Are you interested in getting into events management? Do you think that you have something unique to bring to the industry? If so, then you have come to the right place. From planning captivating gatherings to coordinating flawless logistics, this article will unveil all the steps required to kickstart your career towards how to get into events management.
- What Does an Event Manager Do?
- Skills Required to Get into Events Management
- Comprehensive knowledge of events planning
- Attention to Detail
- Enthusiasm for event planning
- How much does an event manager earn?
- Event Management Degrees
- Getting into Events Management
- 1. Earn a degree
- 2. Gaining certification in event management
- 3. Become an event assistant
- 4. Networking
- 5. Collaboration with professional bodies
- 6. Look for event management jobs / start an event management business
- Postgraduate courses in events management
- Careers in Event Management
- Wedding Planning
- Social Media Event Planning
- Event Entertainment Management
- Community Event Planning
- Conference Planning
- Is Event Planning a Hard Skill?
- Tips for Starting a Career in Event Management with No Experience
- Enrol in an educational course
- 1. Log your work experience and transferable skills
- 2. Develop your creativity skills
- 3. Participate in volunteering
- 4. Create your own brand and website
- 5. Build Network Connections
- 6. Develop your confidence
- 7. Attend Events
- Begin Your Events Management Career Now
What Does an Event Manager Do?
There are many roles and responsibilities that an events manager will undertake in this career path, including the following:
- Finding clients for event planning contracts.
- Identifying areas for business improvement.
- Suggesting creative event ideas to clients.
- Creating detailed and feasible event plans.
- Sourcing necessary equipment for events.
- Collaborating closely with clients throughout the event process.
- Assembling an event management team and hiring contractors.
- Providing communication devices for the team.
- Overseeing communication between team members, clients, and contractors.
- Negotiating service charges and terms with contractors.
- Supervising employees and contractors during events.
- Assisting with event promotion.
- Ensuring venue clearance and equipment return.
- Recruiting skilled individuals for projects.
- Identifying strengths of personnel and assigning roles accordingly.
- Scheduling client meetings to discuss event aspects.
- Visiting potential event locations with clients.
- Maintaining expenditures within the budget for food, entertainment, personnel, and equipment.
Of course, these may vary slightly depending on which industry you will be an events manager in but is an overall summary of the activities that you will be expected to know and to undertake.
Skills Required to Get into Events Management
As well as other professions, events management has a unique skill set that you will need to acquire to succeed in this profession. Here are some of the skills that you need to have for this career path:
Comprehensive knowledge of events planning
Event managers are sought after for their meticulousness and professionalism. They excel at recognising the requirements of diverse events. Proficiency in colour coordination is crucial for exceptional decor.
Adept event managers possess expertise in selecting suitable entertainment, beverages, food options, and decorations, showcasing their extensive knowledge.
Attention to Detail
The main priority for an events manager is to satisfy the customer. Some clients’ preferences may vary, but they may also ask for the event manager’s input. Collaboration here can be key towards refining the planning stage.
Attention to detail will be crucial here to align the event with the client’s vision. From décor to how the event will flow, nailing the specifics with the client can immensely impact the overall experience between the client and the attendees.
Enthusiasm for event planning
When learning how to get into events management, having a keen enthusiasm for the industry is an absolute must. Whilst the business can be challenging at times like all professions, those that are new to the industry need to make the biggest impact and impression.
Due to the stress and pressure of the role, some may not last long in the sector, especially with the demand and authoritativeness that clients can present to you.
Not only this, but this career can remove you from your family for an extensive amount of time. However, your passion for the industry will need to motivate you through these hard times, and being aware of potential demands of the job sooner rather than later can prepare you more in the long run.
How much does an event manager earn?
On average, event managers in the UK earn around £29,573 annually. In Glasgow, they can potentially earn up to £44,324, while in London, the average yearly salary is £34,424. Cambridge and Edinburgh are also cities where event managers typically enjoy higher salaries.
Stay up to date with the latest trends in education from our home learning blog page.
Event Management Degrees
One of the best places to start when learning how to get into events management is by embarking on an undergraduate degree course. This will aid you in gaining knowledge and practical skills required within the industry, especially for events including conferences, weddings, trade fairs, and music festivals.
Our principles of management level 3 certificate is a great place to get started for this sector, especially for those already employed in the role or are new to it. However, for a more in-depth course to give you the knowledge and experience that you need, we also recommend joining our events management diploma program for further insights.
Alternatively, if home learning is not your thing, then there are plenty of universities that offer the opportunity to study the industry, including the following:
Each of these universities will offer different variations of the course, from how to host and manage large outdoor events, to studying travel and tourism abroad, each catered and giving you that variety about how to get into events management.
These courses are particularly weighted towards more practical work and experience as opposed to written exams like many university courses.
Getting into Events Management
Now that you have learnt what is events management, and the core fundamentals about the job role as well as where you can study it at, here are some alternative options about how to start your career within the industry.
1. Earn a degree
This is a no-brainer, since being educated is vital towards learning more about an events management career path. Upon finishing your GCSEs, find possible options to study A-Levels that are catered towards events management. If not, then search for a Bachelor of Arts degree that specialises in events management, international events management, or even hosting them.
Be sure to know how many GCSEs you need for university too. Taking part in these courses will help aspiring event manager to learn the technicalities of the industry, from marketing, risk assessments, budgeting, staffing aspects, and more.
2. Gaining certification in event management
Of course, a handy alternative to earning a degree is by gaining a certificate. Diploma programs in event management will benefit anyone who is interested in gaining the right qualifications to start their career. All these and more can be found in our home learning courses.
3. Become an event assistant
There is only so much that education can teach you; the real experience comes from learning within a placement in the industry itself. Gaining this experience can help you to determine which form of events planning and management is right for you, and this often comes at the hand of low-paying entry jobs.
However, the knowledge and experience that you gain from this will be invaluable and will assist you in making connections that may aid you in later life.
Networking follows on from point three and is still essential to learn how to get into events management, especially since it will help to get clients and find a job with a company that specialises in events management.
Making network connections with professionals within other disciplines will start you on the ladder and how you can prosper within the industry, especially if it grants you the possibilities of collaborative working.
5. Collaboration with professional bodies
By joining a recognised organisation with the events management industry with help you to establish yourself within the sector. You will need to look your best and really self yourself to already established events planners for them to consider you. Certain professional event planners include:
- Association of Event Venues (AEV)[iv]
- Association of Event Organisers Ltd (AEO)[v]
- The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO)[vi]
- Meetings Industry Association (MIA)[vii]
- UK Hospitality (UKH)[viii]
- National Association of Wedding Professionals (NAWP)[ix]
- Alliance of Independent Event Agents (AIEA)[x]
6. Look for event management jobs / start an event management business
Once you’ve acquired the right skills and certifications, you can start your career in event management. Begin by browsing job search websites to find event management positions. If you’re interested in starting your own event planning service, ensure you identify your target market and gather the necessary tools. Prioritise planning the operations of your service, such as determining rates, working hours, and marketing strategies.
Postgraduate courses in events management
For postgraduate studies in how to get into events management, full-time Masters degrees usually span 12 months, while part-time options extend to two years.
Universities have varying entry requirements, so it’s important to verify with each institution. Typically, a good degree in a related field is preferred, but some programs accept applicants from any discipline. Extensive industry experience may also compensate for the lack of a degree. Some institutes that specialises in a masters in events management include:
To study at these universities, you will be expected to perform exceptionally under the following circumstances:
- Class presentations
- Tests, exams
Careers in Event Management
Events management is a very diverse industry, especially with how many areas you can be specialised in. Some common areas that you can specialise in are:
Wedding-planning is a vastly popular market and is the most popular within the events management industry. When planning for a wedding, you will aid the couple in being less pressured and stressed and ensure that everything goes according to plan, including the venue and wedding attire. If you love romance and happiness, then this may be the right option for you.
Social Media Event Planning
This sector will require you to promote events on social media to help gain public participation and interactions online. If you have comprehensive knowledge of social media, then you can apply that knowledge exceptionally well here.
Promoting events on social media will begin weeks or even months before the event does, to help encourage further participation for those that may be interested in the event. You will likely use social media apps including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok, for this, so make sure to have experience using each of these.
Event Entertainment Management
This form of events management is based on organising entertainment events such as music awards, concerts, and gaming events, all of which will demand meticulous planning and a reasonable budget.
To pursue a career as an entertainment event manager, begin exploring party planning while you’re still in university or college. Responsibilities may include structuring the event, creating scripts, hiring performers, handling promotion, and overseeing refreshments.
Once you grasp the essentials of party planning, orchestrating high-budget entertainment events can be a rewarding experience.
Community Event Planning
Community event management offers a great entry point for launching your event management career. This facet involves planning and implementing social events within local communities, often with limited resources and budgets.
You can be hired by locals for smaller events or by the local council and indigenous companies for larger-scale projects. Your responsibilities may include coordinating food, music, venue selection, and negotiating favourable contracts with contractors.
Conferences are a common occurrence for businesses and organizations, and hiring a specialised event planner is crucial for their seamless execution. If you have a passion for corporate social gatherings, consider pursuing a career as a conference manager.
Your role as a conference architect involves tasks such as securing suitable venues, coordinating catering, and planning event schedules in collaboration with the hosts.
Is Event Planning a Hard Skill?
Being a successful event coordinator in events management demands a unique set of skills, some of which you might already possess without even knowing it. Event management is a thrilling and fast-paced career, ideally suited for individuals with exceptional organisational abilities and the capacity to remain focused under pressure (though, admittedly, not always feasible). Here are essential skills for aspiring event planners:
- Technical expertise
Tips for Starting a Career in Event Management with No Experience
If you have got to this point, you may be concerned about whether you have enough experience or not. But not to worry, because we have some tips to bring you peace of mind.
Enrol in an educational course
Educational courses are specifically made for those who have little to no experience in events management. There are numerous courses available to assist in getting you into event planning – from level 3 foundation courses to postgraduate degrees. Even if you might have studied a different degree, or have decided that you want to defer university, there are still possible routes you can take to get you into the world of event planning.
1. Log your work experience and transferable skills
If you’re looking to transition from your current career path, chances are you’ve gained transferable skills suitable for event planning or related roles in event management companies. For instance, a marketing background might qualify you for a marketing position within an event organisation.
The same applies if you have experience in accounts, branding, HR, or other fields. Event management companies require diverse skill sets, so prior experience in events is not always necessary to enter the industry.
2. Develop your creativity skills
Many event planners begin their journey by following a creative passion, whether it’s music, art, or interior design. Naturally possessing a creative mindset is highly valued in the event planning industry. If you feel that creativity is your greatest strength, seize the opportunity to showcase it.
This might involve establishing an Instagram account to display your interior design prowess or collaborating with friends and local music connections to host a podcast or organize a live Zoom event. Embracing these creative endeavours can greatly enhance your visibility and pave the way for future opportunities.
3. Participate in volunteering
Volunteering for charity events is a valuable starting point, offering opportunities to learn various aspects such as venue selection and legal considerations like public safety liability and risk assessment.
Alternatively, if you possess creative talents, you can showcase your vision and flair by getting involved in a friend or family member’s wedding.
In urban areas, corporate venues, museums, hotels, and exhibition halls often seek event volunteers, presenting additional chances to gain experience.
4. Create your own brand and website
Establishing a website for your event planning venture is a simple yet effective way to add a professional touch. It serves as a virtual storefront, providing a centralized platform for people to learn about you and your services.
Think of it as an extension of your CV, incorporating captivating visuals of your creative projects, testimonials from previous volunteering experiences, and other pertinent details that highlight your unique story and vision.
5. Build Network Connections
As mentioned earlier, making network connections will also be extremely important and valuable for you. One of the ways you can do this is by, thanks to social media, LinkedIn, which works like a Facebook for businesses, whereupon you can actively get in touch with professionals in the industry.
This will also enable other business owners to get a feel of who you are, and what you are capable of offering. This can be an extension of your CV as well, and making your profiles as engaging as possible will help you to develop new routes for development in the industry.
It may take a while to find the opportunities, but sometimes the opportunities will come to you.
6. Develop your confidence
Demonstrating trustworthiness, reliability, and confidence in your abilities is crucial when establishing professional relationships. While some individuals naturally exude confidence, others may need to work on it (which is perfectly fine!). Start by taking small steps and gradually build your confidence.
Practice initiating phone conversations with potential clients instead of relying solely on emails. Embrace opportunities that push you outside your comfort zone, such as joining new classes or speaking at events.
Additionally, nothing boosts confidence more than being knowledgeable in your field. Regardless of the specific event planning niche you’re pursuing, conduct extensive research and stay updated with industry trends.
Listen to podcasts, read articles, and make it a habit to follow relevant news stories daily. By continually expanding your expertise, you’ll feel more confident in your abilities.
7. Attend Events
At the core fundamentals of events management is by going to events yourself. Doing this allows you to get a feel of what is going on, so that you can fully appreciate the time and effort that went into crafting the events.
Attending various events like music festivals, conferences, or retreats offers valuable learning opportunities through observation. Take note of the catering, event format, number of speakers or performers, attendee demographics, and any sponsors involved. 4
Additionally, leverage these events to establish new connections. Engaging in conversations with experienced event planners, suppliers, or fellow attendees can help you build a network of valuable contacts for your own career.
Begin Your Events Management Career Now
In conclusion, getting into events management requires a combination of skills, experience, and passion. From acquiring relevant qualifications to building a portfolio through volunteering and creative endeavours, there are numerous paths to explore.
Confidence, continuous learning, and networking are essential for success in this exciting and dynamic field. With dedication and a proactive approach, anyone can embark on a rewarding career in events management.
Formal qualifications in events management, such as a bachelor’s degree in event management, hospitality management, or a related field, can be advantageous. However, it’s important to note that practical experience, skills, and networking can be equally valuable in this field.
While a degree in events management or a related field can provide a solid foundation, it is not always a strict requirement. Relevant experience, transferable skills, and a proactive approach to learning can also open doors to entry-level positions in events management.
Gaining practical experience in events management can be achieved through various means. Consider volunteering for event-related roles, participating in event planning committees or student organizations, interning with event management companies, or working part-time in event venues or hospitality establishments. These opportunities provide hands-on experience and valuable networking contacts.
Successful events managers possess a range of skills, including excellent communication and interpersonal skills, organizational and time management abilities, attention to detail, problem-solving capabilities, creativity, and adaptability. Additionally, negotiation, budgeting, and leadership skills are valuable in managing events effectively.
While not mandatory, professional certifications can enhance your credibility and marketability in the events management industry. Some recognized certifications include Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP). These certifications demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field.
Networking is key in events management. Attend industry conferences, seminars, and trade shows to meet professionals in the field. Join relevant professional associations and engage with online communities. Building relationships with industry experts and peers can lead to job opportunities, mentorship, and valuable insights.
Event management professionals often use software and tools to streamline processes and enhance efficiency. Some commonly used tools include event management software (e.g., Eventbrite, Cvent), project management software (e.g., Asana, Trello), customer relationship management (CRM) software, and social media management tools.
The events management industry offers diverse career prospects. You can work in corporate event planning, wedding and social event management, conference and trade show management, nonprofit and fundraising events, sports events, and more. With experience, you can progress to senior management roles, start your event management company, or specialize in a specific event niche.
Staying updated with industry trends is vital in events management. Follow industry publications, blogs, and websites to stay informed about emerging technologies, design concepts, event marketing strategies, and sustainability practices. Attend industry conferences and webinars, and connect with professionals on social media platforms dedicated to events management.
Having a good understanding of marketing, public relations, vendor management, logistics, and contract negotiation can be highly beneficial in events management. Additionally, knowledge of event safety and security protocols, risk management, and legal considerations is essential for ensuring successful and compliant events.
[i] University of Derby (n.d.). BA (Hons) Event Management. [online] Retrieved from https://www.derby.ac.uk/undergraduate/events-management-courses/events-management-ba-hons/ [accessed 20/06/23]
[ii] Sheffield Hallam University (n.d.). BSc (Hons) Events Management. [online] Retrieved from: https://www.shu.ac.uk/courses/event-management/bsc-honours-events-management/full-time [accessed 20/06/23]
[iii] University of Hertfordshire (n.d.). MSc SW International Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management. [online] Retrieved from: https://www.herts.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-masters/msc-sw-international-tourism,-hospitality-and-event-management [accessed 20/06/23]
[xi] University of Surrey (n.d.). MSc International Events Management. [online] Retrieved from: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/international-events-management-msc [accessed 20/06/23]
[xii] University of Greenwich (n.d.). MA International Events Management. [online] Retrieved from: https://www.gre.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses/bus/eveman [accessed 20/06/23]