This Saturday I went to the Little Museum of Dublin which was pretty cool! They give you an overview of Irish history within 30 minutes with a good few jokes as well. During this trip, we heard a number of fish puns from our tour guide which was funny to me at least.
Tomorrow is another day of work. In terms of soft skills that I am developing this summer, communication has been a big one. In the office, I have to communicate effectively with my colleagues to get projects completed. However, my communication skills are not restricted to interacting within my team. When I am out on site events with clients or emailing suppliers for the first time I need to have good communication skills. This means interacting with clients in a positive manner and being welcoming, as event planning falls under the hospitality services category. These interactions are important to building a strong first impression and they reflect on the company image as a whole. That is why it is crucial that I make the best representation I can.
One other soft skill I have developed is organization. When you are working on projects that concern detailed events you really have to be cognisant of how you format things. There are never just randomly placed documents. Everything has a clear folder and a name. This may seem relatively basic, but it is essential to keeping track of several client or supplier conversations and documents.
In my internship I am also gaining a wide range of hard skills that I can apply in the future. Project management for events requires you to use marketing skills, manage budgets, and handle invoices. I improve my marketing skills through building research proposals and other event slides such as decor. These presentations utilize marketing skills, as you have to sell the client on your trip idea. It is how you establish the company as one of the best with the amount of thought put into every detail. You have to know your client, what they want, their budget, and cater the trip itinerary to those guidelines. There is never a scenario where you can just cut and paste an old model as everyone receives a specially curated plan.
That takes me into my next hard skill I am working on which is budgeting. One thing I have noticed is that my internship this summer has allowed me to stretch myself and understand many different parts of the business. While planning events is super creative, you still need to know how to apply numbers on the logistical side. First and foremost, you have to plan a tentative budget to get a loose understanding of where you can spend your money. The rates and specific number of people attending may change, so it is more so a starting point. If someone really wants a nice dinner event, but does not care as much about what kind of hotel they stay at, then you know that is where you should be focusing. That means spending less money on the hotel and investing more in the decor and catering for a nice gala dinner.
When planning these events, project managers also collect their fair share of invoices. This does not mean blindly paying suppliers, but also taking the time to carefully review the math. Analyzing what the tax is and seeing if their final number accurately reflects that. That way, on the off chance there is an issue on either side it can be addressed.
Outside of these skills, there is valuable cultural knowledge I am acquiring. When writing emails to suppliers there are a few spelling differences I have observed. For example, inquire is spelled as enquire or program is spelled as programme. These minor changes have caused me to adjust my own work. I know the words will still be understood, but as I am working at an Irish company it is better to follow the norms of the country.
Another key detail to keep in mind is that Ireland is not a part of the UK and Northern Ireland is. This means when I am communicating with suppliers in Northern Ireland, I have to confirm rates in pounds and not euros.
These situations have caused me to be able to adapt to new scenarios quickly and change my approach. I think these skills and perspectives will help me greatly in my future career. Being able to adapt when needed is essential, especially in event planning where no day looks the same.