Extroversion, positivity, level-headedness and strong organisational abilities. These are the oft-cited traits of a successful event planner. But trying to define traits that make a successful event planner is awfully limiting as it suggests that most event planners have similar traits. Worst still, it is highly inaccurate. I have had the privilege of meeting extremely successful and very different event planners throughout the years and they have personalities spanning the entire spectrum. Thus, the question we should ask instead is, what kind of event planner am I and what does my personality bring to the table? Using the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) framework, you can find out more about what your strengths and weaknesses as an event planner.
INTJ- The Architect
INTJs are imaginative and strategic thinkers, with a plan for everything.
Strengths: INTJs are great organisers who tend to have everything under control. At the same time, they are creative and allow themselves to try new things at events. These event planners have the right mix of pragmatism and adventurism. They also have a strong ability to understand complex things. Difficult procedures, logistical arrangements and navigating complicated situations are no biggies for them. INTJ event planners are naturally level-headed and can remain calm enough to deal with things that go awry in a reasoned manner.
Weaknesses and challenges: An INTJ is always hungry for a challenge to be creative. However, event planning can be repetitive and menial especially at the outset. To have the opportunity to execute inspiring and ambitious projects, event planners need to work from the bottom up and prove themselves in less interesting tasks. This may deter an INTJ event planner and easily bore them early on. In addition, their preference to work alone and plan everything beforehand means they don’t communicate as much as they should. This makes miscommunication even more likely and can be fatalistic for the success of an event.
INTP- The Logician
Innovative inventors with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge
Strengths: Independent thinkers who also love to be uncommon, INTP event planners can plan elaborate events that push the envelope while filling a real need. If you want a highly innovative event, these are the people to go to. They shoot for the stars, so don’t worry about hitting the moon! They are also very abled in dealing with complexities so while their plans may seem overly ambitious at times, they can navigate their way through the mess and plan an event that is big, bold and awesome.
Weaknesses: Unlike INTJs, INTPs are less grounded to realities. They don’t like dealing with bureaucracy, which is essential for any event planner working around limitations in resources and rules. They are best when working with people who know the realities and can bring them back to Earth. INTPs have a harder time dealing with emotional exchanges and customer service and this may be an obstacle for event planning as much of the work requires understanding the needs of the customer and the event-goer.
ENTJ- The Commander
Bold, imaginative and strong-willed leaders, always finding a way – or making one.
Strengths: You can trust an ENTJ event planner to deliver whatever they promise. When they set a goal, they will go all out to achieve it. Their drive and clear sense of direction allows them to be assertive leaders who garner respect from their subordinates, which makes it likelier for them to execute their plans successfully. So while the above two personalities are idea generators, ENTJ is an idea executor personality type. They also tend to be highly resourceful and are able to bend the rules to their advantage.
Weaknesses: ENTJs are strong-willed and this may cause them to overlook suggestions given by the people they work with or their clients. Because most event planners work for an external client, they must be able to compromise and place their clients’ needs and desires first. While their intuition of what and how to do things may be right, their clients may not see it that way. Furthermore, their assertiveness can jeopardise their relations with co-workers and suppliers which makes it more difficult to get things done. Their assertiveness and ability to lead others in their direction can become counterproductive.
ENTP- The Debater
Smart and curious thinkers who cannot resist an intellectual challenge
Strengths: While curious and creative like their counterparts above, ENTPs are great communicators who are able to persuade others with their logic and strong reasoning. As event planners, they will be able to get people on board with their ideas. They are also always questioning existing methods of doing things and seek to improve it. ENTPs will help make event planning more productive by finding shortcuts and pushing their superiors to answer for any inefficiencies.
Weaknesses: ENTP event planners have a disdain for hierarchies and rules and this may cause them to lose patience and passion for their job. Like their counterparts above, ENTPs also hate mind-numbing and repetitive work such as manual attendee registration and attendance management or doing the same sales pitch over and over again. ENTPs need to nurture patience and keep their minds focused on their long-term goals so that they can work harmoniously with these rules and restrictions. If they can do so, they will shine as an event planner as they have the ability to persuade people to get things done.
Of course, event planners do not exclusively fit into neat categories. They can span different personality types. Furthermore, personalities do not demonstrate skills which are even more important for event planners. Personalities are great for telling us our natural inclinations and what we need to work on.
Stay tuned to “What your Myers-Brigg personality type says about you as an event organiser -Part 2” for more analysis for other personality types!
Try out a free, online MBTI test here: http://www.16personalities.com/
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Credits to 16personalities.com for the general analysis of each personality type