Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Event Management (But Were Afraid to Ask)
So you want to be an Event Manager? Or maybe you're already an EM, and run events for a living, but still aren't quite sure if you're doing it right? Don't worry, everyone's faking it a little. In an industry as dynamic as events, which requires constant improvisation, humour might prove to be the saving grace.
Today, we're (somewhat humorously) sharing our personal stories and experience as Event Managers to answer some commonly asked questions.
Q: What is an Event Manager?
A: Event Manager (n.)
Someone who does one (or in most cases all) of the following: creates, project manages, runs, delivers and takes care of all aspects of events big or small. It is rumoured that they somehow have up to three extra hours in the day than other people.
Q: How do I become an Event Manager?
A: There are more and more events run each year, so the a need for people to work in events is ever-growing and there shouldn't be a shortage of positions.
But before deciding to work in events, you should consider the following factors:
- You will have to work evenings and weekends more often than you might like
- Anything might come up urgently, or plans might change so that you have to attend to work straight away
- You will have to be prepared for all weather conditions, and if you're based in the UK, in particular for heavy rain and hail, followed by scorching heat (...or snow in March!)
- It is very possible you will start carrying around tools such as a drill or measuring tape with you at all times
- You might have to miss your mate's birthday (your call whether this is a perk or a pitfall of the profession)
Q: What do you do if something goes wrong at an event and [insert anything that could go wrong, and it probably will]?
A: You fix it.
One thing you learn very quickly as an Event Manager, and especially since you rely on others, is that things can always go a little wrong, so you have to always be prepared. The question is not whether something will get messed up, but how calm you will remain when it does, and thus how quickly you'll fix it.
We've had a multitude of different reasons for delays, such as stock or deliveries going missing, staff running late due to transport delays...
So lesson one in our event management books reads: You just roll up your sleeves and get the job done, no matter what.
Q: How do I maintain my energy during long days at events?
A: If you're not used to caffeine, you will need to start building your tolerance. The more cups of coffee, the better - while setting up events or trade shows, you never know when your next sit-down meal is going to be, or even when you'll be able to sneak out and grab a meal deal to have on the go.
We're only joking. We drink tea, not coffee.
Q: How do I make connections at an event?
A: Isn't this the ultimate goal at any event - making connections with potential customers, collaborators or stockists? There's no other way of going about it but to strike up a conversation. If they come up to you, consider yourself lucky, but you'll quickly learn to start taking risks, going up to people yourself. Try and avoid talking for too long as everyone's in a rush; unless you happen to be very funny, but it is unlikely that will work every time.
If you don't have a sense of humour, well, we're not quite sure what we'd do without it. So you'll probably have to improvise; start practicing as soon as you can.
Q: What are some side effects of being an Event Manager?
A: Some common EM side effects might include attending and working at some great events, as well as making good friends with people who are just as busy as you are - we've very often found this a great bonding experience.