November 24, 2022
Whether you’ve been to a big occasion like a wedding or a concert, or a much smaller affair like a village fete or a street food market, every successful event has organised and coordinated management running behind the scenes. Good control and oversight of an event is vital to make sure everything runs smoothly, attendees get what they expect or what they paid their entry fee for, and to resolve any issues that arise along the way.
Often, event management isn’t as simple as it looks, but it can be incredibly exciting and rewarding whether helping out in your community or pursuing it as a career. In this guide, we’ll look at how it works, the key skills you need, and how everybody benefits from event management done right.
Event management relates to a person, or sometimes a small group of people, responsible for making all the key decisions that make an event a success, whether that’s measured in attendance, awareness, profit or other pre-defined goals.
They oversee its initial planning, project management in the build-up, marketing and advertising, troubleshooting at the time of the event, and any take-down and follow-up duties afterwards. Unless it’s a very small event, event managers may not fulfil many or even any of these tasks themselves, but will be responsible for delegating or contracting the work out to others.
Other tasks that event managers may need to fulfil include (and are by no means limited to): securing sponsorship, obtaining permits and insurance, negotiating contracts, hiring temporary staff and security, conducting risk assessments, arranging reports and market research, and holding progress meetings with stakeholders.
If you’re not good at self-managing workloads, building relationships with new people, or sometimes working long and unsociable hours, then probably not. But if you thrive on pressure, are committed to attention to detail, and love the achievement of getting a tough job done, then absolutely.
There are many different career options open to budding event managers (the information on the National Careers Service website is a good place to start, and our pick of event manager blogs can give you more inspiration). If you can start off with an organisation that puts on events regularly, then you have the chance to progress towards more senior event management roles, or even go freelance and start your own event management company. The best event managers around are highly sought-after – and are paid accordingly.
There’s no fixed legal requirement to get qualifications as an event manager, but it can be helpful in building a reputation, and getting a foot in the door when applying for jobs.
A number of universities run specialist degrees in Event Management, but naturally these take a number of years and require a substantial financial commitment. As a shorter and more cost-effective alternative, you can explore CPD-certified and diploma courses that specialise in everything you need to know, and can often be completed online.
Because it isn’t necessarily customer-facing, the value of good event management is often overlooked. Indeed, it can be one of those jobs that’s only really appreciated when something goes wrong and an event manager steps in to save the day. But great event management can really make a difference to the success of an event, and the satisfaction of everyone involved, for three reasons in particular:
Rightly or wrongly, we live in a world where the opinions and ratings of people on social media, Google or TripAdvisor can make an event a success – or sink it without a trace. The positive or negative public perception that an event builds up also has a serious knock-on impact on the reputation of the organisation running it: a good event can show the business off as competent, professional and customer-focused (or vice versa if it’s bad!). An event manager is the person who can deliver the best chance of an event going off without a hitch, and ensure that as many people as possible think positively about it afterwards.
An event manager can become the focal point of how an event comes together. If somebody isn’t sure of any details or needs some arrangements to be clarified, then the event manager acts as the main point of contact and can make clear, contextual decisions. They’re also the person who can take charge should the unexpected happen, and ensure that any response is appropriate, rapid and suitable for the nature of the events, attendees and environment.
If people have devoted their precious time and hard-earned money to attend an event, then they naturally have expectations to get the best experience possible – especially if it’s something they’ve been anticipating for a long time. Event managers can ensure that customers get great experiences from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave. Depending on the event, that could include speedy entry and parking, easy access to their seats, plentiful food options, clean and plentiful toilets, a feeling of getting good value for money, and much more.
Even the very best event managers can’t be 100% certain that everything will go right on the day, because some things just happen that are beyond their control. For that reason and others, protecting the financial standing of an event and its attendees with appropriate insurance cover is an absolute must.
We can provide a range of event insurance options for occasions big and small, incorporating Public Liability insurance, Employer’s Liability, Event Cancellation Cover, Equipment Protection and much more. Find out more on all the competitively priced event insurance policies we offer.