Event management is the application of project management to the creation and development of festivals, events and conferences.
Event management involves studying the intricacies of the brand, identifying the target audience, devising the event concept, planning the logistics and coordinating the technical aspects before actually executing the modalities of the proposed event. Post-event analysis and ensuring a return on investment have become significant drivers for the event industry.
The industry now includes events of all sizes from the Olympics down to a breakfast meeting for ten business people. Many industries, charitable organizations, and interest groups will hold events of some size in order to market themselves, build business relationships, raise money or celebrate.
Event management companies and organizations service a variety of areas including corporate events (product launches, press conferences, corporate meetings and conferences), marketing programs (road shows, grand opening events), and special corporate hospitality events like concerts, award ceremonies, film premieres, launch/release parties, fashion shows, commercial events, private (personal) events such as weddings and bar mitzvahs.
Clients hire event management companies to handle a specific scope of services for the given event, which at its maximum may include all creative, technical and logistical elements of the event. Or just a subset of these, depending on the client’s needs, expertise and budget.
The event manager is the person who plans and executes the event. Event managers and their teams are often behind-the-scenes running the event. Event managers may also be involved in more than just the planning and execution of the event, but also brand building, marketing and communication strategy. The event manager is experts at the creative, technical and logistical elements that help an event succeed. This includes event design, audio-visual production, scriptwriting, logistics, budgeting, negotiation and, of course, client service. It is a multi-dimensional profession.
The event manager may become involved at the early initiation stages of the event. If the event manager has budget responsibilities at this early stage they may be termed an event or production executive. The early stages include:
- Site surveying
- Client Service
- Brief clarification
- Budget drafting
- Cash flow management
- Supply chain identification
- Site design
- Technical design
- Health & Safety
An event manager who becomes involved closer to the event will often have a more limited brief. The key disciplines closer to the event are:
- Health & Safety including crowd management
- Detailed scheduling
Event management software companies provide event planners with software tools to handle many common activities such as delegate registration, hotel booking, travel booking or allocation of exhibition floor space.
There are an increasing number of universities which offer courses in event management, including diplomas and graduate degrees. In addition to these academic courses, there are many associations and societies that provide courses on the various aspects of the industry. Study includes organizational skills, technical knowledge, P.R., marketing, advertising, catering, logistics, decor, glamour identity, human relations, study of law and licenses, risk management, budgeting, study of allied industries like television, other media and several other areas. Certification can be acquired from various sources to obtain designations such as Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM), Certified Manager of Exhibits (CME), and Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM), Global Certification in Meeting Management (CMM), Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and the Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP), Bachelor of Arts in Event Management.
Career opportunities are in the following industries:
- Event Management
- Event Management Consultancy
- Hotel, travel and hospitality Industries
- Advertising Agencies
- Public Relations Firms
- News Media
- Non-profit organization
- Integrated Marketing & Communications
- Event Budgeting and Accounting