Event managers are highly talented, creative professionals who can work on a range of different events, or may specialise in an event sector such as festivals, weddings or charity events.
What all event managers have in common is the ability and energy to take an event from initial idea and pitching, to the production and running of live events, right through to evaluation, reporting and review afterwards. The best chances for the best jobs come from studying an event management course which not only shows how to do the role, but also builds in practice in actually doing it.
So what kinds of courses are out there, and how can they help provide the knowledge and experience needed to become an event manager?
Vocational event planning courses involve experiential learning; essentially learning the theory and then putting it straight into practice through learning activities and hands-on organisation and problem-solving. In the case of event management courses run by Event Academy, this means working on actual event projects as part of the course.
Ideal for: those who want to build skills and understanding of event management, but also gain valuable experience.
Many UK universities offer event management degree courses which include academic study and some level of practical experience. In some cases, this means having a year ‘in industry’ as part of the degree. In other degree courses, this involves running live events for the university itself, as part of the course.
Some degree courses incorporate event management alongside other industries which work in combination with events, such as tourism and leisure or hospitality. WhatUni.com offers an extensive overview of UK universities offering event management degree courses.
Ideal for: those who want to gain a traditional degree and can afford the cost of university.
There are largely three types of postgraduate event planning courses:
1) Continuing postgraduate study at university with a follow-on degree, such as a Masters in Event Management. This may extend studies by one or two years, depending if the course is full or part-time, and usually includes a dissertation or industry-related project.
2) Taking a vocational postgraduate course which is aimed at ‘topping up’ more academic university degree study in events with vocational practice and experience. In this case, it pays to look for a course which is run by experienced and respected event industry providers. This type of course tends to be shorter than an MSc and instead offers the benefits of extended potential for industry practice and for building a network of contacts.
3) A course which finishes at postgraduate level, but begins at undergraduate level as a continuous learning pathway, such as the Event Academy Degree-Alternative route.
Short courses are ideal for moving into the events industry more quickly than through traditional degree routes or extended courses.
If you are considering a career change, or a move back into the industry after a career break, short courses can also usefully provide a way of learning about the events industry without too much impact on your existing job. For instance, the Event Academy Foundation Certificate can be studied during a week’s annual leave, or Diploma course can be studied part-time for a 12 week period or an intensive two weeks.
The internet of things offers a wealth of event management courses online. These can be an ideal method for learning, offering flexibility and convenience to study when and how you’d like to. However, not all courses offer the kind of accreditation or depth of study which reflects what you need to know to become a professional in the industry.
So, when it comes to studying events management courses online, careful research should be carried out to ensure that the provider can deliver what’s needed to get your career started. Based on what our own online event planner courses provide, it’s advisable that at the very least any online course you are looking at should offer:
Online event planning courses are the ideal choice if you:
London is recognised as the events capital of the UK, so event planning courses in London offer a great opportunity to learn about events, participate in organising events and build a network of industry contacts in the city. Studying event management in London is also a great way to build venue knowledge across the city.
A short course in London can be ideal if you’re undecided whether to commit to studying in London. A longer qualification will introduce you to how important London is to the events industry and you should gain valuable experience from learning about events in London.
Ideal choice if:
At Event Academy, all of our courses are fully accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Marketing is integral to event management roles and the knowledge of marketing gained through CIM-accredited courses is not only something which helps your event role application stand out, it also supports professional practice and, ultimately, success in the world of event planning.
Finally, it can be useful to know that all Event Academy event planning courses are based around learning through doing so even our short courses and online courses include elements of planning for real-life events. Successfully completing one of our event courses means you’ll not only gain an industry-respected qualification, but will also be experienced and work-ready for your career in events.