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Events management

Hospitality, sport, leisure and tourism careers for graduates: event management.

Successful events are all about great planning. Whether you are organising a conference for 1,000 delegates or a marquee wedding for a 100 guests, you will be under pressure to get things right.

What does the job involve?

Duties can be varied. In setting up a conference you might need to book a venue, liaise with delegates and arrange accommodation and catering while also coordinating the conference schedule and controlling budgets. Organising a wedding reception could mean setting up the room decor, organising entertainment, hiring caterers, sending out invitations and so on.

Qualifications and skills

The events industry is high energy and fast paced so you will need a lot of stamina, and the ability to make key decisions in pressurised situations.

Practical skills you will need include:

  • A good knowledge of technology
  • Strong commercial awareness
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Delegation skills.

Creativity is important as clients will also be looking to you for innovative ways of staging events.

Being able to network is also a vital skill in the events industry both in developing new business and in helping you locate new job opportunities.

While many events professionals will emphasise the value of practical experience and a natural flair for the industry, a qualification will also have added greatly to your ability to work in this area. Hence you’ll see a lot of future professionals qualified in events management.

Types of job in events management

Jobs in this industry can be found in many areas:

  • With an events management company or consultancy.
  • In-house work in corporate settings, museums, theatre companies, hospitality organisations, music and conference venues, charity/not-for-profit organisations or sports stadia.
  • With annual events such as the Festival of World Cultures in South Dublin or with one-off events such as the Special Olympics World Games.
  • With a PR company – they typically have strong links to events management.
  • Other new markets such as incentive travel; events management for family events.
  • You could also start up your own business.

When searching for graduate jobs you should watch out for titles such as account executive, event administrator, event co-ordinator, new business development executive, conference coordinator, arts officer, museum manager, wedding planner and obviously event manager.

Salaries in the Irish events management industry

Entry level salaries in the Republic tend to be around the €20,000 upwards but the more experienced graduate can expect to earn closer to the mid-20,000s. Senior events managers can typically earn €30,000-50,000 depending on the size of the company and the industry. Salaries in Northern Ireland tend to be around the low 20,000s sterling.

Getting a foot in the door

It is worth noting that the events industry is one of the first to be hit during an economic downturn as companies either don’t have the money to fund events or don’t want to be seen to spend on this area. So start getting experience with whoever is running events out there, paid or unpaid. Also keep an eye out for companies doing a lot of marketing of products and services as they will often run regular events.