Sometimes I ask myself how many hats I wear in a business day. There really isn’t a consistent answer to “tell me about a day in your life”. The role of the event manager has evolved – long gone are the days where we simply relied on our imaginative capability and pedantic organisational skills; and depending on what type of events you’re organising, things will drastically change from there too! Maybe it’s music festivals, maybe it’s weddings, or maybe you want to organise marketing events.
It takes strategy and strength—we’re forward thinkers and we’re warriors. We get it done before our clients ask, and fix it before it’s broken. It’s our job to handle ourselves while handling other people, which requires using your head and your heart simultaneously.
What kind of person should you be?
Being an event manager means being a juggler, driver, negotiator, and artist. Event managers don’t get hired because of their mad Excel skills or willingness to work double duty when necessary (but, yeah, those too). We get hired because our clients trust us, and trust that it will all get done, on time, polished, and wrapped up in a bow (with thank you cards already in the post).
You need to be level headed, assertive, show good initiative and be able to think on your feet, be professional, have great time management and organisational skills, be flexible, creative, passionate and possess the ability to connect with all kinds of people!
You’ll be dealing with a whole host of people; suppliers, magicians, conferencing and event managers at various venues, clients, travel agencies, make best friends with delivery companies
The hands-on element is what we live for, working onsite and seeing our events come to life is what makes us tick. It’s the thrill of a concept becoming a reality. First up, last to bed for days on end with endless hours of running around while our eye lids become held open by matchsticks is exhausting – yet the reward of engaging our audience and delivering our promise is our ecstasy…
How to get into the industry?
No matter how great your knowledge of events is, or how suited you might be as a person, nothing counts as much as experience. It’s experience that gives you the foresight to plan great events and realise when and why things might be going south or not worth it. You can study as much as you want but your perspective employer wants to have proof you can perform in a working environment.
The thing is that getting entry level experience in events is surprisingly easy, yet few realise it.
Make a list of the largest events in your area and few months before the date of the event, start applying for positions on a voluntary basis. Large events always need temp staff.
Make a list of all the large venues in your area known for hosting the kind of events you want to run. Ask for an appointment and offer voluntary work. Venues are desperate for support!
And if it sounds like this is for you, find the course you need.