Event Management Roles & How To Be an Efficient Team
Whether you’re planning a virtual event or a local conference, managing an event can be overwhelming. Between communicating with event staff, double-checking the guest list, and preparing to troubleshoot problems—the workload can be too much for one person.
But event planners don’t have to go it alone.
When it comes to event management, teamwork makes the dream work. Appointing dedicated team members to share the responsibility can alleviate stress and result in a more streamlined event.
If you’re curious about the roles and skills involved in event management, keep reading to determine how to designate team members and ensure your collective success.
Event Management Team Roles and Responsibilities
Great events don’t happen by chance—every memorable event has several dedicated planners working behind the scenes.
Everyone on an event management team has a role to play, and each role involves a particular set of skills and responsibilities.
As you assemble your team, consider which of the following roles should be filled (keeping in mind that, on a smaller team, one person might take on several of these responsibilities):
- Event Director – No matter how you delegate responsibilities, one person needs to take the lead on establishing the overall vision and goal of the event. Then, the director can continue to handle the event strategy and budget while maintaining partnership relationships.
- Event Coordinator – While the director prioritizes big-picture questions and external communications, they’ll need a point person to make sure all moving parts of the event itself run smoothly. The event coordinator should communicate directly with the director while they supervise every detail and decision as the event progresses.
- Sales Lead – A successful event depends just as much on its attendees as it does on its timetable and plan. The sales lead makes sure people actually show up by implementing a promotional strategy through ads, emails, invites, and social media posts leading up to the event.
- Customer Lead – While the marketing lead could theoretically field questions that pour in via social media, larger teams will want to appoint a customer lead to act as the go-to for customers with questions and requests. They can also lead the charge on event analytics, overseeing the event’s sales department and tracking event data such as sales performance.
- On-site Coordinator – Every step of the event requires a point-person to field inquiries and troubleshoot issues. When the big day arrives, the on-site coordinator should be prepared to handle any issues such as checking people in or helping out with tickets and set-up.
As you delegate roles and responsibilities, consider each team members’ strengths. Clearly delineate tasks and make a plan to coordinate with the event production team.
Event Production Roles
Whether you’re a corporate committee or the staff of a nonprofit, you’ll need a second team to be sure the event looks, feels, and sounds like you want it to.
Your event production team handles the creative and technical execution of the event (including video, audio, lighting, and more).
Here are just some of the many event production roles:
- Project Manager – Just as the event needs a director, so does the production team. The Project Manager is the event planning team’s go-to point person who manages every aspect of the production, is responsible for making sure deadlines for the event are met and can keep your project on track and within budget.
- Technical Director – On the day of the event, it’s less than ideal for the Project Manager to be up on stage troubleshooting the microphone—what if connectivity issues arise concurrently? Instead, production teams need a qualified AV production lead. This person can select appropriate hardware and software and resolve problems during the event itself. Learn more about Audio Visual Event Management here.
- Lighting Designer/Operator – While not all events require specialized lighting, any occasion featuring speakers or performers can benefit from an event lighting designer whose expert skills can cast everyone in their best light.
- Stage Manager – Beyond lights and sound, the stage manager handles all stage duties such as preparing the teleprompter, fixing curtains, building out the stage, setting up calling cues, and more.
How to Align Your Team for an Effective Event Strategy
Teams can range in size from dynamic duos to large groups from different organizations. But no matter how many moving parts comprise your event plan, it’s important that your team remains aligned and focused on the mission.
Alignment occurs when you all work towards the same vision. Next, we’ll delve more deeply into three essential strategies for alignment.
Fostering connection is essential for any team.
But how do you stay on the same page when everyone is focused on their own tasks—and often working at different venues while communicating with different stakeholders?
The key is making time to talk to each other, too. Almost half of planners note that team-building events are their most frequent internal event.
Establish a plan for internal communication. Make sure to plan regular recurring meetings and plan for longer sessions when you need to delegate tasks, solve problems, or review the timetable on the eve of the event.
Open Lines of Communication
Fostering connections between the members of your team is vital.
A survey on teamwork found that:
- 86% of organizational leaders and employees believed that poor, ineffectual collaboration and communication resulted in failures at the workplace.
- 97% think that if a team lacks alignment, it will impact the project’s end result.
Most people want to work with a team that values honest communication and collaboration.
Choose a way to keep in touch outside of your internal meetings. There are great project management tools you can use such as:
- A Slack workspace
- Microsoft teams
- A Facebook group
- A WhatsApp group messaging thread
That way, team members can stay on the same page (or in the same thread) and review messages at their leisure throughout the planning process.
The RACI Method
The RACI Method is another effective way for fostering communication and collaboration within your team. This framework is meant to aid in delegating responsibilities while helping everyone to remain on track and organized.
The acronym dedicates several people to each shared task.
- The responsible party will complete the work. This can be one or several people.
- The accountable person is the owner of the work. They assign work to the people who are responsible—and there is only one accountable person.
- An additional team member will be consulted. This person is the final person to approve the work. Because of their expertise on the specific assignment, they are the ones to come to for input and advice on the work.
- Someone who is informed is not as involved in the task as the others. They simply must be updated on the work’s progress but typically don’t have any input or approval rights.
With this method, everyone knows their roles and how to perform them. As a result, the work can get done more efficiently and lead to an event’s success.
Managing A Remote, Virtual Team
The pandemic has shifted the way the event industry operates. As a result, it’s more likely that you’ll have to manage your team remotely or put together a virtual or hybrid event.
To succeed across time zones and devices, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you have a clear plan and defined goal to minimize confusion.
The roles may become a little more blurred with your team scattered, but here are some tips to help maintain team alignment:
- Establish clear expectations for deadlines
- Delegate asynchronous and synchronous work
- Meet at certain times each week
- Utilize technology for virtual meetings, to communicate, and to share documents
- Keep track of progress using the RACI method
Again, clear roles will keep everyone organized and on track.
The Benefits of Having a Team
No matter your level of experience as an event planner, having a team to support and contribute to the mission makes the process much more seamless.
At the same time, working with a team does require foresight and planning for the VP or event director, from delegating tasks to coordinating communication.
However, the effort you put into team management is more than worth it, thanks to its benefits. Event directors can:
- Delegate duties to people with appropriate skill sets
- Save time since many tasks are getting done at once
- Problem solve from several perspectives
- Leverage a wide variety of skills and experiences
Now, the only challenge left is building your team!
How We Can Help
An event is only as strong as the team behind it. Every role on a team requires a certain level of skill and expertise, and all members must work in concert to put on a successful event.
That means you need to fill your team management roles with the most qualified individuals possible.
Choosing a team of experts and professionals who understand event management can make all the difference. Our decades of experience with in-person, remote, and hybrid events means we can help guide you throughout the process and support your vision.
Managing your event doesn’t have to be stressful. Contact us to learn more about how we can help guarantee your event is a success.
Splash. The Event Marketer Role is Changing: The Skills You Need Today. https://splashthat.com/blog/event-planning-job-description-evolution
EventManagerBlog. 100 Event Statistics (2021 Edition). https://www.eventmanagerblog.com/event-statistics#8
Big Sky Associates. RACI to the Top: How to Guarantee Your Team Members Know Their Roles. https://www.bigskyassociates.com/blog/understanding-raci-the-basics-for-project-management
Bit.AI Blog. 21 Collaboration Statistics that Show the Power of Teamwork! https://blog.bit.ai/collaboration-statistics/