The Watson to Your Holmes: Seven Essential Qualities of an Event-Planning Sidekick


With the newest version of Sherlock Holmes coming out this weekend starring Sir Ian McKellan as Mr. Holmes, we thought we’d do a post that pays homage to one of the most famous and effective duos in history, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson!

In so doing, we’re going to offer some Watson-inspired insight what to look for as your next event-planning sidekick. After all, for creating an event there’s little that’s more important than having the right team in place—that’s just elementary, my dear.

1. Someone who complements you.
If we’ve learned anything from a century of Watson and Holmes, it’s that the most obvious and fundamental component of the hero-sidekick relationship is that your personalities and skills complement each other. Far from choosing someone who’s exactly like you, choose someone who has qualities that you lack, who is your perfect foil—if you’re creative, choose someone who’s logical; if you’re detail-oriented, choose someone who can see the big picture. Watch the video above of Holmes and Watson first meeting to better understand what we mean.

2. Someone with serious skills.
Make sure you pick someone who is more than just likable, but actually has a killer skill set that suits what you’re trying to accomplish. John Watson, while not quite the genius Sherlock Holmes was, was extremely intelligent, deeply analytical and the perfect gentleman—not qualities you find just anywhere. Look for someone who is exceptional in their own right.

3. Someone you can trust.
One of the great things about Watson was the fact that Holmes could trust him: he had a real sense of integrity, so he could be trusted to do the right thing, and he could be trusted to tell it like it is. Both important qualities when you’re in the event-planning trenches together.

4. Someone who can anticipate what needs to be done.
It never hurts to have someone on your team who can see challenges before they arise and help you come up with contingency plans. The ability to spot potential complications was one of Watson’s specialties, and it’s something every event planner needs to have in the tool kit.

5. Someone who enjoys a good adventure.
Event planning can get, shall we say, sticky at times; you never know what unexpected travails may occur or where the day or evening might end up. While you can control many things, you can’t control some, and that’s why it’s key to have a sidekick who likes a bit of adventure.

6. Someone who’s reliable.
When the chips are down and you need backup on the double, a lackadaisical partner just isn’t going to cut it. That being so, make sure you choose a sidekick who can be counted on not just to do the expected, but to go above and beyond to make your events rock. That’s what Watson would do!

7. Somebody you have good rapport with.
Especially if your relationship is likely to be long-term, choose a sidekick that you like! While there’s some speculation around the real nature of the Holmes-Watson relationship, one thing that’s certain is the have always had great banter. The same should go for you and your sidekick: if the banter is good, that will make planning and hosting events that much more enjoyable.

Do you have a Watson-type quality in mind that we missed? We’d love to hear it! Share your thoughts via Twitter or leave a comment below. And if you see Mr. Holmes, let us know if you recommend it!


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