What is event management?
Event managers are responsible for the organisation of events. Examples of these include charity fundraising, exhibitions, fairs, conferences, concerts, weddings, musical festivals and product launches. Event managers might cover all of these events; whereas others might specialise in one specific area. Event managers liaise with clients, manage and coordinate suppliers and usually manage staff from the planning stage to the day of the event. This includes; amongst other things, discussing with clients what they might need or want, agreeing and managing budgets, researching venues, negotiating deals with suppliers and contractors, supervising a team and marketing the event.
How is the industry structured?
Event management falls broadly within the hospitality sector. However, there are big elements of PR and marketing involved in the role.
Event managers could work for:
- A specific venue, such as conference centres, museums, arenas…
- Local authorities, charities, or other public institutions
- A specialist event management firm
- As a by-product of another job, in PR agencies, for instance
- Themselves, as freelance event managers
How does it differ from PR and Marketing?
Whilst events management is a career on its own right, it also falls within the umbrella of PR
. PR professionals look after the image and reputation of their clients by taking care of all aspects of communications, whereas event managers would project manage specific events on behalf of their clients. Marketing
focuses on the positioning of a product or a company in the market and on the identification and advertising of the distinctive aspects of the product or service. The direct aim of this marketing is the sale of the product or service.
How can I find work experience and my first job?
According to Prospects: “Many events organisations look for casual staff to help out at their events, and this can be a good way gain skills and build up contacts in the sector”.
A good way to get relevant experience would be to break down the elements of this role and think about how to develop the specific elements elsewhere. For instance, your extra-curricular activities can give you valuable experience; for example organising the end of term ball or a fundraiser for a university society. Another source of experience would be getting involved in local or national charities or big national events; “in the run up to a large event, and during the event itself, staff may need to work long hours and be very adaptable, so any role where you can demonstrate an ability to work hard and think on your feet is useful”.
On top of being an excellent communicator, you should be able to demonstrate the following important skills:
- methodical approach
- time management
- problem solving
- working under pressure
- effective teamwork
- relationship management
- attention to detail
- sense of humour