Event management is a very dynamic industry that continues to grow with many jobs in demand for different functions and occasions. If you’re interested in a constantly exciting and stimulating job where no two days are the same, then a career in event management is what you need. Read on for information on the skills you need and duties to expect.
Studying an event management course is something you will need to pursue before you consider the different jobs the industry has to offer.
Roles and skills of an event manager
Event managers are responsible for every aspect of planning from conception through to staging for events such as conventions, conferences, corporate meetings and exhibitions. Tasks include:
- Creating a theme for the event for the invitations, decorations and promotional material
- Booking a location or venue
- Securing entertainment and audio visual equipment
- Organising the menu and booking catering services
- Marketing and promotions
- Organising signage and displays
- Hiring security staff
- Monitoring the overall budget
For successful event planning, all event managers must possess skills in organisation, marketing, communication, problem solving, time management, developing interpersonal relationships, working under pressure and to deadlines. Furthermore, an event manager must be a people person and have an outgoing personality. It will come in handy when directing groups of people and working with different vendors.
Education and experience
Like all careers, the best way to start is through studying and training. A good event management course will provide you with valuable educational resources you need to succeed in planning, managing and staging events. It will teach you planning, persuasion and negotiating skills, as well as public and customer relations.
Most courses will give you an opportunity to undertake work experience or a paid industry placement. This allows you to gain a firsthand perspective on event management and help you decide on what areas of event planning you would be interested in. You will also be exposed to the ins and outs of the job before you experience them yourself when you start your career.
Another option is to enrol in a course that specialises in the area you’re already interested in. For example, a Wedding Planning course will teach you skills needed specifically for becoming a wedding planner. It can also give you an opportunity to start your career by developing a small part time business as a wedding planner.
Private and public events that require event planning and management staff include:
- Sports events
- Musicals and concerts
- Product launches
- Extravagant birthday parties
- Cultural days
- National trade shows
- Local company picnics
It’s a good idea to start your career in an entry level job and work your way up to a higher ranking position. A good career path order could be:
- Event assistant
- Event coordinator (first promotion)
- Event manager (second promotion)
- Event producer (third promotion)
There are a variety of job titles, each with challenging duties. These include:
- Event planner
- Exhibitions coordinator
- Reservations consultant
- Exhibitions manager
- Conference manager
- Tour operator
- Functions coordinator
- Event management assistant
- Events supervisor
- Wedding and banquet coordinator
- Conference organiser
- Project officer
- Theatre manager
- Conference manager
- Festival general manager
There are different work options to thrive in, in the event management industry. You can work at either the in-house event planning department of a company, an event management company or as a freelance event planner or consultant.
If you’d like to work at an in-house event planning department of a company, you could work as a Conference Services Manager at a hotel. In this role, you would manage corporate and entertainment events held in the hotel. If it’s a chain, you could travel to the different hotel branches in other cities or local areas.
For an event management company, you could work in tourism at a Destination Management Company. You would specialise in planning city tours or fun exhibitions for tourist groups. The activities would involve visiting city attractions and dining at nice restaurants.
Whatever you decide to specilise in, event management offers so many possibilities that once you have study and experience behind you, there are plenty of different career paths you can go down depending on your interests.