Being a great leader in the business event industry is not for the faint of heart! Location, logistics, diplomacy, technology, trouble-shooting, nutrition choices, environmental impacts, balancing on a high-wire—so much comes into play. But you have embraced this role, and you wouldn’t have it any other way. That is why we’re here to talk about the characteristics of leadership in this industry we love and tips and conversations that will be helpful to you in your SuperHero role. We’ll start with a few of my favorites.
Vision: Knowing definitively what your event is about, what success looks like, what kind of engagement you seek from your attendees, what kind of outcomes will make this the best event of its kind ever! These things need to be defined in terms that all involved in planning and executing your event will understand and then communicated thoroughly until everyone can articulate the vision themselves and is committed to making it happen. While this might sound basic, it’s not always done. Ensuring people can see the full vision and how their particular role works into that can make all the difference in the world.
Decisions: Your event is dependent upon decisions that need to be made from beginning until end and they must be timely. This goes for every choice—small, large and everything in between. Starting with the vision, ending with the post-event follow-up, deciding on venue, suppliers, menus, technology, programming and all the rest of the details can be overwhelming. Having timelines, systems and parameters in place to help decentralize decisions, empowering team members to make decisions (and implicit guidelines around what that means) and, most importantly, having clarity around who makes decisions about what, what the decisions are, and who will execute on those decisions—these are immensely important. Don’t underestimate the impact of communicating that clarity!
Flexibility: The best laid plans often go awry—an oldie but a goodie, that saying. Being equipped and able to deal with changing circumstances, conditions and situations is a critical leadership component. Don’t mistake flexibility with diversion from the original goals—keep that vision in mind as you weigh alternative decisions that must be made.
Communication: Communication to everyone—stakeholders and boards, delegates, partners, sponsors, suppliers, speakers and more. Having a communications flow chart illustrating who needs to know about what can be a valuable tool for all members of your event team. You’ll have your formal, timed communications—notifications about the event itself. That flow chart can help ensure everyone who needs to know something hears it in a timely manner. The other important element is communicating in a “language” that our audience will understand. Ensuring everything from form of communication to the words and acronyms we use must be considered to ensure a minimum of ambiguity and help our target audience feel enthusiasm, not confusion.
There is much to talk about when it comes to business event leadership, and we’ll continue this series. Email us at editor@smartmeetings about what topics you’d like us to dive into next:
- Self Awareness
- Collaborative Cultures
- Integrated Workplaces
- Finding Your Why
- Mindful Leadership
- Sparking Innovation
- Leaders of Tomorrow
- Communicating Clearly
- Managing Up
- Other ___________