Event management careers

August 25, 2023 •

5 min reading

Event Management careers: everything you need to know

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A career in event management involves much more than “throwing a party” although that in itself can already be an elaborate endeavor. If you love socializing and thrive on taking care of all the little details that make events perfect, you may like to work in Events Management. But have you considered exactly what could be involved in this career choice, what skills you would be required to learn, what kind of job outlook you can expect today, and what salary you would earn as an event manager.

What is Events Management

Events management is project management for events. As the manager, you must think logically, strategically, and creatively about different aspects of events. You may work on events in a particular industry; popular niches for event managers include scientific, arts, cultural, wedding, religious, musical, political, commercial, and social.

Today the expectations are high and gone are the days of party throwing when you just called a caterer and a few suppliers and did the rest yourself. Events are, of course, punctual, which necessitates absolute perfection in organization and implementation.


What does an Event Manager do?

Event managers organize and plan events either for their company or a client.

At the beginning there is the concept and the strategy. Based on this, the "how" is planned, which includes, among other things, researching locations, setting budgets and coordinating professionals and service providers who contribute significantly to the success of the event.

The following main tasks belong to the job of an event manager:

  • Development of strategy and event concept
  • Budgeting / cost calculation
  • Determination of the event location
  • Definition of the target group
  • Marketing, communication and sales
  • Coordination with service providers
  • Personnel planning and deployment
  • Evaluation and optimization

How to become an Event Manager

While classroom education helps you gain the relevant experience you will need to succeed, it is also important to get hands-on experience with events. Internships are a great way to immerse oneself and work alongside event planners, learn by doing, and make connections within the events management field.

If you want to go into a particular type of event, like political parties or music festivals, then it helps to have practical knowledge of the industry, its needs, and key players on a global scale. Yes, this may mean that if you want to be a music festival organizer, you can go to music festivals and consider it work or research, not just fun.

Education requirements

A good events planning education gives you the practical skills and knowledge to handle all aspects of events and also allows you "on the job" learning opportunities through internships or paid work.

Here are some of the essential courses:

  • Marketing, promotion, publicity
  • Financial management and accounting
  • Politics and leadership management
  • Food and beverage management
  • Legal aspects of events including contracts and insurance
  • Facilities management
  • Technology including lighting and sound tech
  • Staging and decoration
  • Exhibit management and marketing
  • Program planning
  • Evaluation and risk assessment

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Event Management career outlook

Events management is a growing business and is shows no sign of slowing down, despite stunted economic growth in recent years. The Events Management Industry is expected to reach $1,552.9 billion by 2028, according to Allied Market Research.

For the tourism sector, events are a becoming a critical component for destination promotion, especially due to increasing competition between destinations. These events are typically gatherings for people with a common appreciaion of some form of the 'arts', sport, or to support a common cause, i.e. festivals, concerts, sporting event, and social or charitable events.

What is referred to by some scholars as “Event Tourism” has seen “subsequent growth” in this sector and “can only be described as spectacular.” Some destinations are reviving or reworking traditional festivals along with adding new events.

What's more, there has also been a rise in popularity of "destination weddings" and celebratory events held by individuals in the past decade.

Finally, the largest segment of the events industry is corporate. Due to rising business travel, demand has increased for corporate events such as exhibitions, conventions and seminars, making a career in event management one full of variety and different challenges.

Event Manager salary

Remuneration is important when choosing your future career. So, how much does an Event Manager make? According to jobs site Indeed, a typical Event Manager's salary in the US is around $60k dollars per year, whereas in Singapore they earn slightly less at $59k, and in Switzerland Event Managers take home $50.3k.

Note that each country has different cost of living levels and so the salary is the average for the individual market. The amount you take home will also vary depending on many other factors. For example whether you work for an agency, are freelance or work for a hospitality company; how big the company and events are; and your seniority level and past experience.


What is the ideal Event Manager profile?

The work is ideal for people who are self-starters, as event planners need to take charge and demonstrate follow-through to pull events together on a tight timeline. Planners may be working on multiple events at once, or planning all year long for an annual gala.

Good event planners are also detail-oriented, organized people. This is essential if you want to plan parties effectively. Successful event planners anticipate the unexpected, because they know from experience that there will be at least one surprise the day of the event!

Whatever the particular client or company you are working, today's clients are expecting "absolute perfection in organization and implementation" of their party. This can lead to high levels of stress, so you must be able to work well under pressure if you want to thrive in events management.

As you can see, the profession can be demanding during peak events season. You may be required to work nights and weekends and spend long hours on the job overseeing the parties you've taken charge of.


What skills does an Event Manager need?

Not all events are as elaborate or as complex as the world’s major events, however the nature of the profession is similar regardless of size and even a small event can be overwhelming to the inexperienced.

Event managers must possess a unique set of skills to navigate the demands of their profession. Remaining calm under pressure is an essential trait for event managers, as they are often faced with unexpected challenges under strict time constraints. In addition to this, event managers must also possess the following skills:
  • Organizational
  • Communication
  • manage the logistics of planning and staging events
  • Finane/budgeting
  • marketing and promotion
  • Customer service
  • Ability to follow a brief
  • manage a complex workload

Develop related experience

If you want to be sucessful in landing a dream job in events management you'll need to demonstrate some experience in the field even before getting a junior role in event management or event planning. To do this yu can either look for an internship in your desired role, you could look for roles in hotels or venues that regularly hold events and express an interest in gaining exposure in the event planning process, volunteer as local or national events, or you could even join a university or college committee in order to get events experience.


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