Events Manager

The Job and What's Involved

As an events manager, you would be responsible for organising and running all kinds of promotional, corporate and social events. You would control the whole project, from initial planning, making sure that all elements come together on schedule, to running the event on the day.

Your job would typically include:

  • Discussing what the client wants.
  • Coming up with original ideas for events.
  • Agreeing budgets and timescales with the client.
  • Researching venues, contacts and suppliers.
  • Negotiating prices with suppliers and contractors.
  • Booking venues, entertainment and any necessary equipment and supplies.
  • Hiring and supervising contractors such as caterers and security.
  • Marketing and publicising the event.
  • Making sure that everything runs smoothly on the day.
  • Ensuring that health and safety and insurance regulations are followed.

You might specialise in organising a particular type of event, such as parties and weddings, exhibitions and conferences, advertising product launches, or fundraising events.

You would generally work standard office hours, although your hours would often become long and unsocial as events approach. You may also attend events in the evenings and at the weekend, particularly in wedding and party planning.

You would be office-based and spend a lot of your time on the phone. You would also spend time visiting clients, suppliers and venues.

Starting salaries can be around £17,000 to £21,000 a year.
With experience, earnings can reach £25,000 to £40,000.

Management salaries in some high-profile companies can reach £50,000 to £80,000 a year.

Salaries may include bonuses and commission, particularly if the job involves sales and marketing responsibilities.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

You could come to events management from a range of backgrounds. Employers will look for relevant experience or strong transferable skills such as organisation, budget management and negotiation.

You could work for event management companies, hotels and leisure facilities, conference and exhibition venues or charities. You could also organise events in-house for large companies, universities or local authorities.

Jobs may be advertised in the local, national and events industry press, and specialist recruitment agencies.

Education and Training

Taking a qualification in events management may give you an advantage. This is not essential if you can get relevant work experience, but courses at degree, foundation degree or BTEC HNC/HND level often include work placements and so can be useful for building practical experience and contacts. Visit the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website to search for courses at this level.

Shorter part-time courses in event planning may also be available at local colleges, which may be helpful for building useful experience if you're new to the industry. Qualifications include:

  • EDI Level 2 Certificate in Event Planning.
  • NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Event Planning.

Whatever your qualifications and background, you should ideally have practical experience in organising events. This could be from a related industry like hotel conference and banqueting, travel or public relations. Alternatively, you may have organised events as part of your role in a job such as personal assistant, marketing executive or human resources officer.

You could also start as an administrator or assistant in an event management company or an organisation's marketing department, possibly through temporary work ('temping'). You could then progress to organising your own events as your experience grew.

You could gain useful experience by organising events and activities in your personal or social life. Paid or unpaid work as a steward at large events or exhibitions can also be a good way of building contacts in the industry.

You may be able to get into the industry through an Apprenticeship in events or hospitality. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers.

Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer. As an apprentice you must be paid at least £95 per week; you may well be paid more. A recent survey found that the average wage for apprentices was £170 a week. Your pay will depend on the sector in which you work, your age, the area where you live and the stage at which you have arrived in the Apprenticeship.

Entry to Employment (e2e) can help to prepare those who are not yet ready for an Apprenticeship. In addition, Young Apprenticeships may be available for 14- to 16-year-olds. More information is available from a Connexions personal adviser or at www.apprenticeships.org.uk.

There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For further information visit My World of Work www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships, Careers Wales www.careerswales.com; and for Northern Ireland contact www.careersserviceni.com.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

You would do most of your training on the job. Some employers may give you the opportunity to attend short in-house or external training courses if necessary.

You could also choose to study for part-time qualifications in event planning and management whilst you're working in the industry.

Qualifications include:

  • EDI Level 2 Certificate in Event Planning.
  • EDI Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Event Management.
  • NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Event Planning.
  • Organisation for Tourism and Hospitality Management (OTHM).
  • Level 4 Certificate in Conferences and Event Management.
  • BTEC HNC in Event Management.

You may find it useful to join a professional organisation such as the Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO) or the Association for Conferences and Events (ACE), for training and networking opportunities.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

An events manager needs:

  • Excellent organisational skills and 'multi-tasking' ability.
  • Good communication and 'people skills'.
  • Customer focus.
  • A creative approach to problem solving.
  • A high level of attention to detail.
  • The ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
  • Good negotiation, sales and marketing skills.
  • Budget awareness.
  • Administrative and IT skills.
  • The ability to work as part of a team and also on your own initiative.
  • Enthusiasm, motivation and a positive attitude.

Your Long Term Prospects

With experience and a good track record, you could run events with larger budgets and eventually progress to management within a company.

Alternatively, you could choose to work freelance or set up your own events management business.

Get Further Information

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

People 1st, 2nd Floor, Armstrong House,
38 Market Square, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 1LH
Tel: 01895 857000
Wesite: www.people1st.co.uk

Business Tourism Partnership
Website: www.businesstourismpartnership.com

Association for Conferences and Events (ACE),
Riverside House, High Street, Huntingdon,
Cambridgeshire PE18 6SG
Tel: 01480 457595
Website: www.aceinternational.org

Association of British Professional
Conference Organisers (ABPCO),
Wellington Park, Belfast BT9 6DJ
Tel: 028 9038 7475
Website: www.abpco.org

Association of Exhibition Organisers,
119 High Street, Berkhamstead,
Hertfordshire HP4 2DJ
Tel: 01442 285810
Website: www.aeo.org.uk

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