Event Management is not all about the glamour.
There seems to be a misconception in people’s minds about what event management entails. When you mention that you are an Event Manager, the first response is always something like “Oh, so you get to meet lots of cool people and drink champagne and dress pretty!”. Ummm, not quite! 99% of the time, it is pretty hard work! And you have to be an exceptional project manager!
So what exactly is a Day in the Life of an Events Manager?
Pre-production – this is all the work that needs to go into an event before it happens.
- This includes liaising with client to ensure all expectations are met, as well as dealing with last minute requests. Ensuring that you understand the brief, and working towards those specifications is vital.
- Putting together a suitable budget and tracking all changes during the project.
- Presenting ideas for the event, from concept, décor, gifts, venue, to registration, branding and entertainment.
- Client approval means that.
- Briefing in and managing all suppliers.
- Making all the bookings with suppliers, and payments.
- RSVP and contact centre management.
- Event app management if required.
- Depending on the type of event, the setup is either the day before, or the same day, at least 2-4 hours before the event is due to start.
- Not forgetting, that most event managers are managing multiple events – anything from 2 events to 10 or even, in extreme cases, 20 events at the same time! Imagine the juggling required there!
The actual event – waking up at 4.30am to ensure that you get to the event by 6am – for a full day, early morning event.
- Running around the whole day to ensure that everything runs smoothly, and that your client and guests are happy.
- Dealing with weird requests, like do you have anything to fix the broken heel of my shoe, or trying to soothe the client when the main course is late because the lift to the main venue from the kitchen broke down – with the food inside!
- Still having to login and project manage the other events that are also on your plate.
Post-production – what happens after the actual event has taken place
- Strike – all suppliers arrive to breakdown and collect their goods.
- Reporting and presentations around the proof of execution.
- Follow up with guests if required.
And repeat, but with many variables based on the day, time, type of event and client expectation! This is what makes a career in event management appealing because no two days are alike, even though the pace of the role, the high levels of pressure and the stress involved definitely requires a strong constitution! Events are not for everyone, but if you enjoy project management, are creative, have excellent attention to detail and your people skills are above average, you will thrive on the reward of having it all come together. In spite of the high levels of stress, as well as the demands of a deadline driven environment, having a passion for what you do goes a long way towards overcoming challenges!
Careercast.com posted their 2016 Most Stressful Jobs Report recently, and guess who made it into the Top 5?Yes, you guessed it: Event Coordinator at number 5!
- Enlisted Military Personnel
- Airline Pilot
- Police Officer
- Event Coordinator
So while, we may not use guns or fight fires, or even fly planes, sometimes it feels like we do!
As one of our senior event managers says: “It’s not for everyone! It’s about being able to think on your feet, and pull rabbits out of hats at any given minute.” And she’s been doing this for 18 years!
(Featured image credit: http://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/img/editorial/2016/01/05/103280468-GettyImages-482256873.600×400.jpg?v=1452009633)