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The event industry today involves a broad range of activities including business meetings and conferences, celebration dinners, weddings, musical and art concerts, parties, and fundraisers among others. Planning events usually requires inputs from all stakeholders. These include the event planner, the manager of the banquet room or restaurant owner, the owner of the hotel, the hosts of the event and the crowd to attend the event. Usually, the success of an event involves the client’s satisfaction, the guests’ experience, profitability and the returns received, which should be closely weighed lower than, if not equal the perceived value. For someone to be successful in the event industry, there are various skills that they should profoundly possess. These include, but are not limited to problem-solving, conflict management, time management, positive communication skills and the ability to be proactive and self-motivated.
Problem-solving skills are those attached to the desire of achieving objectives or goals from unfair conditions in the present. Unfair conditions could either occur in the event that a situation needs more complex logic to locate the missing steps towards the objective or activities are not moving in the preferred direction or objective. As such, problem solving includes problem finding and shaping. The skills enable one to spot and identify the unfair conditions discussed above and apply systematic methodologies that help resolve the issues at hand (job-interview-site.com, n.d). To use the problem-solving skills successfully, one needs to determine and define the issues in a particular manner, come up with multiple solutions for the problem and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages attached to each solution. Upon the identification of the optimum solution, the next step is planning its application carefully and, respective of the details involved, including the activities to be carried out, the time due, the people responsible for carrying out the activities and the order to be followed.
Problem-solving skills apply in almost every situation that an environment presents, including the event industry. The problem solving personal skill can be used to come up with solutions to situations such as identifying suitable places to hold events, guests of honour, content to be publicized in form of entertainment as well as the acquisition of materials to be used. Additionally, the event planner needs the skill to plan the appropriate time to hold the events according to the returns and effectiveness expected to be achieved.
Personally, there are various changes I would consider making to improve my efficacy. First, I would consider arranging cognitive rehearsals before the application of the identified appropriate solutions. Here, I would arrange for imaginary application of the solutions. This would be helpful in pinpointing any potential and unthought-of traps and mishaps in the actual application. I would also ensure that any event I am called upon to organise has a range of time before the real event, as this would help me to make the necessary evaluations and preparations to bring the events to a success. I would then be keen on evaluating the results achieved by the events, as they would help me learn my mistakes and give me the path to follow next time to avoid the mistakes.
Time management skills are the skills required in the process of planning and exercising careful control and administration of specific activities over a given period, usually to productivity and efficiency. The skills are often geared to achieve the maximum benefit of activities within the boundaries of the allocated time, which is mostly limited. Ideally, time is always limited, with a day having 24 hours to be utilized over a broad range of activities. Time management skills are directly attached to planning, self-monitoring, discipline, and self-control. Ideally, people with time management skills are more efficient in planning and organizing their activities and are, more often than not, more productive, more efficient, more energetic and bear a higher self-esteem, compared to people who profoundly lack the skill. The effective use of time management skills involves the identification of the mode of operation and how it related to time. This is best done by keeping diaries and journals where the individual records how they spend their time and how they distribute it to carry their day to day activities (Ward, n.d). The activities include work, hobbies and other duties at home. It is important that one know the time they spend to carry out each activity. To utilize such detail in time management one may decide to reduce the time spent in some of the activities and apply self-monitoring. It then requires one to prioritize their operations according to the degree of urgency and importance.
Time management skills are overly useful for the individuals who operate in the event industry. Organizing of events requires organisers to be especially cautious with their time and make prudent decisions regarding the gigs they are to organise. An event organiser may be overwhelmed with multiple events and without time management skills, it might prove difficult for them to have the events happen as required and planned. Additionally, events are time bound. It is always up to the event organiser to schedule each activity to be carried out in an event and ensure that every aspect is taken care of without disrupting other schedules.
As an event organiser or a person in the event industry, there are aspects of time management skills that I would change to improve my efficiency in rendering out my services. More specifically I would focus more on urgent obligations regardless of the importance attached to them. This would ensure that I deliver even under strict deadlines. Additionally, I would cooperate with other individuals and ask for help and assistance from co-workers to save in time that would be used in trying to figure out solutions. I would also make an effort to plan the future activities and allocate ample time to each event in case I have to adjust the schedule.
Conflict management skills are those skills that enable one to resolve interpersonal conflict through efficient use of negotiation skills. One should be able to manage and relieve their stress for the purposes of staying focused, balanced and in control regardless of the challenges they face. Conflict management skills encompass the use of other skills to settle and resolve arguments (Thomas, 1992). Skills that are utilized include the ability to relieve stress quickly, emotional awareness and appropriate nonverbal communication. Individuals in conflict management should be able to listen to others and make the resolution a priority rather than winning or being on the right side. Atop it all, people with conflict management skills should majorly focus on the present rather than look into the past for reasons to assign blame. To have good conflict management techniques, one should also be able to forgive and know the appropriate time to disengage and move on.
In the event industry, it is crucial for stakeholders to have conflict management skills. Conflict arises in virtually all environments and aspects of life, and it takes the right people with the right skills to resolve them. It may develop between the stakeholders, for instance between a hotel owner and the organiser or the sponsor of the event. It may also arise between the organiser and the client whose event they are organising the activity. For an event to be considered successful by all the stakeholders, the conflict must be eliminated rationally.
In the event industry, with regards to conflict management skills, there are various adjustments I would consider making to improve my effectiveness. I would first apply the use of jokes and humour in the process of managing conflict. This would help in balancing the stress and emotion involved between the conflicting parties, considering their roles as ice breakers. I would also major on picking my battles and engaging in conflicts that affect my interests directly. This helps in saving time, as staying away from those whose resolutions will do little to further my cause. For instance, I may get into conflict with the hotel owner over some parking space. To end the conflict, would pick up the parking spaces that are not conflicted or look for ways to cater for the event’s parking needs.
Problem Solving Skills: Examples of Problem Solving Skills. (n.d.). Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://www.job-interview-site.com/problem-solving-skills-examples-of-problem-solving-skills.html
Thomas, K.W. (1992) Conflict and Conflict Management: Reflections and Update, Journal of Organisational Behaviour 13 (3) 265-274
Ward, S. (n.d.). Time Management (Definition, Skills and Tips). Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://sbinfocanada.about.com/od/timemanagement/g/timemanagement.htm