How to build a rewarding event management career

event management career
A venue that has been set up for an event

Are you a go getter? And fun loving to boot?

Are you passionate about helping others?

Are you a travel enthusiast?

Do you love meeting and interacting with other people?

Do you like to envisage how to plan a sequence of events – be it at a party, or on a cruise, or even a family event?

….. And are you looking for a new career path?

Then do consider a career in the event management industry!

“Now what is that?”, you may ask. Well, read on to learn more about this exciting way of doing what you love and loving what you do!

So, what exactly would you be doing in an event management career?

Simply put, an event management career is all about envisaging, planning, and executing any type of event that your client wants to have, irrespective of the scale of the event. It is a service-based industry.

Your client would probably have a basic idea of what he wants – and a budget. It is your job to perfectly understand his expectations and then make it happen at the chosen time, and at the most optimum cost.

In all likelihood, you will be part of a larger team, with each team member having specific roles and responsibilities towards making the event a grand success.

Different event management career options

event management career options
Wedding

There are various types of ‘events’ that need to be executed. Some examples are mentioned below

FAMILY EVENTS

Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Celebrations of some success or milestone of a family member are all examples of this category of events.

Family events are the most popular types of events. (Note that, at times, even funeral arrangements are outsourced to a planner, especially if it is of a well-known personality.)

A new trend in wedding planning is ‘Destination weddings’ (where the wedding party travels to an exotic location for the wedding and allied functions), and it is generally is a fabulous vacation cum wedding event. You may like to check out my article on destination wedding planning here.

CORPORATE EVENTS

Team building workshops, Self-development workshops, Offsite get-togethers, fun-fairs for employees with or without family, Product launch events, Advertising, and promotional events are all examples of this event type.

SOCIAL EVENTS

Awareness building for environmental or human rights issues, Community festivals and melas, fundraising events as a response to natural (or man-made disasters)

SPORTS EVENTS

Races (cars/bikes/athletics), Matches (Cricket, Badminton, etc.), Charity functions, International or Inter-country sports events, Para Olympics, and all the side functions at such events

COMMERCIAL AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS EVENTS

Trade fairs, College (or School) admission fairs, Property / Home Loan fairs, Handicraft fairs, Tourism related events like hikes and camps, Kids art or music or dance events, music concerts…the list goes on and on!

As you can see there are endless possibilities for careers in event management!!! You or your company could specialize in more than one type of event management depending on your resources and manpower. It’s a whole new world out there!

event management career salary
Music Concert

Why you should seriously consider a career in event management

Let me take you back to the start of this article. You are a creative, fun-loving, people-loving human being who wants to reach out and help others.

And, making an impact in your limited circle of contacts does NOTHING to satisfy your creativity. Well then, this is just the kind of job for you.

Where else can you put your innovative and creative thinking to such grand use?

Your network will grow by leaps and bounds. So will your inter-personal skills, communication skills and self-confidence.

When you compare the scale of what ‘one product launch means to a Marketing manager’ with what ‘one EVENT launch means to you or your team’ then you will begin to understand the vast difference in exposure that you are getting.

Not only will you become a better human being, but you will also get an exposure to sometimes humbling, and sometimes uplifting experiences.

Go for it, I say!

If I’ve captured your attention by now, I can also expect you to ask, “But what are the steps to ensure a successful event management career progression?” Well, read on…

Basic steps in the event management career path

Let me break down the steps for you. Be warned, it may sound simple….but it will really be a lot of hard work. But the rewards that will come to you will all be worth it. So, ready? Here goes…

Step 1

Choose your niche. A niche is a relatively narrow area where you would enjoy offering your services. Some people like a high-profile formal corporate environment, while others vibe better with the love and drama that plays out during family functions.

Evaluate the kinds of events happening within that niche. Maintain a diary of your observations. This will help you to decide whether there are enough opportunities within that niche.

For example, if you want to conduct events like Badminton matches, and you find there are very few opportunities there, you could slightly widen your niche to include either

-more number of sports like football, tennis or cricket, or

-more event types like charity matches, endorsements, exhibition matches at schools, training camps and so on within the area of badminton itself, or

-both of the above

Brush up on skills like budgeting, interpersonal negotiation skills, multi-tasking, vendor and client management, venue selection and management, and so on.

At this stage, you may also want to consider getting qualified through a short term course or a college degree (depending on your age and interest in studying). However, you must remember that it is EXPERIENCE which will prove to be your best teacher.

career in event management
A community fair event

Step 2

Use forums like Linkedin and social media platforms both to talk about yourself as well as scout around for projects or employers.

Step 3

If you are completely new to the field, consider applying for an internship at an existing event management company in your chosen niche. Irrespective of the pay, you will get invaluable on-hands experience (like I said earlier, EXPERIENCE is your best teacher!)

Remember to make your project portfolio and keep on updating it. Do include photographs and your role in each project. This will help you during the next step.

Step 4

When you feel that you are ready, you could consider applying to different event management companies. Use good resume building tools and your own portfolio to present yourself well.

If you are the street-smart kind and have built a sizeable network of suppliers and collaborators by now, you could even take the plunge and start your own company!

My personal suggestion is to work for someone else, at least for a small period of time, to get the crucial hands-on experience without the tension of making losses. Plus your portfolio will grow and help you to showcase yourself to potential clients in the future.

Step 5

Decide whether you would like to continue to work for other bigger organisations or start your own event management company. (I will be writing an article on the nuts and bolts of starting your own event management company in the near future…watch out for it)

The scope for an event management career in India

event management career in india
Holi celebrations

India is a booming market for Event Management projects.

On a personal level,more and more people are craving to have events that ‘stand out’ and are hence outsourcing the planning and execution.

On a corporate level, companies are increasingly using events like brand building, launch events, media events, Diwali Mela type events, etc. to boost their image and to build employee morale.

On a social platform, things are exciting too. Awareness building exercises by NGOs, large scale events by industries or slightly smaller events by corporations, Music concerts, Art and Exhibition events, theatre and stage events (like TEDx talks), Literature festivals are all examples of the growing trends in social events.

The Government of India also needs to organize various large or small scale events like public awareness drives, trade fairs, and so on. The annually conducted International Trade fair of India is one such event.

Whatever your niche, projects are available in abundance.

Which brings me to the next point.

What is the typical event management career salary in a country like India?

I will not hazard a guess on Internship stipends, as this is company specific. In fact, in this stage, you would anyway be more concerned about the hands-on experience than on the actual income.

If you are going to join a company after your internship, you can expect a starting salary in the range of around Rs.20,000 – 30,000 p.m which is an industry average. This may increase to Rs.50,000 to Rs.1 Lakh within a few years….and then on, it depends on your capabilities, initiative and passion to take you forward.

If you decide to start your own company, you may start with a few smaller projects.

Focus on delivering first-time-right as this will be a crucial make or break phase for your reputation in the industry. And, a happy client is the BEST way to advertise yourself.

For initial projects, you could charge a fixed fee in the range of Rs.20 to 30,000 (depending on the job and the capability of your client) and steadily move upwards as your reputation grows.

More prominent event management companies charge a percentage of the client’s budget outlay and provide services within the scope of that budget which means that their income is in the range of Lakhs and even Crores of Rupees per project! Of course, their teams are bigger; hence their company overheads are also huge.

In conclusion

Event management is a hot and happening career option. You will never have a dull moment!

On the contrary, there will be lots of excitement, lots of money, and most importantly, high-level project management skills. The icing on the cake? Tons and tons of (hopefully) happy clients and lifelong meaningful relationships!

On that note, I shall end here by saying “CHEERS” !!!

event management career path
To an exciting event management career ahead

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