Another New Year is upon us: a time when we all feel the fresh hope of new beginnings and a chance to make this year better than the last.
Sounds great doesn’t it? It can also feel like a lot of pressure.
Doesn’t have to be.
Small changes both personally and professionally can add up in a big way and are easier to tackle than one big undertaking. Often when we make a huge resolution, we find we aren’t able to keep it and then feel failure and disappointment. Committing to a few small changes will allow you to revisit them throughout the year and stay on track.
When it comes to making progress in your event career, there are dozens of simple steps you can take towards continuous growth and improvement.
All events have many components in common. Attend, as a keen observer with the intent to learn and you’ll be surprised what you find! In particular, try visiting events not in your area of expertise. If you are a meeting planner, attend a trade show or festival. If you are a special events planner attend a conference. You get the idea. The plan here is to expand your thinking and find new ideas. Might be a simple as wording on a sign or the layout of a schedule or a unique stage set up. Observe and learn.
Event industry associations can provide a great forum for networking and ongoing education. Most require a fee to join so it’s a good idea to research which association appeals most to your interests and objectives. Seek recommendations from colleagues and others in the business. Be specific and ask what benefits they experience from their membership. It’s also a good idea to speak directly with someone from the association. Once you sign up, participate. As with most things in life you get out what you put in.
Present a new idea to your boss or your team. Take on a project or task that will stretch your skills. Show initiative. Be brave. But don’t be silly about it. Do your homework and make sure your idea shows thought and merit. Not every new idea or suggestion will be accepted but your efforts will noticed. Once you’ve done it the first time you’ll want to do it again!
The events business is all about communication. In this era of instant and abbreviated conversation it’s easy to drift away from the skill of effective writing. It is however something you will always need. Whether it’s an email to a client, a sponsorship proposal or a cover letter for a resume you will certainly set yourself apart if you can communicate effectively in writing. When you do have something to write, take time to create a draft and then review and fine tune. Don’t always succumb to the habit of shooting things out quickly.
Knowledge is power. Even if you are not currently in need of a venue (or a change in venue), it doesn’t hurt to know what is out there. Take time to schedule visits at new or unusual venues or even ones you haven’t been in before. Whether it’s for your current position, a new job or even a volunteer opportunity, you just never know when this information may prove valuable. It’s a great way to expand your thinking and meet new people in the industry. Bonus tip: Check out venues in other cities when on business or vacation. You never know!
Not talking about becoming that annoying “question every little thing” person or asking just for the sake of it. But in general we all could benefit from listening well and investing in the conversation. It demonstrates interest and connection. That level of engagement gets noticed and is appreciated – whether it’s a client or a supplier or your boss.
Everyone in the events business needs to be a great proofreader. Whether it’s checking dates and copy on an invitation or proofing a detailed speaker schedule, this skill is invaluable. Practice, practice, practice. This is especially important these days when we are used to getting our information in bite-sized, texts full of short forms and acronyms. Our minds are trained to understand even when letters or words are missing. Good proofreading skills will make you a very valuable member of the team and can prevent costly and embarrassing mistakes.
Technology moves at the speed of light and there are constantly new and emerging offerings for the event industry. Whether you are in the market for anything right now or not, it’s a really good idea to stay on top of what is available. You’ll find lots of information online and some dedicated research time will keep you in the loop. Who knows – you may even find a solution to a problem or a more efficient or effective way of doing things for yourself or your group.
A to-do list is just that – a list of tasks to be completed. But this list does nothing about getting them done. Try scheduling time for each task in your calendar. Now they have a place in your day or week and are much less likely to get passed over for “whatever comes up”. It’s also great insight into how much time you will actually need. You might be feeling overwhelmed when looking at the to-do list but once time is scheduled for each item you may find you have plenty of time to comfortably get everything done. On the flip side find you might need some help. All of this keeps you efficient and in control.
Here’s the reasoning. In the past year you probably took on a new project or tasks that added a new skill set to your toolbox. By updating now you will have a better chance of remembering the accomplishments that may help land you a new job or promotion down the road. (Or help in a performance discussion with your boss.) It takes discipline to keep your accomplishments up to date but you will be so glad you did when that dream job presents itself and you need a resume pronto!
Don’t forget. If you are truly interested in continuous learning and moving forward in your career, even small steps make a big difference. Every bit of learning you do demonstrates commitment to your career – to yourself and to others.
Wishing you much success and great happiness this New Year!
Do you have ideas to share with others? We’d love to hear!
Post by Margaret Johnston, eventswork.com
As a career event professional, Margaret brings valuable insight and knowledge to the recruitment, management and development of high-performance teams for the event industry. A strategic and inspiring leader, Margaret has held executive roles for several global event management companies and key roles in the start up and orchestration of many high profile and international events.
Job seekers: Create a Free Account to get job alerts, post your resume and more!
Employers: Post your event job today! Save time and money and reach a qualified audience.