Myth: Event professionals get paid to go to parties
Reality: That would be awesome, but no. Like many event organisers, we don’t just organise parties, we organise conferences, meetings, corporate events and SOME of these events have parties attached. Although we’ll be seen at a party, we are working, making sure everything goes smoothly, dealing with last minute problems and letting the client relax. The actual event is just the tip of the iceberg, behind any event there are weeks, months, or even years of organising, decision making and planning.
Myth: Event planners like spending money
Reality: You may have seen the 1991 comedy classic ‘Father of the Bride’ and the iconic exchange.
George: Ok, everything. How much?
Howard: [cutting out] – dred and – ifty a -ead.
George: You’re breaking up. It sounded like you said 150 a head.
Howard: No, no!
George: Good. I was about to kill myself.
Howard: It’s 250 a head.
But in reality, we aim to maximise impact for an achievable budget, and are always upfront and clear about costings. Across many of our events we turn a profit or surplus for our clients…and we wouldn’t ever push anything unnecessary, like perhaps swans waddling around the tulip border.
Myth: Event management is glamourous
Reality: Sampling menus, shopping for decor, networking with celebrities is the summary of our profession according to pop culture – thanks to Jennifer Lopez in ‘The Wedding Planner’. In real life we are more like ‘Oceans Eleven’ only there are no heists. The majority of the time we are working with tight budgets, short timelines, last-minute cancellations, outdoor installs in the bitter cold, 15 hour days. The profession does offer the opportunity to travel and meet very interesting speakers, so it’s understandable why those in a desk job may be envious!
Myth: Anyone can be an event organiser
Reality: Non-event professionals can throw a small gathering, but hey Baby George and his posse of two-year olds don’t have high standards. ‘I planned my own wedding’ you say, sure, but would you not rather have relaxed in those special days and not freaked out when Aunt Brenda decided she was a Fruitarian (subset of veganism – eats: fruits, nuts and seeds). Perfect, thanks Aunt Brenda. Event planning requires a range of skill sets, including creativity, accounting, and having a fantastic ‘Voice of God’ tone for cajoling your guests into different rooms (props to Director Catherine, who has a history of doing voice-over work, and can really command the room). Within the team, we’ve got a range of experience from venue management, association conferences, project management and we’d like to think that we’ve got some of the best in the business, the crème de la crème, from over 500,000+ event professionals working in the UK sector. See it is a real job; there are loads of us.
What we can summarise [WARNING: not-so-humble brag incoming] is that event organisers are some of the hardest working, efficient and skilled people in the whole world! While we might hang out in the green room with Steph McGovern, and have fun scoffing a few canapés during an event, we have a hard-working ethic, are meticulous planners and our clients benefit from our creative flair and commercial acumen.