Darth Vader holding a clipboard and pencil
Photo by JD Hancock

Every event has a purpose. And behind that purpose are event goals. Whether you’re hosting a corporate event, a non-profit gala, or a residential reception, there’s always a good reason to party! Once you’ve established your objective, next comes the fun of putting all the event logistics and planning into motion, all within your established budget. But what really makes or breaks an event’s ability to satisfy its purpose is good event leadership.

First, let’s ask a question: what is good leadership? The most basic yet ironclad definition of a good leader is someone with influence. A good leader has the respect and attention of those they are leading. If a leader lacks influence, they’re unlikely to have followers; a leader without followers is just a guy out for a walk. A good leader also embodies passion and drive—complete buy-in to the purpose they are serving. A leader with no passion will have a very difficult time establishing trust with those they are trying to lead. Finally, a good leader will have clarity and confidence regarding the processes and steps required to reach their stated purpose and goals. Leadership without clarity can derail a team’s efforts to successfully achieve the purposes set before them. Leadership—whether good or bad—will have an impact. So what’s the difference as it relates to events?

Good Event Leadership

  1. Event purpose and goals are communicated to all with clarity.
  2. All logistics and planning come together on time and with excellence.
  3. In moments of crisis, resolution is made quickly, without compromise to the event’s purpose or goals.
  4. The event budget is outlined with zero surprises.
  5. Event culture remains positive and productive.
  6. The event is a thrilling success in the eyes of its planners and guests alike!
  7. The event is repeated year after year.

Bad Event Leadership

  1. Confusion surrounding the event’s purpose and goals.
  2. Stress is rampant in the logistics and planning process.
  3. Situations of crisis lead to panic and delays.
  4. The event budget is held hostage to unexpected costs.
  5. Event culture is toxic as a result of high stress in the planning process.
  6. The event fails to meet the expectations of planners. Guests want to leave.
  7. One and DONE! The event is never repeated.

These are just some of the essential factors of good leadership at events. Expectations for events thrown by corporations, non-profits, and certain other communities are high and growing higher still. Good leadership is the best way to meet those expectations without diluting an event’s purpose, goals, or far worse, damaging the community culture along the way. Now go make some memories and get celebrating!