As an event planner, you’ve got to wear many hats. You need to be practical but creative, assertive but also compassionate. In fact, you need to be both left-brained and right-brained, even though conventional thinking says that you should be either/or. Certainly, this can make for a challenging but also satisfying career, but it will also require some careful planning along the way to ensure that you are always ready for whatever comes in front of you. In particular, you need to focus on your EQ (emotional quotient) and especially in these unusual times. What do you need to think about here?
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Most people are familiar with the concept of IQ, or the standard measure of mental capability. The term is often used in business, and there are tests to measure where you stand according to a scale. Not many people know about EQ, but it is definitely worth looking into it as an event planner.
Your emotional quotient or intelligence can undoubtedly help you to deal with the everyday stresses of event planning. It can help you ground yourself and work out why you are planning the event in question, and it can help you keep your sanity when things get awry.
If you focus on building your emotional intelligence through mindfulness, then you’ll be able to use those emotions in positive ways. You will plan more effective and more meaningful events, become more empathetic, and help to keep stress levels low all around you. In short, you could stop a problem from developing into a crisis while you help others deal with their stressors as well.
Don’t dismiss this idea as “woo-woo.” EQ is valuable, and it can help you be much more successful as an event planner. It can help you to interact with colleagues and customers more effectively and generate positive energy wherever you go. If you are seen as more successful and as pleasant to be around, success, both in personal and professional terms, will follow.
What are some of the ways to foster emotional intelligence?
- Try to be self-reliant. Of course, you cannot run an event by yourself, and it is definitely a team game. But you must know that you have the answers within you, leading to more self-confidence.
- Be assertive in everything that you do. Assertiveness is different to dominance or aggression and means that you need to be polite, fair, but firm. People will respect you for this, and you will generate energy at the same time.
- Be optimistic. This is the glass-half-full approach, and while it can sometimes be challenging to think this way, get into the habit of catching yourself when you may be prone to negative thinking. There are many resources available to help you practice positivity through mindfulness. Listen to podcasts, read books, and try to interact with people who are known for their general positivity. Likewise, try to avoid those who fall on the other side of that spectrum, as negativity can certainly rub off if you’re not careful.
- Be empathetic. This is increasingly important in today’s challenging world. Many people are going through emotional turmoil and finding it hard to cope, and you should be looking for signs of this throughout your relationships. As an empathetic event planner, you will look at each event through a different prism. You will make sure that your motives are clear, your objectives are fair and that you take the needs and wants of everyone else into account at each planning stage.
The global pandemic has brought health and fitness into sharp perspective for almost everybody. While this has been a particularly difficult time for the event industry, it’s been an even more difficult time for millions of ordinary people who have seen heartbreak all around them or may have had to come to terms with their own mortality. This is a serious situation that needs to be addressed by every event planner as they go forward. Planners need to understand that wellness is now a top priority, and it must be incorporated, in one way or another, into each event that they run.
Of course, as you develop your EQ, you will become more empathetic and want to ensure that those around you (both customers and colleagues) are doing well. You’ll want to develop your soft skills and help others around you to do the same. Consequently, each element of the event should be viewed through this lens so that you can create an event that can help others grow.
When you look at every element of your event, ask yourself whether you can improve its delivery from a wellness point of view. If you do that, you’ll make all your attendees feel more comfortable and be far more likely to attend one of your events in the future.
If your event features catering, look carefully at the menu. Of course, you will need to provide options, but add as many “brain-friendly” foods to the menu as possible. Work with a nutritionist, if need be, to help you strike that balance.
If you’re organizing a conference, consider adding a breakout related to mental health and well-being issues. Don’t be afraid to raise these subjects and provide an inclusive environment where people can discuss as needed.
To Your Health
Think about general health in addition to mental well-being. Incorporate some measures to help your attendees and understand that some elements of your event could be stressful from a physical perspective.
- Perhaps you can employ a masseur in a breakout area that can help anyone who feels particularly stiff and sore after a lengthy keynote.
- Make sure you build breaks into every session and encourage people to wander outside in the fresh air or even engage in some quick physical activities.
- Where you can, add some background music. You may want to read up about a theory called neuromusicology, which discusses the therapeutic effect of music on the mind and body.
- Think carefully about your event’s color scheme. If necessary, avoid some of the darker colors and incorporate blues or yellows to aid in creativity and calm.
- You might even consider aromatherapy. Experiment with your approach, but see if you can change the different aromas throughout the day to take into account the type of session you are planning or counter any mental fatigue after lunch. Various scents may help to calm your attendees and promote overall wellness.
Champion Your Corporate Social Responsibility
No event exists in a vacuum, and planners need to be aware of the environment all around. They need to be able to schedule some activities that recognize corporate social responsibility, to help communities in the general area during difficult times.
These activities can be powerful tools when it comes to building relationships with clients. They can provide added benefits such as increased brand recognition and an all-important “feel good” factor for participants.
Leading by Example
According to the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), these activities are a perfect example of the positive impact of events and exhibitions on local communities. IAEE leads the way with an annual event called Humanity Rocks – a Celebration with a Cause, which has raised funds for a children’s home and shelter.
When event planners come up with a way to include meaningful activities as part of a CSR plan, everybody wins. Participants feel engaged and more loyal to the company, while you, as the event planner, are seen as somebody who goes the extra mile. Don’t forget that both you and your colleagues can enjoy that feel-good factor as well and add to your EQ at the same time.
Working with Like-Minded People
Of course, event planners need to use tools and services to help them plan and produce their events, as there is a tremendous amount of work involved. So, in this era of more accountability, corporate social responsibility, and closer engagement, it makes sense to work with a company that is wholly aligned to these principles and goals.
This is why you should engage with eShow, an organization founded in 1996 that’s helped event managers like yourself run thousands of events worldwide. eShow is an agency with a difference, however. They want to help you build meaningful and long-lasting relationships by providing a raft of services – and to help build synergy across the board.
Honesty and Transparency through Engagement
The team at eShow fully understand how an event should be produced from start to finish and can apply this expertise across all three event models – in person, virtual or hybrid. Most importantly, the team truly cares about not just you as the event planner but your team, the attendees, and the end result. After all, they are all about honesty and transparency through engagement and will never stray away from their core values.
So, give eShow a call and see how they can help you to build that all-important event EQ.