Event Manager: Job Outlook and Requirements for Starting a Career in Event Management
Event managers coordinate logistics for special events, such as seminars, trade shows, conventions and parties. The events they manage are often high-profile corporate gatherings and may last anywhere from a couple of hours to several days. They may plan promotional parties to launch new products, coordinate fundraisers, supervise trade shows, manage convention booths or organize shareholder events. Employers typically require a bachelor's degree and event planning experience.
Career Definition of an Event Manager
An event manager plans special events for organizations, such as corporations, nonprofits and academic institutions. They may rent space for parties and seminars, hire and supervise event staff, purchase and rent equipment and negotiate contracts with caterers, entertainers and speakers. They often interact with top management and various departments of an organization during event planning stages, and may also conduct follow-up interviews to determine whether or not the event accomplished its goals. Some event managers specialize in coordinating and hosting online events, such as webinars and training sessions. Event managers may work as independent contractors or full-time staff members of companies, universities, hotels and convention centers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts strong job growth for professions related to event management throughout the next several years
How to Become an Event Manager
Required Education for Event Management
Event management professionals often have a bachelor's degree in a field such as marketing or business administration, in addition to several years of experience in event planning or conference management. Many also have experience in the hospitality industry or fundraising. Membership in professional organizations, such as the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) may also enhance job and networking opportunities.
Skills needed to be an Event Manager
Event managers must be detail-oriented and highly organized with excellent written and verbal communication skills. They must be able to hire and supervise event staff, negotiate contracts, meet deadlines and manage budgets. Event managers must have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with all levels of management, make presentations and lead meetings. Strong computer skills and proficiency with word processing, database and spreadsheet programs are essential.
Financial Future and Career Outlook for Event Management
The BLS predicts 20% job growth for meeting and convention planners, which would include event management professionals, throughout the 2006-2016 period. Many event managers gain experience by starting out as event planners. In April 2009, Salary.com reported that the median expected annual salary for a meeting/event manager was $73,747, while the median expected annual salary for a meeting/event planner was $53,687.