Event management is a diverse field, with many different roles you could step into.
You could be managing logistics at a music festival, booking talent for fundraising events, or designing a business conference at a corporate venue: and maybe even doing all of these things, at some point in your career!
The reality is, event managers are multi-skilled masters of many talents, and these talents can (and will!) be applied across a variety of roles. The event management career path you choose will depend on what interests you; the things you value most in life, and any special skill sets you might bring to your profession.
So, how can you tell which kind of event management job might be the right fit for you?
Firstly, start with a self-assessment.
Before looking at job options, you’ve got to be sure of who you are, professionally. It’s time to sit down with a pen and paper, and do some thinking.
Drawing from your experiences, feedback from others, and your own self-knowledge, start by analysing your values, interests, personality, and skills. (This is a technique commonly used by careers advisors!)
What are your values?
Make a list of the things that are most important to you, in terms of what you find fulfilling, and how you prefer to work.
Look at your career in terms of what you value in your working life
- Is it important for you to have autonomy in your events role?
- Does having a high salary matter to you?
- Do you prefer working with large or small teams, or alone?
- Do you want to take on roles where you are responsible for others?
- Is having a glamorous or prestigious role important to you?
- Is the actual type of event very important to you, or is the role itself more of your focus?
- Is it important for you to work for a large club, team or organisation, or do you prefer smaller scale operations?
Then look at the intrinsic value of the work itself
- Do you believe your events should be charitable or benefit society?
- Is it important for you to contribute to the arts or to the cultural life of your city?
- Or, is it important to you to contribute to some other kind of community, such as a local neighbourhood or sports community?
- Do you need to directly interact with the people who participate in your events, and to see them enjoy themselves?
Now, it’s time to assess your interests, personality, and skills
As they say, ‘if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ Following your interests and choosing a field of event management that feels natural to you is not only essential to your happiness, but it will also ensure you do your job well.
You’ve already chosen events management for your career, so chances are you’ve already got the general personality traits that make for a successful event manager, such as:
- Having an eye for detail
- Being super organised
- Enjoying managing and being around other people
- Keeping a cool head under pressure
- Having lots of energy
- People management and public relations
When it comes to choosing the right role for you within the field of events management, it’s important to zoom in a little and get past those general attributes. Consider some specific skills, interests or personality traits you might possess, that make you unique as an event manager.
Ask yourself a few questions like
- Do you have a passion for art, sports, film, music, or anything similar that you’d like to combine with your career?
- Are you a good leader, or do you prefer to work for others?
- Do you enjoy being hands on, or you prefer working behind the scenes?
- Would you like to co-create events with your clients, or be fully in control of projects?
- Is it important to you to work with ethical companies, or in an ethical or environmentally conscious way?
- Do you have any unique skills, (such as design, writing, or negotiation) you could bring into your role?
- Do you come from another industry background that could inform your future direction, such as hospitality, the arts, or corporate?
If you haven’t already, write up a resume for yourself. Not only is it essential in job seeking, resume writing is a great way to develop an overall picture of your interests and skills.
If you’re still stumped, try out a few online personality and interest assessment tools, but keep in mind that although they can be super helpful, they’re not always 100% accurate.
Now you’ve got a picture of what motivates you in life, where your strengths are, and what you care about most
Imagine every possible event, from sports games, to private parties and everything involved in making those events happen. There are a lot of different types of event management roles out there. Let’s take a look at some of these roles, and how you might fit into them, based off the answers you’ve just written down.
If doing something creative matters to you:
You might be happiest when you’re in the concept, aesthetics and design end of event planning and management. You’ll probably enjoy a position where you’ve got creative agency to play with ideas, and put them into action.
- Event Décor and Visual Design Specialist
- Custom designed, private events at a boutique agency
- Event Concept and Theme Design
- Creative Director of festivals or cultural events
- Creative Marketing and Social Media Promotions
If you want to do something good for society:
There are lots of different ways event managers can work for the benefit of society, across a variety of roles. From fundraising for charity to running local council events, government and non-profit organisations are often hiring event managers.
- Community Market Manager
- Local Government Events Program Manager
- Fundraising Events Design for charity
- Activities and Events Planner at a care facility
- Volunteer Coordinator for charitable events
If you’d like a prestigious job with a high salary:
The corporate sector requires talented professionals to organise everything from meetings to conferences, on a regular basis.
- Conference Architect
- Senior Events Planning
- Public Relations
- Meeting Planner
- Retail Events Management
- Trade Show Direction and Management
- Conference Centre Manager
If taking part in culture and the arts is important to you:
Did you know that many of the major arts and cultural events held in Australia each year are run by government organisations? Vivid festival in Sydney, for example, is run by the City of Sydney Council, and Tourism Australia. If you’re passionate about arts and cultural events, you may work for private operators who run festivals, or you could end up in museums.
- Exhibition Planning in Museums or Public Institutions
- Cultural Festivals Logistics and Co-ordination
- Music Venue Management and Booking
- Tourism Manager
- Cultural Events Manager for a local council
- Gallery or Creative Project Space Coordinator
If you love sports:
Virtually every major city has a large sports stadium that requires a whole team of managers to operate every event. In addition to the large-scale side of sports events, there are smaller games going on all the time at local clubs. Plus, the sports industry involves fundraising, sponsorship negotiation, marketing and plenty of other ways an event manager can get involved.
- Stadium Senior Events Manager
- Game Day Supervisor
- Field Sports Manager
- Tournament Director
- Club Sponsorship and Fundraising Management
If you’re a super people person and love making clients happy:
You’ll likely be most happy in a position where you get to have personal, hands-on contact with your clients, or with participants in your events. Working smaller, private events might be more fulfilling for you than working behind the scenes for events attended by thousands.
- Wedding Planning
- Boutique Private Events
- Running your own small event management company
- Catering and Hospitality Events
- Resort Activities Director
- Special Events Manager in a Hotel
- Public Relations
Learn more about studying a Diploma of Event Management, or here for a Bachelor of Business (Event Management).
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