Over the past several months I have had the opportunity to work as an Account Executive for Inspired Strategies Agency (Olivet Nazarene University’s student-run strategic communication agency) where I manage the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce as a client.
One of our biggest objectives this semester was to plan the Lucky Connections Business After Hours Networking Event.
Students found luck at this extraordinary event by meeting community and business leaders, crafting their networking skills and most of all learning how to become engaged in our vibrant community. Business leaders came to find their “pot of gold” in a future intern, potential employee or provide mentorship to the next generation of professionals. The event on Thursday, March 16, 2017 had roughly 65 attendees.
The process of event planning was something that was something that was new to me. Through the process of planning this event, there are several things that I learned.
Trust your team
Putting trust in the other members of my team was something that I had to learn how to do. Even though I trust the members of my team, I had to trust that they could take a task that I needed done and not only get it done but get it done well. They delivered great work and I was highly impressed.
Manage your time
Managing your time when you are working as an event planner is crucial. You need to have a timeline of when everything needs to be done because if you let yourself fall behind you risk the success of your event.
Have a vision
Starting the planning with the end in mind is extremely important. We would not have been able to put together if we would have not know how we wanted the event to look. My team and I sat down in the beginning of the planning process and asked the question “What do we want this event to look like?”. Because we asked this question we were able to stay on track to reach the goal we had set.
In event planning there is one thing that is key: Communication. Communication is important because it allows everyone to be on the same page. There were times during the event planning process where we lacked communication and it effected the way we were able to continue to plan the event. If I was able to go back to the earlier stages of the event planning process, I would have made sure we kept strong communication the whole time.
Being flexible is something that every event planner should understand. During the planning process of the Lucky Connections Business After Hours Networking Event, my team and I had to be flexible when making decisions.
After many sleepless nights, I have finally been able to catch up on my sleep. Being an event planner is not an easy task, but watching our event come together was one of the most rewarding things that I have ever experienced.
Hayden’s Not-So-Important Opinion?
Event planning is one of the most tiring but rewarding jobs I have ever taken on.
Hayden’s Advice of The Week?
Dare to dream. When you think outside of the box is when you have the best ideas.
By Hayden Keifer, Account Executive, Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce