The events industry is dynamic and ever-changing, with many jobs and career progression opportunities on offer. It is also a sector that grows year on year. UK events alone are now worth £42.3 billion to the economy and sustain over 530,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
A sector of such substantial proportion requires many capable individuals to keep events running smoothly. One of the key people holding all the glitz and glamour together are the Event Managers. Who oversee the many moving parts to ensure the vision of the event is delivered by external vendors and suppliers.
To work in event management is an alluring prospect. You can travel the world, see incredible places and meet amazing people. But it takes a lot of skill to be a success.
You will need to be extremely organised and have exceptional managerial skills. You’ll also need to be able to build and maintain relationships, juggle numerous things at once and be proactive. It’s a career path that will certainly test your creative thinking and problem-solving abilities too.
While the skills required are clear, the way into the role is less so. There’s no set entry route to become an events manager, not having a background in it doesn’t exclude you either. Which is great news for those looking to change career or take their first step on the ladder.
However, you will need to demonstrate your ability, which isn’t always easy. But there are certain things you can do to increase your job prospects. If you want to know how to get a job in event management, read on.
Volunteer at Events
Most event companies will expect you to have a least some experience before offering you a role. If you don’t have any or any demonstratable transferrable skills, you’ll need to find a way to get them.
Providing an extra pair of hands for free is something any event management team appreciates when working with tight budgets. So volunteer your services to charities, businesses or organisations that are putting on events or fundraisers. Non-profits are always on the lookout for helpers. Otherwise, you could check out local meetups and see if they need a hand.
By getting hands-on experience, you’ll begin to stand out and show that you’re committed to working in the industry. Make sure you get references from the teams at each event, so you can evidence your abilities when you apply. Attending events in your own time is also a great way to get a feel for the industry and network.
Do an Internship
Internships are a great way to open doors into a career, and that’s no different in the event management industry.
Both paid and unpaid internships can help you connect and get noticed by the right people. They also position you to get valuable experience since you typically work at the side of senior event planners.
While your tasks will be limited, you’ll be seeing first-hand what it takes to be a success in the role.
These are many internship opportunities available both in the UK and overseas since events happen all over the world. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and reach out to event companies you’d like to work with. Some may be willing to take you under their wing if you show enough confidence and drive.
Work towards the Role
It’s also possible to work your way towards an event management job if you do a little research.
You could identify companies with an events planning department and secure an entry-level position. Take an admin role in an event planning firm. Or find roles with some sort of meeting planning involved in the job description. In any of these circumstances, you can get your foot in the door and work your way up.
It’s easier to show drive, determination and ability when you’re working within the company already. Once you’re working there, if you voice your ambitions, you may find that some companies will support them. Helping you obtain relevant qualifications or credentials and giving you other learning opportunities while you work for them.
You can also pursue any event related duties in your current role. Such as organising the Christmas party, themed days, company fundraisers or work drinks. The more you gain experience and show your enthusiasm for events, the more you’ll align yourself with future opportunities.
You may already have enough skills and qualifications to apply for an event management role. Many event companies hire based on applicable skillsets. So, consider ways your experience and/or qualifications could assist you in an event management position.
Remember that many aspects of events call on the skills of other industries. Accounting, sales and marketing to name just a few. Degrees in business and marketing are highly regarded in event companies since they relate closely to the event management process.
There are also many roles that transfer extremely well into event planning and management. Project management, administrative skills, bar and waitressing work are all part and parcel of running events. If you have 2-3 experiences in roles like public relations, marketing or hospitality you could secure a job by applying directly.
Gain a Degree
Professional qualifications aren’t mandatory, however, many event management professionals obtain these to stand out early in their careers.
By studying targeted degrees, you can gain specific skills in all the areas relevant to an event management role. Plus, if your degree programme has a placement year, you’ll gain valuable experience and start building your contacts.
Undergraduate degrees in event management typically run for three years or four with a placement. You also have the option to study an advanced degree such as a masters or PhD once you graduate. By gaining these advanced qualifications you’ll position yourself as an expert and have many professional opportunities available to you.
Study a Course
If you don’t want to commit years to study, there are also short courses available. Many of which offer diplomas or certificates of completion to evidence your learning.
The duration of these courses vary but generally, they are completed within a year. They are excellent alternatives to gaining specific skills and knowledge, without the need for years of study before securing employment.
A Level 3 Events Management course, for instance, covers the essential elements for becoming a successful Event Manager. Through various modules you’ll explore Planning, Human Relations, Catering and Food Services, Marketing and Fundraising. As well as learning in detail what is involved in a career in the field of event management.
It will equip you to manage associations, clubs, special interest groups, political, government, sports, hotel convention planning and much more.
This course is provided by learndirect, a leading UK distance learning provider. Who offer many online courses to help you achieve your personal and professional goals.
Start working your way towards securing a job in event management today. Find out more about this online course by clicking the link below.