Event management is big business – approximately £42.3 billions’ worth in the UK currently. That’s great news for anyone looking to join a growth industry, but what else does event management offer, to make it a good career choice?
A good state of events
According to Eventbrite, the events industry is 16th biggest employer in the UK with over 25,000 businesses within the events industry employing the full-time equivalent of 570,000 people. With over 1.3 million business events currently held annually in the UK and a massive 35% of UK visitor economy coming through the event sector, this current state of growth in the events sector looks like continuing to flourish.
Whilst this growth in itself makes event management a good choice for building a career, additionally knowing that over 7,000 major outdoor events are held a year, that charity fundraising events have increased by approximately 700% since 2007 and that every year, exhibition events worth approximately £19.2 billion take place, means that there are plenty of good options for career paths within the sector too.
Add the fact that the annual spend from event attendees is approximately £39.1 billion (Business Events Partnership), then it seems that the financial aspects of this career path are also looking good.
But what of future events? The industry also appears to have plenty of forthcoming events which are likely to bring even more opportunity for a life-long or second career in the industry as Eventbrite also identify that 39% of corporate event planners expect an increase in their events budget in the coming year, something also reflected in the predictions from 67% of organisers, who anticipate that their events will grow.
A good choice of role?
But whilst the industry’s looking good, what do event roles entail which makes them a good career choice? Largely, for anyone who wants something a little different from the 9 to 5 ‘rat race’ a career in events management holds lots of exciting potential, including:
- Variety – from trade and business events, sports, tourism and leisure, education, charity, there’s a variety of sectors within events as well as event types such as music, outdoor, festival, conference and promotional events to choose from.
- Responsibility – events roles offer the chance to start off from several different rungs of the career ladder, each with varying degrees of responsibility. From events apprentice, event assistant to event coordinator, each role brings responsibilities to both challenge and excite a new event professional, and help develop vital skills.
- Scope of role – a career in events also offers the exciting chance to explore the scope of the role before deciding on any specialism. Particularly important is the chance to explore the ‘backroom’ skills in research, risk assessment, budget management, delegation and team management, evaluation and feedback – all crucial foundations for those top roles.
- Opportunities to be creative – events roles offer the chance to be creative both from design and response perspectives: coming up with imaginative ideas and entertaining themes is important, but so too is a quick and creative response to problems and challenges.
- Opportunities for progression and CPD – event education has grown with the industry, making this a career path which includes plenty of opportunities for professional development including on-the-job training, apprenticeship, degree level study and beyond.
- Increasing level of tech-savviness – alongside and within events, the tech industry is also developing and thriving. Event professionals new to the industry can quickly gain traction for their career by taking on the technical side of event management.
A good choice for your skills?
Of course, any position in events will come with its own, extensive job description, but there will be certain qualities which an event professional will be expected to offer any potential events employer, including passion, purpose and flexibility.
Event management’s strong link with business means it’s also a good choice for anyone who is moving on from a career in business, as a good understanding of business goals and how to achieve these through events is crucial to the success factor of any event.
And of course, alongside business sits that ability to sell – the event, the idea, the tickets as well as any product, service or charity within the event itself – event management is also a good career choice for those who are successful in sales.
Additionally, a creative side that offers flair and originality is also sought – from naming the event, thinking creatively about invitations, venues, services and using social media innovatively, the next best thing in events is always about ‘doing it differently’ and delivering engaging experiences rather than cardboard cut-out ‘events’. If this sounds like you, then events could certainly be a good career choice.
A good choice for yourself?
In the US, event co-ordination is considered to be one of the top 10 most stressful jobs and, given the industry’s UK growth, the role is highly likely to start appearing on UK lists. So, to ensure it’s a good career choice for you, it’s essential to give consideration to any threats, circumstances or preferences which could limit your success, such as:
- Being unable to fulfil the long hours demanded by the profession. At times, particularly in the immediate run up to a big event, the job is all work and no play and the hours are excessive and exhaustive. If this is unlikely to fit in with your own health or home demands, then it may not be for you.
- Not being a people person – although there’s certainly room in event management for professionals who prefer numbers to people, such as event budget management specialists, even these professionals are going to have to meet with committees, colleagues and clients occasionally. Basically events is all about bringing people together so you’ll have to be happy to be an integral part of that.
- Being too much of a perfectionist – although it’s important to do the job well, being a perfectionist could render you inflexible or unable to delegate effectively, something which would impede the progress of your career.
Finally, being too much of an ego can be a problem. To misquote a much-used phrase, there’s no I in event management – but there is team in there! The job isn’t for ego seekers or extroverts who impose their own ideas, expression and personality at every occasion. In truth, the job is largely about listening to, relating to and responding to others and their needs, wishes and requirements. If you can do this as a professional and because it’s part of your personality, then event management could be perfect for you. Find out more on eventcourse.
Written by Justine Kane
Justine has spent the past 5 years as Course Director for an event management training Institute, placing hundreds of graduates into roles and tutoring them through to successful qualification.