The qualities of a perfect event manager: Multitasking
It wouldn’t be illuminating to claim, that an event manager’s got a lot on his/her head. In fact, we should look like Kali, the Hindu goddess of time and death, depicted in paintings with numerous upper limbs – from 2 up to 1,000. Can you imagine yourself with, say, a hundred arms? Wow… That would be something.
Multitasking is a trendy corporate word that perfectly defines the trait a good event planner should have. Handling several tasks at the very same time plus, for instance, for different projects, is quite a challenge. When writing about tasks, I have the following things (among others) in mind:
– briefing a photographer
– choosing the proper paper enrichment method for printed material
– writing a scenario
– meeting with a facility representative
– selecting and organizing gadgets
– verifying menu for a catering company
– signing contract with an artist
– and many, many more.
Let’s imagine a simple press conference, during which we will be cooperating with, e.g., 10 subcontractors; facility, catering, photographer, hostesses, printing shop, graphic designer, scenic designer, master of ceremony, multimedia, lighting, sound system. Cooperation with each of the above subcontractors is related with a specific number of tasks an event manager has to do, from an idea, a briefing or a meeting to a contract and financial settlement.
I assume, that on average such a conference requires about 5-15 tasks to be done with relation to a single subcontractor. For the purpose of this calculation, let’s assume it’s 10. I completely ignore here the communication with the client and the team, creating the concept, presentation or other event production documents. According to my calculations, we’ve got ab. 100 tasks to do for a small project of this kind.
If in one month you had 5 project to implement, or a single big one, you might find yourself doing 500, 800, 1000 or more tasks a month. One month is 20 working days, now add an average of 12 hours of work a day (it’s not just 8, that’s certain) and you get 240 hours, that is 14,400 minutes. With a monthly number of 1000 tasks to do, we can assign for each ab. 14.5 minutes. Obviously, some activities will take 5 – 15 minutes, while others – 2-3 hours (e.g., a meeting with the facility representative and specifying details).
But that’s enough numbers. The fact is, an efficient project management and discipline are one of the basic skills vital for not losing your head in this business. For, as you can see, there are lots of elements that need to be coordinated and sometimes these 12 hours of work a day is definitely not enough. If you’re considering working in the event business, try to develop a habit of planning your work and your day until it becomes a natural thing for you.
What do you think, do you have the primary feature of an ideal event manager?