Event management involves applying project management techniques to set-up, plan and execute events such as conferences, festivals and weddings.
What is event management?
At its core, event management is the process of planning an event. It involves the application of project management techniques to the creation and development of conferences, festivals, conventions, weddings and other large-scale events.
What does an event manager do?
Event managers are responsible for an array of different tasks relating to the planning and organisation of promotional, business and social events. These tasks range from liaising with clients, producing detailed proposals, manage and coordinate event logistics as well as overseeing all legal and health and safety obligations. Furthermore, their role is to ensure everything runs smoothly on the run up to and the day of the event itself.
The process of event planning includes budgeting, site selection, scheduling, coordinating speakers/entertainers and much more. In contrast, an event manager executes and manages the event.
The process of planning an event includes, but is not limited to, budgeting, site selection, scheduling, coordinating speakers and entertainers. An event manager’s key job role is the execution and management of an overall the event, thus, they must be familiar with the entire event planning process.
For more information on how to plan an event, we have created a handy two-part guide on how to organise an exhibition:
- Exhibition Planning Timeline: Organise Your Exhibition to Success (Part One)
- Exhibition Planning Timeline: Organise Your Exhibition to Success (Part Two)
Why is event management important?
If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail, so correct planning and management of any event is essential in order for it to be a success. This is the key to learning how to manage an event successfully.
Simply put, no matter how good your ideas, if you haven’t paid enough attention to factors such as budgeting and time management, you could run the risk of your event not turning out as well as it could have.
What’s involved in event management?
The type of event someone is planning will depend a lot on the purpose and needs of the company. Listed below are seven core areas you need to get right to ensure a successful event;
When planning an event, one of the most important factors to consider is the venue. It is part of the event manager’s responsibilities to scope which venue is most suitable for each event, they must be able to consider multiple factors that will contribute to the event’s success. This includes, but is not limited to, the size of venue, location and price.
Health and safety
In terms of health and safety at an event, and prior to the event, appropriate management systems must be set in place for each phase of the event to make sure health and safety risks are controlled. While the numbers onsite during the public period will be significantly greater, the need for safety management during build up, load-in, breakdown and load-out is just as important. There may be fewer people, but this is likely to be when the highest-risk work activities are carried out.
There are a few smaller areas that fall under health and safety, which are:
- Emergency – developing an emergency contingency plan, as well as crisis management at the event.
- Security – designing a security plan to help monitor the safety of the people at the event.
- Safety standards – ensuring the event hits all of the health and safety requirements.
Stakeholder management is another important involvement in the planning of an event, this relates to engaging with these people and maintaining good relationships. These people may be speakers, sponsors or suppliers that all contribute value to your event in some way, such as;
- Audio-visual engineers
Correctly handling delegates experience is crucial to the success of an event. This includes making sure that all delegates and guests are assisted at every stage of the event, including enquiry and registration, to on-the-day assistance and feedback.
Communication is at the heart of everything we do. It enables us to form relationships, effectively carry out work and achieve both personal and professional goals. Similarly, communication plays a huge role in event management, from liaising with the event team, the client and multiple different suppliers. Event managers require highly effective communication skills, this will enable them to;
- Approach clients and take their event brief and specifications
- Liaise with conference producers, marketers and sponsors
- Negotiate with suppliers and contractors to get the best price to suit a client’s budget
- Speak to sales and marketing teams to promote the event
Whether your event is B2B or B2C, it is important to use effective communication to build relationships, generate sales and build brand awareness.
Keeping to a specific budget can be a difficult task when it comes to managing client expectations and unforeseen costs. So, having a good indication of budget parameters is something to keep in mind when planning an event, perhaps through a cost analysis.
To find out whether or not the event was a success, it is essential to gain feedback from all attendees of the event, including guests and any form of exhibitors who attending, for example sponsors or speakers.
By collecting follow-up data, this allows you to benchmark the next event, based on the performance indicators, or what you set out to achieve.
This gives an indication on ways to improve based on any criticisms or areas to focus on more if they had a positive impact