As a busy event professional, you wear a lot of hats. From juggling clients and services to managing your marketing efforts, you’ve mastered the art of building a brand. Though each of the hats you wear is important, one provides you with a greater opportunity than the others: your leadership hat.
Being a leader in the event industry doesn’t just come from being good at what you do. It comes from how you help others grow and develop as event professionals. Just as you wouldn’t have been able to reach success without certain mentors and managers, you now have the opportunity to step into this role for those new to events.
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A great leader can build a productive team, allowing for increased profits and an unparalleled client experience. Though it takes practice, there are a handful of things you can focus on to become a better, more dynamic leader.
All event professionals were required to tap into their flexibility throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Cancellations and postponements of live events threw a massive curveball at leaders everywhere. Fortunately, the best were able to come out on top with a full client list and a business that survived one of the world’s most significant events in modern history.
Those who fail to lead are often close-minded, believing their way is the right way and not considering the opinions of their clients and fellow industry leaders. If you want to be a leader others admire, remind yourself that you must roll with the punches and find creative solutions to whatever situations get thrown your way.
Curbside catering pickup and micro-wedding packages came from leaders who didn’t panic but remained flexible and provided innovative solutions for their clients. When you’re quick on your feet, it’s easier to stay the course and protect your reputation.
With an industry as demanding as ours, it’s easy to want to throw in the towel–especially when something as monumental as a global pandemic gets in your way. But to truly lead, you need to focus on being resilient and leave quitting off the table.
Seasoned leaders can weather the storm and continue to show up for their clients. That’s how they’ve earned their stripes–and the dozens of five-star reviews their clients share with the world. Hard times are inevitable, but committing to your business and its success will set you apart when the going gets tough.
You’ve come to learn that every client has different wants, needs, and vision for how their event will take place. The most exemplary leaders can take this information and step into their clients' shoes, ensuring they feel understood. On top of that, they’re able to see the perspective of their team members, tuning in to discover how they can support their growth.
Being empathetic and showing this additional support will take you far as a leader. You’ll establish trust and reassure your team that you’re there should they need anything–and that you see them as more than just a dollar sign.
With an industry full of creatives, this one might seem a bit obvious! Photography, décor, fashion–we’re all required to keep up with the trends. And though this creative energy enhances our relationships with clients, it also sharpens our leadership skills by opening us up to new ideas.
When we truly focus on creativity, we can share our processes and ideas with the rest of the industry–something that became incredibly common throughout the pandemic. Education and thought leadership are two crucial components inside the event industry and with good reason. We can learn from one another by embracing our creativity and not being afraid to share our pieces of the pie with others.
A great leader doesn’t try to sugarcoat things. They’re prepared to tell the truth and find a solution–even when it’s hard to do so. Whether you run into a speed bump with a client or a member of your team, remind them that you’re trustworthy and proactive by remaining transparent in your feedback.
When you focus on being honest, you’ll gain the respect of those within the industry. Leaders know that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, but by being open with others, you’re more likely to find a solution that works for everyone involved. No questionable intentions here!
One of the greatest things about the event industry is the potential its members have to become strong leaders. Regardless of the size of your client list or the number of testimonials you have, you can actively work to become a better leader by focusing on these traits and using them to build a better business. There’s room for all of us here!