You might think you know everything there is to know about event host responsibilities. But with my years of event experience, I have learned that there’s more to an event host job than just a professional resume.
- Communicate and build rapport with those attending
- Remain focused on interpersonal connection; don’t promote a sales pitch
- Share important information about the program in a fun way
- Anticipate problems before they arise
- Encourage participation and get all teams involved
- Don’t confuse ego with talent; introduce yourself, then lead the corporate event according to the organization’s goals
- Collaborate with all those performing to get the most out of your functions
In fact, I have a couple of edits to the typical event host job description you’d find lying around. So here are some of the event host skills and caveats I have learned that I am excited to now be sharing with you.
See Related: What Does The Master Of Ceremonies Do?
7 Edits To A Typical Event Host Job Description
Yes, there are some common skill sets that every event MC is asked to embody. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go above and beyond.
Below I have listed out the skills that a typical job posting skips. Because there are plenty of other skills that can lead to your future success too.
#1. Communication skills
Event hosts may be tasked with hosting special events, corporate events, or sporting events. Just to name a few.
And at each of these events, there may be special requests from kitchen staff to the planning team. From one person in the audience to the head honcho in charge.
Of course, having a positive attitude, the ability to communicate, and a polite manner are all important qualities for event hosts to embody. But it really shouldn’t stop there.
Add on by building rapport with guests and the hospitality team
A good emcee knows that building rapport is the best way to create a line of communication. Not just, “So-and-so said this.”
But, “Wow, what a venue! How’d you manage to snag this gem? Oh, and by the way…”
The first approach surely gets to the point of the matter. But being an event host or corporate emcee is about relating to people.
An event host isn’t merely a messenger
Think about a time you’ve ever dealt with a front desk person. Go on, I’ll wait.
You wanted to have a nice rapport set up with them, right? And not just small talk either.
But a genuine relationship of trust. So that if there were to be an issue later on, you would trust that they’d be responsible for fixing the issue without a moment’s doubt.
That’s the kind of trust you want to inspire as a professional master of ceremonies.
#2. Customer service skills
Most people think excellent customer service means taking customer requests. Or being able to answer questions about seating arrangements, emergency protocols, or other concerns in a professional manner.
And of course, all of that is true. But there is something more that all hosts can do to make attendees feel more like comrades than customers.
Trade customer satisfaction for interpersonal connectivity
Just like any DJ or emcee, you’re not there to ask guests to wait long periods of time while putting them on hold. Even if you say it in the most polite way possible.
You’re there to engage, relate, and connect with those in the audience. Even with the organizing team of the event.
Everyone in the event space can be viewed as a customer. But they should all be treated as friends, colleagues, and human beings first.
Besides, you know how gross it can feel to be viewed simply as a money machine. So don’t subject your event attendees to that feeling.
#3. Directing guests on safety procedures
At the end of every successful event, audiences will come away and say, “I knew exactly where the event was going and how we were going to get there.” And that’s thanks to a good entertainment leader.
Ticking off safety procedures and protocols should be like menu items on an event host’s to-do list. Because even at parties, audiences want to know how the evening will pan out.
Without sacrificing a positive attitude and relaxed atmosphere
That being said, a good master of ceremonies should not present these proceedings in a robotic way. Or leave the audience up in the air with only information and no entertainment factor.
Instead, an MC should constantly be creating a positive atmosphere for the event. While still getting business done.
#4. Anticipate problems
Events that go off without a hitch are almost non-existent. And that’s why in the planning phase of an event, an MC and event manager must include anticipating problems as a part of their responsibilities.
But it’s one thing to anticipate problems. And another thing to prevent those problems from happening in the first place.
Develop contingency plans in advance
Any number of issues could arise at these types of events. But a prepared MC will already have contingency plans in mind.
After all, they’re responsible for leading business as usual. And all while making sure that the process of the event doesn’t get hindered by any snags.
And take mom’s advice
An MC ought to do their research on the venue, the speakers, and the employees, all before the day of the event. Remember this phrase: failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
You may have heard this one too many times from your mother. But she was onto something.
Bonus: How To Emcee A Meeting
#5. Encourage participation throughout the event
Guest participation is the creme de la creme of events. And a good MC knows how to milk it even further.
But that’s not to say that an MC should shirk off their other responsibilities in favor of getting the audience interested at any cost. An event host’s duties may always be playing a game of tug-of-war. But good event hosts know how to manage them.
While still honoring the event hosts’ event goals
First and foremost, the company hosting the event is the client. And event hosts should stick to the event goals determined before the day of the event hosting.
Candidates in the audience may unknowingly start to derail a marketing scheme mid-event. Or maybe something in the venue distracts audience members from what the company wants to focus on.
But an MC will know how to turn candidates’ attention back. Because they know how to manage hospitality both in terms of the guests and the company client.
#6. Lead clients through the event with a charming demeanor
There’s no question that one of the main duties of an event emcee is to be charming. But don’t get that confused with making themselves the star of the show. Because there’s a difference between confidence and arrogance.
Without confusing ego with talent
You could hire the most popular MC in the world. But if they let that get to their heads, then you’re left with an event that’s all about them.
So if you notice that the gathering seems more like a chance at stardom for the MC, consider it a sign to go in a different direction. A true MC will be a member of the team, not the starring role of the show.
#7. Take guest requests and offer friendly service
Sometimes at events, it can feel like the host has a million different things on their mind. And they probably do.
But they should never give that away. Instead, the interactions you have with a host at events should always feel genuine.
Because listening is the secret sauce to a stellar MC. Trust me.
While genuinely listening to what guests and senior management have to say
An event host’s main purpose should be to enhance the enjoyment of others. That’s what I have always said.
So listening to the audience at events to learn what they may be celebrating or who invited them to this function is the first key to connecting to one’s audience. After all, you don’t want your events to have a host who only talks. They should listen too.
Why these important caveats?
These little additions to an otherwise straightforward posting are important. Because being an MC shouldn’t just be a job.
It should be a genuine person-to-person interaction that makes people feel lighter and happier. Besides, there’s a difference between what an MC does and what an MC should do.
And that should be bringing light to the entire room.
So you can be the best candidate, not just the ideal candidate
Most events require an usher or two to direct traffic amongst the guest list. But being an event host isn’t being an usher, is it?
It’s making the venue your home. And welcoming folks into it.
So you can stand out with your leadership skills
Not everything will be spelled out for you as MC. And that means that these events require that you take initiative.
So prove that you have what it takes to steer the ship to shore. Or out into the open sea, depending on the type of event you’re hosting.
So you can forge relationships beyond the event
There are plenty of opportunities that come with serving as an event host. For starters, whether you’re asked to host events or conferences alike, each instance requires that you network.
So if you’re not making a good impression, you’re squashing your chances for future work. There are even relationships to be made with the venue manager and staff.
The bottom line
A good event host takes care of their people. Whether that’s the event organizers or the guests in the room.
So if you’re looking for an event host, or looking to become an event host, consider these additional responsibilities as core pillars of what you should be looking for. Or looking to embody.
Keep Reading: How To Host A Hybrid Event
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.