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Event managers are charged with the successful execution of various gatherings, from weddings, birthday parties and religious celebrations, to conferences, galas and large-scale presentations. To keep from being overwhelmed with details, event managers must be master organizers, be proactive and should have the foresight to anticipate and solve problems quickly. It also might be helpful to keep a personal log of what works and what doesn’t, to learn from your trials and capitalize on your triumphs.
Tasks and Responsibilities
Event managers are responsible for every aspect of producing events, from the preplanning stages to post-analysis. This means generating ideas for events, finding and securing the venue, planning and coordinating the catering, entertainment and ambiance, as well as arranging transportation, lodging and other guest hospitalities. Event managers also are responsible for handling the budget, troubleshooting any problems that arise, hiring and supervising support staff, keeping the client apprised of event progress, and the marketing and promotion of events. Once the events are over, managers are often required to generate reports and an analysis to help the client judge whether the event was successful.
Skills and Education
Event managers typically are required to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant or useful field, such as hospitality, tourism management, business, marketing or public relations. They should have considerable experience; in some cases, experience might be an acceptable substitute for education. In addition, event managers must be self-motivated, disciplined and able to work with minimal supervision. They also should be organized, work well with others, have excellent verbal and written communication skills, remain calm under pressure, be good at solving problems and multitasking. Event managers also should be computer savvy and familiar with social media.
The potential for career advancement as an event manager depends on your employer. In some instances, advancement might mean an increase in responsibility, an increase in the prestige and budget of your client, or an increase in the scale of the event. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, advancement also might mean going into business for yourself as a consultant.
Salary and Outlook
According to the BLS, as of 2012, event managers earned an average annual salary of $45,810. Although positions in this field are available in every state in the country, the states that pay the highest wages are all on the East Coast -- District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The number of people in this profession is expected to grow 33 percent percent by 2022, from more than 94,000 to more than 125,000 workers. Event manager positions are offered within several industries, including sports promotion, performing arts, political organizations, not-for-profit organizations and museums and other tourist attractions.
Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.