How To Politely Say 'No' As An Event Manager

July 17, 2018

Event Company Singapore: Saying no without ruffling feathers, lowering staff morale, or upsetting vendors takes skill and finesse. You don’t ever want to come across as not caring and if you frame your 'no' the right way, people will come to respect the job you’re doing and value your time. Here are some ways on how to say 'no' politely and with a smile:

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Start with a 'thank you'

Whenever someone asks you to do something that’s beyond the scope of your job, why not try to thank the person for thinking of you before refusing their offer politely. This shows that you viewed their request as an opportunity to help, not as a nuisance, and this makes a ton of difference.

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Defining your limits

Draw a line in the sand in advance so that when you say no, you can refer back to it. It could range from setting a specific time that you sign off from work, to having a backup team that you can delegate to when you’re tapped out. You can also share your work calendar with staffers, or send out an email if you’re going to booked for the next couple of days. 

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Be decisive and get more details

In the past, you might have said yes without realising the full scope of the request. Hence, if you realise there is no room in your daily schedule at that point, asking for more information will have shown that you gave it careful consideration. If you want to say no, don’t sugarcoat it with “I’ll see what I can do” or “I’m not sure.” You also shouldn’t feel the need to apologise. Simply state, “I’m going to have to say no because I’m bogged down in so and so”, for instance.

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Offer a viable alternative 

Want to say no but still come off looking the hero? As an event manager, you might have access to other resources that can help your vendor or partner. Otherwise, you can say that the answer is no for now, but that you’re willing to revisit the request after a more pressing deadline has passed.

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