Event manager

Event manager article illustration


Event managers plan and oversee events such as festivals, conferences, ceremonies, cultural events, exhibitions, formal parties, concerts, or conventions.
They organise every stage of the events planning the venues, staff, suppliers, media, insurances all within the allocated budgetary and time limits. Event managers ensure the legal obligations are followed and the expectations of the target audience are met. They work together with the marketing team in promoting the event, searching new clients and gathering constructive feedback after the events took place.

Event managers typically do the following:

  • liaise with clients to find out their exact event requirements
  • produce detailed proposals for events (including timelines, venues, suppliers, legal obligations, staffing and budgets)
  • research venues, suppliers and contractors, then negotiate prices and hire
  • manage and coordinate suppliers and all event logistics (for example, venue, catering, travel)
  • liaise with sales and marketing teams to publicise and promote the event
  • manage all pre-event planning, organising guest speakers and delegate packs
  • coordinate suppliers, handle client queries and troubleshoot on the day of the event to ensure that all runs smoothly and to budget
  • manage a team of staff, giving full briefings
  • organise facilities for car parking, traffic control, security, first aid, hospitality and the media
  • make sure that insurance, legal, health and safety obligations are followed
  • oversee the dismantling and removal of the event and clear the venue efficiently
  • produce post-event evaluation to inform future events
  • research opportunities for new clients and events.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to event manager:

event and project manager
project & event manager
event organizer
event & project manager
live event producer
live event manager
project and event manager
live event organiser
live event organizer
conference and event planner
event organiser

Working conditions

Event managers are often required to work in an office or at venues where events are being organized. They could have to work varying hours with early morning hours or late into the night or weekends for weddings. They must be flexible with their work hours and must be ready to work or travel for long hours at a time. The work can be stressful depending on the event the manager is organizing.

Minimum qualifications

Although no specific degree subject is needed to become an event manager, a bachelor’s degree in event management, hotel or catering management, leisure and tourism, marketing or business may be useful. Employers are much more interested in skills, personal qualities and experience in the industry.

There is no typical route to becoming an event manager and most organisations will recruit as vacancies arise.

Some people move into event management from related areas such as marketing, hospitality, PR or arts administration.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Event manager is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Event manager career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to event manager.

event assistant
wedding planner
fundraising assistant

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of event manager. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of event manager with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

technical director
election agent
cultural policy officer
child care coordinator
front of house manager

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of event manager.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of event manager.

  • Develop event topics: List and develop relevant event topics and choose featured speakers.
  • Negotiate contracts with event providers: Negotiate contracts with service providers for an upcoming event, such as hotels, convention centres, and speakers.
  • Coordinate events: Lead events by managing budget, logistics, event support, security, emergency plans and follow up.
  • Confer with event staff: Communicate with staff members at a chosen event site to coordinate details.
  • Review event bills: Check event bills and proceed with the payments.
  • Inspect event facilities: Coordinate event facilities acording to customer demands.
  • Arrange event needs: Ensure that event needs such as audio-visual equipment, displays or transportation are met.
  • Organise event participants’ registration: Organise the official registration of event participants.
  • Direct event administrative details: Direct administrative tasks that go with an upcoming event, such as financial operations, dissemination of promotional materials.
  • Supervise event staff: Select, train and supervise volunteers and support staff required for events.
  • Plan events: plan programmes, agendas, budgets, and services of an event according to customers’ requirements.
  • Monitor event activities: Monitor event activities to ensure that regulations and laws are followed, look after satisfaction of participants, and resolve any problems arise.
  • Work with respect for own safety: Apply the safety rules according to training and instruction and based on a solid understanding of the prevention measures and risks to your own personal health and safety.
  • Maintain event records: Maintain records of every administrative aspect of an upcoming event, including financial details.
  • Evaluate events: Evaluate the success of recently organised events, making recommendations to improve future events.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of event manager. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Liaise with event sponsors: Plan meetings with sponsors and event organisers to discuss and monitor upcoming events.
  • Write risk assessment on performing arts production: Assess risks, propose improvements and describe measures to be taken on a production level in performing arts.
  • Select event providers: Evaluate and select the right providers of the right services, according to the customer’s specific requirements.
  • Obtain event permits: Obtain all permits that are legally necessary to organise an event or exhibition, e.g. by contacting the fire or health department. Make sure that food can be served safely and in accordance with all legal requirements.
  • Determine event objectives: Communicate with customers to determine the objectives and requirements for upcoming events such as meetings, conferences, and conventions.
  • Document safety actions: Record all actions taken to ameliorate health and safety, including evaluations, incident reports, strategic plans, risk assessments.
  • Solicit event publicity: Design advertisement and publicity campaign for upcoming events or exhibitions; attract sponsors.

ISCO group and title

3332 – Conference and event planners

  1. Event manager – ESCO
  2. Event manager job profile | Prospects.ac.uk
  3. Event Managers – Salary, Management and Managers – StateUniversity.com
  4. Featured image: By Evahwang99 – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 4.0
Last updated on January 16, 2023

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