5 ways planners can enhance their skills in 2022
Tay Ling
Vice President, TBA Hong Kong

With virtual and hybrid events taking centre stage in the last two years, it’s no surprise online fatigue has been common among event planners.

The move towards virtual events, however, has forced event planners to take on new forms of tech. They are also thinking differently about content, having seen first-hand how much harder it can be to sustain people’s attention in an online setting, while the technology involved in running a virtual event calls for a different approach towards contingency planning.

Here are five ways planners can ensure their skills are up to the event task in 2022, whether in person, virtual or hybrid.

Renew your focus on technology and marketing
As brands seek faster and more innovative ways of re-connecting with their audiences over digital platforms, pre-, during-, and post-event, there will be a bigger focus on technology and marketing.

Be empathetic
The need to listen empathetically, read between the lines of a client brief and offer creative solutions to event delivery is more critical than ever.

“The ability of an event manager to deliver this via different channels has become a highly sought after skill," says Tay Ling, vice president, TBA Hong Kong, Pico. He adds that events are emotional touchpoints for people, meaning empathy training is vital.

Think outside the box
While Tay acknowledges that ‘metaverse’ is the new buzzword, he believes that like many things the industry has seen in the past, it is something that may stay or just fade away.

“Traditional event skills remain vital, such as the ability to solve problems by thinking outside the box,” he says. “Go ahead and dare to reimagine. Don’t look at this as an event; look at how you can solve a client’s problem.”

Make the complex simple
Ever-changing restrictions and regulations have made the planning process more complex and stressful, particularly for events with participants travelling from multiple locations.

Don’t adopt new skills for the sake of it
While keeping up with the trends is of great significance, it is not necessary for planners to acquire such skills. As a matter of fact, fundamental event management skills and attributes required for virtual events are the same as in-person ones. Sought-after skills in the field, including organisational skills, attention to details, problem-solving and negotiation, as well as the skills to manage a virtual event timeline, may sound like a lot to handle, yet the skills to manage such events are very much similar to the ones planners are familiar with.

The above was extracted from an interview of Tay Ling, Vice President of TBA Hong Kong, published online by M&C Asia on 18 March 2022.