How to Become an Events Manager

Do you enjoy working with people? Perhaps you’re obsessed with planning and organising events for your friends and family? If you’re looking for a varied and challenging career where people skills are a must, becoming a qualified events manager could be the right step for you.

Events management is big business in the UK. Each year, thousands of conferences, functions, weddings, fundraisers and parties take place around the country, and many of them are planned, developed and run by experienced event planners.

If you fancy joining them, we’re here to fill you in on what it takes to become a successful events manager. Covering the qualifications and experience you’ll need, as well as advice on salaries and career progression, our guide can help you take the first steps towards becoming a qualified events planner.

Use the links below to navigate or read on for the complete guide.

What is an events manager and what do they do?

An events manager organises and runs events for individuals and businesses. They oversee every part of the project, from initial planning to event running, ensuring that everything goes smoothly.

There are many types of event management, catering to both individuals and corporate business clients. Conferences, weddings, music performances, and charity fundraisers all fall within the remit of event management, so a varied career is all but guaranteed.

Qualified events managers may choose to focus on a specific type of event or take a more broad-ranging approach. There are lots of job opportunities for events managers in both client and agency-side roles, as well as the option to start their own business.

Here are some of the typical duties events managers are responsible for:

  • Liaising closely with a range of clients to understand their needs and requirements
  • Developing original, creative ideas for different event briefs
  • Calculating budgets and working within tight monetary constraints
  • Partnering with suppliers, contractors and venues to attain discounts and deals
  • Supervising and managing contractors and suppliers, on and off site
  • Publicising and marketing promotional events
  • Overseeing the smooth running of events throughout the day
  • Managing a large, diverse team
  • Adhering to strict health and safety regulations
  • Handling tricky requests from clients with respect and discretion.

Is a career as an events manager right for me?

Becoming an events manager promises a varied and exciting career, wherein you’ll always be working with new people on different projects. But given the responsibilities of the role, there are certain attributes, traits and skills which could make you better suited to the position.

Take a look at our profile to find out if you have what it takes to become a successful events manager.

  • Positive, can-do attitude
  • Confident and authoritative
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Outstanding team-working skills
  • Creative aptitude
  • Comprehensive approach to health and safety
  • Professional attitude
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Good at negotiation and liaison
  • Calm under pressure.

What qualifications do you need to become an events manager?

There are several routes available to become an events manager. That means the qualifications you need will vary depending on your entry level and experience, as well as the area of event management you plan to go into.

If you’re looking to rise to the top of the game in a corporate events management role, a degree may be required to apply for top positions. Many colleges and universities offer foundation or BA (Hons) qualifications in event management, or you can opt for a distance-learning course, such as our level 3 qualification.

Or, perhaps you plan to focus on the more casual side of event management? If so, a diploma in wedding planning or similar could give you the skills and experience needed to land your dream job or start your own business.

Often, events managers seek additional qualifications to progress their careers later down the line. It’s for this reason that distance learning courses often fit in well with such professions, giving you the flexibility to complete additional qualifications alongside your regular job.

It’s important to remember that while qualifications can boost your chances of landing an event management role, they are by no means a prerequisite. Often, practical experience in relevant industries, such as catering, cultural events, travel or public relations, can be enough to allow you to apply for entry-level positions. Employers will also consider your transferrable skills, whether it’s leadership, communication, organisation or budget management.

A combination of accredited qualifications, practical experience and transferrable soft skills is the best way to access a career in events management. Remember, though, that if you genuinely believe you have what it takes to become an events planner, there’s always the option to jump in at the deep end and start your own business – letting reputation and word-of-mouth recommendations carry you forward.

What career progression can you expect as an events manager?

The level of career progression you can expect from an events management position depends on the type of events you service. For example, those working in the arena of corporate events for a prestigious management agency can expect significantly higher career prospects than those arranging leisure or social events for individuals.

Should you enter corporate events management in an entry-level position, there may be numerous ways to progress your career and rise into a more senior position. Additional qualifications can help with this, as can practical experience in working independently on client accounts.

If you’d prefer to focus on social and family event planning, one of the most popular routes of progression is starting a business. After building a portfolio, many events managers choose to go freelance, before launching their own business and building a broad client base.

Whichever route you choose, events management does offer plenty of avenues for progression, so an exciting, limitless career awaits.

successful events manager

How much do events managers earn?

The average UK salary for an established events manager is £29,120, with starting salaries ranging from £17,000-£25,000 depending on the level of entry. Experienced, corporate events managers can expect to earn an average annual salary of around £80,000, while those who make it their business could earn a lot more.

What are the benefits of becoming an events manager?

Still haven’t decided if a career as an events manager is right for you? With lots to consider, let’s take a closer look at the benefits you can enjoy as a qualified events planner:

  • Job satisfaction – seeing an events project through from planning to completion brings huge satisfaction and a sense of achievement; this is particularly true for social and family events planning.
  • Variety – every project throws new challenges your way, keeping you on your toes and ensuring that you’re always creatively engaged.
  • Working with people – events management is innately people-oriented, so those who enjoy working with and being around others will find endless fulfilment.
  • Flexible working hours – as an events manager, your hours of work may be flexible, giving you an excellent work-life balance. This is particularly true for freelance and self-employed events planners, who can often pick their hours of work.
  • Competitive salary – events management roles attract healthy salaries, so if money is important to you, it could be a lucrative area to get into.
  • Location and travel – many events management roles require travel, often overseas. If you’re happy to travel for work, events planning could make for an exciting career.

We hope this in-depth resource helps you decide if a career as an events manager is right for you. At Oxbridge, we provide a handful of events management courses on a distance learning basis, so you can work towards gaining a qualification at your own pace. For more information or to browse our complete range of courses, visit the homepage or call our experienced course advisers on 0121 630 3000.

How much does an events manager earn?


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