How to become an events manager

Events management is a popular career choice with a mixture of office-based and off-site work

Events management is a popular career choice with a mixture of office-based and off-site work

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.

What qualifications and experience will employers look for?

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.

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.

  • Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

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. To find out more, visit the Apprenticeships website.

  • Apprenticeships

What further training and development can I do?

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 Certificate in Organising Conferences, Leisure or Hospitality Events
  • NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Event Planning
  • NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Event Management
  • Organisation for Tourism and Hospitality Management (OTHM) Level 4 Conferences and Event Management Certificate
  • 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. See their websites for more details.

Written by Joycellyn Akuffo

Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.