Where can event management take you?

Tue 1 Dec 2020

If you’re well organised, enjoy travelling, like working with large groups of people, and have a strong creative streak, you may be considering a career in event management. The industry is so varied that you may find yourself planning a corporate teambuilding weekend in Paris one day and organising a Star Wars themed wedding in London the next.

With such a diverse range of job prospects, how can you know which career path to follow? Here are some avenues you may wish to consider:

Corporate roles

Large corporations often hire employees to manage exhibitions and conventions, and to assist with product launches, employee training, or even corporate foundation planning. Corporate event planning roles may involve:

  • Corporate hospitality – a form of client entertaining in which a corporation partners with a third-party event such as a theatrical production, sporting event, or concert (either by sponsoring it or purchasing tickets to it) and then uses the event to entertain clients. Firms often provide transportation to the event in addition to some sort of special VIP element to make the experience as unique as possible.
  • Client entertaining – similar to corporate hospitality, but instead of being associated with a third-party event, firms organise their own events (e.g. receptions, dinners, Christmas parties).
  • Conventions/exhibitions – corporate event planners are often responsible for creating a presence for their firm at conventions and trade shows related to their industry. This usually takes the form of a booth in the exhibition hall but may also include the preparation of workshops or seminars.
  • Meeting planning – no longer just a series of dreary PowerPoint presentations given in chain hotels, major corporate meetings are now frequently held in much more interesting locations (think ski resorts!) and often include an elaborate programme of events, including evening entertainment
  • Employee events – employers are increasingly learning the value of incentivising/rewarding their employees with team-building activities, parties, and even group holidays. Corporate event planners may be responsible for organising every component of these events, from invitations to venue and transportation.

Non-profit roles

Non-profit organisations typically have smaller budgets than larger corporations and much of their event planning revolves around collecting sponsorship funding and recruiting volunteers. Roles may include:

  • Sponsorship coordination – charities need a specific person (or team of people) with excellent interpersonal skills who can identify possible sponsors, develop a strategy for acquiring sponsors, and create a strong rapport with donors to retain funding.
  •  Volunteer coordination – non-profit organisations rely heavily on volunteers and coordinators are needed to recruit, train, delegate tasks, and communicate policy changes and campaign progress.
  • Campaign/event planning – responsible for all aspects of event preparation, non-profit event coordinators create event timelines or agendas, track costs and budget, produce and send invitations, and manage event on-site contacts.

Interested in pursuing one of these career paths? Earning an MA in Creative Events Management from Falmouth University’s Flexible Learning programme can help kick start your career in event management. For more information, visit our course page.

Creative Events Management, Blog

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