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Building a Successful Career in Event Planning

Last updated June 8th, 2012

Many of the practitioners on the events industry (myself included) never seriously considered a career in event planning when we left full time education. Nor were we encouraged to. Until about 10 years ago an event planner job didn’t really exist. Corporate hospitality was there but not regulated and event planner jobs weren’t considered to be a stable profession. My parents certainly wouldn’t have approved of it!
In reality there was little opportunity of a career path. It took a brave (or foolish) student to see themselves carving a lifelong role in the event management industry. On reflection I think I was the latter…
Now approaching 2013 the industry has grown to such an extent that in the UK alone, there are over 8000 organisations who register themselves an ‘Event Company’ and over 550,000 people who are employed in the event industry. The UK Events business generates £37billion each year…and will undoubtedly do more next.
All of this dramatically highlights the changes in the event industry and the need for individuals to take an event management career seriously. Students, employers and sponsors need to invest in accredited event management training that will give them the best possible opportunities for an incredible future.
The emergence of organisations such as The International Special Events Society (ISES), Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Travel (MICE) and London Launch have helped the industry grow, develop and mature in the UK, but they have not typically been involved in developing individuals in events careers. This is now changing and membership organisations are beginning to recognise the fact that training and development is hugely important.
The two key questions to address are:
1. What really is event planning?
2. How do event management training organisations (such as eventcourse) deliver event management training?
Event planning is the process of planning an occasion. It includes activities like budgeting, establishing dates and timelines, selecting and booking venues, acquiring permits, and co-ordinating event management teams. Event planner Jobs may also consist of the following:
• Developing an event theme or brand
• Sourcing and managing speakers
• Co-ordinating onsite support services such as security, utilitiesetc.
• Arranging decor, tables, chairs, tents and personnel
• Liaising with emergency services (police, fire, ambulance)
• Co-ordinating parking, signage, emergency plans, health & safety and clean up operations.
But planning requires forethought, fantastic intuition and a real ability to be organised. You need to possess the presence of mind to understand what needs to be achieved from an event, the strategic skills to map it out and the logistical techniques to pull it all together.
Some event management skills come naturally but most have to be taught. That’s why event management training with Event Academy has been developed to give students hands-on practical experience from practitioners in the industry who are actually…doing. A career with an event company has never been more exciting and our event management training courses directly reflect this. They are:
• Interactive – with lots of class discussion, debate and group work
• Experiential – with the chance of actually organising events, seeing venues and experiencing how suppliers and clients operate
• Reflective of the way the industry is moving forward – through inspiring guest speakers, real-life case studies and the use of technology.
• Accredited – through the Chartered Institute of Marketing
• Tested – we’ve placed over 500 students and have directed some of the leading courses in the UK, over the past 5 years

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