How to start a career as an event manager

A career as an event manager is considered to be something very glamourous, thanks to the burgeoning awards' ceremonies and glitzy fashion events and brand launches. However, it is not just about putting together an event for celebrities or launching a premium product. Event managers may be called upon to organize college campus workshops, a seminar for a corporate group, a child’s birthday party or even a wedding. What’s more, there is plenty of planning to be done way ahead of the event. So what all is involved in launching this very contemporary career?

What subjects should you take up?
There are no specific subjects required for you to enter the event management field. In fact, it is not even necessary that you should have a formal recognized degree in event management. All it requires are various skills and a genuine interest in the field. 

However, if you are totally clueless and would like to study the field via a formal educational program, you can apply to institutes offering it as a separate course or as a specialization module as part of a management studies program. Some institutes offer part-time event management diploma courses which you can pursue alongside your regular academic programs. Other institutes offer post graduate diploma programs for which you can apply after graduation.

Which institutes in India offer event management courses?
A few of the well known institutes are:
1. The Indian Institute of Learning and Advanced Development, Gurgoan

2. The National Institute of Event Management, Pune


3. The Event Management Development Institute has branches in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad.


Which institutes abroad offer event management programs?
1. Switzerland: The Swiss Hotel Management School offers a learning module in event management as part of the hospitality management diploma/degree program as well as a post graduate program in event management.

2. UK: University of Gloucester 


3. USA: Champlain College, Vermont


4. Canada: The Art Institute of Vancouver

5. Australia: Kenvale College – Hospitality and Event Management


Note: The above national and international institutes are for general information and should not be considered as endorsements for the institutes. Readers are advised to check reviews and ranking before applying.

What skills are required?
Other than the most obvious, namely, organizational skills and the ability to multi-task, as an event manager you must have excellent communication skills and an understanding of what the client needs. 

You should be physically fit enough to be prepared to work long hours, quite often late hours too, as well as be mentally fit to be able to work under great pressure in order to meet the requisite deadlines. 

What’s more, you must be able to think on your feet, ready in less than a blink of an eye to quickly resolve a problem. Be prepared should always be your motto – so just having Plan A is not enough; Plan B should be in place to deal with the failure of Plan A and perhaps Plan C too, in case Plan B is also a disaster!

What are the work responsibilities of an event manager?
  • Planning an event
  • Getting the necessary licenses
  • Logistics (For how many people and for how many hours/days? What is the budget?)
  • Booking the venue 
  • Marketing and promoting the event (such as for the launch of a new electronic gadget or a charity show) 
  • Negotiations with various people for the services required (such as catering, light equipment, etc) 
  • Arranging for accommodation for visitors (such as for a medical conference) 
  • Arranging travel plans for special invitees 
  • Safety and security aspects
How much can an event manager earn?
For somebody who is just entering the field, let’s say as a newbie in an event management company, you could earn annually between 3 to 4 lakh approximately. For those working at the higher management levels, though, the annual pay packet could be upward of 8 lakh. As an independent event manager, of course, you could charge as per your expertise and skills.

Where to begin?
If you think you have it in you, you could start independently. Begin on a small scale, perhaps by persuading a friend or relative to allow you to manage his/her child’s birthday party or even a communion. You could charge a small fee or do it for free even, simply asking for finances to pay the requisite bills for the catering, venue, party accessories, etc. Make sure that you design and print out a ton of visiting cards with your name, address, email ID & contact numbers. Distribute these at the party to parents or put them at the side on the table where food is served or in goody bags which are given as return gifts to the kids. You could decide to make arranging birthday parties or child-centered events as your niche.

If you are not so confident of venturing out on your own, you could apply direct to a well-known event management company. Start as a fresher and get hands-on training, assisting a senior level manager. 

How to be a successful event manager?
The basic fundamental to be a successful event manager is to really listen to your client to get the details right in every aspect and not overshoot the client’s budget. You should be able to come up with creative ideas which will create plenty of buzz for people to talk about long after the event is over. Make the client happy as well as the guests!

Go on…if you have a creative streak in you and never want to get bored, an event manager career is just right for you!


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