Event management is a vast and fast growing industry and today event managers are involved in anything from trader fairs to weddings to street festivals. Over the past 10 years a career in this industry has become one people aspire to have rather than drift into. Currently there are 257 undergraduate courses and 66 Master Degrees available on available on UCAS for anyone who wishes to study Event Management.
Although glamorous and fun it may seem, professionals who have been working in this field for over a decade stress that it requires sacrifices to be made such as one’s own social life at busy times and point out that although glamour is not guaranteed, it is a highly rewarding profession.
Education is the way to get started. Although you can get straight into the industry with A-levels, generally speaking you need a degree. A degree in event management will give you an edge and if you decide to take your education further and do a Master’s Degree it will show that you have the dedication and the enthusiasm to make it in this field, which is what every employer wants to see!
Volunteering to gain as much as experience as you can also ensures that whilst you are studying, you are also widening your skill set and gaining an insight into event management services. There are some skills a course simply cannot teach such as patience, common sense and the ability to stay calm, therefore, by volunteering you will not only be gaining experience but also bridging the gap between theory and practise.
If you have an unrelated background, it does not have to be a hurdle. Lots of different backgrounds are considered for the industry. The education you have and the experience you gained in another field could be useful as there are a lot of skills which are required in event management services that are transferrable such as being organised, being a people person and flexibility.
Networking! This is not the field to be in if you are a wallflower. A huge part of it is meeting people and networking. There are many opportunities to network however one that is recommended by professionals and students is joining the Meeting Professionals International, an association that helps develop industry professionals where you meet some of the top people in the industry. The membership fee for students is €40 which is inexpensive but offers a great beginning to networking.
Researching different sectors and identifying potential clients whom you can pitch your ideas to is also a great way to progress.
What does it take to be in Events Management?
- Creativity. It is an incredibly competitive industry therefore you need to make sure that you stand out.
- Be a great communicator, you will be required to communicate at all levels.
- Being a people person and a great team player as you will be depending on others and others will be depending on you for the event to take place and run smoothly.
- Be resourceful, imaginative and a quick thinker. You need to be able to turn situations around completely because you are only ever as good as your last event, so if you cannot handle it, the failure will be remembered.
- Be a good negotiator and organiser.
- Calmness. Not only do you need to make sure you seem calm at all times and ensure the client that everything is taken care of, you will be required to calm others down as well such as guest speakers.
Here are some tips:
- Manage your work load before it becomes unmanageable. The number of tasks that will need your attention will only increase as the event nears so make sure you are on top of it at all time.
- Make a name for yourself before aiming for a high profile event; the clients will want proof of your ability so start at the beginning. You will be organising events in meeting and conference rooms at the very beginning.
- Most importantly enjoy the event! But do not forget that you are at work so avoid drinking at all costs – no matter how tempted you are!
- Lastly, it will not suit someone who values their sleep. You snooze, you lose!