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"Three Steps to Become an Event Planner"

Event Planner Job Description

Personality Traits of a Great Event Planner

If you are considering pursuing a career in event planning, you are probably asking yourself, "Do I have what it takes?  Is event planning really right for me?"

Admittedly, it takes a very specific type of person to become an event planner. It is an industry where your experience matters less than your ability to think things through logically and solve problems quickly, on your feet. There are certain, inherent personality traits and professional aptitudes that just can't be taught, but which are essential to become a great event planner. 

However, you most likely already have established, on some level, that you possess these qualities, or else you wouldn't be interested in pursuing such a career! 

**Note that on this page, we are talking about traits of the actual event planner (in other words, YOU!) For information about what the actual job of an event planner entails, click the following link to learn about a typical day in the life of an event planner.***

When deciding if event planning is for you, it is imperative that you are honest with yourself about your personality traits, habits, interests, and abilities. These are things you just can't fake your way through. Either you have them, or you don't. And if you don't, not only will you not make a good event planner, but you won't be happy either. 

Event Planner Personality Traits

A standard event planner job description might not list out the actual traits they are looking for; it is something that is implied with the position.  Most great event planners possess most, if not all, of the following traits and are:

  • Extremely Organized:  Above all else, it is imperative that you are an insanely organized person. In your professional and your personal life, organization is key. Do you make "To Do Lists" and follow them religiously? Is your file cabinet organized? Do you know where everything is on your desk (and your computer) at all times? If "organizational" skills are listed in the event planner job description, then take it seriously! That means that it is a high-paced environment where you truly need to be on top of your game.
  • A Multi-tasker: At any given moment on any given day, an event planner is juggling a number of completely different projects. She must research hotels for a project happening in six months, finish the billing from the last project, be writing the content of the brochures for the event in two months, and be finalizing the last-minute details for the trip she leaves on tomorrow. Your mind must be able to "switch gears" at any given time without notice, and remember to complete every detail of every task. If the event planner job description lists "multi-tasker" in its requirements, you can guarantee you'll be working one more than one project at once.

  • Great at Time Management: This goes hand-in-hand with multi-tasking. You need to understand, create, and stick to time lines and deadlines; and guide your colleagues, suppliers, staff, or client to do the same as well.

  • A Problem Solver: Event planning is like one giant word problem. Things don't occasionally go wrong; rather, occasionally a few things go right! You must be able to see a problem, work it through calmly in your head, and think through to find the most logical, economical, and all-around-best solution. This includes every day of the many months leading up to the event, and of course once you're on-site and the event "goes live."

  • Creative: The world of events has become amazingly diverse, creative, and competitive. It seems those who have been around long enough really have "seen it all." Are you able to come up with concepts that continually "wow" your clients, time after time, year after year? If the event planner job description lists "creativity" as a trait, then they are looking for someone that is truly innovative. If your idea of great decor is limited to balloons and colored napkins, you might not get the job.

  • A "People Person": This industry really is all about people and your relationships with them. From the dozens, or hundreds, of suppliers you work with, to the hundreds, or thousands of attendees or guests at your events; it's all about your relationships with people and working together to reach a common goal - a great event.

  • Customer Service Oriented: Some people want to be an event planner because they think it's all about wining, dining, and relaxing at fun parties. If this is you, keep looking! When it comes to meetings and events, it's all about the client and the attendees, not you. You need to do whatever it takes to get the job done; even if it means helping an under-staffed venue pick up dishes off the buffets.  Seriously, you need to have a never-ending sense of customer service, or else your client will go elsewhere. If the event planner job description lists "customer service" in their requirements, then I recommend emphasizing this in your cover letter and the interview.

  • Eloquent at Speaking and Writing: Again, a large amount of this job is all about communication, written and verbal, and interaction with other people. You must be able to convey your ideas, thoughts, and opinions in a clear and concise manner.

  • A Good Budgeter: To your client, it's all about getting the most bang for her buck. Especially these days, every event suffers from "the incredible shrinking budget," yet higher demands and expectations. You must be a whiz at crunching numbers, predicting unknown costs, and, basically, performing Money Magic at all times.

Take the time to "read between the lines" of each event planner job description, and see what they are truly looking for. Then, emphasize those traits in your cover letter and your interview.

As mentioned before, these are just a few of the personality traits that are important to have if you are considering pursuing a career as an event planner. These are not traits that can be taught, and they matter much more than your past experience as a planner. If most (or all) of these points fit you to a "T", then you are going to be a fantastic event planner!