One of the most critical skills that you should acquire, in any field, but in the event industry in particular, is the ability to think on your feet. The ability to analyze and respond quickly following unforeseen circumstances, is not necessarily a natural skill, but one that develops as you gain more experience with different professional and personal scenarios.
You’ve heard the phrase “expect the unexpected”, but it is near impossible to develop contingency plans for every possible occurrence. There is also a fine line in between proper forethought and wasting time and energy. When working in the event industry, it is imperative that a thorough risk management plan is developed for every scenario that outlines both probable and improbable risks, even if they seem outrageous.
However, there will always be situations that cannot be predicted, and it is these instances in which thinking on your feet takes effect. Learning how to remain calm during hectic and stressful conditions can be challenging. Yet it is crucial as to not alarm your staff or your attendees and help yourself think more clearly. Your team will take its cues from your leadership.
From there you will need to think in motion and make quick and confident decisions. Sometimes you have to be nimble and creative to solve complex problems, which will be difficult at first, but over time will come more naturally. Think through your plan but avoid hesitation when delivering information or direction to your staff. Delegating responsibilities in a clear and confident manner will reduce the probability of added chaos that results from confused or stressed employees.
While it’s true that success often results from hard work and preparation, there are always situations that cannot be prepared for. The better you become at thinking on your feet, the more efficiently you will be able to navigate your team through the most unexpected challenges.