WEEK 9 DISCUSSION QUESTION
Please respond to the following:
- There are many different skills and abilities that a special events manager must have to be successful. Based on this week’s reading of Chapter 13 from Introduction to Hospitality, choose three skills or abilities, or both, of a special event manager. Conduct a self-assessment comparing your skills with the skills of a special event manager. Provide specific examples to support your response.
WEEK 9- CHAPTER 13 NOTES TO HELP ANSWER DISCUSSION QUESTION
Traits and Skills of a Successful Event Manager
- Learning Objective 3: Describe the traits and skills of a successful event manager.
Special events management, like any other form of management, requires certain skills and abilities. The act of carrying out a successful event takes more than just an idea—it takes leadership, communication, project management, effective negotiating and delegating skills, the ability to work within a budget, enthusiasm, and social skills, The following sections will provide insight into some of these traits and skills.
As a leader, the event manager will wear many hats. The first is to inspire others by providing valid reasons as to why they should want to assist in achieving the established goals for the event. In this role, the event manager will also act as a salesperson. The second hat represents the event manager’s responsibility to provide tools for the staff and volunteers to achieve the goals. This includes training and coordination. The third hat the event manager will wear will be that of a coach. The event manager as a leader will act as mentor and provide a support system to build a team. Staff and volunteer motivation is an important factor for effective event management. Leadership ability is the number-one skill for successful event managers. The goal of an event manager is to become a leader who can direct a team of employees and/or volunteers who will respect, admire, and follow your direction to accomplish the established goals.
The success of an event manager greatly depends on the ability of involved individuals to communicate effectively with one another. Communication can take different forms: oral, written, and electronic. It is very important for event managers to become effective communicators in order to maintain clear communications with all staff, volunteers, stakeholders, and other departments.
Written communications are an essential tool for record keeping and providing information to be mass distributed. Communication with other departments, clients, or vendors may take place in person or in an online meeting. Creating a presence for the event on social media is another way to communicate.
One person cannot do everything, but managers seldom delegate enough. This contradiction is typical in the events business. The secret is to plan ahead of time and allow time for tasks to be delegated to others to help facilitate the smooth operation of an event. For successful delegation, a climate of trust and a positive working environment are needed. Also required is a committed associate who will complete the delegated task and who will communicate effectively throughout the process.
Negotiation is the process by which two or more parties reach an agreement on the terms and conditions that will govern their relationship before, during, and after a meeting, convention, exposition, or event. Effective negotiators will enter the negotiation with a good idea of what they want.
Before entering into a negotiation, keep the following tips in mind:
- Do your homework. Develop a “game plan” of the outcomes sought, and prioritize your needs and wants.
- Leave something on the table. It may provide an opportunity to come back later and renew the negotiations.
- When there is a roadblock, find a more creative path. Thinking “outside the box” often leads to a solution.
Social skills are an important trait for any management position. Social skills are critical in making those you do business with feel comfortable, in handling situations appropriately, and in eliminating barriers that get in the way of accomplishing your goals. Communication is a critical social skill as is another social skill—listening. Social etiquette is another skill that can make or break a career, and it is a practiced skill that can be acquired. Social etiquette is defined as exhibiting good manners established as acceptable to society and showing consideration for others. Professionals in the hospitality industry, including the special events field, must be proficient in proper social etiquette. Service is one of the largest products offered; therefore, social skills and etiquette are required to be successful.
Event planning and management can be time consuming. Therefore, a good planner should have effective project management skills to be equipped to balance all of the elements of one event (or more if there are other events going on at the same time). Project management is the act of completing the project(s) on time and within budget. Project management is a perfect fit for the special events industry, where the entire event or components of an event can be managed as projects.
As you’ve probably heard time and time again, in any hospitality field the risk of burnout is high and the work is demanding. At the same time, however, the rewards are great and so is the satisfaction when the event is a complete success. As perfectly stated by Norman Brinker, past chairman of the board of Brinker International, “Find out what you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life. . . . Make work like play and play like hell!”4 Enthusiasm and passion, drive and determination: These are all qualities that will contribute to the success of an event manager/planner. For those with the right enthusiasm and passion, it can be a truly rewarding career path.
Check Your Knowledge notes to help answer discussion question
LO 3: The traits and skills of a successful event manager.
- Special event management requires many of the same skills and traits as other management positions. However, there are certain characteristics that are especially desirable as a special events manager.
- Leadership is a key trait that is required. Leadership for special event requires the ability to lead both paid and unpaid members of the event team to achieve the desired goals of the event.
- Communication skills are critical to success as an event manager and this includes written, verbal, and even social media communication. Additionally, the ability to delegate effectively, negotiate the best outcomes, and exhibit the appropriate social skills based on the type of event are all keys to success.
- Project management skills are also essential as the special event manager must organize and coordinate the needs and requirements of a range of groups from the client to vendors and staff.
- Being enthusiastic about the event, the people, and the goal of the event will go a long way to helping an event manager succeed.
WEEK 10 DISCUSSION QUESTION
– Analyze the key management skills discussed in Chapter 14 to determine which you believe are the most important for successful hospitality and tourism managers to possess. Provide specific examples to support your response.
WEEK 10 – CHAPTER 14 READING NOTES TO HELP ANSWER DISCUSSION QUESTION
The key management skills include planning, organizing, decision making, communicating, human resources management, and controlling. These skills are interdependent and frequently happen simultaneously or at least overlap.
Hospitality companies exist to serve a particular purpose, and someone has to determine the vision, mission, and strategies to reach or exceed the goals. That someone is management.
The planning function involves setting the company’s goals and developing plans to meet or exceed those goals. Once plans are complete,
Organizing is undertaken to decide what needs to be done, who will do it, how the tasks will be grouped, who reports to whom, and who makes decisions.
Decision making depends on the quality of the decision making and can determine the success or failure of a project. Decision making includes determining the vision, mission, goals, and objectives of the project, which can include the entire organization. Decision making includes scheduling employees, determining what to put on the menu, and responding to guest needs.
Communication with individuals and groups are required to get the job done.
Human resources involves attracting and retaining the best employees and creating an environment that employees desire to work in.
Controlling is the final management skill that brings everything full circle. After the goals are set and the plans formulated, management then organizes, communicates, and motivates the resources required to complete the job. Controlling includes the setting of standards and comparing actual results with these standards. If significant deviations are seen, they are investigated and corrective action is taken to get performance back on target. This scientific process of monitoring, comparing, and correcting is the controlling function and is necessary to ensure that there are no surprises and that no one is guessing what should be done.
In addition to the skills of forecasting, planning, organizing, communicating, motivating, and controlling, managers also need other major skills: conceptual, interpersonal, and technical.
Conceptual skills enable senior managers to view the corporation as a complete entity and yet understand how it is split into departments to achieve specific goals. Conceptual skills allow a senior manager to view the entire corporation, especially the interdependence of the various departments.
Managers need to lead, influence, communicate, supervise, coach, and evaluate employees’ performances. This necessitates a high level of interpersonal human skills. The abilities to build teams and work with others are human skills that successful managers need to cultivate.
Managers need to have the technical skills required to understand and use modern techniques, methods, equipment, and procedures. These skills are more important for lower levels of management. As a manager rises through the ranks, the need for technical skills decreases and the need for conceptual skills increases.
Managers need to realize the critical importance of the corporate philosophy, culture, and values, and of a corporation’s mission, goals, and objectives.