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Event management isn’t a career for everyone. It’s a high-stress, fast-paced job that demands quick thinking, terrific organizational skills and a Zen-like sense of calm that would make a shaolin monk envious. While there are plenty of individuals who are capable of thriving at this profession, there are many more likely to crash and burn the moment their plate gets a little too full.

Naturally, if you’re hiring an event manager for your staff, you want to avoid picking anyone from the crash and burn category, having the wrong management staff is a surefire recipe for disaster. Here are a few warning signs that your prospective planner might not be all they’re cracked up to be.

They’re Even A Little Bit Disorganized

Look at how event managers conduct themselves. Do they appear clean and well dressed, or scattered and messy? Do they stay punctual and professional, or do they have a habit of being late and forgetting appointments and communiqués? Event managers need to consistently remain on top of things in order to effectively do their job; they need top-notch time management skills. If the planner you’re thinking about hiring seems to lack these traits or abilities in their personal life, how would you expect them to run an event any better?

They Appear Lack People Skills

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: now more than ever, it’s of vital importance that event management professionals are natural storytellers. They need to have the charisma to engage not just attendees, vendors and volunteers, but also bring a positive attitude to your team.  An event manager who can’t work well with others is one that simply isn’t worth hiring.

They’re Obsessed with Micromanagement

Every event planner micro-manages to one degree or another – attention to detail is one of the most important traits of a successful event management professional. The trick, of course, is being able to balance this attention to detail without turning it into an obsession. Even if an event planner looks great on paper, keep an eye out for how much of a control freak they are; someone who insists on being personally involved with every single facet of the event down to the size of glasses provided by the catering staff might not be worth the headache. Their inability to delegate tasks will waste everyone’s time.

They Don’t Know Technology

It should go without saying that if an event planner demonstrates that they don’t understand technology – particularly mobile technology – you should write them off.  Gosh, tough, but true! It’s absolutely vital an event planner be tech savvy, particularly given the industry’s increased focus on live-streams and real-time engagement via tablets and Smartphones.  Hiring a luddite to run your events will backfire on you.

They’re Not Level-Headed

Event professionals need to remain calm even under immense stress – this is the only way they’ll be able to resolve issues quickly and effectively. Someone who freaks out when the barista at a coffee shop gets their order wrong, for example – isn’t likely to remain cool under pressure. Analyze their general demeanor. Do they appear confident and calm, or excitable and stressed? Someone who suffers anxiety may not manage well the stress that comes with the job.

They Lack Energy Or Passion

Conversely, if a prospective event manager is collected to the point that they don’t seem to care about anything at all, you should probably steer clear of them as well. The best event planners are those who love their job; they exist to put together awesome events and entertaining conferences. Without passion, even the most powerful array of management skills is effectively meaningless.