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– 03.03.2022.

An Event Planning Virtual Assistant: Industry Insiders’ Best Kept Secret

The best kept secret of sought after event planners, the world over, is an event planning virtual assistant. While world renowned celebrity event planners like the inimitable Lisa Vorce are the known faces when it comes to creating iconic one-of-a-kind events, it takes a team of professionals operating behind the scenes to produce events that…

Laura Holton

USA

An Event Planning Virtual Assistant: Industry Insiders' Best Kept Secret

The best kept secret of sought after event planners, the world over, is an event planning virtual assistant.

While world renowned celebrity event planners like the inimitable Lisa Vorce are the known faces when it comes to creating iconic one-of-a-kind events, it takes a team of professionals operating behind the scenes to produce events that are absolutely flawless in their execution.

Smart event planners understand that having the right support is EVERYTHING. And this is where working with an event planning virtual assistant can make all the difference.

As an event planner, it’s crucial to have help with the many aspects of event planning. From the beginning stages of planning that will take your clients’ breath away, to the final stages of execution, and post-event duties. A skilled virtual assistant can be of immense value.

Event planning is not for the fainthearted. It involves a huge amount of work – from the initial planning stages, to dealing with the logistics and co-ordinating a team of suppliers and vendors. Then there’s taking care of endless details. And maintaining a great relationship with your client to ensure their experience is positive – all the while making it look seamless.

For those who have what it takes, it can be incredibly rewarding on a number of levels.

Event Planning is Booming

Industry analysts at Allied Market Research are expecting tremendous growth in the events industry, estimating that it’ll be worth an astounding $1,552.9 billion by 2028.

Event Management includes two main branches: private events and corporate events.

An Event Planning Virtual Assistant for  Private Event Planning

Event planners specializing in private events can assist with everything from pulling out all the stops to create breathtakingly romantic proposals, engagement parties, lavish weddings and other milestone events like birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, and baby showers.

Corporate Event Planning

Event planners create memorable events in the corporate events arena. And these can include seminars, trade shows, product launches and corporate retreats. As well as conferences, exhibitions, promotions and black tie fund-raising events. There’s also music and sporting events and festivals.

No matter your area of expertise, an event planning virtual assistant can assist you in ensuring your events are memorable – for all the right reasons.

Fyre Festival – A Cautionary Tale

Fyre Festival co-founder Billy McFarland – now a felon, convicted of defrauding investors to the tune of $27.4 Million – spectacularly underestimated the cost, time and resources required to stage a professional event on the scale of the ill-fated Fyre Festival.

The fyre festival promo promised revelers the experience of a lifetime: “A place where the tropical sun shines all day and our celebrations ignite the night. This is an invitation to unplug, connect with something deeper, and hunt for something bigger.”

Just imagine luxury and exclusivity in an idyllic tropical setting where all the details have been taken care of. A music festival on a private island in Exumas, the Bahamas. (They also made the wrongful claim that the island was once been owned by Pablo Escobar. To trade on notoriety).

Luxurious accommodation, tantalizing gourmet food and the chance to party with the hottest IT girls like Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and celebrities like Ja Rule himself – also promised in the fyre festival promo – sounded unbelievably glamorous.

Fyre Festival Expectation vs Reality

Instead of the freshest local seafood, festival goers got soggy cheese sandwiches.

Instead of gorgeous villas providing luxurious comfort, festival goers were provided with a limited number of basic tents featuring lumpy, soaking wet mattresses that had been left in the rain. And they’d been charged between $500 and $12,000 for the privilege.

As reported by CNBC, McFarland was also “just stunningly ignorant of what it would take to make his promises a reality.” Despite being warned repeatedly by numerous vendors, suppliers and industry professionals that it would require a full year to plan, McFarland went ahead anyway.

If McFarland listened to the advice of seasoned event planning professionals, the festival would’ve been a massive success.
He could have delivered everything promised in the fyre festival promo, with a professional event planning virtual assistant taking care of the details.

However, not all virtual assistants are created equal. It is important to identify a VA with the right skill set and character traits to ensure you have the best fit possible.

Non-negotiable skills your event planning virtual assistant must have

A Can Do Attitude

A positive, friendly ‘can-do’ attitude is the number one quality an event planning virtual assistant must have. They will be representing you and your event planning business when they interact with your clients and vendors and industry service suppliers like venues and caterers, photographers, decor providers and floral design experts, among others. While they certainly can’t be pushovers, they should be pleasant to deal with.

An Event Planning Virtual Assistant is Flexible

With an event planner’s unusual work hours, sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether work begins very late at night or extremely early in the morning. Your VA should be adaptable and willing to fit in with your crazy schedule.

Meticulous Attention to Detail

Top event planning industry professionals know that what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary are the smallest details. And it’s these little details and personal touches that will turn a satisfied client into a raving fan who’ll send qualified clients your way through word of mouth referrals.

An Event Planning Virtual Assistant is Agile & Adaptable

Event planners are very familiar with how quickly plans can change from one minute to the next. It may become evident that the idea you agreed upon just isn’t feasible. Or you discover that there’s an even better option available, a preferred vendor isn’t available, and perhaps the client also had a change of heart. You need an agile event planning virtual assistant who can easily adapt and quickly change direction.

Ability to Think on Their Feet

Murphy’s Law is an aphorism that states “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”, something that many event planners can attest to. This is why an adept event planning VA needs to be able to think on their feet to come up with practical, viable alternative solutions when something doesn’t go according to plan.

Extremely Organized

A great event planning virtual assistant is skilled in time management, as well as being a master negotiator, intuitive with excellent interpersonal and communication skills – verbal and non-verbal – and able to manage a budget.

An Event Planning Virtual Assistant Thrives Under Pressure

Event planners are often under tremendous pressure in staying ahead of the competition, identifying trends and constantly having to innovate and come up with fresh, never seen before options to amaze and delight clients who may be extremely demanding and very particular.

It isn’t for everyone, but there are those who thrive in this environment – and you want them on your team!

Foresight – Having a Contingency Plan

Navy Seals and savvy event planning virtual assistants have something in common. The belief that:

“One is None & Two Is One”

What this simply means, is that having one plan is not enough. Because things can (and do) change in an instant. And plans go out the window. Which is why you should be prepared and have a contingency plan worked out ahead of time.

Don’t get caught unaware, rather have an alternative solution. And so, the main takeaway here is to have it worked out ahead of time, not in the heat of battle.

Ability to Remain Calm During a Crisis

Staying calm, level-headed and focused while everyone around them is losing their heads is a trait that will stand anyone in good stead. And doubly so if they’re involved in event management and planning. For this reason it’s a quality that is absolutely essential in an event planning virtual assistant.

Tasks you can delegate to an event planning virtual assistant

There is virtually no end to the tasks you can delegate to a brilliant event planning virtual assistant.

This really all depends on you and your needs. Ideally you want to play to your strengths and outsource the tasks that don’t require your personal touch. These tasks are still important and require care and attention to detail.

These can include:

  • Managing your schedule
  • Researching venues, vendors, caterers, decor providers, floral artists, speakers, performers, musicians etc.
  • Creating unique itineraries
  • Booking travel accommodation, flights & car rental.
  • Meeting visa requirements & applying for visas in time
  • Applying for permits
  • Coordinating printing
  • Mailing invitations and thank you cards timeously
  • Ensuring your correspondence is up to date and you’re aware of any changes or new requests.
  • Taking calls, returning calls and communicating with vendors
  • Ensuring the event stays on-budget
  • Create content for and update your social media accounts

And a host of others.

It’s Easier Than You Think

Hiring an event planning virtual assistant is a great way to take some of the load off your shoulders. And can help with everything from logistics as well as marketing and execution. Their primary function is to take care of the details. And because this frees up your time, you can focus on the things that keep bringing wildly satisfied clients back.

What’s more – it’s easy. Simply book a discovery call with us today, and let’s talk through the details of how we can make it happen for you.

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Talk to one of our team members about the tasks consuming your time, and your goals. Going forward, your virtual assistant can work with minimum input from you.

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