All of which makes event management a tempting career choice … but does your background suit the role and how do you break into event management?
Whether you’re looking at moving into event management right out of education or as part of a career change, what came before in your life will certainly count.
If you’re fresh out of school, then finding the right qualification routes into an apprenticeship or junior grade role will certainly help you to start earning whilst learning, whilst your recent experiences of school or extra-curricular events will help you to gain insight into what’s involved in hosting an event or exhibition. Personality traits and skills such as communicating with others, ability to organise and support others will also benefit you on an events career path.
Likewise, mature career changers will find they often have plenty to offer in respect of transferable skills and competencies, particularly in key event management skill areas such as operations and management; marketing and sales.
Within the event industry, there are all kinds of opportunities and niches within the sector.
It’s easy to see that the list is endless, as just about any skills area you can offer will have a place within event management, including self-organisation and people management.
As with most professions, being able to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding through relevant qualifications is of course desirable. Although there are no prescribed formal qualifications which are essential for joining the events management industry, taking a qualification in event management is highly recommended as it will help you not only to reapply your current skills to this new role, but also offer you the chance to:
Qualifications in event management are available at many levels, starting from Level 3 Foundation courses right through to post-graduate level, so individuals without higher level qualifications can access relevant learning and experience as well as build a professional presence from the off.
Foundation and diploma level qualifications are also ideal for mature career changers who want to retrain for a new profession, regardless of their previous qualifications.
As with many industries, securing a position in event management is competitive, so it’s important to stand out and to get yourself ‘out there’ once you’re ready to make your move into the industry. The main professional routes to take include:
Applying and trying:
Applying for vacancies (even as work experience or voluntary basis to start with) is a recognised route into event management. Many highly paid event professionals began with small scale ‘assistant’ success initially. If you’re going to be applying for positions, set out your professional stall early on with online professional networking via LinkedIn and by creating a blog or online portfolio of work for potential employers to refer to. Also start volunteering at local (or national) events where possible, to gain experience as well as a network of contacts.
Undertaking a qualification in event management is a great way to learn all aspects of the role, meet contacts and demonstrate your commitment to this chosen career path.
Although there are degree routes out there, if you can’t afford the longer term that university routes take, Diploma routes which include learning right up to postgraduate level but in far less time are available from reputable providers such as Event Academy and include a high level of practical work to help build that portfolio of experience and expertise at the same time.
If you live in a large urban area or popular tourist area, then it’s worth checking out the opportunity routes into event management in your local area. For example, if you live in a city like London, home of many corporate venues, exhibition halls, hotels and museums, seeking out a related opportunity (such as temping or volunteering at a specific event) could open up networking and employment opportunities. Even if these are not right in the remit you’d rather be in (for instance you might have the chance to work as part of a prestigious museum event even though you’d rather work in the music industry), being involved at a professional level may still open up other opportunities.
Although the journey into event management might seem to be a long one, it’s one which is easy to start as a hobby or on a part-time basis – helping out with local events for a favourite charity, for example. As with every journey, it’s making the first step that counts, but once you make it, you’re on the way!