A well-rounded leader does more than keep a business running. Ultimately, they have the power to influence and teach dozens of budding event professionals. Most entrepreneurs look back on their success and think about the mentors who helped them get to where they are today. And as a leader, you can become a significant figure for industry newbies.
Though leading others comes with its fair share of responsibilities, it also presents an incredible opportunity for you to cultivate meaningful relationships and bring in additional business. Your talents may take you far, but to grow as a professional, you need to focus on developing strong leadership skills.
If you’re looking to widen your reach as a leader and continue to stand out in the event industry, here’s what you can do to develop your skills in 2022.
Focus on flexibility
Rolling with the punches became a regular occurrence when the COVID-19 pandemic came around. As a result, live events worldwide were canceled, postponed, or rearranged, throwing a wrench in industry professionals’ plans. Luckily, the businesses of leaders who practiced flexibility continued to turn a profit.
To become a better leader, it’s essential to be open-minded. Of course, your way may not always be the right way, so listen to feedback and don’t be afraid to make changes that benefit you and your team.
Those who pivoted (like offering catering curbside pickup or virtual wedding packages) were able to provide an exceptional client experience during a tumultuous time. So if you’re serious about developing as a leader, be flexible and optimistically approach each curveball thrown your way.
Strong leaders aren’t afraid of a little tough love – and they know how to accept constructive criticism. To sharpen your leadership skills in 2022, be transparent with yourself, your team, and your clients. There’s no need to sugarcoat things!
Being honest goes a long way in gaining respect from others within the event industry. Great leaders understand they’ll run into a few speed bumps, but by being open with others, they can find innovative solutions that work for all.
The past few years have undoubtedly altered the landscape of the event industry. So if you want to become a better leader as times continue to change, you’ll need to focus on being empathetic towards others.
The best industry pros know clients appreciate feeling seen and heard. This goes for employees as well – your team will be grateful as you tune in to their needs and support them as a leader!
With the industry catching up from the pandemic, think about how you can lend a hand to those who might need extra help. For example, offering advice or a free 1:1 call with a growing professional or simply letting your team members take a day off to focus on their mental health. Small moves like these will go far in polishing your leadership skills.
Learn to delegate
The most productive leaders aren’t afraid to loosen the reins, which means they know how to delegate. Moreso, they understand that delegation isn’t something that harms their business but allows it to grow instead. So let 2022 be the year you ask for help and lighten the load you carry.
Of course, onboarding a new team member can be a time-consuming process. But once they get into the swing of things, they will help ease the burden of your responsibilities. The result is that you can take on more clients or put attention toward other projects. If your business is growing beyond what you can handle, then you need to delegate in order to thrive in your leadership role!
Tap into your creativity
When asked to envision a leader, some see suit-clad professionals sitting at a desk or rushing to their next meeting. But those in the event industry understand that this isn’t always the case. Some of the best leaders continue managing client work and finding creative solutions to new problems.
This year, think about how you can tap into your creativity more often. It might mean spending less time at your desk and more time getting to know your audience. Maybe it’s following inspiration to create offers that meet their needs. Or perhaps it’s about picking up an old hobby outside of work to get the juices flowing. Whatever it may be, don’t be afraid to do things differently!
The event industry is ever-changing, but one thing that remains constant is the potential anyone has to become a strong leader. So no matter your number of clients or social media followers, start taking steps to become a better leader in 2022. There’s always room at the table here!
Elizabeth Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. Elizabeth is also a lead wedding planner with award-winning firm Bridal Bliss, where she manages the Seattle team. Additionally, Special Events recently recognized Elizabeth in its Top 25 Event Pros to Watch series.