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How to become an Events Manager

events manager careers

What does a Events Manager do?

Events managers or organisers plan, co-ordinate and publicise a wide range of promotional, corporate, educational, sporting and social events. They usually specialise in one or two areas, such as exhibitions, conferences, product launches, fundraising events, festivals, parties or wedding planning.

Events managers may work for an events management company or freelance, with clients hiring their services. Alternatively, organisations and businesses may organise their own events and employ an in-house events manager. Some people working for specialist suppliers within the events industry (such as venues, audio-visual production companies and catering/hospitality services) could also be seen to have an events management role.

In larger organisations, roles may be divided between sales and marketing, and operations, which involves overseeing the practical details, from the initial planning stages to running the event on the day. They may outsource some of the work to specialist suppliers, but events managers have overall control of the project and ensure that all the elements come together on schedule to create a successful event. Duties will vary according to the size and type of event, but typically include:

  • liaising with clients to determine exact requirements
  • proposing budgets, ideas, timescales and venues
  • researching venues, contacts and suppliers
  • publicising the event and producing promotional materials
  • booking venues, entertainment, equipment and suppliers, and managing contractors such as caterers and security
  • making sure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the event
  • ensuring that health and safety, insurance and security regulations are followed
  • managing finances and contracts.
There may also be additional responsibilities in other specialist areas. For example, exhibition organisers market and sell exhibition space/stands; conference organisers may arrange transport and accommodation. Wedding planners organise photographers and flowers, and may have considerable creative freedom to suggest ideas to clients.

What's the working environment like working as a Events Manager?

Events organisers are expected to work as many hours as are necessary to complete the project, although core hours are likely to be 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In the run up to important deadlines, they may work outside normal office hours and can work up to 12 hours or more a day. They may need to attend events in the evenings and at the weekend, particularly in wedding and party planning.

Sales and marketing staff are likely to work in offices, but may need to travel to visit clients and promote events. Operations staff are also office-based, work but work closely with venues and suppliers. They may be expected to travel extensively at home and possibly abroad, including overnight stays away from home.

Organising events can also be a role undertaken by someone with other duties in an organisation. For example, their main role may be in sales and marketing, human resources or as a personal assistant, but they manage events when necessary.

What does it take to become a Events Manager?

To be an events manager you should:

  • have excellent time management and organisational skills
  • be enthusiastic, self-motivated and outgoing
  • have good communication and presentation skills
  • be commercially aware and customer- focused, with a knowledge of sales and marketing
  • have a positive and adaptable approach to problem solving, and the ability to ‘multi-task’
  • be innovative and creative
  • have an understanding of budgeting and financial management
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • be able to pay close attention to detail
  • be able to work under pressure to strict deadlines.
A clean driver's licence is often essential.

Events Manager Career Opportunities

Events management is a varied career; each project has different constraints and opportunities. A proven track record can lead to more senior positions, depending on a company's size and structure. It may be possible to move between organisations or into outsourcing firms or venues.

Promotion is possible by taking on extra responsibilities such as managing a small team, or specialising in one particular kind of event. As events managers take on more responsibility, they will manage more complex events with bigger budgets.

Typical employers may be hotels and leisure facilities; marketing departments of large companies; or specialist events companies. Self-employment or freelance consultancy work is also possible for those who have experience and an established network of contacts in the industry.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Events Manager that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Association for Conferences and Events (ACE)
ACE International
Riverside House
High Street
Huntingdon
Cambridgeshire
PE18 6SG
Tel: 01480 457595
www.martex.co.uk/ace

Events Sector Industry Training Organisation (ESITO)
Riverside House
High Street
Huntingdon
Cambridgeshire
PE18 6SG
Tel: 01507 533639

The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO)
Charles House (6th Floor)
148-149 Great Charles Street
Birmingham
B3 3HT
Tel: 0121 212 1400
www.abpco.org.uk

Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO)
113 High Street
Berkhamsted
Hertfordshire
HP4 2DJ
Tel: 01442 873331
www.aeo.org.uk

Eventia
Tel: 01737 779928
www.eventia.org.uk

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
Moor Hall
Cookham
Maidenhead
Berkshire
SL6 9QH
Tel: 01628 427500
www.cim.co.uk

Springboard UK Ltd
www.springboarduk.com

Business Tourism Partnership
www.businesstourismpartnership.com