You’re the first point of contact for staff and suppliers, plus a multitude of clients with their own requests. Your job is to manage all of these people to ensure that every event runs without a hitch.
We work with brilliant venues and Venue Managers every day so we asked them what skills they think are most important to excel in the role 💪.
1. It’s all about confidence
With so many people relying on you, it is absolutely crucial to be confident and self-assured. A great thing about events and venue management, is that you can easily use skills from previous experience to get tasks done well.
As the Venue Manager, you know your space better than anyone. Have the confidence and ability to understand what types of events work best in what ways in your venue. You know best, so don’t be afraid to turn down briefs if they’re not the best fit for your venue.
When discussing the relationship between events and venue managers, Darren Hart, former Director of Sales at Camm and Hooper, says that “being as honest as possible with the venue team allows us to really work within the realistic parameters. If we cannot help, we will let you know.”
Making this clear when sorting out a booking will guarantee both parties have a clear view. When you have a plan in place, you’re guaranteed to succeed. Having confidence in your initial steps and being determined to follow through will ensure that the next event hosted at your venue is seamless. All this will secure more good reviews, more engagement and more bookings.
2. People skills
A key quality needed by most venue managers is people skills. You need to be comfortable connecting with high-level executives, government officials, vendors, co-workers, sponsor reps, customers, supervisors, suppliers, staff, and event attendees alike.
To successfully work with this wide range of people, you’ll need to easily resolve conflicts, be a confident but mindful negotiator, and maintain a sense of humour in the most stressful of circumstances. Meeting the demands of event managers can be stressful, so maintaining a composed outlook is crucial.
The ability to understand what key stakeholders require from your venue is also key. These people may not be in the events industry, so when they make their enquiry they might not understand what’s realistic or what would and wouldn’t work. An excellent venue manager will be able to help educate and guide the way to a successful event.
Thoroughly understanding their needs and making sure all parties share the same expectations is critical. Remain one step ahead by paying attention to what’s said and what’s not said in key conversations. Managing expectations is a vital aspect of venue management, as it ensures that everyone is on the same page and no one ends up disappointed.
3. Be organised and plan ahead
To successfully run any venue, you need to juggle about 50 things at once… No pressure.
The multi-tasking prowess you’ll need to adopt is required for both smooth planning and flawless execution of every event at your venue. The best venue managers have foolproof systems, step-by-step checklists, and handy tech tools to hand for every occasion. Using tools such as Airtable and Evernote are surefire ways to keep on top of all the things on your list.
Working as a venue manager requires the ability to focus on the big picture while keeping track of the little details. You want to make sure you allocate enough time for day to day tasks as well as planning sessions for the upcoming months.
To avoid burnout, get comfortable delegating some of your more time-consuming tasks to your team. And, if things don’t go according to plan, don’t be afraid to switch to Plan B or Plan C. If all else fails, Plan D is there to avoid a crisis! The Head of Events at an International Real Estate Company offers the advice: “be flexible with your plans and be prepared to compromise”. If all of your plans need to merge into one, or be disregarded entirely, that’s fine. Keeping a cool head and remembering that these plans are never concrete is a surefire way to stay on top of things.
Another great technique that will help you plan ahead and stay organised is called “chunking”. Chunking is simply breaking down a large project into smaller segments making it easier to digest. You can then decide what to do with those segments. Prioritise, delegate and decide which, if not all of them, you’re doing yourself. Then simply diarise them in order of urgency and importance.
The main thing is to get some perspective. You’ve been given the job, you’ve accepted the challenge and now you are breaking it down into more manageable portions.
Looking for more inspiration? Check our our Industry Insights.