Event Operations Manual
Software for Club Treasurers

Key skills of Event Director

If you take on the role as Event Director, the key skills you will require to successfully stage a major event are:

Consultation Skills

One of your first tasks as Event Director is to build a team of people around you that has the right mix of skills and knowledge to manage the event successfully. You cannot do it all by yourself. In amongst the people that you recruit to help with the event, you will need a management team, or organising committee.

You will need good consultation skills, working with your management team and with people in the community, to obtain as much information as possible about what is needed to make the event successful.

It is quite possible to be a successful Event Director without starting with a depth knowledge of the specifics of a sport, or activity, provided you consult with as many people as possible. Over the weeks and months leading up to the event, you will acquire considerable knowledge, and hopefully increasing confidence.

As an Event Director, your personality and communication skills will obviously be an important factor on the outcome of the event. It may be necessary to make many telephone calls, make personal visits, and write letters. An Event Director who shows enthusiasm and diligence will win much support.

As you identify people who can come into your management team, you will need to conduct regular meetings to develop a plan of what must be done, and when. Your management team will be strong if you can find people with different areas of expertise, e.g. sport specific knowledge, equipment, publicity, transport, sponsorship, administration and finance.

Team Management Skills

Events often require the work input of a considerable number of people especially when the event last more than one day. A team of 50 people or more is not unusual. The Event Director is therefore placed in the role of managing people on a day-to-day basis. Event Directors therefore need "people" skills and an ability to:

Planning and Logistical Skills

Essentially the planning of an event is a logistical exercise in which it is important to consider not only what must be done, but also when. Many of the most important tasks have to be done very early in the scheme of things. For example, securing a venue is a high priority item and absolutely critical to complete early in the process. A failure to secure a venue almost certainly prevents an event from going ahead. There are many other tasks that have to be completed within defined timelines and in the right sequence to ensure the event does not fail

The event management team must develop a complete breakdown of all the tasks required and then allocate responsibility, timelines and sufficient resources to ensure they are completed on time and with the right outcome.

There are a number of techniques and tools at the disposal of the Event Director that will assist in identifying and planning the completion of tasks. The Gantt Chart (figure below) is a popular and easy-to-use-technique for understanding the sequence and duration of tasks. This is an example of providing information graphicallly rather than in text form. Such charts may easier to read and understand. The information presented below is not intended to be complete but is only for the purposes of illustrating the Gantt chart.

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