How to Start a Career in Event Management
Looking for a career that is creative, fast-paced, offers variety, and is full of exciting opportunities? You can consider Event Management as a career option.
Event Manager Job Description
The job profile of an event Manager is to visualize, plan, budget, and organize promotional, business, and social events. The event can be a business conference, political rally, fashion show, award show, musical event, exhibitions, product launches, sports events, etc. Event managers are responsible for the creative, technical, and logistical elements. They identify the audience and send invites. They also find sponsors to fund the event. Event managers need to be excellent at problem-solving during the chaos.
In event management, no two days are the same. On one day, event managers are busy organizing a wedding in the countryside, and the next day you will find them in the middle of the city organizing a sporting event. Event management is an agile industry, constantly evolving, and offers a fantastic career progression.
What are the Different Types of Events?
- Trade Fairs
- Cultural Events
- Theatre performances
- Music Festivals & Shows
- Award Ceremonies
- Promotional Events
- Product Launches
- Music & Dance Shows
- Book Launches
- Comedy Shows
- Charity Fundraisers
Skills Required to be an Event Manager
To be an event manager, you need to be a people person. Here are the required skills to enter the event industry.
- Excellent organizational skills
- Communication & people’s skill
- Creative problem-solving
- Ability to perform under pressure & meet deadlines
- Negotiation skills
- Sales & marketing skills
- Budget awareness
- Energy & enthusiasm
- PR skills are a bonus
- Proactive approach
- Time management skills
Event Manager Qualifications
There is no minimum qualification required to become an event manager. Anyone having organizational skills can enter the industry. However, if you wish to learn and gain more knowledge, there are professional courses available. After 10+2, you can go for a degree course or a diploma in event management.
Event Manager Responsibilities
- Event managers liaise with clients to find out their exact requirements.
- Assisting clients in visualizing their events.
- Assisting vendors, workers, and the client in set-up and tear-down.
- Reporting success (often using metric-based analytics) to the client.
- Choosing and utilizing the correct event planning equipment.
- Securing the proper permits.
- Establishing the proper event workflows.
- Inspect all elements of the venue for accuracy and brand representation.
- Create detailed proposals for events (including venue, suppliers, timelines, legal obligations, staffing & budgets).
- Research venues, contractors, and suppliers. Negotiate with them and onboard.
- Coordinating with sales and marketing teams to promote the event.
- Arranging guest speakers and delegate packs.
- Make arrangements for car parking, traffic control, security, first aid, media, and hospitality.
- Make sure that insurance, health, legal, and safety obligations are followed.
- Getting the event venue dismantled and cleared efficiently.
- Produce post-event evaluation.
- Research opportunities for acquiring new clients and new events.
Knowledge of the industry and relevant experience (either paid or voluntary) is required to break into this field. Gain experience by organizing events at your college. Experience in the hospitality industry, sales, marketing, and customer service is also useful.
Employers in the Event Management Industry
You can work in the public sector, private sector, or with non-profit organizations. There are event management companies too. And one can also opt for freelancing. The employers include –
- Event Venues
- Conference & exhibition centers
- Local authorities
- Large commercial organizations
- Music, literary, and theatre festivals
- Public Relations agencies
- Event management consultancies
- Tourism industry
- Hotel industry.
- Fashion houses
- Production houses
- Entertainment industry
Event management is a competitive career and promotions depend upon various factors, such as –
- The type & size of organization you are working for.
- How quickly do you learn the key skills to succeed?
- Your ability to develop a strong network of contacts.
- Your track record.
From a position of an assistant, you can be promoted to a position of a team lead and handle a small team, and then you can become a manager/senior manager/director. As you gain experience, you can take on responsibility for large-scale events with bigger budgets and high-profile clients. Career progression might involve changing jobs, and you can move to larger firms. Alternatively, you can work as a freelance event management consultant.
You will be working usual office hours, but when the events are around the corner, you will be working for a longer duration, which would include evenings and weekends too. And there are a lot of events around holidays.
Books on Event Management
Here are some books to refer to for those who wish to succeed in the event industry –
- The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice
- Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements
- The Business of Event Planning: Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Success Special Events
- Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide to Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, etc.
- Into the Heart of Meetings: Basic Principles of Meeting Design
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
- Special Events: A New Generation and the Next Frontier
- Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide
- Event Management for Dummies by Laura Capell
Pros of Becoming an Event Manager
- The job of an event manager is quite interesting, as event managers get to meet & interact with a lot of people, from clients and guests to speakers, contractors, and consultants. There is a lot of exposure in this field.
- Collaborative work environment. As event managers work in a team, they learn different skills from one another and try new approaches to event management.
- To get into event management, one does not necessarily require a degree or a professional qualification, one can enter the field if one has the required skills.
- In this profession, it is relatively easy to start your own business.
- Event planners can expect high projections for job growth. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the employment of meeting, convention, and event planners is likely to grow by 18% from 2020-2030.
- You will never get bored in this job due to the variety it brings.
- For those who enjoy traveling, this is one of the best career options, as it offers you exciting opportunities to travel to different destinations.
- There are excellent learning opportunities, and with each event, you will learn something new. You get constantly updated on new technology, trends, art, culture, and other aspects.
- It’s a fun profession, full of creativity. It’s impossible to get bored in this profession as each day is different from the other.
- There is a high level of job satisfaction in this career. The satisfaction of successfully pulling off a high-profile event is second to none.
Cons of Becoming an Event Manager
- It’s quite a demanding job, as event managers have to do a lot of planning and execution in a strict time frame on a set budget.
- Event managers have to travel a lot, and being away from home is not always easy. At times, it becomes difficult to balance personal and professional life.
- Quite often event managers have to work till late in the evenings, and also on weekends, especially when events are around the corner. And plenty of these events take place during holidays.
- Since event managers have to deal with clients, sometimes clients are extremely demanding and unreasonable which adds to a lot of stress.
- Event managers have to travel a lot, and they spend a great amount of time away from family which can disrupt the work-life balance.
- The profession demands an extraordinary level of responsibility. As an event manager, you are responsible for the smooth execution of the event and have to come up with a quick solution if a problem arises.
- The career slows down during a recession as events are considered a luxury.
- Staying within budget can get difficult sometimes. Then you have two options, either to create a desired result within the budget or tell your client it would be difficult for you to do an event within the existing budget. Both these options can be stressful.
Tips to Help you Kick-Start your Career in the Event Industry
- The event industry is always evolving and progressing, stay on top of the current trends and technology in the industry.
- Know which events companies are right for you. While some companies organize a variety of events, others specialize in one kind. These events could be charity, business conferences, sporting events, etc. Do your research, and ensure you target the right companies as per your interest.
- ABN – always be networking. Networking is important in this field. Connect with industry influencers, event companies, and relevant people. Interact with them and ask for their advice, and see if they can tell you about some existing vacancies. Remember one thing – Network constantly.
- Showcase creativity at an interview by presenting out-of-the-box thinking. If you have not been asked to prepare something for an interview, take initiative and come up with interesting ideas. Going above and beyond will show your dedication and enthusiasm toward the industry.
- Gather some work experience, either paid or voluntary. In an industry that’s quite competitive, your experience will make you stand out. Do an internship or organize events at college to gain an experience in the field. Your hands-on experience will catch the attention of the prospective employer. According to National Careers Service: “You could gain experience in organizing events and activities in your social life. Paid or unpaid work as a crew member at large events or exhibitions can also be a good way of building contacts within the industry. “
- Show your Other Experience: Even if you have no experience in event management, you must be having experience handling some of the responsibilities mentioned above, if yes, go ahead, and use that.
- Get Certified – There are plenty of courses available in event management, get certified to give an extra boost to your resume.
- Stay Confident – Stay confident and poised during the interview, these qualities will help you get through the interview.
- Get Recommendations – Recommendations can make your application look attractive to prospective employers. Having recommendations from credible sources in the industry will benefit you. As per Career Tool Belt, recommendations with the most detail are often the most impactful.
- Work for Free – When you are starting take everything that comes your way. And be willing to work for free to get exposure and knowledge. This will help you to enhance your resume and get important recommendations.
Benefits of Being a Freelance Event Manager
- You can choose your clients
- Flexible working hours and days
- You can work remotely
- Since your overheads are low, you can earn more.
- You have creative freedom
- You can choose diverse work
- No dress code is required
- You can create your ideals, and offer the services you want, in the way you want.
- You can be your boss.
- Freelancers are in high demand
8 In-Demand Jobs in Events
- Event Coordinator: An event coordinator assists an event planner in managing and planning events. They are responsible for logistics and are also the point of contact for clients for different issues or questions.
- Marketing Coordinator: The marketing Coordinator assists the organization in its marketing efforts, which include creating marketing material and updating sales and trends reports. They are also responsible for coordinating and attending meetings.
- Events Planner: From conferences to high-end weddings to large-scale events like trade shows, event planners do it all. It is a demanding job, but the feeling of accomplishment after a flawless execution s priceless.
- Wedding Planner: Weddings are a big business, and couples and their families turn to wedding planners for impeccable wedding arrangements. Wedding professionals are experts who know ins and outs of the business and take the entire responsibility for organizing the wedding so that couples and families can enjoy the special day without any stress.
- Venue Managers: These professionals have expertise in holding all kinds of events in their space (venues). They know what kind of layout, logistics, and ambiance will work for a variety of events. Venue managers are also sales and marketing managers for their space.
- Sponsorship Coordinator: Various non-profit organizations rely on donors for running their operations. The sponsorship coordinators help get these funds (donations) by organizing lunches, dinners, and other fundraising events. They do it to encourage donations and thank past donors. Sponsorship coordinators need exceptional people skills, tenacity, and the ability to create meaningful relations with sponsors.
- Catering Services Manager: Their job is to design meals for the event. They have a huge responsibility on their shoulders of keeping the guests and the clients happy & satisfied.
- Event Social Media Coordinator: These professionals have to promote events on social media to gain attendees and exposure to the event and the venue. They create unique hashtags, do live feeds, run campaigns, etc. They play an important role in making an event a success.
- Volunteer Coordinator: A lot of events rely on the support of volunteers for their success. It’s a tough job to train large sets of workers quickly and encourage productivity. The volunteer coordinator is trained to think quickly and problem-solve unexpected issues
- Marketing Manager/ Communication Manager: These professionals are in charge of promoting events and other experiential marketing.
These are just some of the many event management jobs, however, there are various other job profiles available in the event industry. More than qualifications, this industry requires you to have the necessary skills to get the job done. So, you can become an event manager without a degree. If you think you are an extrovert, can perform under pressure in a fast-paced environment, and love new challenges every day, event management is the right career for you.