Event managers plan, organise, set up and execute events on behalf of their employer or client.
Ranging from small conferences to huge festivals, they are responsible for ensuring events run smoothly, are enjoyable for everyone involved, and remain within a set budget.
This complete guide features a full event manager job description and covers all the need-to-know information about event managers, including typical earnings, requirements, employers and more.
- Event manager job description
- How much do event managers earn?
- What does an event manager do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs event managers?
- Which junior jobs progress to event manager roles?
Event manager job description
Event Manager | The Big Event Group
About The Big Event Group
We are one of the UK’s leading luxury wedding, party and corporate events management companies with clients all over Europe. Our team offer unrivalled events planning and management services by creating and delivering high-quality, memorable experiences paired with exceptional customer service.
About the role
We’re looking for an experienced events manager to take a hands-on role in planning and leading various events including conferences, corporate parties and luxury weddings. Reporting to the Head of Events, it’ll be the post holders responsibility to ensure that all client’s needs are met and exceeded, right through from brief to final delivery.
- Managing multiple events, parties and weddings simultaneously
- Liaising with clients to understand event briefs and objectives for events
- Taking end-to-end ownership of the event planning and management process
- Ensuring that all events are planned and executed within the agreed budget
- Finding and booking suitable event venues, contractors and suppliers
- Recruiting, managing and briefing event staff as required, including third-party suppliers
- Ensuring strict legal compliance across all events
- Attending events and managing on site team, ensuring we exceed the client’s brief
- Managing a team of junior events assistants and crew members
Location & commitments
- Full-time role, 40 hours per week with 9–5 core hours
- Regular evening and weekend work to attend events – time off given in lieu where possible
- Based at our Shoreditch office, with regular travel around London to visit clients and attend events
- At least 2 years of experience in the events industry, ideally as an event planner or manager – freelance experience also considered
- Proven results in planning or leading successful and profitable events
- Experience of negotiating deals with suppliers and contractors
- Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills – a true ‘people person’ happy to talk to anyone and everyone
- Strong multi-tasker with experience of juggling numerous projects and deadlines
- A degree at 2:1 or above in an events management or planning subject
- Knowledge of CMS systems and project management methodologies
- Experience in providing training and mentorship to junior-level employees
Contact us to apply
If you’re looking for a challenging, fast-paced role with a chance to hone your event management skillset, apply today! Send your up-to-date CV and a short cover letter to our recruitment manager, David Owen, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much do event managers earn?
Generally speaking, event management rewards its workers well, with an average UK salary of £32,500.
Event manager salaries in the UK
- Low: £25,000
- Average: £32,500
- High: £45,000
Event manager salaries will vary hugely depending on:
- The type of employment – Permanent employee, freelancer, or contractor? For example, event managers often work on a short-term, contractual basis, which typically offers higher rates but lacks the security and benefits of a permanent role
- The type of event being managed – Managing large-scale, specialist events typically pays more than managing small, generic events
- General salary factors – Such as level of candidate experience and location
For example, an events manager working for a large, world-famous music festival is likely to earn a higher salary than an events manager working for a small, local party planning business.
Additionally, an events manager working on a temporary contract may earn a higher hourly rate than a permanent event manager working on the same project. However, the contractor won’t have access to holiday pay, a pension scheme and other valuable benefits.
Bear in mind that these are average figures taken from job advert samples and therefore do not include extra benefits such as performance bonuses, ticket commissions, overtime pay and holiday allowances.
What does an event manager do?
The typical event manager job description includes the following key tasks, duties and responsibilities:
- Taking event briefs – Meeting with clients or company directors to understand their requirements, timescales and budgets for events
- Creating event proposals – Writing detailed event proposals in line with client requirements and ensuring the client is happy to move forward
- Setting and working to budgets – Sticking within the client’s budget and strictly tracking all expenses – securing best rates for suppliers
- Negotiating with contractors – Negotiating with contractors and suppliers (musicians, DJs, caterers, decorators, performers etc) to achieve the best value for client spend
- Booking venues and equipment – Negotiating and booking suitable venues and any equipment needed
- Managing event staff – Hiring, training and briefing event staff (customer assistants, ticketers, servers etc) and setting their rotas – including third party suppliers
- Publicising and marketing events – Working with sales and marketing teams or agencies to effectively promote events in order to sell tickets
- Ensuring legal compliance – Ensuring that health and safety, legal and insurance rules and regulations are followed
- Coordinating event set-up and clean-up – Overseeing event set-up and the dismantling and clean-up of the event
- Overseeing final events – Carefully monitoring event happenings, troubleshooting any problems and ensuring everything runs smoothly and efficiently on the day
- Evaluating event performance – Analysing and reporting back to clients on the success of the event in terms of guest feedback and profitability
What do event managers need?
In order to secure an opportunity and coordinate successful events, event managers need a range of skills, knowledge and, sometimes, qualifications.
Specific requirement vary depending on the sector and type of event being managed, but typically, here is what’s required:
Specific experience requirements will vary, but employers will generally expect candidates to have gained exposure to the full process of planning and managing an event from start to finish.
Experience and industry contacts are everything in the events industry. The field is competitive and it’s rare to gain a full-time role without building up a variety of experience first — employers want to see that the groundwork has been put in!
This experience could be gained through a placement year at university, by organising events for a student society, charity or club, volunteering at festivals or working in events planning in a freelance capacity.
Another option is to start off in an events assistant or co-ordinator or crew member role.
Event manager skills
Organising a successful and profitable event requires a wide range of skills, including:
- Organisation: Juggling several tasks, deadlines and responsibilities at once — flawless multi-tasking is required for the smooth planning and execution of an event
- Interpersonal: Communicating and forging relationships with a huge range of people including clients, suppliers, vendors, co-workers, event staff and attendees
- Attention to detail: Spotting the smallest of errors and ensuring that everything is properly in place for events
- Negotiation: Negotiating the best deals from suppliers and venues to maximise event profitability
- Time management: Sticking to deadlines and keeping schedules and timelines on track
- Creativity: Bringing client’s visions to life and coming up with interesting, unique and creative ideas
- Level-headedness: Remaining calm, cool and level-headed in stressful, high-pressured and difficult situations
- Budgeting: Having a clear head for numbers and always knowing what is best for the event’s balance sheet
Event manager qualifications
Qualifications are not essential to work as an event manager, as industry experience, proven skills and results are far more important in the eyes of employers.
With that said, there are numerous qualifications and training opportunities that exist to help aspiring or established event managers to build upon their skills and progress within the industry. Here are a few of the most common and well-recognised options:
Event management degree
Event management degree courses are becoming more and more widely available. While they’re not essential to starting a career in the field, they can certainly be a great helping hand in terms of breaking into the sector.
This is because event management degrees generally provide all the theoretical skills and knowledge, combined with practical experience, needed to gain an entry-level job in the field.
The majority of courses offer a year in industry and allow for students to work on real life briefs and projects. It’s this practical experience that often aids event management graduates in securing their first role.
Level 2 Certificate in Event Planning
The Level 2 Certificate in Event Planning is a nationally-recognised qualification that teaches the core skills required to plan, organise and evaluate events. It’s also fully-funded for those aged 19 or over, who have been living in the UK for at least 3 years.
Employers will still expect to see some relevant industry experience alongside this qualification, as there is no practical element included. However, as the course can be self-paced and taken online, it makes for a great opportunity for students to learn the ropes of event management whilst working part-time or volunteering within the industry.
Event Academy qualifications
The Event Academy is an industry-leading course provider with a range of CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) accredited events courses. While these courses don’t go into the same level of detail as a degree, they are still respected within the industry and teach a fantastic blend of theory and practice.
The courses include:
- Online foundation: 1 month course – Level 3
- Online Diploma: 3 months course – Level 4
- Online Postgraduate: 18 months course – Level 7
What is expected of event managers?
Typically, event managers will be expected to commit the following:
- Full and part-time hours – Event manager roles are available on a variety of contracts, ranging from temporary part-time contracts to permanent, full-time (35 – 40 hours per week) roles
- Varied hours – Event managers often work normal working hours (9–5) during the planning of an event, with regular evening and weekend work required to attend events
- Location – Primarily located at the employer’s office, or home based if freelance
- Regular travel – The role includes lots of travel to visit clients, suppliers and venues and to event sites and venues during the set-up and execution phase
Event manager benefits
Event managers who work for a business on a permanent, employed basis, will usually receive a good benefits package, including things like:
- Bonuses – based on event performance
- Commission – often based on ticket sales
- Pension scheme
- Car allowance
- Event discounts
Those working freelance (self-employed and working short-term for numerous companies on different events and projects) often receive a higher hourly rate, but are generally not entitled to holiday pay, pension schemes and other company benefits.
Part-time roles will normally include a benefits package, but on a pro-rata basis.
Who employs event managers?
Generally speaking, events managers are normally employed by events management companies, who sell their events services to other businesses. However, large companies who host regular events may also have the need for dedicated event management staff.
The events industry is worth £42.3 billion and employs approximately 570,000 full-time workers in the UK. Plus, with 67% of events organisers expecting their events to continue growing over the next few years, job opportunities are on the rise.
Event manager roles are available across the UK, but are generally easier to come across in major towns and cities — especially those with several large event venues.
Employment is available within the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, with the majority of event management jobs appearing within:
- Event planning agencies
- Wedding and party planning companies
- Conference and exhibition centres
- Independent events venues
- Hotels and hospitality groups
- Public attractions
- PR and marketing agencies
- Local authorities
Events managers often work freelance, but this is more achievable after gaining a few years of full-time work experience.
Which junior jobs progress to events manager roles?
Employers in the events world value industry experience over anything. Therefore, the following junior-level roles can be a great way to gain this experience and build a portfolio of work:
For those starting at zero, volunteering or shadowing at large events is a good way to break into the industry. It’s the best way to gain hands-on experience and learn directly from experts in the field.
Event crew member
Event crew members work as a team to set up and clean up events, such as building temporary stages and structures, setting up lighting and equipment and building sets. This type of work is typically available to new starters and, while generally low-paid, can help them to build valuable contacts and knowledge in the events industry.
Events assistants work underneath event planners and managers to assist in the planning, coordination and execution of events. This is a great role for aspiring event managers to gain fundamental insight and practical experience in the start-to-finish planning of an event.
Which senior jobs do event managers progress to?
Although event management is a challenging and rewarding role in it’s own right, those with lots of experience and a network of contacts can easily progress into higher-paying roles. This might include:
Senior events roles
With a proven track record of delivering successful events, many events managers move into managerial positions. Job titles include:
- Senior events manager
- Head of events
- Events director
These senior-level roles typically involve managing more reputable, large-scale events with larger budgets, whilst coordinating the work of an entire events team. While the work can be stressful at this level, some of the events can be highly prestigious and, therefore, salaries can be generous.
Freelance event management consultant
Many experienced event managers end up taking the freelance route, or decide to set up their own events consultancy. Due to the short-term nature of events, freelancers are in high demand and can often command high day rates. The nature of the work often provides a more flexible lifestyle and the chance to work on a variety of projects.
Event manager job description – conclusion
While the world of events management is a competitive field, it offers a challenging, exciting and often lucrative career.
Formal qualifications aren’t always required, but experience within the field is an absolute prerequisite to gaining a permanent role.
The events industry is growing and, with opportunities available up and down the country, it makes for a sensible and secure career path for those willing to put in the ground work.
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