Every Saturday morning and weekday afternoon, I would hurry home from school to make sure I didn’t miss my favorite action show on TV, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. What more could a six-year-old want other than colorful heroes fighting off the forces of evil with their martial arts, powerful suits, and enormous robots.
My nostalgia is back in full force with the release of the new Power Rangers reboot. While this movie was darker and grittier than the campy 1990s television show, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t take itself too seriously considering the relatively cliche plot.
Five misfit teenagers are chosen by an ancient mystical force to assume the responsibility of being “Power Rangers,” a force of five guardians meant to protect Earth from the evil Rita Repulsa, a power-hungry former Ranger.
(SPOILER ALERT: The Rangers win. Big shocker.)
Power Rangers lessons to event management team building
Luckily, the cliche plot opens the door for easily applicable lessons about friendship and teamwork. The latter is very important for event management teams. Despite the lack of power suits and monsters to battle, event management teams have a lot in common with the Power Rangers and have a lot to learn from the quintet of super heroes.
Here is the Power Rangers guide to excellent event management team building.
1. Establish an effective leader
You can’t have the Power Rangers without their leader, the Red Ranger. Jason Scott takes the role as the leader of these warriors, but it isn’t as easy as stepping into the suit and taking command. Becoming a leader takes patience and virtues that not everyone possesses and these challenges are very real for the new head of the Power Rangers. These challenges push Jason to discover what it means to be a Power Ranger and do what it takes work with the other Rangers to stop the impending threat.
Event management team leaders are just as important to the success of an event as the Red Ranger is to saving the planet. Teams are nothing without guidance and team leaders must take the lead to make sure goals and schedules are met.
But what makes an effective team leader? Here’s some actionable advice on choosing the leader for your event management team.
5 traits of a successful event management leader
- Honesty: A leader has to above the fray when it comes to maintaining honesty within the team. If a team member isn’t cutting it in regards to performance, a team leader has to be honest enough to call attention to the issue in a diplomatic manner. Their integrity also must be unquestionable, because a dishonest leader corrodes team morale.
- Effective communication: This leadership trait goes hand-in-hand with honesty. An effective leader must know how to communicate with their team. Not only must a leader know how to communicate when things are going right, but when they are going wrong. If the event is going over budget or the schedule is falling behind, communicate this to the team in an effective manner and to have a workable solution.
- Confidence: If a leader isn’t confident in the work everyone is doing, how can the rest of the team? The team expects the leader to set the tone for everyone. Even when things are going wrong, it is important inspire confidence in the end goal the rest of the team is working towards.
- Ability to commit: Just like honesty and effective communication, confidence and the ability to commit run parallel with each other. Indecision is a detrimental trait for a leader. An event management team is able to effectively work when their leader is able to commit to a specific vision that they all grasp. Without it, the team becomes an aimless mess.
- Open to feedback: “Leader” is not synonymous with “dictator.” While it sounds like an elementary idea, everyone struggles with their own egos and have a hard time admitting when our ideas are not always the best. An effective leader must know when to listen to other members of the team when new ideas of direction are proposed, such as adopting event management software.
These five traits are a foundational checklist for selecting your event management team leader. These are all traits that were paramount in making Jason Scott the leader of the Power Rangers and all of them became clear with time.
2. Define team roles
The Power Rangers are made up of a diverse group of teenagers from the city of Angel Grove. Because of this, Each Ranger has a different color and different zord (think giant robots shaped after the dinosaurs) to reflect their unique skills and personalities. Their differences complement each other so that the Rangers and their zords are able to join together to defeat Rita Repulsa.
(For the record, I thought the old 90s Power Rangers zords were cooler than the ones in the new movie.)
Your event management team must also include members from diverse experiences and backgrounds in order to bring together a successful event. Leoissac.com has a fantastic chart for organizing and departmenting event management team roles:
While you don’t have to mimic this chart’s every detail, it serves as a great foundation to build your event team structure.
3. Establish a common vision
What defines the Power Rangers is their commitment to protecting planet Earth. Despite their differences of opinion and backgrounds, they are all there for one common purpose: to defeat Rita Repulsa and her minions in order to keep the planet safe.
(Not to mention, their outfits are all pretty awesome. Kudos to whoever designed the rebooted Ranger suits, a vast improvement over the tights worn by the 90s originals.)
No event team can do it all. Some events teams are better at planning weddings while others are better at organizing corporate events, and I would assume almost all event planners are not well-suited (pun intended) for fighting giant monsters. Your event team must have an established vision that all members will rally around.
While marketers are pushing your event on social media and coordinators are delivering sound equipment to the venue, it is important that all actions are centered around a central idea or theme.
As mentioned in the first section, this vision isn’t only up to the team leader. It is important for all team members to come together to contribute to this vision so that it encompasses a representation for all of those involved.
4. Host team exercises
Unlike the old TV show, the Power Rangers in the new movie aren’t just handed their Ranger suits and sent on their merry way to fight off the bad guys. Instead, the new Rangers have to train together to earn their armor as a team. These routines include training exercises with mimic enemies which require developing their teamwork and combat skills. Only when they are unified as a team are they able to morph into their armor.
Even in the original Power Rangers TV show, the entire team would regularly engage in developmental activities that strengthened their bond, such as team skydiving, martial arts classes, and roller blading teams (totally radical).
Your event team won’t be effective if all of the members are chosen and thrown together to make the event work. It’s important to take time as a team to get to know one another and participate in team building exercises and activities.
Wrike, a well-loved project management tool, wrote up the Ultimate Guide to Team Building Activities That Don’t Suck, and—I have to agree with their title—their recommendations are solid. Some suggested team activities include:
- Zombie Escape: Creative problem solving and collaboration
- Battle of the Airbands: Team bonding
- A Shrinking Vessel: Creative problem solving
- Back-to-Back Drawing: Communication skills
- Office Trivia: Team bonding
Wrike has many other ideas and they include instructions on how to conduct these games and activities. Be sure to try some of them out!
5. Host team meetings
Over the course of the movie, the Power Rangers hold several team meetings to discuss their next move either regarding each other, their training, or Rita’s growing threat. They talk about their problems and shortcomings with their training and their inability to morph. All of these meetings and discussions help them understand each other and bring them closer together as a team, which eventually grants them the power to morph into their armor.
With so many moving parts included in your event management team, it is important to hold meetings to discuss what everyone is working on, to open the floor for questions and concerns, and to find ways to improve what each team member is working towards.
Unfortunately, not all meetings are useful or necessary, so it is important to understand what makes for an effective meeting. Project Management Hacks has the perfect list of habits of highly effective meetings for you to follow:
- Obtain/create written agenda in advance: A group of people without a sense of direction will accomplish very little. Before conducting your meeting, you must set up an agenda of topics and time slots for each item to be discussed during the meeting in order to keep the team on task and focused on the issue at hand.
- Review the attendee list: If you set up a meeting, it is important to check and double check who will attend your meeting. Since every team member has different responsibilities, it is hard to keep everyone on the same time schedule. When scheduling meetings, be sure to use an scheduling tool, such as Google Calendar or Doodle.
- Manage the meeting by the clock: Your written agenda should include a time schedule in order to make sure all topics are addressed in a reasonable timeframe. Be sure to keep your eye on the clock while the meeting progresses, perhaps even set a timer on your cellphone to ensure everyone abides by the schedule.
- Take notes for yourself: People retain 50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion. Why subject yourself to only remembering half of what you just heard in a meeting? Do yourself a favor and take notes on what is discussed during the meeting.
- Follow up on the meeting: Once the meeting is over, be sure to summarize your notes and send out a follow up email to all of those involved and those who couldn’t make it for the sake of ingraining the topics and lessons in the minds of those who were there.
Meetings require almost every point brought up in this piece. They require leadership, direction, understanding, a common vision, and creative minds. If you can make your own internal meetings work, there is no reason you can’t scale that success to your own events.
How else can your event management team improve?
Now that your event management team is built and stronger than ever, it’s time to morph into action and find out what else you should be doing to fight off the monsters of bad events!
Here are several articles from the Capterra Event Management blog to help in that regard:
- The Top 10 Books Every Event Manager Should Read
- The 6 Best TED Talks for Event Planners
- The Top 5 Event Management Pinterest Pages You Need to Follow
Are there any other event management team building tips or ideas you have that I missed? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below!