You also think it’d be useful to get some relevant training and experience to help you get started, perhaps by taking an event management course? That’s certainly a good idea!
The thing is though, you’re just not really sure what studying event management actually involves, what sort of things you can expect to learn about.
To be honest, you’re not alone there, because overall there’s not always a lot of information available about what aspects of study are included in event management courses.
Even if you’re going to be working in-house for a venue or corporation, and not having to ‘find’ the right venue for the company’s events, site management training will still be essential learning for you because you’re going to be expected to strategically manage and offer creative vision for the venue you’re in, across many different types of events. Overall, the study of site management should teach you what you need to know about:
>> Finding and evaluating sites, in order to find the ‘best fit’ for each site’s purpose
>> How to inspect sites, including what to look for, and which questions to ask to determine the site’s specifications
>> Event layout design and planning
Venue management during the preparation phases, throughout the duration of the event and across take-down after the event
Most 21st century events involve a level of marketing and for many events which involve stakeholders and financial, revenue considerations, the marketing aspect is integral to the whole thing. So it’s essential to get the most out of your event management studies by taking a course which also places marketing in its integral position, to provide the vital context for your event management studies.
Courses such as our Chartered Institute of Marketing qualifications will help you study this to a professional level, and also means you’ll learn about the latest industry methods for:
>> Developing marketing strategies
>> Implementing marketing plans
>> Branding and merchandising
>> Marketing methods and PR
> Pitching, promotion, and outreach
Even if you don’t land an event job with responsibility for strategic planning straightaway, knowing how the finances and budget management for events can be run efficiently is essential.
After all, at some stage early in your events career you’re likely to be responsible for managing just a smaller pocket within the bigger budget, so it’s crucial you understand budget monitoring, financial record-keeping and of course that major skill which helps keep any event on budget and cost-effective: negotiation, including gaining sponsorship.
Whether a large event or intimate setting and however well things are planned, most events offer an element of risk – from basic trips, spills or bumps to major utilities let-downs or security problems requiring emergency evacuation of the event venue. As an event manager you’re expected to know all about risk management, so you should certainly expect to study how to:
>> Identify risks and hazards which relate to the event
>> Ascertain the level of risk (in various contexts, such as location, event type, clientele, and attendees, for example)
>> Devise and implement risk minimisation plans
>> Develop and implement emergency response and evacuation plans
>> Arrange security
> Ensure compliance with health and safety and local authority regulations
The biggest and most valuable resource any event manager has is the human element which contributes to making any event a success. Reputable courses should include essential aspects of human resources and how these relate to the events industry in general and identified events in particular. For example, you might expect to learn about:
>> Workforce rights and requirements.
>> Collaborating with contractors and suppliers, as well as staff
>> Creating a network of contacts
>> Recruiting and training staff and volunteer teams
>> Managing and motivating teams
Team communication – from having everyone in place to identifying essential contacts to be in touch with for emergencies, as well as the methods for keeping contact even if wi-fi drops out or there’s a blackout. Effective communication’s vital for every event team, so you should expect to study how to create a communications framework, plan for in-event communications and contingencies, including what hardware and technologies you could use to support your team communications.
Oh, and attendees! As an event manager you’ll be expected to have a plan in place for event attendees to enjoy the event safely, so you can expect to study how to manage safe movement of attendees, particularly crowd management at areas such as check-in, as well as coordination of other attendee aspects, such as hospitality, transportation, accommodation and health and safety protocols.
Although you might be expected to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with contractors and suppliers (as above), it’s also down to the event manager to find the right people for the task. For example:
> Take catering – a thorough event management course should include studying how to select, engage and negotiate with caterers to ensure good refreshment services at events. You will also need to learn about the difference between what different venues offer and the legalities of managing alcohol service
Similarly, the demand for digital in events sees many event managers needing to work with technical designers and producers to deliver digital aspects of events. So, it’s essential that any course equips you to be able to evaluate the requirements for technical and digital equipment for each event and acquire then oversee these services for the duration of the event.
Essentially this means learning to start thinking about each event as an overall project, a mission if you like. So you’ll be learning to plan for everything which needs to be accomplished, but in a strategic way which means exploring the best approaches for each individual project, and how to monitor the event and create systems for evaluating outcomes and success. This generally includes (but certainly isn’t limited to) learning about:
>> Goals and objectives
>> Feasibility studies
>> Financial summaries
>> Ways to evaluate and measure return on investment
>> Developing project plans – including those essential plans-within-plans such as risk management; contingency planning; emergency evacuation plans; staffing plans
> Creating schedules, briefs, proposals, and reports
Event planning involves logistics, which in itself means performing numerous administrative tasks to make sure that everything’s booked, paid for, created or sourced and in place in time for the smooth running of an event. Every event manager needs to know how to manage the administrative aspects of logistics, so studying events includes gaining a working knowledge of the regular tasks involved in event planning and the tools which can support you with the admin and logistics of setting up events and the site prior to the event, as well as the taking down of the event afterwards.
The events industry is exploding with new and exciting event technologies and digital event production. If a course is relevant and up to date on event management in the 21st century, it should include studies of event trends and new innovations. For example, the most up to date courses such as Event Academy courses will include elements of learning about:
>> Software and communications technologies and their roles in event management, such as different types of event software management and how these might be used.
>> Incoming trends for event management, such as digital check-in and contactless information exchange – how these work and why they’re useful.
>> Event production and presentation innovations, such as holographic and ‘virtual’ speakers, and chatbots.
>> The use of digital and communications technologies for marketing and promoting events.
Of course, some aspects included in an event management course also support the development of relevant skills and personality traits. Whilst these aren’t necessarily explicit course content, these are skills which are particularly useful to build up through experience and are integral to all of those designated areas of learning. So, if a course also offers opportunities for gaining experience through volunteering, this is also an opportunity to develop skills such as:
Abilities to multitask
Boosting any and all of these skills through volunteering and experience will really help to complement learning of those taught elements of event management studies, so aim to study with a provider which offers as many of these opportunities as possible.
And the bottom line of what you study in event management? The course you want is one which will enable you to become a professional in events. This is the sweet-spot where you’re developing those traits and skills in the context of these very significant areas of learning, so you can offer the very best qualification and professional practice when it comes to applying for event roles.