Not everyone has a big team behind them, many event planners work independently and with great success. Here are 20 reasons it is good to go solo in the world of events.
Big event planning projects are often done in teams because of the sheer workload that is required; but is this really the best way? Is big always beautiful? Even if you work within a large department here are some reasons you should consider planning events alone and doing things yourself every once in awhile.
If you have ever worked in a team you have probably felt like you wanted to do things differently or “I might as well do it myself”. What is stopping you? Event planning can be hard but it is definitely possible to go it alone. Respect is due to those eventprofs that always work individually, either by choice or necessity. Here are some reasons to inspire you to go it alone.
Helps Problem Solving
If you have ever done anything on your own it can definitely be a learning curve and while team work can promote innovation, working alone helps to improve your individual problem solving abilities. Decision making can be daunting for those who are usually reliant on others but this is a good thing and can foster independence which is better for all aspects of your life. Without the possibility of asking a colleague to help you with something, when you work on your own you need to figure it out and get it done. This forces you to come up with a solution (good or bad) because let’s be honest, who else is going to fix it?
Frequently when people work in teams they fall into designated roles. For some it is a leadership and management role and for others it is more of a following role. This can be particularly destructive for those who are more easy going and willing to let others take the lead because it makes you more dependent on others and can in fact hinder you from doing your job to your full potential. Working on your own allows you to make decisions yourself and decide on the direction you want to go, which encourages you to show more initiative and improves your ability to plan ahead.
Event planning is pressurized and everyone handles stress differently. Working with others who are dealing with tight deadlines and a lot of pressure can add to your own stress levels and make your working day harder to deal with. Working on your own lets you take things at your own pace, take a breather if you need it and deal with the workload in your own way without others making your life more stressful.
Working alone can help you to understand your strengths, weaknesses and how you handle event planning (as well as your life in general). Often when we are working with others we become so focused on the task at hand that we forget to stop and consider what or how we are doing things. Understanding your own limitations, as well as the way you approach certain things, can help you to improve your interaction with others in the future and also teaches you how to evaluate yourself to be better at your job, and more self-aware.
You are more likely to learn and absorb what you are doing if you are having to do it yourself without someone giving you all the answers. Memory is improved if you have had to solve the problem in the first place because sometimes you remember the steps you took to get to a conclusion better than the actual answer.
Work to your Own Schedule
Are you a night owl or an early bird? Sometimes the hardest part about event planning is getting up early and going into the office for a meeting, or it’s staying late with everyone to get everything done. Luckily when you are doing things by yourself you aren’t limited in this way and if you want to stay up working until 2am and then get up at 10am the next morning you have no one holding you back. Working to your own schedule can also suit certain events or clients too that may require you to stay up later or get up earlier.
Meet Shorter Deadlines
If you have got to put an event together in a hurry then you should consider working alone. Checking with a team before making decisions can slow down the whole process. Working alone you can respond to short lead times and turn around quick decisions for suppliers, without relying on anyone else. This agile response often means that individuals can meet shorter targets or deadlines and save time.
Work from Anywhere
Essentially you can plan an event from anywhere and many eventprofs set up an event business from home. If you work by yourself you can do it in your pyjamas or from a sunlounger, providing you have WiFi! Working within a team however often makes the location a greater priority. If things aren’t communicated in person (especially organizational details) they can get lost in translation or missed and your boss probably requires you to make it into the office everyday. Doing it yourself means that you can do a load of planning from your couch if you want to. In fact you can work wherever or however you are most productive.
Great for Introverts
Introverts can make the best event planners and so working in a team is not always what it is cracked up to be. Introverts may find planning in teams stressful, raising their anxiety levels and reducing innovation, but working on their own is where they will shine and can work the way they work best.
One of the real downsides to teams is that there are an array of different personalities, planning styles and opinions that need to be navigated. This isn’t necessarily a good thing and at some point or another even the best teams will argue or disagree. Luckily when you work on your own you don’t have to consider other opinions because yours is the only one that matters!
Makes your Event Unique
You are you, and there is only one of you in the whole world which means that your ideas, creativity and style is completely unique. Show this through your event planning and allow your passions and taste to take over rather than compromising with an amalgamation of ideas from a committee. Working alone can help you to create your ‘signature’ looks, themes and ideas that you can translate into future events and build a strong event identity.
It stands to reason that with more independence, learning, fewer distractions and reduced stress you will be more productive and this is definitely true for most event planners who go it alone. As long as you keep organized you will find that working alone can get more done on a day-to-day basis than if you were waiting for others in a team. To make sure this is really the case for you, here’s some extra productivity tips for eventprofs to get you started!
Great for Fixing Mistakes
When you are working with others who have their own limitations, you may find that mistakes are made. This can be timely and costly and working alone can help to reduce this and ensure things are done your way. If things go awry working independently will also help you to fix mistakes in a timely manner, with a lot less confusion and miscommunication then working with a group.
Takes the Pressure Off
Other people have different ways of working. Some like to get things out of the way quickly while others like to take some time to mull things over. This means that when working with others you are constantly being rushed or slowed down by your team which can increase the pressure that falls on you because you are working at an unnatural pace. In addition to this, being accountable to others and running the risk of not getting things done the way they want it can increase anxiety as well, leaving you a bit of a nervous wreck during the whole process!
Boosts Career Prospects
Working on your own and showing off what you can accomplish can get you noticed in the world of event planning. Employers like to see staff taking initiative and being able to complete things effectively and the bottom line is, if you can do a lot yourself it makes things more cost effective for them. If you ever want to stop working alone and join a larger event team it should be easy for you to prove how capable you are. This also means you can justify asking for certain benefits, a bigger salary or even flexible hours. Working on your own could be the boost you need to get to the next level in your event planning career.
Working alone provides fewer restrictions such as being limited by other behaviors or expectations or drama. Office politics can hold you back when working in a team and personal opinions and the actions of others can impact on your productivity and the quality of the work you can do. Working alone you only have yourself to consider, which keeps things simple, rather than being restricted by others.
It’s great to collaborate but sometimes the credit doesn’t always get fairly distributed and some get more recognition than others. Working on your own can highlight your great work and prove who really gets the job done so that you get the true recognition you deserve!
As you have all of the information, you can make informed decisions and choices yourself with all of the knowledge to hand. Importantly you can trust to follow your gut instinct, which can get over-ridden in bigger teams. In addition to this, fewer misunderstandings between colleagues and co-workers about expectations, job roles or anything else will save so much time, effort and hassle.
Stronger Bond with your Client
Working alone means that all communication has to come through you, meaning you know every inch of the event and get to work closely with the client. This ensures that you build a close bond and hear every wish, demand and unspoken signal, there is no chance of a half garbled message being passed on or chinese whispers through colleagues. This uncensored access means that you can understand and deliver the brief better and hopefully ensures that you build a client for life who wouldn’t dream of working with anyone else.
How do you know what skills you have unless you push or challenge yourself? Working solo it can be surprising what you learn to deal and cope with when you have no choice or no-one else to fall back on. If you are used to working in a team you will probably have sat back and allowed people to take the lead on certain tasks on occasions. While this is a reality of teamwork it doesn’t improve your ability to do that job or test that skill. Working on your own helps to make you well-rounded and self-sufficient and push yourself like you have never done before.
The event industry is made up of many freelancers and individuals who create event magic in the same way that big corporate event teams do. Big isn’t always beautiful and this post gives some great reasons why more event planners should work alone more often or even consider making it a permanent career move to go solo.