In any professional environment, it’s the combination of radically different opinions that often lead to the best results. However, in some cases, those differing opinions come with differing personalities which can bring tension to any situation. In the events industry, this can be especially distressing if it starts to get in the way of progress. With this in mind, it is essential for all event professionals to work with one another to ensure a smooth and seamless planning process for the client.
Here are just a few ways to do your part in building relationships with other event professionals, without causing a headache for anyone else.
This is a major one. I probably don’t need to tell you that communication and collaboration is key to a well-planned event. If you have something to say or an idea for a part of the event, it’s important to be open and honest about it. Events involve a lot of missing pieces and, if you need something, it has to be known or else it could get overlooked. For example, if you need a gluten-free vendor meal, be sure the planner and caterer are well aware in advance so they can plan ahead to take care of your needs.
At the same time, you will need to return the favor by responding to those who do reach out to you. Whether you get an email to ask for approval on something or a phone call to discuss the next steps, it’s important that you respond promptly and appropriately. For example, we send out timelines early on in the process and, when we don’t hear anything, we go ahead and finalize it. However, we often have other vendors contacting us just days before the event to tell us the timeline does not work for them. Whether it’s a relationship with you A/V provider, rental company, or speaking partners, there’s no such thing as “over-communicating” Make the effort to be responsive and everybody will be satisfied.
Every single vendor is important to an event, but that does not justify impatience in any capacity. There is no reason for a vendor to be pushing themselves to the front of the buffet line or forcing themselves through a crowd of guests just in the mix. A planner is present to ensure that everyone has the best time possible – both guests and the vendors. There is a schedule for a reason, so don’t try and speed things up on the day of the celebration, it will just make things uncomfortable for everyone.
This is one I have seen more often and it refers to the day of the actual event. You are there for one thing and that is to do your job. Event professionals should be just that – professional. Unless it is an emergency, you should not be texting or making phone calls that distract you from what you are contracted to do. If something comes up, let the coordinator know so they can help to appease the situation. Otherwise, it may just seem like there is something more important than the actual event.
Although you may be contracted to handle one part of the event, don’t be afraid to offer a helping hand to others if you find that you have the time. There is never any harm in helping out! At the same time, be sure to communicate any day-of plans to the rest of the event team so everybody is on the same page. For example, we always appreciate when photographers let us know if they are going to move something around or take a guest of honor with them rather than catching us off-guard when the main speaker is missing.
When it comes down to it, all you have to do is play nice and get along with the rest of the event team. That does not mean that you have to agree with them on every point, but it does require a willingness to work together to ensure a perfect event.
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