Event Planning: Building Cross-Functional Relationships
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


Let's talk about something that's always on the tips of tongues in the event planning industry: building cross-functional relationships. As event planners, we weave a complex web of interactions that span across various departments. Whether it's marketing, sales, operations, finance, human resources, or IT—our success often hinges on how well we foster these relationships. So, let's dive into why this really matters and how you can improve your skills in building cross-functional relationships in the event planning industry.

Why cross-functional relationships matter in event planning

Event planning isn't a one-person show. It's more like a well-orchestrated symphony where every department plays its part to perfection. Now, imagine if the strings section didn't communicate with the brass, or the woodwinds with the percussion. It would be chaos, right? That's what happens when we don't build strong cross-functional relationships in our industry. So let's look at why it matters:

  • Teamwork makes the dream work: When you have a good relationship with every department involved in an event, you'll find that planning and executing it becomes a lot smoother. It's like having a well-oiled machine where every cog meshes perfectly with the next.
  • Everyone's on the same page: Miscommunication or lack of communication can wreak havoc on your event. By building relationships across functions, you ensure everyone knows their role, deadlines, and responsibilities. It's like giving everyone the same script before the play begins.
  • Opens up opportunities: When you have a strong bond with all departments, you're more likely to hear about opportunities first. It could be a new venue, a hot new trend, or a game-changing tech tool. It's like having a network of informants feeding you the latest industry scoop.
  • Problem-solving becomes easier: Problems and hiccups are part and parcel of event planning. When you have solid relationships across the board, solving these issues becomes a collaborative effort rather than a solo struggle. It's like having a team of superheroes ready to swoop in and save the day.

So, as you can see, building cross-functional relationships in the event planning industry isn't just a nice-to-have—it's a must-have. In the next sections, we'll explore how you can build these relationships with specific departments. So, stick around and let's navigate this journey together.

How to build relationships with marketing

Building a relationship with marketing is like learning to dance in perfect sync. You need to understand their rhythm, their steps, and their style. Let's get started on mastering these moves:

  • Speak their language: Familiarize yourself with marketing jargon. Learn about SEO, PPC, conversion rates, and more. When you speak the same language, you'll find communication becomes a whole lot easier. It's like knowing the secret handshake!
  • Understand their goals: What does the marketing department want to achieve from the event? Is it brand awareness, lead generation, or customer engagement? When you grasp their goals, you can better align your event planning strategies to meet them. It's like being on the same team, playing for the same win.
  • Collaborate on event promotion: Work closely with marketing on promoting the event. Make sure you're both in the loop about promotional strategies, content, and timelines. It's like co-directing a blockbuster movie.
  • Appreciate their work: Show genuine interest and appreciation for what they do. Recognize their input and the value they bring. It's like giving a standing ovation after a great performance.

Remember, marketing is your partner in crime when it comes to building hype and drawing crowds to your event. So, make it a priority to foster a strong relationship with this department. Trust me, your event's success will thank you!

How to build relationships with sales

Now that we've danced with marketing, let's learn the sales tango. Sales is all about numbers and results, so let's look at how we can build a harmonious relationship with the sales team:

  • Understand their targets: Just like the bullseye in a dart game, sales teams have targets. Familiarize yourself with their sales goals and how your events can help them hit that bullseye. When you understand their targets, you can plan events that directly support their efforts.
  • Include them in planning: Make sure you include sales in the planning stage of the event. They will provide valuable insights into what potential attendees want. It's like having a secret recipe for a delicious dish.
  • Be clear about roles: Be specific about what role you expect the sales team to play at the event. Are they there to mingle and network, or to close deals? Clarity here is key, like knowing your lines in a play.
  • Post-event follow up: After the event, work with sales to follow up with attendees. This helps turn leads into customers. It's like the final act of a play that leaves the audience wanting more.

Remember, the sales team is your ally in turning event attendees into customers. So, building a strong relationship with them is like hitting the jackpot in the event planning industry. After all, who doesn't love a win-win situation?

How to build relationships with operations

After taking a ride with sales, let's shift gears and head over to operations. If the sales team is the engine of a car, operations is the steering wheel, guiding the car to its destination. Here are some ways to build a solid relationship with operations:

  • Understand their process: Understanding how the operations team works is like having a map in a foreign city. It helps you navigate and plan your events more efficiently. Try to understand their day-to-day tasks and how your event fits into their workflow.
  • Clear communication: Imagine playing a game of telephone, where the message gets distorted as it passes through more people. Avoid this by maintaining clear and direct communication with operations. Always ensure they have all the information they need about the event.
  • Respect their time: The operations team has a lot on their plate, like a chef during dinner rush. Respect their time by providing information as early as possible, and keep meetings brief and to the point.
  • Feedback loop: After the event, invite the operations team to give feedback. This shows you value their opinion and want to improve, like a student eager to learn more from their teacher.

Building a strong relationship with operations can make the difference between a good event and a great one. It's like adding that extra layer of frosting on a cake—it's what makes it irresistible!

How to build relationships with finance

After mastering the art of operations, it's time for us to count beans with the finance team. This might feel a bit like stepping into a lion's den, but don't worry, I got your back. Let's dive into how to build a relationship with finance:

  • Speak their language: To win friends in finance, you need to talk the talk. Learn about budgets, costs, and revenue. This will show them you're serious about understanding their world, much like learning Spanish before a trip to Spain.
  • Be transparent: Honesty is the best policy, especially with finance. Share all costs upfront, no matter how small. It's like showing all your cards in a game of poker—no surprises!
  • Plan ahead: Money matters take time. Provide the finance team with as much lead time as possible when planning your event. It's like baking a cake—you need to allow time for it to rise!
  • Show the value: Highlight how the event will benefit the company financially, such as by bringing in new clients or boosting brand awareness. It's like showing your parents your report card when you've aced all your tests.

Getting along with finance might seem tricky, but it's not impossible. It's like cracking a complex puzzle—once you know the tricks, it's a piece of cake!

How to build relationships with human resources

Alright, after conquering the finance world, let's move onto a team that's all about the people: human resources. Think of them as your bridge to your event's attendees. Here are some tips on how to build a relationship with HR:

  • Know their role: HR isn't just about hiring and firing. They care about employee engagement, company culture, and making sure everyone feels valued. It's a lot like being the captain of a ship, they're steering everyone in the same direction.
  • Communicate: Regular check-ins with HR are a must. Keep them in the loop about your event plans, from the guest list to the agenda. Think of it like writing a letter to a pen pal, frequent updates are always appreciated.
  • Collaborate: HR can offer valuable insight into what the staff might enjoy at an event. So, work with them, not against them. Remember, two heads are always better than one.
  • Show appreciation: A thank you goes a long way. Show gratitude for HR's input and help in your event planning. It's like giving a high-five after a successful team project.

Building cross-functional relationships in the event planning industry with HR doesn't have to be a daunting task. Think of it like learning a new dance routine, it might be difficult at first, but once you get the steps down, you're ready to dance!

How to build relationships with IT

Let’s shift gears and focus on our tech wizards: the IT department. This team is the backbone of any event going digital or requiring technical support. Here's how you can connect with them:

  • Speak their language: Learn about servers, networks, and software. You don't need to be an expert, but understanding the basics will help you communicate more effectively with the IT team. It's like knowing how to ask where the bathroom is in a foreign language.
  • Plan ahead: IT can help you anticipate and solve tech problems before they occur. So, involve them early in your event planning. It's like bringing an umbrella when the forecast predicts rain.
  • Express your needs clearly: Be specific about what you want. If you need a live stream setup, say so. If you're unsure, ask for advice. It's like ordering food at a restaurant, the more specific you are, the better the outcome.
  • Appreciate their work: IT often works behind the scenes. Make sure to recognize their efforts and thank them for their hard work. It's like clapping for the movie crew after watching a great film.

Building cross-functional relationships in the event planning industry with IT is a no-brainer. It might feel like you're learning a new sport, but once you understand the rules, you're set to score!

If you're looking to expand your knowledge on building cross-functional relationships in event planning, don't miss the workshop 'Navigating A Career in Event Photography' by lolilaboureau. This workshop offers valuable insights on how to effectively collaborate with different teams and individuals in the event industry, ensuring the success of your events and your career growth.