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How to become an events manager

What is an event manager?

Events are a huge part of the progression and success of a company or organisation, which is why an event manager is so important.

The event manager will plan and organise promotional, business, and social events, as well as conferences, seminars, and exhibitions.

As you can see, they run a range of events, which can be anything from a wedding to a virtual assistant.

They will manage the whole process, from the planning stage to running the event, making sure that the target audience is engaged.

Promoting the event is a vital process as it’s so important people turn up, of course, so that future business comes out of it.

The event manager will often be one of the first people to turn up and one of the last people to leave.

What does an event manager do?

An event manager will have many different tasks and each day will be different to the last. Here are the responsibilities an event manager can expect to take on.

  • Research opportunities for new clients and events
  • Recruiting and managing employees working on events
  • Help promote events
  • Work with a budget for events and manage spending accordingly
  • Carry out administrative duties
  • Produce detailed proposals for events
  • Research venues, suppliers, contractors and negotiate prices and hire them
  • Manage and coordinate suppliers and all event logistics
Large exhibition
Large event
  • Liaise with clients to find out the exact event requirements
  • Setting clear objectives and targets for events
  • Plan how to meet those targets
  • Organise facilities for the likes of car parking, first aid, security, the media, traffic control, and hospitality
  • Oversee the removal of the event and clear the venue
  • Gather feedback and data after an event
  • Produce post-event evaluation to inform future events
  • Coming up with new ideas for events and promotions

How to become an event manager?

The first thing you need to do to become an event manager is to get a form of qualification. One option is to go to university and get a degree. There are several different event management bachelor’s degree courses, including a degree in event management, international events management, and hotel and event management.

An alternative to going to university is getting a diploma certificate, which we offer here at Open Study College. Once completed, you will have the qualifications to start a career in event management. Take a look at our event management courses.

Once getting your qualifications, it’s important to get yourself some work experience. You can get some by becoming an event assistant, which will give you first-hand experience in event management and the planning process of events. This will give you the knowledge and skills to move up the ladder whilst also making valuable connections.

Networking can also be a very valuable experience if you’re wanting to make it in event management. This could be from networking to getting new clients or even finding a new job. Talking to other professionals will help you pick up new ideas to help yourself develop.

One thing that will help in your career is join a professional body, which will help you become an established event planner. This is a form of networking, but these bodies will look out with the best interests of their members. Here are some of the professional bodies in event management:

  • UK Hospitality (UKH)
  • The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO)
  • Association of Event Organisers Ltd (AEO)
  • Alliance of Independent Event Agents
  • Association of Event Venues (AEV)
  • Meetings Industry Association (MIA)
  • National Association of Wedding Professionals (NAWP)

Required skills of an event manager

People skills

Event managers need to have empath, compassion, patience, and the ability to build relationships with others, due to the fact that they’ll be working with a wide range of people. They will also need to resolve any conflicts that arise as well as the ability to negotiate confidently and fairly.

Technical skills

They also need to be proficient on a computer, especially if they are using scheduling software as well as a computer database to store and organise client accounts. Their employers may want to host a live-streaming event through social media, so the event manager needs to be able to comfortably perform this.


Managing events can throw up all kinds of things due to the very fast-paced and unpredictable nature of it all. An event manager could be leasing a large team of staff one minute, before helping clean up the next. Having the flexibility to do whatever needs to be done is a very helpful trait.

Outdoor wedding
Business corporate event


Being able to come up with innovative and new ideas when creating events can be very beneficial. They will also need to be able to apply critical thinking when doing this whilst paying very close attention to detail.

Listening skills

Stakeholders and clients will want event managers to be able to understand what they want to achieve from their event. The event manager will need to understand their needs and make sure their expectations are realistic. Your event has more chance of being a success if you actively listen to the stakeholders and consider their needs through the planning process.


As said before, an event manager will work with many different people, from management professionals to business executives. There will be a diverse range of personalities which means leadership skills are important to directing workflow organising schedules, planning events, and delegating tasks.

Organisational skills

Being able to effectively multi-task will make an event manager’s job much easier, especially when they are running an actual event. They will need to be able to juggle several things at once, using their organisational skills in both the planning and execution stage of the event. So, being able to focus on the big picture whilst also keeping track of the small details is so important.

Industry knowledge and experience

If an event manager has industry knowledge, skills, and experience, it will put them in a good position to build a solid reputation in the industry. Of course, this will be built up over time. An event manager’s job will become much easier once this has been gained, though, as they’ll have also picked up a wide network of contacts.


As with any other career, an event manager will need love and passion for the job to be successful at it. Being passionate will boost their creativity so their events will stand out and be more memorable than those done by someone just doing their job.

Decision-making skills

Quickly making several decisions at once will show a successful event manager. It’s very important that they can make these decisions confidently, quickly, and thoughtfully. They need to be able to recognise when it’s too late to change one of their own decisions as well and have the resolve to then stick by that decision.

People checking into an event
People registering for an event

Communication skills

An event manager can establish themselves as an effective team leader by being a clear, approachable, and confident communicator. They will achieve the desired outcomes by communicating effectively with clients to establish goals and action plans. Active listening skills will help event managers determine the best approaches to take when it comes to planning and hosting events. It’s important they can onboard criticism whilst being open to others’ ideas.

Problem-solving skills

No matter how meticulous an event planner has planned an event, something cam always go wrong. Being able to create solutions to problems like arranging venues for clients is very important. They might need to rely on their problem-solving skills to find alternative solutions when problems arise with hosting, pricing, or audience participation.

Ability to keep calm under pressure

A stakeholder will more than likely turn to an event manager as the first point of contact for almost anything related to an event. There can be moments of stress and the worst thing an event manager can do is crack under pressure, lash out and make poor decisions. They need to stay level-headed and continue to treat everyone calmly and with respect.

When starting out in event management, the average salary ranges from £18,000 to £22,000 per year. With a bit more experience, the wage can go up to between £22,000 and £25,000 a year. Finally, salaries for managers can start at around £33,000 rising to £40,000 for senior managers or directors.

Event management courses