30-40 per week
£17,000 + per year
If you enjoy planning, organising and meeting people, this could be just what you are looking for. Events managers are responsible for organising and running all kinds of events. You would control the whole project, from planning at the start to running the event on the day.
Taking a qualification in events management may help you but it’s not essential if you can get relevant work experience.
To become an events manager, you will need to have good communication and 'people' skills. You will need to be good at problem-solving. You will also need to have lots of determination and a positive attitude.
Events managers are responsible for organising and running all kinds of promotional, business and social events. You would control the whole project, from planning at the start to running the event on the day.
Your job would normally include:
- discussing what the client wants
- coming up with original ideas for events
- agreeing budgets and timescales with the client
- researching venues, contacts and suppliers
- negotiating prices with suppliers and contractors
- booking venues, entertainment, equipment and supplies
- hiring and supervising contractors such as caterers and security
- publicising the event
- making sure that everything runs smoothly on the day
- ensuring that health, safety and insurance regulations are followed
- managing a team.
You might specialise in organising particular types of event, such as parties and weddings, exhibitions and conferences, live cultural events, music festivals, product launches or fundraising events.
You would generally work standard office hours, although as event dates get nearer you may work long and unsocial hours. You may also go to events in the evenings and at the weekend.
Starting salaries can be around £17,000 to £21,000 a year. With experience, earnings can reach £25,000 to £40,000 a year.
Management salaries in some top companies can reach £50,000 to £80,000 a year.
Salaries may include bonuses and commission, particularly if the job involves sales and marketing responsibilities.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
Events managers often start their careers from a variety of backgrounds. Employers will look for relevant experience or strong transferable skills such as client management, organisation, budget management and negotiation.
Taking a qualification in events management may help you, although this is not essential if you can get relevant work experience. Courses include:
- Level 2 Award / Certificate in Event Planning
- Level 2 Certificate in Live Events and Promotion.
There are also numerous events management courses ranging from foundation degree to degree level at colleges and universities. These could be taken as a possible way into the industry or, at a later stage, as part of your professional development.
Whatever your qualifications and background, you should ideally have practical experience in helping to organise events. This could be gained from:
- hotel conferencing and banqueting
- cultural events
- travel and tourism
- public relations
- music and live entertainment.
You could also gain experience of organising events as part of a role in a job, such as personal assistant, marketing executive or human resources officer.
Another option is to apply to start as a coordinator or assistant in an events management company, possibly through temporary work. You could then progress to organising events yourself as your experience grows.
You could gain useful experience by organising events and activities in your personal or social life. Paid or unpaid work as a steward (supervisor) or crew member at large events or exhibitions can also be a good way of building contacts within the industry.
The Hospitality Guild unites training providers, businesses and individuals, and offers information and advice about careers in hospitality and tourism. Their website also has interactive tools that can help you to plan and develop your career.
Visit the Creative Choices website more information about careers in music events management.
Training and development
You would do most of your training on the job. Some employers may give you the opportunity to do short training courses covering specific tasks, like the use of social media in marketing.
You could also choose to study for part-time qualifications in event planning and management whilst you are working in the industry. Qualifications include:
- Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Event Management
- Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma in Event Management
- Level 3 Diploma in Live Events and Promotion
- Level 4 Award in Conferences and Events Operations.
You may also find it useful to join one of the membership bodies listed in the More information section. They offer benefits such as industry insights, professional development training and networking opportunities. See their websites for more details.
Skills, interests and qualities
- excellent organisation skills and the ability to carry out a number of tasks at the same time
- good communication and 'people' skills
- an ability to focus on the customer
- a creative approach to problem-solving
- a high level of attention to detail
- the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines
- good negotiation, sales and marketing skills
- budget awareness
- administration and IT skills
- the ability to work as part of a team and also use your own initiative
- enthusiasm, motivation and a positive attitude.
Last edited: 18/06/2015