Ten Key Skillsets for the Corporate Event Planner

Corporate event planning is a complex process, but it can be made more manageable when you understand what skills to focus on during the process. The corporate event planner skillset should include skills both management-oriented, and some more subjective. Our top 10 skillsets include:

  1. Delegation. Before you get started planning an event, shed the idea that you can or should do it all. The effective corporate event planner delegates tasks to the appropriate individuals, instead focusing on pulling it all together and accomplishing key tasks.
  2. Creativity. Corporate events are abundant, and they can easily be mediocre and forgettable without a good dose of creativity. Even small tweaks from the typical formula can have a big impact. You can and should apply creativity to the big highlights of the event, like entertainment, but a creative approach to smaller features, like décor, is also important.
  3. Taste. Closely related to creativity, good taste is a subjective quality ensuring you’re able to choose vendors, presenters and entertainers who fit well with the goals of the event and the company’s overall message.
  4. Time management. As the event draws near, many aspects of corporate event planning are time-sensitive. Having strong time management skills helps it go off without a hitch, while allowing you to remain cool under pressure.
  5. Communication. As the event planner, you must communicate with – and address the needs of – management, attendees, vendors, presenters and talent. Being able to communicate well helps with every step of the process. You use your communication skills to find out management’s goals of the event, to determine what attendees expectations are from the event, and to make everyone hired for the event understand what’s needed.
  6. Negotiation. Negotiation is a key corporate event planner skillset. You will be negotiating contracts with vendors and talent, so you need to know how to make sure that you sign contracts which are beneficial to you.
  7. Foresight. You need anticipate what your guests will need when the event finally occurs, from making sure there are adequate restroom facilities to having a contingency plan for an unexpected situation (and trust us, there will always be something unexpected!).
  8. Multitasking. Corporate event planning can be hectic, especially in the days leading up to the program. Multitasking is key, as you will be juggling diverse tasks throughout the entire process.
  9. Organization. You’re pulling together numerous vendors, businesspeople, entertainers, and presenters to put on a corporate event. Doing this requires excellent organizational skills, so that nothing falls through the cracks.
  10. Intuition. Trusting your own instincts about what will work, what won’t work, and what needs to get done is essential. There is no set way to do most things related to corporate event planning, and it’s often up to your own good judgment to determine what’s right for your event.

When you use these 10 key skillsets, you’ll have the tools you need for planning a great corporate event. One Smooth Stone would love to help you plan your event.

This post was originally published on the One Smooth Stone blog on January 16, 2014. For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing bduffy@onesmoothstone.com


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