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Hospitality & Tourism careers

Conference & Events Management

Why is conference & events management so important?

Events and conferences can change the world. Sporting and cultural events, such as the Olympics or the Oscars, can unite people from different cultures by fostering a mutual appreciation of excitement and spectacle.

Personal events, such as weddings and birthday celebrations, can unite families; charity events can be a useful tool in helping to raise money for all kinds of important causes; and political events and conferences, such as the G8 summit, can unite nations and bring about positive changes to the world.

Consequently, careers in conference and events management can be incredibly important and exciting.

What does conference & events management involve?

Understandably, careers in conference and events management are all about planning, organising and managing events or conferences. A well-planned and well-organised event can be used as an effective marketing tool, or as an opportunity for collaboration, training or celebration.

If you pursue a career in this area, you might work for the events management department of a larger company, conference centre or venue. Alternatively, you might work for a specialist conference or events management agency.

Events planning and management companies take the pressure off organisations and individuals when they want to organise an event. They do all the hard work: planning and organising everything from the beginning to the end.

Depending on the magnitude of the event, there can be so much to organise. Therefore, careers in conference and events management can be hectic, challenging and highly-pressurised.

To thrive in these careers, you are going to have to be organised, enthusiastic and tenacious. It’s all about riding the wave of pressure and getting things done against all the odds. Most of the time you might be working in an office, but you will frequently be required to work on-site at the location of the event or conference.

What jobs can I do in this industry?

Event planners and managers organise every facet of an event or conference. Therefore, the job responsibilities can vary immensely and differ from event to event.

Consequently, working in this industry can be incredibly diverse and exciting. You could be organising a music festival, a trade exhibition, a business conference, a product launch event, a celebrity party, a wedding, or a charity fundraising ball.

You might be responsible for arranging the venue, the caterers and the invitations. You might be in charge of tight budgets, squeezing out every last drop to make sure the conference or event is as impressive as possible.

You will be liaising with loads of different companies, such as foodservice companies, florists, musicians and security agencies. As a result, you will need excellent communication and organisational skills.

Sometimes, you might have to roll your sleeves up and do some practical tasks, such as carrying boxes or putting up decorations. Furthermore, you might get involved with the internal or external marketing of the event, perhaps even commissioning a specialist publishing house to produce an event guide or brochure.

The work doesn’t end with the preparation and organisation of an event! On the day of the event itself, conference and event organisers have to work to tight timescales and under great pressure, rectifying mistakes and solving problems on an ad hoc basis.

There are no discernible minimum academic qualifications that you will need to pursue a career in this area. However, a degree or HND in events management could put you in an advantageous position.

The career path within events management is not clearly defined. However, you might start off as an assistant before you get the chance to take charge and manage your own events. As you progress through your career and build up a valuable network of contacts, you might have the opportunity to branch out on your own and start your own events management agency.

So it’s not only Jennifer Lopez who can be a top-notch wedding planner! Pursue a career in conference and events management and see where it can take you…