Meeting and event coordinators are vital players across every industry. They are expert planners and communicators, and ultimately responsible for creating experiences that bring every team’s vision to life.
One of WWSG’s experts, Carleigh Blewett, answered some questions about her past and present experiences as an Event Planner across different industries.
How does being an Event Planner for conferences differ from being one for a lecture agency?
The biggest difference is that when working for a major organization, planning a conference means handling all logistics and details from beginning to end. This included print materials, schedules, marketing and promotions, booking speakers and talent, briefing materials, giveaways, and much more.
At WWSG, my main responsibility is focused on the talent or speaker who has been booked by the organization. This includes organizing their travel, hotel accommodations, and speaking materials for their presentations. There is an abundant amount of coordinating between the speaker’s office and the client’s office to make sure all details and logistics are thoroughly completed and communicated properly. Often times, several conference calls are scheduled, full personal itineraries are designed, and different types of A/V requirements are coordinated in order to make sure the speaker is fully prepared for the engagement.
What is your favorite part about being an Event Planner?
The end product – the feeling of having a problem surface and needing to find a quick solution gives an exciting adrenaline rush! I am quick on my feet to figure out how to solve the issue and when all the hard work is over, it is the best feeling!
How do you avoid having a crisis arise before, during or after an event?
When planning an event, there is always a Plan A, B, and C for everything. Thinking about events that could possibly take place before they happen often helps preventing a crisis. Hypothetical situations are created in which we prepare solutions and quick responses in the event they may actually occur, that way I have already thought through if something goes wrong and I need a new solution. The best tip is being over-prepared. Double check everything and send that email for confirmation even if it seems superfluous. There is nothing worse than being unprepared. That is a recipe for a crisis.
What did you take from your old position and bring to your new one as a lecture agency Event Planner?
I know what an Event Planner at a large conference is looking for from a speaker’s event team. I know what they expect and how to be as successful as possible with the client, because I used to be the client.
What are the qualities a successful event planner should possess?
Any effective Event Planner knows that they need to be organized, communicative and an expert multi-tasker. Event planners tend to have to juggle a lot of different things, so being able to handle multiple things at once, and keep them all in order is key.
For anyone considering the profession of an Event Planner, what is the one takeaway they should have?
Event Planning is a 24/7 job. A problem that needs to be fixed or a question that needs to be answered could arise at any moment and you need to be prepared to handle it. That means you have to be quick on your feet and ready to find solutions. It can at times be demanding, but it is rewarding when you help plan an amazing event.
Being a successful Event Coordinator is achievable with collaborative tools and the willingness to go the extra mile. Event Planners have an important job – bringing people together to learn and accomplish great things. While every industry has its own demands from planners and coordinators one thing remains the same, they are the glue that holds the production together!
A benefit from having placed thousands of speakers around the world – and working with some of the industry’s most respected meeting planners on a daily basis – is that our “Best Practices” are grounded in real-world experience. Download our 7 Steps to Speaker Event Success and get these best practices for your next event!