Event Planning Skills

Top 15 Event Planning & Management Skills for Event Planners

September 15, 2021

Event planning & management is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. There are always too many people and things demanding your attention simultaneously. Too many hats to wear. Too many moving pieces to stitch together. Sometimes even too many fires to put out. All leading to cognitive overload and stress. Great event planners can make it all look like a cakewalk. Of course, experience and number of years in the game matter. But so does making time, even if it's 10 minutes every day, for your professional development.

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If you want to grow your career in this field, here's a list of 15 event planning & management skills you must master, as well as tips on how to develop and improve each of these skills.

Categories of event planning & management skills

People Skills

1. Leadership Skills

Leaders bring people together, motivate them, and empower them to deliver their best. Event planners need to do the same. Whether it is your team, your vendors, or volunteers, you need to lead them all towards the common goal of achieving event success. No one leadership style that suits all. But there are a few leadership skills especially important for event planners. These include:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Creating and communicating your vision
  • People management
  • Change management
Event Leadership Skills

2. Communication Skills

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” - George Bernard Shaw

Good communication skills are one of the most important event planning & management skills you can hone. They can help you bring clarity, accountability, and alignment among all event stakeholders. Proactive communication is every successful event planner’s ninja skill. It ensures you know of any possible delays well in advance and helps you identify any early red flags in the planning process. Mastering the whole gamut of communication skills is a lifelong pursuit. But here are four important aspects of communication you must focus on:

  • Active listening
  • Good questioning
  • Clear and effective speaking
  • Assertiveness

3. Negotiation

Negotiation is a valuable life skill. It is also one of the core event planning skills all great event planners possess. Whether it’s a discussion on budgets or timelines, with your clients or vendors, negotiation skills help you better at your job. Knowing how to negotiate well can help you gain confidence, get a fair deal, and improve your strategic planning. Four things that can make you a better negotiator:

  • Building rapport
  • Persuasion
  • Influencing
  • Conflict resolution

Resources to improve people skills

Event Negotiation Skills

Productivity Skills

1. Organizational Skills

Event planners work on several projects simultaneously, each with its own set of deadlines. This means you have multiple deliverables to keep track of. So, the more you rely on event planning checklists, templates, and event management platforms, the less information you will need to commit to memory. Poor organization leads to low productivity, more procrastination, and hence a lot more stress. By developing your organizational skills, you ensure you create a healthy and productive work environment for yourself and your entire team. For starters, work towards being better at:

  • Goal setting
  • Project management
  • Resource planning

2. Time Management

Multitasking is an event planner’s best friend and worst enemy combined in one. You are brainstorming with a speaker one moment and thinking about stage design in the next. Your job demands you to meet frequent and hard deadlines. It is not that you can just push the event date by a few days after announcing it. This means event planners are always on the clock - a sure-shot recipe for anxiety and stress. Work on the following:  

  • Systems thinking
  • Process design
  • Distraction management
  • Boundary setting

3. Prioritization

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” - Mark Twain

Event planners can relate to it quite well. With so much to do, prioritization becomes the key to win the day and the event. Learn to do it well and you’ll be so much more productive than you ever thought you could be. And the very famous Eisenhower Matrix can help you do this. Segregate your tasks into these four buckets and get cracking on a productive day.


You can get good at prioritizing when you learn the art of:

  • Focus
  • Delegation

Resources to improve productivity skills

Problem-solving Skills

1. Analytical Skills

Budgeting, KPIs, time estimates, key metrics to drive, event analytics, ROI, and more - event planners need analytical chops to do their job well. Analytical skills are the bedrock of problem-solving. They are comprised of many different elements. A few important ones of those you should consider improving on are:

  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis
  • Research

2. Creativity

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” - Maya Angelou

Creativity gives event planners their edge. It is what makes events stand out. Make space and time for being creative in your daily schedule if you want to create memorable experiences at your events. It's important to push boundaries and suggest new ways of doing things to your clients. Whether it is a fun networking idea, a unique kind of session format, or even a new way of managing your speaker presentations - you have the opportunity to be creative at multiple levels. Build up your creative muscles by consciously making space in your schedule for:

  • Curiosity
  • Experimentation
  • Divergent thinking
  • Brainstorming
Event Creativity skills

3. Decision-making Skills

Decision-making requires you to analyze a situation thoroughly, consider all possible options, and come up with a feasible solution. Event planners make tens of decisions, if not more, every day. Ensuring your decisions are viable enough to be implemented is an important part of your job. The more you work on improving your decision-making skills, the lesser you will be burdened by them. Four core factors that come into play while decision-making are:

  • Logical reasoning
  • Risk assessment
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Pattern recognition

Resources to improve problem-solving skills

Additional resource: The best event planning certifications and how to apply

Decision-making Skills

Preparedness Skills

1. Tech Savviness

Today event tech is a vital part of any event. Whether it is digital marketing, project management, invoices & payments, or the main event infrastructure in the case of virtual and hybrid events - tech is everywhere. While you don't need to be an expert on all kinds of event planning tools & technology in the market, it is beneficial to understand the key trends. For example, if you are an event planner who doesn’t know about various virtual & hybrid event tech platforms, you’ve probably been living under a rock. And to make sure that you don’t miss out on the key disruptive tech innovations in your field, you must:

  • Stay open-minded
  • Keep learning
  • Network with event professionals
  • Subscribe to industry news

2. Risk Management

Risk management and event safety are those aspects of planning an event that your attendees, speakers, sponsors, and other stakeholders don’t get to see. But it affects them all. Whether it is your event decor or your attendees’ data - you must ensure your event is safe in all aspects. You must stay up to date on your local safety and healthcare regulations too if you are organizing an in-person or hybrid event. Things that help you manage this aspect of your event well are:

  • Risk assessment
  • Regulation rigor

3. Contingency Planning

No event goes without a hitch. There is always a hiccup or two event planners need to take care of. You can do this well if you prepare meticulously to rule out any crisis before it occurs. But you should also have the ability to respond quickly if a crisis does occur. You can improve your response by ensuring you iron out all the wrinkles at the pre-planning stage, and by constantly trying to poke holes in your plans. Two things that help you in creating a good plan are:

  • Attention to detail
  • Response planning

Resources to improve preparedness skills

Pro tip: When hosting a virtual or a hybrid event, always choose an event tech platform that comes with a dedicated customer success team. This will ensure you always have experts by your side in case you need help troubleshooting pre, during, and post your event.

Read and Learn: How to Add Energy, Impact, and Results at Every Stage of Your Webinar
event Contingency Planning

Personal Skills

1. Empathy

“Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing.” - Marshall B. Rosenberg

An event planner is a people person. You work with hundreds of new people every year. You will be able to work more effectively with colleagues if you develop empathy for their needs. Only when you are empathetic can you get into your attendees’ or your clients’ shoes and understand what they truly want from the event. Some people tend to be naturally more empathetic than others but it is possible to build more empathy. To do so, make conscious efforts to improve your:

  • Self-awareness
  • Imagination
  • Active listening

2. Adaptability

Even after having a foolproof plan and a contingency plan in place, you must be ready to react to any potential mishap. The ability to respond quickly and adapt to handle a sudden situation is one of the critical event management skills. When you are flexible to adapt to the new ways, it also opens up doors to many more opportunities and new ideas that make your events better. To better yourself at being adaptable, focus on developing:

  • Resilience
  • Flexibility
  • Growth mindset
  • Big-picture thinking

3. Stress Management

While the demands of the job and the fast-paced nature of your work can keep you motivated to deliver your best, they can also cause extreme stress. Event planners have to deal with many uncertainties, hard deadlines, the looming thought of low engagement or low event ROI, and many changes on the fly. It can lead to high cognitive overload and stress. To ensure you can do your job well, you must invest in your well-being. Three things you can start doing:  

  • Know when to ask for help
  • Schedule time off
  • Take care of physical and mental health

Resources to improve personal skills

Frequently asked questions about event planning and management skills

  • What is event planning and management?
    Event planning and management is the process of organizing and executing events, such as conferences, meetings, weddings, and parties. It involves a range of tasks, from conceptualization and budgeting to logistics and execution.
  • Why are event planning and management skills important?
    Event planning and management skills are important because they allow planners to deliver successful events that meet the needs of their clients or stakeholders. Without these skills, events may be poorly executed, resulting in dissatisfied attendees or stakeholders.
  • What are some essential event planning and management skills?
    Some essential event planning and management skills include communication, organization, time management, creativity, leadership, adaptability, problem-solving, attention to detail, and budgeting.
  • How can I improve my event planning and management skills?
    Several ways to improve your event planning and management skills include taking courses, attending workshops and conferences, networking with other professionals in the field, reading industry publications, and gaining hands-on experience through internships or entry-level positions.
  • What is Hubilo, and how can it help with event planning and management?
    Hubilo is an advanced event management platform providing planners with various features to streamline event planning and enhance attendee engagement. These features include registration and ticketing, event branding, networking and matchmaking, session management, analytics, and reporting. Using Hubilo, planners can save time, reduce costs, and create exceptional events that leave a lasting impression on attendees.

Event planning and management is a multifaceted profession requiring diverse skills to pull off successful events. From communication and leadership to creativity and adaptability, the best event planners possess a combination of hard and soft skills that allow them to thrive in this dynamic field.

If you're looking for a platform to help you take your event planning and management skills to the next level, Hubilo is the solution you've been searching for. With a suite of advanced features designed to streamline your event planning and enhance attendee engagement, Hubilo is the perfect tool for planners looking to deliver unforgettable events.

Don't take our word for it, though - book a demo today and see for yourself how Hubilo can revolutionize your event planning and management processes. Click here to schedule your demo now and plan your best events!

skill framework for event planners

Hubilo is the webinar platform built for marketers that helps you 2X your pipeline. Founded in 2015, Hubilo's powerful engagement features, dedicated client experience team, and custom branding tools have helped create over 12K virtual events & webinars, creating hundreds of millions of minutes of high-engagement experiences and counting. Headquartered in Bengaluru and San Francisco, Hubilo's 200+ employees are dedicated to enabling webinars & virtual events that convert.

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