An Exceptional Event

Suria Soo discusses on what it takes to be a successful event entrepreneur with Hoe Pik Lin.
Hoe Pik Lin
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A good event is like a good musical piece where different components come together and blend harmoniously. In event-speak, these components include the venue, food and beverages, sound and light, staging, entertainment, decoration, door gifts... And the exhaustive list goes on, in ad infinitum.

Prepping for the event

It is commonly known fact that event planning suffers from Murphy's Law which states that 'anything that can go wrong, will go wrong'. There is bound to be some bumps and folds along the journey. Hence, according to Suria, event planner of My Signature Events, 'To avoid stumbles, a good event planner has to conduct detailed planning to ensure that they have covered all their bases as well as research the clients' need. It is time consuming but it is also worth the effort to be prepared.' 

However, even with the best-laid plans, there are certain challenges and issues that will set you back from achieving the event's goal. Suria has identified some of the common problems that every event planner has to look out for:

Communication

One of the bigger issues faced by event planners is communication, or in most cases, miscommunication. It is vital for an event planner to have good communication with his or her clients, team and suppliers. 'In this case, good communication would mean acquiring and giving out clear details to the parties involved to avoid setbacks,' explained Suria.

Pricing

Another key concern for event planners would be the pricing of the event. Each client has their own sets of demands and expectations for each event that is held and it is important to make things clear and charge them a price that the both of you are comfortable with. 'Never slash your prices as, in the long run, it will only amount to an unsightly debt. Plus, it drags down the standards of the industry,' advised Suria.
Stamina

While event management might have a reputation of being glamorous, it is also a taxing and demanding industry. An event planner must learn to deal with the high stress level and find a proper work-life balance. 'Some of the ways to boost your stamina and maintain good health include having good quality sleep, eating food that gives you energy, being adaptable and taking some time to travel.

Suiting up for the occasion

To be successful in event management, one should possess the following qualities:

Attitude

It is important for one to have the right attitude when it comes to managing an event as one has to deal with large groups of people. Having a good attitude and positive approach would ease the process for all parties involved. Adding to that, Suria further explained, 'It is also not just about being polite but one must also have the discipline.'

Responsibility

Always remember that what might seem like another event to you could be a life-defining moment for your client. And when your client places an important event in your hands, it is only fair and professional if you make the best effort to be responsible for it. Meeting deadlines is paramount and possibly the key responsibility in any event.

Persistence

In spite of its reputation − celebrities, red carpets and classy venues − event management is not all fun and games. The glamour is only one side of it, the brighter side experienced by the clients while the event management team has to deal with the challenges given to them. Only those with persistence and dedication towards their work can survive the hectic work of event management.

Passion

It goes without saying that you should have a passion for the industry. Event management might be an exciting industry but it is definitely not your average nine-to-five job. Due to the unusual work hours, stress and pressure − especially when deadlines close in − is a given fact. Thus, if you do not have the passion for it, chances are that you will collapse under immense stress.