These organisers plan and run events such as trade shows. They also run exhibitions and conferences. If you love planning and organising this job could be perfect for you.
To do this job you will need to be able to multi-task. You will need good communication and people skills. You’ll also need to be able to build good working relationships with all kinds of people.
You could move into conference and exhibition organising from a range of jobs. Employers will look for relevant experience or strong skills such as organising, budget management and sales.
In marketing, your work might include:
• researching the level of interest in an event
• publicising events
• finding suitable venues and dates
• overseeing the design and printing of tickets, posters and promotional items.
Operations work involves making sure that everything runs smoothly on the day, and can include:
• planning timetables
• booking venues
• supervising and paying contractors and suppliers, such as exhibition designers and caterers
• working closely with venue staff during events
• handling enquiries from exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and visitors
Jobs may be advertised in the local, national and events industry press, and by specialist recruitment agencies.
With experience and a good track record, you could progress to management level at a company, or you could choose to work freelance, or set up your own business.
You may find the following useful for vacancies and general reading:
• Event Magazine
• Event Industry News
• AEO Recruitment Centre
Employers will normally look for relevant experience and strong transferable skills such as organising, budget management and sales. Experience gained in hotel conference and banqueting, travel, sales, marketing, PR or fundraising can be especially useful. Taking a qualification in events management or hospitality management may help you, although this is not essential if you can get relevant work experience.
Courses at foundation degree, HND or degree level often include work placements, which will help you gain practical experience and develop contacts.
Shorter, part-time courses in event planning may be available at local colleges. These could be helpful for building knowledge and skills if you are new to the industry.
• Level 2 Award in Principles of Supporting Business Events
• Level 2 Award/Certificate in Event Planning
• Level 2 Certificate in Live Events and Promotion.
You could also start as an administrator or marketing assistant with a conference management company, possibly through temporary work (temping). As your experience grows, you may be able to take on more responsibility on the organisational side.
Doing paid or unpaid work as a steward at large events or exhibitions can also be a good way of building contacts in the industry
You would do most of your training on the job. Some employers may give you the opportunity to do short in-house training courses to develop your skills.
You could also study part-time for qualifications in event planning and management whilst you are working in the industry. Qualifications include:
• Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Event Management
• Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma in Event Management
• Level 3 Diploma in Live Events and Promotion
• Level 4 Award in Conferences and Events Operations
Starting salaries can be around 17,000 to 21,000 a year. With experience, earnings can reach 25,000 to 40,000 a year.
Salaries often include bonuses and commission, particularly in exhibition sales jobs.