May 3, 2023
Event management is a popular career choice for people from many walks of life, and it’s easy to see why. The satisfaction of pulling off a complex event and bringing many different elements together for success can be immense, and the best event managers around are highly sought after with high earning potential.
However, if you’re new to the events industry, then it can be difficult to know exactly where to start and how to turn aspiration into reality. To help, we’ve created this guide that covers all the basics of how to get into event management, so that you can stay on the right track as you work towards your goal.
One thing you’ll learn as you immerse yourself in the event management world is that you need to be prepared for anything. And when the unforeseen or the worst-case scenario occurs, you need to make sure you have the right response and protection in place, including comprehensive insurance for cancelled events.
For every type of event that you might be involved in running, Protectivity can give you the comprehensive, affordable insurance cover you need. Our policies include Public Liability insurance, cancellation cover, protection for equipment, and Employer’s Liability. So, if someone gets hurt, property gets damaged, or the event has to be cancelled for reasons beyond your control, your business won’t be left out of pocket.
The following six steps are intended as a general guide on how to get into events management as a whole. If you’re looking at specialising in a particular type of event or industry, then there may well be other considerations to take into account. But for most areas of event management, these tips will give you a solid foundation to start from.
One of the most common questions people ask when exploring a career in event management is ‘do I need a degree?’. The simplest answer to this question is ‘not necessarily, but it definitely helps’. Businesses looking at hiring event managers will certainly be looking for evidence of degree-level qualifications when assessing CVs. So, studying for a BA in Event Management, International Event Management or Hotel And Event Management will put you in good stead. If you’re unable to commit the time and money needed to get a degree, then there are diploma qualifications and programmes that can give you good-quality certification, instead.
Alongside qualifications, hiring businesses will also be looking for relevant experience of managing events. Of course, that can be a chicken-and-egg situation: how can you get experience of working in event management without getting a job in the first place? The best solution to this is to volunteer at events or to apply for event assistant jobs. They can not only give you real-world experience that can help you expand your skills and knowledge, but it also gives you extra selling points that you can put on your CV. What’s more, showing motivation to volunteer and be proactive will look good to prospective employers.
As is the case in most walks of life, having a large, healthy book of contacts is critical. This is especially the case in event management, where work often comes through word of mouth and recommendations. There are three ways to build up your network, and the first is to build a strong presence on LinkedIn: following businesses and people you’d like to work with in the future, and posting on the platform regularly, can help you get noticed in the future.
The second way is to attend trade shows and other relevant networking events, so that you can meet people face-to-face, talk about your and their experiences and become a recognised face in the industry. And finally, you should try and join a recognised event planning association or professional body, many of which run their own networking get-togethers.
If you’re looking for event management jobs, then it’s important to keep an open mind. You may not be able to find or secure your ideal vacancy at the first attempt, so building up experience with a job in a different area or specialism can at least give you a first foothold in the industry. Make sure you conduct extensive research as to the kinds of jobs and salary offerings that are out there: this can help you craft your CV to suit each vacancy and set realistic earning expectations.
Alternatively, if you want to branch out on your own, you could consider setting up your own event management business. This could be a full-scale operation that provides turnkey packages to businesses and organisations, where you employ a number of other people to help you. Or you could set yourself up as a freelance event manager that is hired by other businesses on an event-by-event basis. In either case, you’ll need to start by working out your target market, and setting up your website and social media channels on that basis.
Event management is a people business. You’ll need to deal with all sorts of people while running an event, and you’ll need to talk to people in order to build up your contact network and secure the work you’re looking for. All this takes a healthy amount of self-confidence, and that comes far more easily to some people than it does to others. If you feel that your self-confidence needs some work, then make the effort to take yourself out of your comfort zone. This could be by practising talking to clients over the phone, gaining experience in public speaking, and doing research into your industry so that you feel that you know what you’re talking about.