Thoughts of An Event Manager During Singapore Maritime Week 2019!

This week is Singapore Maritime Week. There are literally dozens of events taking place all over Singapore in what has probably become the world’s largest maritime industry get together.

But many maritime industry people complain there are way too many events in the calendar.

The number of shipping events increases each year and the organisers are coming under the spotlight- Do they really add value to the industry? or is it just a rather easy, no-brainer way of making money?

What do you think of these event managers?

An event client recently told me that he felt like organising an event is like planning a wedding, because it reminds him of his wedding –  He can’t control it but he constantly worries if something doesn’t go right: the background music was too loud, the food was cold, and “parents in law” (event guests) are not happy about the venue location etc.

The client’s feeling was real and it is true that event planning work is tedious and requires a lot of planning; however, event management involves much more than that!

The responsibilities of an event manager are not just to ensuring proper decoration of the venue, keep track of time during the event, catering liaison; they are also required to be with the host every step of the way, think about all the event details, manage different vendors, create and manage timelines.

The ultimate goal for an event manager is not to “deliver an event” but to “make the host feel like a guest”, when the host needs us, we are there!

  • Communication

Successful event planning does not just come from event management teams, it is also the host’s effort. It takes a great amount of communication work to organise an event. It is essential for both parties (the host and the event management team) to have a real, deep understanding of each other’s needs and expectations.

  • Creativity

What transforms an event from being “just OK” to one that guests can’t stop talking about?

It can happen if the event manager is creative and proactive, able to think about new ideas for the event. Nowadays there are so many shipping, insurance and maritime events and making attendees happy is a real challenge – even with a new event app! A good programme is critical but adding new and fun elements make an event even better!

  • Flexibility

Event managers like as much control as possible over ever detail of an event. However, what if things change? A host changes their mind for the event date, or a designer gets the artwork wrong?

Flexibility is key in such situations. Event managers must always be able to have a second option to fall back on in case something goes wrong.

  • Dedication

Event planning consists of a plethora of tasks that require a lot of time, efforts and dedication.

Event managers are used to the pressure and often prepared to work  long hours. The ideal event manager must have passion and be dedicated in their work planning in order to drive the multitude of tasks and get things done efficiently.

It is also important for an event manager to put themselves in the shoes of others, because they are interacting with a lot of different parties: the host, vendors, event management team and attendees; think about others make it easier to deliver an event not just appreciated by your team, but also for everyone else!

  • Detail oriented

While managing an event, every little detail matters. Missing out on details can sometimes cause a major setback for planners. An top event manager thinks about every single thing thoroughly. When there is doubt, they ask. They never “assume”. Everything has to be planned in detail no matter how small it may seem.

Last but not least, when it comes to marketing strategies, it is necessary for a top event manager to be able to work closely with public relations professionals, to identify the most feasible way to promote an event: and make a successful event planning even greater!

If you are going to some of the events during #SMW2019 this week : Enjoy – but remember the life of an event manager is not easy !

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Liz T 1

Elizabeth Tai

Consultant
Author