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Event management is the application of project management to the creation and development of large scale events such as festivals, conferences, ceremonies, formal parties, concerts, or conventions. It involves studying the brand, identifying the target audience, devising the event concept, planning the logistics and coordinating the technical aspects before actually launching the event.[1]

The process of planning and co-ordinating the event is usually referred to as event planning and can include budgeting, scheduling, site selection, acquiring necessary permits, coordinating transportation and parking, arranging for speakers or entertainers, arranging decor, event security, catering and emergency plans.

The events industry now includes events of all sizes from the Olympics down to business breakfast meetings. Many industries, charitable organizations, and interest groups hold events in order to market themselves, build business relationships, raise money or celebrate achievement.

Marketing tool

Event management is considered one of the strategic marketing and communication tools by companies of all sizes. From product launches to press conferences, companies create promotional events to help them communicate with clients and potential clients. A number of elements such as music, live entertainment or even the particular venue may be used to influence the tone and atmosphere of an event.

Event managers may also use news media to target their audience, hoping to generate media coverage which will reach thousands or millions of people. They can also invite their audience to their events and reach them at the actual event.

Event manager

The event manager is the person who plans and executes the event, taking responsibility for the creative, technical and logistical elements. This includes overall event design, brand building, marketing and communication strategy, audio-visual production, scriptwriting, logistics, budgeting, negotiation and client service.

Sustainability

Sustainable event management (also known as event greening) is the process used to produce an event with particular concern for environmental, economic and social issues.[2] Sustainability in event management incorporates socially and environmentally responsible decision making into the planning, organization and implementation of, and participation in, an event. It involves including sustainable development principles and practices in all levels of event organization, and aims to ensure that an event is hosted responsibly. It represents the total package of interventions at an event, and needs to be done in an integrated manner. Event greening should start at the inception of the project, and should involve all the key role players, such as clients, organizers, venues, sub-contractors and suppliers.

Technology

Event management software companies provide event planners with software tools to handle many common activities such as delegate registration, hotel booking, travel booking or allocation of exhibition floorspace.


What Is Event Planning?

This question actually breaks down into two questions: What kinds of events are we talking about? And, what is event planning?

First things first. Generally speaking, special events occur for the following purposes:

  • Celebrations (fairs, parades, weddings, reunions, birthdays, anniversaries)
  • Education (conferences, meetings, graduations)
  • Promotions (product launches, political rallies, fashion shows)
  • Commemorations (memorials, civic events)

This list isn't an exhaustive one, but as the examples illustrate, special events may be business related, purely social or somewhere in between.


What is event planning?

Planners of an event may handle any or all of the following tasks related to that event:

  • Conducting research
  • Creating an event design
  • Finding a site
  • Arranging for food, decor and entertainment
  • Planning transportation to and from the event
  • Sending invitations to attendees
  • Arranging any necessary accommodations for attendees
  • Coordinating the activities of event personnel
  • Supervising at the site
  • Conducting evaluations of the event

How many of these activities your business engages in will depend on the size and type of a particular event, which will, in turn, depend on the specialization you choose.

Why Do People Hire Event Planners?

This question has a simple answer: Individuals often find they lack the expertise and time to plan events themselves. Independent planners can step in and give these special events the attention they deserve.

Who Becomes An Event Planner?

Planners are often people who got their start in one particular aspect of special events. Business owner Martin V.K. had a successful catering company before he decided to plan entire events. Many other planners have similar stories. This explains why planners often not only coordinate entire events but may, in addition, provide one or more services for those events.

Event planners may also have started out planning events for other companies before deciding to go into business for themselves. Joyce B.W. planned in-house events for a retail chain for 11 years and then worked for another event planning company before striking out on her own.

Becoming Certified

Consider getting a degree or certificate from a local university in event planning or management. A list of colleges and universities offering educational opportunities in this field is available from Meeting Professionals International (MPI). (See the Appendix for contact information.)

Also consider working to become a CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) or CMP (Certified Meeting Planner). These designations are given out by ISES and MPI, respectively. Many corporations, and some members of the general public, look for these designations when hiring planners. Because of the research and study it takes to become a CSEP or CMP, clients know that these planners are professionals.

References

  1. Ramsborg, G.C.; B Miller, D Breiter, BJ Reed & A Rushing (eds), Professional meeting management: Comprehensive strategies for meetings, conventions and events, 2008, 5th ed, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, Dubuque, Iowa. ISBN 0-7575-5212-9
  2. http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/management-standards/iso20121.htm

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