Event managers are employed by a number of organisations including universities, consultancies, charities, hotels, conference centres and commercial organisations. There are also opportunities for self-employment.
What is an event?
Types of events include:
- trade fairs
- charity fundraisers
- sporting events
- dog shows
- street festivals
- awards ceremonies
- a corporate day out or many other things - even a graduate recruitment fair!
As an events manager you will plan and organise the event from start to finish. You will get involved in all aspects of the event itself as well as feedback and evaluation. This may involve travel and flexible working hours. The salary will depend vary depending on your employer.
How do I get into events management?
There is no one way in, but you are unlikely to find a “graduate training scheme” in events management. Typical routes might be through:
- Office management/administration
- Public relations or promotional work
- Hotel or restaurant management
- Leisure and tourism
- Arts administration
Project management, organisation, teamwork, communication, and marketing experience are skills desired by employers. There are many opportunities for enthusiastic and flexible people to progress. Any relevant experience is worthwhile, even bar work or waiting on tables. Take any opportunity you can to gain experience of organising events on a small scale through University activities such as RAG or other societies.
What do event managers do?
INVOLVES: Sales, marketing to potential exhibitors and customers, selecting venues, event co-ordination - liaising with caterers, contractors and stand designers, publicising events, public relations.
EMPLOYERS: Exhibition organising companies. Conference and exhibition venues. Large companies employing in-house staff.
RELATED JOBS: Conference organiser, public relations executive, marketing executive, hotel manager.
SATISFACTIONS: Achieving your objectives - organising a successful exhibition. Variety
NEGATIVES: Working to tight deadlines - stressful. Can involve unsociable, long hours.
SKILLS: Spoken and written communication, persuading, organising and planning, decision making, negotiating.
DEGREE: Any degree subject accepted - business-related degree useful.
VACANCY SOURCES: Vacancy database, Guardian, Exhibitions Bulletin
TIPS: Very competitive to enter. Organising events whilst at University provides useful experience. Personal contacts are important - talk to exhibition organisers and visit exhibitions. Make speculative applications.
For a more detailed description see the Prospects Occupational Profile - Event manager for a description of the role and tasks involved
Event management companies
- Zibrant - Event Management Agency based locally
- Cancer Research UK - offers internships in events management and fundraising.
- Julia Charles
- The Events Company
- Campaign jobs
- Reed Exhibitions
- Theme Traders
These can be helpful but should not be relied upon to find you a job – you will need to be proactive and make speculative applications. Usually, they will expect candidates to have relevant skills (especially office/secretarial skills) and/or experience.
- Albany Appointments - media and conference recruitment
- Eligo - specialise in events recruitment
- ESP Recruitment - events and hospitality recruitment agency
- Live Recruitment - audio visual and events industry jobs.
- Regan and Dean
- Evcom - the official trade body of the events and live marketing industry
- The Association for Conferences and Events
- Association of Event Organisers
- Meetpie.com - meetings and events industry portal
- Wedding Planners Guild UK
- The Events Services Association
- Association of Event Venues