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Interview with Karen Lindsey

Karen Lindsey is regarded as one of Europe’s most outstanding event managers, with her own event consultancy company. We ask her what qualities are needed to become a successful event planner.

Q. What skills and expertise are required to become a successful event planner?

Many! You need to be organised and have the ability to multi-task. You must have good communication skills, be approachable and have a personable trait in order to get along with key people from all walks of industry.

Q. What is the secret to running a wonderful event?

Meticulous pre-event planning. This allows you the head-space to deal with any unforeseen situations as they arise on site, which they will!

It is easy to manage clients’ expectations if you have kept them informed throughout the entire organisational process. It is critical to keep them up-to-date about potential problems with a venue and budget.

Q. What future trends should planners be aware of?

I anticipate an important trend to emerge will be for event planners to consider the welfare of clients and those working on an event. In particular, the welfare around hosting an event overseas.

Considerations such as terrorism and kidnapping threats will undoubtedly have to be considered when proposing a location. Staging an event in the UK may be regarded as a safer option. So, events in the UK may increase while overseas events in certain countries may see a decline.

Clients are far more aware of the merits of an event’s sustainability, too.

Q. Your seminars are very popular. What key messages do event planners take away?

That will do, will never do. Eat bananas. Drink water. Keep a good sense of humour. Work with and value your team. Don’t panic and count to ten!

Make sure that you have created and shared a comprehensive itinerary with every key player to ensure that you are all singing from the same song sheet.

Q. You are known for your love of tick lists. Is event management all about having great organisational skills? Or is creative flair just as important?

Event organising is ultimately a process, but being creative is important. You need to be able to create a fabulous event that will make a client stand out from the crowd.

An event organiser has to have many skills; good time management, strong housekeeping abilities, prioritising qualities, communication techniques, common sense as well as being inventive and being able to think outside the box. The list is endless.