The MBTI framework is a great tool to better understand our natural inclinations as an event organiser. Rather than defining certain traits for a successful event planner which is really limiting, why not understand how each and every one of us can contribute what we do best naturally. It is not about finding out whether our personality is suitable for event planning. Rather, it is about understanding how we work best.
INFJ- The Advocate
Quiet and mystical, yet very inspiring and tireless idealists.
INFJ event planners are great team players, often very democratic in their approach. They will make everyone they work with feel important, from venue owners to transport people as well as their subordinates, defusing tensions whenever they arise, and making the working environment open and egalitarian. Their ability to create such a favourable workplace will greatly improve communication within the team as people are encouraged to voice out concerns honestly, allowing the event organiser to obtain accurate on-the-ground information.
INFJ event planners are more concerned with finding meaning and fulfillment in their work. Many events can help them fulfill this need, in particular charitable events, community events and the likes. However, INFJ event planners need to understand that the job contains significant mundanity (like most office jobs) and they still need to give their all and prove themselves worthy of bigger things. In addition, their strength of seeking to understand all sides to the story can be counterproductive in urgent, unexpected situations that often crop up in event planning. INFJs need to learn to be assertive and take charge of the decision making process rather than listen to what everyone has to say.
INFP- The Mediator
Poetic, kind and altruistic people, always eager to help a good cause.
INFP event planners are able to make any mundane event meaningful and inspirational. Their ability to see the best in everything means they are able to approach any event with fresh insight as well as spot opportunities from miles away. They are great marketers, abled in manipulating words to create messages that resonate and communicate with people on deeper levels. They will market the hell out of any event, squeezing every bit of it to create a meaningful narrative that people can relate to. In particular, they are able to persuade from an emotional and philosophical standpoint best.
INFP event planners don’t respond favourably to criticisms and this can make being an event planner difficult. Event planners need to be in close proximity to a devil’s advocate to prevent oversight of details. They have to be extremely open to criticisms and be able to respond swiftly to them so that things don’t go wrong during the event. Sometimes, INFP event planners can plan out the whole event in their head and get swayed over by their own plans that when someone comes to burst their bubble, they deflate entirely. INFP event planners need to get used to criticisms and come to love them, if they want to make sure they plan events that will run smoothly and successfully.
INFP are big thinkers and they tend to gloss over details and practicalities to focus on the bigger picture of the event. Things like strategic marketing and how the event value-adds to event attendees will preoccupy their minds. Therefore, INFPs need to surround themselves with people who have an eye for detail to help them see their blind spots.
Charismatic and inspiring leaders, able to mesmerize their listeners.
ENFJs are happiest in their job when they get to satisfy their event-goers with a good experience. This fundamental motivation makes ENFJs natural event planners. They are driven to know about the motivations and desires of other people, aka event-goers and will work to achieve them as much as possible. Their sociability and desire to improve the situation of others make them great at engaging clients planning events, or event-goers. ENFJs are also quick-learners and efficient multi-taskers, making them able to work on parallel events all at once. This is a valuable trait for event planners who often have to focus on multiple things going on at once, without losing the balance.
ENFJs have a tendency to take on more than they can chew. As event planners, they may over promise clients because like their counterparts above, they may not be fully aware of the practicalities and limitations, while their drive to please will cause them to become a Yes Man. But most experienced ENFJs won’t fall into this trap. However, it may be difficult at first to understand how to work with limitations and turning those limitations to plusses, rather than making one’s own work tougher to do. Sometimes, it’s better to think of better alternatives than to try to fulfill all of what the clients set out to do.
ENFP- The Campaigner
Enthusiastic, creative and sociable free spirits, who can always find a reason to smile.
ENFPs are extremely independent but love working with people at the same time. They are great listeners who are able to not only understand what their clients and event goers want, but are also able to synthesize different ideas from different people and connect the dots, forming an even bigger and better idea. Event planners of ENFP personality are creative but not in the nature like their counterparts who think of ideas in their head. Instead, ENFP listen to the various needs and wants of event-goers and bring them together into a holistic whole. While they love working with people, they do not depend on others to be efficient. They are able to think for themselves and in fact, relish the freedom from micro-management.
ENFPs are also at the danger of over-listening. They may pick up signals that throw them off and make communication more convoluted than it was meant to be. This is dangerous for event planners who are highly exposed to a variety of people in their work, from within the office to the entire event industry including people doing venues, catering, performances, staging, audio, transportation, construction, marketing, etc. ENFPs are vulnerable to work stress originating from interactions at work. ENFP event planners who may have stepped on someone’s toe during an event will feel the effects long after the event. ENFPs need to learn how to desensitize themselves without losing their trademark of being great listeners.
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 Part 3 for more analysis for other personality types and read up on Part 1 (INTJ, INTP, ENTJ, ENTP) here!
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Credits to 16personalities.com for the general analysis of each personality type