Even if you’re a seasoned event planner, you can always benefit from learning from others. You don’t have to work directly with other industry professionals to take away a lesson or two. Many of them have published their own works where they impart the best industry practices for excelling in the profession.
It’s definitely worth picking up a copy of one or more of these books to piggyback off the wisdom and experience of some of the brightest minds in the event planning sector (and beyond).
Author: Mike van der Vijver & Eric de Groot
Mike and Eric are pioneers of meeting design. After working together for years, they decided to share their vast knowledge and experience with the rest of the meetings industry. The book is not only packed with mind-bending ideas but it also gives an array of practical tools and tons of actionable ideas. This is a must-read for anyone interested in designing meetings with impact.
Author: Maarten Vanneste CMM
In this manifesto, Maarten lays the basis for the profession of a meeting architect — a professional who works on the content side of meetings and strives to maximize the meeting outcomes. Meeting Architecture takes you through the steps for a more impactful event or meeting.
At only 157 pages, it’s a short read, but every sentence contains nuggets of information every event planner should set their eyes on.
Author: Chip Heath, Dan Heath
Planning an event is all about formulating ideas and putting them into action. However, some ideas just don’t seem to stick even though they carry potential. Authors Chip and Dan Heath cover the elements of effective communication and how to make your ideas appeal to clients and fellow planners.
The steps outlined have been used by entrepreneurs, journalists, politicians, and many more.
Author: Todd Henry
One of the greatest on-the-job assets is the ability to think quickly on your feet when presented with an unforeseen situation. In this book, author Todd Henry explains the daily habits and skills that anyone can put into practice for developing a more creative mind.
This way, a light bulb is more likely to go off in your head more often and right at the moments when you need it. Plenty of exercises are included to help you become an on-the-fly thinker.
Author: Joe Goldblatt
Here is a book specifically for event planners and written by someone with years of experience in the industry. Author Joe Goldblatt combines cases studies with the some of the well-established theories. This makes it an excellent choice for those that are just starting to get their feet wet in the sector.
The 7th Edition is revised and includes best practices that conform to current trends, such as the use of event technology and social media for attracting a wider demographic.
Author: Tony Hsieh
Your corporate culture can make a huge difference in achieving remarkable results and delivering happiness to your clients. After all, that’s what we all strive to achieve in the events industry. Author Tony Hsieh, who also happens to be the CEO of Zappos, outlines the key concepts of fostering an environment that emphasizes on happiness rather than deadlines and profits.
Author: Susan Cain
Event planning requires a lot of face-to-face interaction, both in the event planning phase and even during the event itself. One would think then that the profession is much better suited for a natural extrovert. Author Susan Cain, though, challenges this notion and provides the many facets and skills that introverts bring to the table.
This book is a must-read if you’re in the event planning industry and don’t exactly classify yourself as a people-person, or have someone on your team that fits the description.
Author: David Allen
What’s more important in the industry demanding such as ours than getting things done? This book will show you how to get organized and how just a few minutes a day can enable you to get more done in less time. So here is your “Bible of business and personal productivity” as Lifehack noted.
Author: Jon Petz
Event planning is seldom a one-man process. It takes a dedicated team to market the event and make it come to fruition. In the planning phase, there will be multiple meetings. Of course, sitting in a briefing room and brainstorming for ideas may not always elicit eager responses from staff members.
Author Joe Petz incorporates plenty of humor as he explains the keys to a successful meeting that is every bit as productive as it is brief.
Author: Danny Meyer
This best seller is authored by successful restauranteur and entrepreneur Danny Meyer. Though written for those in the food service industry, it is recommended reading for just about anyone in the business sector.
This includes those who frequently interact with clients, those who train staffers and supervisors, and those whose business struggles from a high turnover rate. Essentially, if you’re in a leadership position, then this book is for you.
Author: Stephen R. Covey
Since its original publication back in 1990, this book has become one of the mainstay titles in the self-help industry. It’s a must-read for anyone in any industry. The seven habits listed, though, are especially pertinent for those in the event planning profession where deadlines, stress, and last-minute changes are the norm.
The fact that the book has sold over 15 million copies and has been republished several times is a testament to its success.
Where do you find inspiration? What are your favorite books? Please share with us in the comments below.
About the Author
Dan McCarthyDan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.