6 Skills You Need to Become a Successful Event Manager

Event management offers a fast-paced, exciting career pathway. If you’re a high-energy individual who’s passionate about delivering great events, becoming an event manager might be a great option for you. Although event-management technology has advanced considerably in recent years, event managers still need certain essential skills to deliver great outcomes for their clients. Whether you’re organising a food pop-up, a major concert, or an intimate wedding, these are some of the key skills you need to succeed. 

Understanding event planning as a career

Event managers can be tasked with planning and executing everything from food shows, exhibitions, concerts, and weddings to corporate events, athletic competitions, festivals, community events, and fundraisers. As an event planner, every event you organise will be different and may require a unique approach. Competent event planners are great at multitasking, and they’re flexible and highly organised. While to observers it can seem to be a stressful job, those passionate about delivering amazing events tend to thrive on the frenetic pace and pride themselves on staying focused and organised.

Skills you need to become an effective event manager

So how do you become a good event planner? The most effective, in-demand event managers draw on a combination of soft skills like flexibility and communication as well as technological savvy. Additional attributes like creativity, client focus, persistence, passion, and enthusiasm are also indispensable. 

1. Flexibility

Events are constantly in flux, with numerous moving parts, and time is always of the essence. As such, successful event management requires event managers to be able to react dynamically to constant change and address new issues as they arise. Flexibility involves being able to think on your feet, problem-solving, and making tough decisions in the moment – all the while staying calm and focused.

2. Organisation and planning

While event planners need to be able to be spontaneous and effective among chaos, they also need excellent organisational skills. This entails setting clear, measurable goals and objectives, successfully using processes and methods, coordinating teams of staff and contractors, and following timelines and budgets. Good documentation and information organisation is also essential. You’ll need extensive event proposals, checklists to keep track of every moving part, and tech tools to stay organised. Having backup plans, doing run-throughs, and setting clear objectives can also be essential for staying organised. 

3. Networking

At the heart of event management is successful networking. As the leader and coordinator, you’re at the centre of a network of resources, people, facilities, and tasks that bring given events to fruition. Leverage your vendor networks to source the right venues and products for clients. Touch base with colleagues, volunteers, staff, and customers on a regular basis. Keeping these essential contacts close allows you to tap into them efficiently for new business and for your event planning.

4. Technological competencies

Technology tools are essential to the event manager’s role. Event technology platforms offer features like ticketing, payments, logistics, and scheduling. Other features can include registration and check-ins, venue management, brochures, attendee engagement and feedback, marketing, and guest-list management. Event managers may also be great online marketers: both before the event to promote attendance, and following events to showcase the success of the day. Tech tools are also useful for following up with attendees, whether over email or social media. 

5. Interpersonal skills

Event managers deal with a lot of people and naturally need to have excellent interpersonal skills, especially communication competencies. You’re likely working with contractors, employees, team members, clients, participants, volunteers, and others. Gien this, great oral and written communication skills are musts, as is active listening and being able to really understand the perspective of everyone in your network. Effective communication also makes you a good leader, allowing you to share your vision and get everyone on board. Being able to negotiate terms, resolve any conflict, and build rapport also are essential skills to have. 

6. Leadership

In-demand event managers are highly effective leaders who work with teams by building trust, communicating their plan and vision, and delegating tasks. You know how to motivate team members and contractors, and you’re able to hold them accountable for outcomes. You inspire and encourage with impact, guiding everyone to the end goal to deliver amazing events. You’re also well versed in practical tools for coordinating projects and delegation, such as budgeting tools, shared document platforms, and event management software. 

Become an event manager

Event managers are multifaceted individuals, with a range of skills and attributes at their fingertips. Successful event managers are dynamic and flexible, and they’re proficient at using their strong interpersonal skills to network successfully with others. Additionally, they complement these soft skills with technological savvy and exceptional organisational and planning competencies. To be an event manager is to be a compelling leader and facilitator who brings people and resources together to deliver amazing events for clients. 

Event management could be the fulfilling, dynamic career you’re looking for. ICI’s event management course has been carefully designed by event-industry professionals and equips you with all the skills you may need to succeed in this pathway. Click here for more information and take your next career steps now.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.