This past school year, I served as the Vice President of Social Affairs for Scripps PRSSA. My responsibilities included cultivating relationships through coordinating multiple events both on a local and a statewide level. Thankfully, our Chapter is filled with many supportive members who love interacting and networking with others, so it made my job a little easier. Taking on any leadership position fills you with new experiences and lessons learned, and I’d like to share with you all a few important lessons that will help.
There are many different parts of an event to think about. When is it? Where is the venue? What kind of decorations will we need? Where are we going to have it? Does it need to be catered? How much is all of this going to cost? These are just a few of the questions an event planner asks himself or herself when nailing down specifics. Making lists of what available options are attainable for your company is an important first step in narrowing down what you want in your event. Bonus points if you throw all of your info into a Powerpoint presentation!
Many times, when organizing events, it is a team-based activity. I don’t know what I would’ve done without a couple of key players on our executive board. Asking for help and delegating tasks will keep your own mind at ease knowing that everything is planned out accordingly. It doesn’t make you look lazy to pass off tasks to someone else. It shows you care about putting on a quality event.
Incorporating diversity is one of the easiest ways to make your next event a hit! It’s as simple as inviting another organization to participate in an activity you are doing with your own organization. This provides the perfect opportunity to expand your network and cultivate lasting relationships with people who have similar passions. This is a great way to leave a positive impact on others by showing your dedication to expanding your perspective. It creates a more welcoming community and presents more experiences to broaden your horizons.
Remember Quality Over Quantity
One of the big lessons I learned while planning events was that you don’t need a mass amount of people to have a good time. Sometimes you won’t have as many people attend your event as planned. Don’t be discouraged if not everyone shows up. The ones that do show up will genuinely want to be there and you would much rather have positive and willing participants rather than the alternative.
Going with the flow and being flexible are top qualities of an event planning professional. Things may not always go the way you organized them, but for the most part, your attendees probably won’t even realize if something went wrong. Just take it one step at a time and remember that once your event is over, you will have both a weight lifted off your shoulders and a sense of accomplishment that you put together a successful experience for your colleagues.
Emily O’Flynn is a senior Journalism-Strategic Communication major. She is the current Vice President of External Relations for Scripps PRSSA. You can keep up with her on Twitter @OFlynn_Emily