Navigating Success: Essential Questions When Hiring an Event Manager

Planning and executing professional events, whether in person or virtually, demands a skilled and experienced event manager. In this industry, their role spans conferences, trade shows, corporate events, and retreats, requiring a unique blend of organizational expertise, effective communication, and creative problem-solving. When seeking the right event manager for your needs, it’s crucial to ask key questions to ensure a seamless and successful event. Here are some examples of what we at RNA Associates would be looking for:

1. What Organizational Skills Do You Or Your Team Bring to the Table?

  • Managing multiple tasks and details simultaneously is a key trait of a successful event manager.
  • Creating and maintaining timelines is essential for staying on track from concept to implementation.

2. How Do You Communicate Effectively in a Professional Setting?

  • Effective communication with clients, vendors, and team members is crucial for smooth collaboration.
  • Clear and professional communication of ideas ensures everyone is on the same page throughout the planning process.

3. Can You Share Examples of Your Creativity and Innovation?

  • Bringing fresh and engaging ideas to events is key to a successful event.
  • Thinking outside the box is necessary for crafting unique and memorable event experiences.

4. What’s Your Past Experience with Similar Events?

  • An overview of successful events previously organized provides insight into their capabilities.
  • Specific experience in conferences, trade shows, corporate events, and retreats demonstrates their expertise.

5. How Do You Handle Challenges and Unforeseen Issues?

  • Examples of past challenges and how they were addressed and resolved showcase problem-solving skills.
  • A proactive approach to crisis management demonstrates their ability to handle unexpected emergencies during events. At RNA Associates, we have dealt with many challenging situations, such as medical emergencies on the tradeshow floor or vendors that aren’t prepared with the right equipment when we arrived on site for set up. We are prepared for situations like these as the first step, but we also prioritize quick problem solving in our team members.

6. How Do You Manage Budgets Effectively?

  • Working within budget constraints is a critical aspect of event planning.
  • Examples of cost-effective event planning and maximizing resources without compromising quality are indicative of a skilled event manager.

7. Are You Proficient in Event Technology, Both Virtual and In-Person?

  • Knowledge of virtual event platforms and familiarity with popular virtual event tools demonstrate adaptability.
  • Integration of technology into in-person events, such as enhancing attendee experiences, ensures a modern and seamless event execution.

8. Can You Provide References and Testimonials from Past Clients?

  • Requesting references and contact information for previous clients allows for verification.
  • Gathering feedback on the event manager’s performance gives insight into their track record.

9. What Type Of Industries Do You Have Experience Working With?

  • Knowing the lingo of the industry your event serves is extremely useful for marketing, publicity and communication to your attendees or sponsors. At RNA Associates, we are experienced working with research and development teams with specialties ranging from software to hardware. The learning curve for some of these events can be steep, and it can greatly benefit your event to have a team that understands the ins and outs of your industry.


Asking these essential questions when hiring an event manager is crucial for ensuring the success of your professional event. Finding a candidate with a strong combination of organizational skills, effective communication, creative thinking, and problem-solving abilities is key. By thoroughly vetting your event manager, you can navigate the complexities of event planning with confidence, setting the stage for a profitable and successful event.

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