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Top 12 Qualities and Skills Needed to Work in the Experiential Industry

From the desk of Dayna Gilchrist


Are there unique skills, backgrounds or talents you should possess to be successful in events today?


This has been interesting month for me! Coming on the heels of a recent roundtable discussion and filling in roles here at Hype, I feel I have been asked that question a lot lately. New grads and seasoned applicants are brimming with excitement to start and continue their career in Experiential Marketing but what does it take to fill out that role? And how do you move up in this industry?


Companies need more than just textbook-smart workers to innovate and succeed in today’s world.  They need to recruit new hires who are street-smart. People who can think on their feet and use their passion to improvise creative solutions for the many challenges we face in the events world.


To unlock these top qualities and identify strong players, I did my research. I listened to TED talks, spoke with other leaders, scanned countless articles, and looked at my own team to help identify the top qualities and skills needed!  I decided to list out 12 since Hype is currently in our 12th year of business!


Here is what I came up with (in no particular order):


  1. Strong Work Ethic:

Hiring people that possess a strong work ethic is key to the success of organization. First off, a strong work ethic cannot be taught. When individuals begin working in a new organization they either have it or they don’t. There are many contributing factors that go into making a strong work ethic like how a person grows up, to the value they place on doing an excellent job. These innate attributes are totally out of the control of an employer no matter what type of training they provide or the type of supervision an employee gets.


  1. Excellent Communication and Interpersonal Skills:

The ability to be a good communicator cannot be overrated.  The ability to communicate clearly and effectively in many mediums: by email, verbally, with lists and phone messages, on the phone, and with body language. Communication also includes listening skills and the ability to follow directions and provide feedback.


  1. Resilience:

In an increasingly complex business environment that throws all kinds of challenges at us, demonstrating resilience in the face of difficulty and turning it to one’s advantage is a skill that is needed to “survive” in events.


  1. Having a Positive Attitude:

A positive attitude can do wonders in turning a department or company around. Having employees who possess a positive attitude can also be contagious; and for employers, it’s important for them to seek that kind of energy since it only takes a few negative people to bring down the morale (especially when faced with challenges).


  1. Problem-solving Skills:

This is especially important for fast-paced organizations. Having strong employees that can think critically and effectively solve problems is key. Top-notch employees don’t panic or run to the supervisor with all their problems. Within the scope of their authority, they analyze data, weigh alternatives and fix problems. They develop strategies for preventing similar problems in the future and stay proactive in their mindset.


  1. Flexibility:

Events are constantly changing, and the best workers can adapt to new circumstances and environments. Good employees should be able to take on new challenges at short notice and deal with altering priorities and shifting workloads.  To thrive in a highly-unpredictable environment, companies need employees who are masters of flexibility.


  1. Simplicity:

Tired of complexity, consumers are pressing companies to simplify their products and services to make them more accessible.  Similarly, they need to hire marketing managers who are able to simplify their customer interactions to deliver a superior user experience. One of our core values at Hype is “Work Smarter Not Harder” because we know the importance of not over complicating the process and staying on track.


  1. Self-Motivation:

Managers can’t spend every minute of the day monitoring their staff, so it’s important that employees are self-motivated and able to use their initiative to prioritize their tasks, come up with better ways of working and take responsibility for their own projects.  Individuals going about the daily routine of their job will need to know how to prioritize and plan each activity to be able to get the best job done in the least amount of time.


  1. Act as a “Coach” and Team Player:

Strong employees are individuals willing to help co-workers and coach them along the way.  Let’s say a new employee has been hired and added to a group project. The new employee probably doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on yet. In this scenario, an employee who’s been on the team a while should take the new worker under his wing and coach the person through.  It’s also important to show team support. In today’s workforce, much of the work is often done on teams; but there is also a need for employees to work independently in order to get the daily work accomplished.


  1. Passion:

We need employees who can get things done and are motivated to do the best job they possibly can. Being passionate is a strategic advantage Hype has over its competitors, we know this because it is one of our core values and we live it every day.


  1. Honesty:

Clients want accurate and timely information regarding their business and their events. Made a mistake? Don’t cover it up, admit it, and learn not to do it again.


  1. Self- Confidence:

Self-confident employees are able to detach themselves personally from any challenges that they experience on the job. Self-confidence gives employees a sense of strength as they pursue their personal goals as well as those of an organization.