lessons I’ve learned while employed at the Bayfront Convention Center, I’ve found that there are five that stand out in the event coordination world. While these traits are necessary in the work environment, they are also simply great life skills to have. Let’s take a look!
- Communication skills. This is essential! Communication is one of the most vital parts of being a successful event coordinator. One of the most effective ways of communication has proven to be picking up the phone and calling the clients directly, instead of text or email. Not only does a phone call add a personal touch, it also gives the customer a sense of ease when they speak to a person instead of a recording. Pay attention to what is being said and (sometimes more importantly) what is not said. Listening and evaluating your client’s needs throughout your planning process will help you stay one step ahead.
- Organization. In event planning, success is in the details… and there are so many! Multi-tasking is required for both smooth planning and a flawless execution of any event. Working in events requires the ability to focus on the big picture while keeping track of all the little details. Being highly organized is a must in event development.
- Passion. They say, “It’s not work when you love what you do.” With all the pressure of the job, you have to really embrace every aspect of what you do. Passion helps you overcome bumps in the road and stay composed when things become trying. Things like time management and the proper use of industry jargon can be taught, but you can’t teach passion, and you’ll need it in order to develop true customer relationships and succeed in this business.
- Composure. All teams will look to you for answers to just about everything. In moments of stress, the last thing they need is a shaky leader who makes poor decisions (or none at all) because they’re cracking under the pressure. Successful event coordinators stay level-headed and continue to treat everyone with respect, no matter what. Cleaning up messes and putting out fires — quickly, quietly, and efficiently — is part of the job. Stay calm, get it done, and then get back to running the show.
- Decisiveness. Event coordinators need to be comfortable in their role and have the ability to make several executive decisions at once, and to make them quickly. More importantly, they need to be able to recognize when it’s too late to change those decisions. When clients are travelling from their home base to the Convention Center, they may not have time to answer their phone or an email about a last-minute question. It is our role to ensure that the requests and expectations have been communicated, and to take responsibility for necessary adjustments.