Working professionally in the events industry since 2016, my greatest learning has been how essential effective communications is for a successful association event.
Effective communications, and a strong team go hand in hand. It can lead to a more resilient, prepared, and trusting team. When a team is working productively, effective communication is already a given. One cannot exist without the other.
As many event planners, managers, or coordinators already know, association events have many moving parts. The magic to organizing a successful event is to take each of these moving parts, and slot them into a well-structured, detailed, and chronological plan of action.
However, this cannot be done alone. At least not effectively. As a conductor brings a unified vision to the musicians of an orchestra, it is the role of the event manager to harness the strength of the team and bring a unified vision of the event.
The event manager must understand the vision and the goal of the event and be able to communicate this vision to the event team. In an event such as an association conference or trade show, the event “team” is not only the event management team. The team necessary for a successful event involves the staff of the hotel or conference center, the catering team, the audio and visual team, the speakers or emcees of the event, the décor and trade booth providers, etc.
As an event manager, you will not be able to control each of these moving parts simultaneously. However, what you can do is build a solid foundation of frequent communications, trust, and respect with the team leads of your event. This is where strong communications skills come into play.
As with any team in a workplace setting or otherwise, diversity amongst a team foster enhanced problem-solving skills, increased creativity, and innovation, strengthened skills sets, and more resilient team morale. The same applies to your event team.
Remembering that each team member is an individual with their own set of strengths and weaknesses, you need to tailor your communications methods for everyone. Communications between each team member will vary, as each individual on the team is different and so is their preferred communications.
As a team lead, it is your responsibility to mirror the attitude and preferred communications method for each member of your team. This leads to strengthened trust and rapport. When your team members understand that you respect their time, values, and communication methods you will develop a level of trust that will help to guarantee the overall success of your event.
But remember, your role as an event manager is not only to organize a flawless event. A large part of your role is to use your communications skills to encourage an environment of integrity and accountability amongst your team, and to empower each member to utilize their individual strengths. An event is only as successful as the members of the team behind it.
To learn more about maximizing your role as an event manager for an association event, check out a previous article from a former Strauss colleague – https://www.strauss.ca/new-kid-in-town-becoming-the-event-manager-for-an-established-event/