What is Events Management? Do You Have What It Takes?
When asked in school, what do you want to be when you grow up? We can be pretty sure no one ever said events management. That’s probably because it is not a career we are ever taught about, but why not? It is a job that requires organisation, planning, execution, creativity and charisma. A career in event management will let you make real things happen. Good things like weddings, sports matches, festivals and conferences. It will let you be the person who manages the budget, liaises with the vendors and sources the star speaker.
It is also a major contributor to the UK’s economy. In 2016, spending on events in the UK alone was tallied in at a cool £39.1 billion. This translates to contribute 35% to the UK’s visitor economy, so there are plenty of opportunities to work in this buzzing sector.
Being an event manager means you can be the one to score that approving head nod from the CEO. But, let’s rewind. Before the coveted ‘head nod of approval’ can be achieved, let’s work out what events management actually is and if you have what it takes.
In 2016, spending on events in the UK alone was tallied in at a cool £39.1 billion
What it is:
The ability to plan a vision with creativity. This may be your vision, it may be the vision of your client, but nonetheless, you need to bring your best and come up with some truly stunning ideas. Be prepared to have your pearls of wisdom thrown out the window, as an event is often a collaborative approach which means something has got to budge. But a good event manager will never be too precious about their imaginative thoughts.
"Event managers may go by many job titles and may not have a specific uniform, but with more businesses looking for experiential solutions to boosting team morale, and rewarding hard earned effort, it is a growing economy."
Fit for someone who 'makes stuff happen'. To work in events you need the skills to execute said vision. It is all well and good being a creative type, but if you have a relaxed attitude to organisation you will not make it as an event manager. Whilst having the big ideas, event managers are also the ones with the list and clipboard, chasing you for an invoice and haggling the burger van down for cost price baps.
Suitable for the natural born networker. A job in the events industry will not only mean a fair amount of out of office hours work, but you’ll also have to be pretty happy about it. Ideally, you’ll need an appreciation of the industry. An opportunity to work in this sector will mean weekend music festivals, awards nights and plenty of keynote speeches. It offers the chance to meet tonnes of great professionals from after-dinner speakers to CEOs of big brands, so if you are an extrovert who loves to learn on the job, then you will be well suited.
Event management suits the natural born networkers
Appropriate for the commercially minded. Often event planners are asked to deliver on a very tight budget, so you need to make sure you are in control of the facts and figures at all times. Those flying acrobats may look spectacular, but do they come into the budget? Being ruthless with the purse strings is an undervalued commodity. If you are known to be a tight budgeter, then you will fit right in.
"Working on a project and watching it come into fruition isn’t an option many career paths offer if you love seeing your hard work physically realised then this industry is for you."
This gives you some idea of what the job entails, but let’s take a closer look into the industry itself. The event business in the UK is a huge and absolutely booming. With 25000 event businesses and over 530000 people employed in events in the sector, and growing still. It stretches across all kinds of events, here are some examples to give you an idea:
- Gala dinners, launch nights and award ceremonies – these are the glitzy affairs that usually require black tie and a witty awards host
- Sports events – from charity tag rugby to the Olympics, sports events are a huge umbrella
- Music festivals – the late night concerts and muddy three-day affairs, and everything in-between
- Conferences – these can be internal company ones or huge industry-wide events
- Exhibitions – from Confex to Stylist Live, these take all kinds of shapes and sizes
- Weddings – this is a whole niche area in itself
- Charity events – this encompasses the Macmillan coffee mornings to Comic Relief
Conferences are a huge part of the event industry
So, what is working in event management really like?
Now you have an idea of some of the skills needed and some of the sectors that require event managers. Here is an insider view of what working in the meetings and events industry is really like and how it works:
It is hard work. There is constant change in this world and there are always a lot of problems and people to keep on track. As long as you are prepared for this and ready for things to not always go as you originally forecast, then you will thrive.
It opens doors. Working in events means you have the chance to work with a range of people from all walks of life, from the AV Technician to the catering company, everyone has something different to offer. Exposure to this number of industries is a really unique opportunity, so keep your extroverted head on.
"The event business in the UK is a huge and absolutely booming, with 25000 event businesses and over 530000 people employed in events in the sector, and growing still."
It is rewarding. Working on a project and watching it come into fruition isn’t an option many career paths offer if you love seeing your hard work physically realised then this industry is for you.
Here at Speakers Corner, we work with event managers on a daily basis, helping them to find the perfect speaker to slot into their vision. We also put on our own speaker showcase events, called The Knowledge Guild. This little video gives an idea of what our vision looked like when it came into fruition.
Joanna Gosling speaking at The Knowledge Guild
Have you got what it takes?
Well it is simple really, did the description above sound like you? If so (let off the party poppers) you’ve found your dream career. If not, perhaps you are still feeling a little tentative that you have all the skills. Well, not everything comes naturally, a lot can be learned on the job.
It is also worth noting that there are a lot of specific areas of event management, such as working on speaker engagements as we do here. While a lesser-known path of event management, we have the pleasure of working across all sectors as any event can be need of a keynote speaker or awards host.
Event managers may go by many job titles and may not have a specific uniform, but with more businesses looking for experiential solutions to boosting team morale, and rewarding hard earned effort, it is a growing economy. If you’ve been reading this blog and thinking ‘yes this sounds like me’, then time to get started on your career in events.
To book, or for more info. on any of our speakers, call us on +44 (0) 20 7607 7070 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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