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After graduating from IHTTI in 2015, Dasom Kim landed a great job as an event planning executive at the Grand Hyatt Incheon. Here are some lessons she learned from her two years in this position.
I would usually manage two to three weekly events—from MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events to small-scale company meetings. Being organized is very important in my line of work. With every event I manage, I have an event brief where I note down rooming list, agenda, special requests, and an event checklist. As simple as some things might be, it’s a good habit to note everything down to avoid complications.
In event planning, there is no such thing as being over-prepared! Even the most comprehensive plans can have gaps so make a backup plan for everything that can possibly go wrong.
When you’re collaborating with different clients and groups of people, things can and will change with a moment’s notice. While it’s good to have a basic “template” on how to run your events, you need to also be able to think on your feet and cater to different situations. You need to be flexible and either move with the tide or change course quickly.
As an event planner, I not only have to understand my clients’ needs, but also accurately communicate their requirements to vendors and the other departments supporting me. Often, even a small change may have a ripple effect and I need to make sure everyone is on the same page to avoid surprises on event day.
With every event I organize, I try to build a rapport with my clients and the people I work with, as teamwork and trust are essential in event planning. Also, if my clients are happy, they will then pass on the word to their friends and business network and this will open up more business opportunities for the hotel.
Time management is thus essential as we work on multiple events at any given time. If I don’t manage my time effectively, it could lead to losing my client and also tarnish my professional reputation. To do so, I’ve learned to prioritize my tasks and daily workload by putting together a list of things to do and their respective deadlines. I know it’s impossible for me to manage all the tasks myself for big projects and in these instances I delegate and try to get more support from vendors, suppliers and other teams in the hotel.
The events industry never sleeps and planning an event successfully means making it happen at the right time.
The events industry is not just about parties and networking. It is stressful, demanding and also involves doing dull administrative tasks. But the feeling I get when an event I’ve been planning comes to life is indescribable! There’s also nothing more rewarding than having clients express their gratitude for helping them put together a successful event.
It’s the vibrancy of this industry that motivates me to welcome every new day with new challenges.
Dasom Kim currently works as the business development supervisor for the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea.