I’ve been thinking a lot about superheroes lately, with my two boys Jack and Ollie taking a huge interest in Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Catwomen & co. And I’ve also been thinking a lot about event people lately, meeting with and mentoring some awesome people.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with many talented people, and even more so recently, out helping people be more successful as event people. Just in the last week, I’ve enjoyed speaking to Event Management students, at the NZ Event Awards, and at our most recent ‘Event Design Experience‘ evening.
And, I can’t help admiring the traits, and characteristics of event people. In a world where so many managers talk about disengaged employees, a lack of standards or accountability, of not seeing things through, this just doesn’t work for event people.
It is almost like event people bring a superhuman effort to their work, which often creates an immense influence in their worlds.
Event people influence people, impacting individuals, communities, and economies. And event people work together to get this done, on time, and under budget. We work in high profile, high-pressure situations with many (often emotionally) invested stakeholders to keep satisfied. And expectations are always higher than the time, or resources available, but, we get it done.
These are extremely valuable skills, in any role or situation.
Use what is in you
I think it is important to realise that we have this power to influence, and, to recognise what we achieve. It is also important to understand what you are good at, what your special power is, and play to our strengths. You may be a productivity ninja, or a creative force, whatever your secret sauce, there are many attributes that are valuable to have in our world of events.
As I mentor of a number of event people, its become obvious that these skills are transferable, and highly sought after in other roles (I know this because they are landing some great jobs!). And so if you are looking for a new challenge, a new path, keep looking at where else your talents might be used. In more senior roles, in other industries, event roles or otherwise.
Of course I’d like to see you thrive in events, but there is a world of opportunity out there, and you can apply these powers in so many ways. After all, any project is an event (just they let their deadlines move sometimes!).
Whatever it takes
I wrote recently about ‘The Things We Do’ and it is true. All the stories we have about getting the job done. Despite the weird and wonderful tasks and tricks we are often asked to do, and the odds against us at the time, we always prevail. For our audiences, our stakeholders, and our teams.
As an aside, I think it’s also these traits that draw us into these roles. Think about who puts there hand up to organize the next gathering, whether at work, with friends and family, or in the community. It’s the ones with the secret ‘event manager’ powers in them!
Ok I might be taking this all a bit far, but I’m speaking with some students this week and I’m almost inclined to let them know they need to be prepared to think like a Superhero at times, to do well in this industry.
It’s the game we play
We don’t necessarily look for trouble in events but as ‘event superheros’ we do take on the call to action, and we find the solutions. Or when we don’t find the answers, we get back up to fight another day. Pack it up, get up, and do it again. It may be day or night, we will be on duty! Looking for the next thing to do, not sitting back wondering what’s next.
Being ‘in service’ of others
One thing I will be saying to those starting out in our world, is that the common characteristic I have seen in the talented and successful event people I have enjoyed working with, is a service mindset. At my old agency Limelight Sportswe did very well, partly, simply by ‘walking in the shoes’ of others, and putting the clients and participants ‘in the Limelight’. It may seem obvious, but having this empathetic mindset is such a valuable place to come from.
The powers you need to lead
Some smart people have identified the skills that are the most important to thrive in today’s world: the ‘4 C’s’ – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. And I think this is pretty much the headings needed in any event managers job description.
So I think this service mindset, and having the 4C’s is pretty essential in any event role. And, I’d argue this mindset and these skills makes you pretty valuable in any role.
Whatever you do next, don’t forget it’s not just about what you can do, it is the VALUE you offer. Getting a group of people to get a job done, on time, and on budgetis valuable in any role!
I hope this helps you see what secret powers you have within you. To see what you can do with them.
If I can help you take the next step, as an event prof, or into another role, please just let me know…
And, do take the leap!