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The Types of Events You’ll Manage During Your Career as an Event Manager

Last updated November 3rd, 2021

It is the most exciting and rewarding job on the planet. There is nothing quite like the buzz of delivering a live ‘show’ - often with no rehearsal - it's creative, energetic, intense & totally varied . No day is the same

Lorne Armstrong, Director, The Event Academy

You’ll have to plan all kinds of events during your career as an event manager. From corporate events to weddings, bar mitzvahs and everything in-between.

It’s one of the great things about this type of career. No event is exactly like another, which means no day at the office is ever like another!

But what are the main types of events you’ll be planning?

We’ll split this post up between corporate events and other events. The two types are very distinct and have their own types of events, often with little crossover.

Corporate event types

Corporate event types can include:

Conferences

The corporate conference is a primary type of event. It’s usually a large gathering within a venue focused on a central theme, product or service. The event can include speakers, exhibitions, displays, performances, round tables, networking opportunities, catering and recreational opportunities.

Conferences are usually large scale events held in convention centres or conference halls. More recently, conferences have been held virtually too.

Trade shows

Trade shows are event types that cover an industry or theme rather than a single company. They can be small or huge and have a few guests or hundreds of thousands. They will feature exhibitions, displays, showcases, speakers and perhaps entertainment.

Trade shows will also be held in convention centres or conference halls. They don’t work quite so well virtually.

Seminars

The planning and execution of seminars is a lot like the conference. Only this time, it’s more about learning, training and imparting information. They can have high attendance but are often broken up into smaller groups for more effective training.

There can be a mixture of smaller groups for sessions and then everyone meeting up to socialise, network and share ideas.

Seminars can be held anywhere depending on the size and scope. You would ideally need somewhere with smaller areas or rooms for learning and larger spaces for socialising.

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Company meetings and off-sites

Company meetings and off-sites will usually be smaller scale but more upscale. They can be anything from board meetings or executive meetings to stakeholder meetings, off-site training, company relaunches, rebranding or something else entirely.

The venue would depend on the size of the company but can be anything from an upmarket restaurant or banquet hall up to an entire conference centre.

Team building

Team building events were exceptionally popular a few years ago but you will still likely have to plan for one of these events at some point. The scope of the event will depend on the client but could be small scale with a few dozen people to something much larger with several hundred.

Team building events can be a real mix. From outdoor activities to indoor competitions, seminars and presentations to genuine physical and mental challenges. Venues are as equally diverse from outward bound centres or forests to concert halls or stately homes.

Company party

Company parties are one of the most diverse event types you’ll work with. They can be small scale dinners all the way up to hiring an entire nightclub for a corporate client.

Event planning might include an entire theme with performers, talent management and transport or securing a restaurant and catering for an evening. There are also a range of unique, purpose-built venues around the country that specialise in this type of event.

Product or service launch

The final main type of corporate event you’ll plan as an event manager is the product launch. These can have a similar feel to a party or conference but will usually be more upbeat and more promotional in feel.

You can host a product launch anywhere from golf courses to industry-specific venues like hotels, factories or football stadiums. Much depends on the size and scope of the company.

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Non-corporate event types

As an event manager, you’ll likely also be asked to plan events for individuals or non-corporate organisations too. They also come in a range of different types, including:

Weddings

Some brides prefer to use dedicated wedding planners but others like to work with event planners too. Weddings range massively in terms of size, budget and scope and provide a unique challenge to organisers.

Weddings will typically use traditional venues but occasionally you’ll be asked to charter a yacht, hire a field, arrange a barn dance or set up a mini festival. No two weddings are ever the same!

Festivals

Talking of festivals, these are another type of event you’ll be planning during your career. Whether it’s a small scale literary or food festival or a large scale music festival like Download or Glastonbury, it’s all part of the job.

Venues can literally be anything from a farmer’s field to a stadium. Some are small enough for church halls while others need a lot more space.

Exhibitions

Exhibitions are a common type of event you’ll likely work with. Whether it’s an industry exhibition, art, sculpture, national exhibition or something else, they are a unique event with unique challenges.

Venues can include galleries, shopping centres, conference centres, train stations, bus shelters and schools. The spaces we use for exhibitions are as varied as the type!

Charity events

Charity events can be many and varied. From fundraisers to building awareness, thanking contributors or celebrity auctions. The more imaginative you can be, the more money you can raise.

Charity events can be held anywhere. Some clients will want to reflect their frugal attitude while others will want to go all out to show their appreciation.

The colour charity run

Sports and competition

Sports events and competition events can be anything from organising a cycle race over closed roads to setting up an auditorium for thousands of computer gamers. This is another event planner’s dream where anything is possible but the challenges can be huge.

Typical venues can be sports stadiums, auditoriums, village halls, city centres and literally anywhere you can hold a competition safely.

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Fashion shows and red carpets

Fashion shows and red carpet events are high profile event types that you may do lots of or never do at all. They can be amazing experiences but are also tough to pull together. These are more about coordination than technical event planning but will challenge even the most experienced event manager!

Venues can be anything from shopping centres with enough space for a catwalk to a West End cinema or theatre with enough space for a red carpet.

We’re sure you can think of other types of events but these are what make up our main day to day responsibilities. The variety in the events you will be asked to work with makes this one of the best careers you could ever have!

We run the only Event Management courses endorsed by The Chartered Institute of Marketing - an organisation recognised with a Royal Charter for excellence. Our range of event management courses provide you with the essential combination of knowledge, experience and industry-respected endorsement for every level.

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