Do You Need a Degree to be an Event Manager?

Do You Need a Degree to be an Event Manager?

An event manager is an individual in charge of organizing, coordinating, executing, and managing event projects such as office parties, festivals, musical concerts, conferences, conventions, and other large-scale gatherings. Their role involves meeting with clients to determine the purpose of the event and then set objective and meet with other event specialists to develop an agenda.

They may also develop advertising plans and promote the event. An event manager spends hours making sure details and concepts fall in line. If you’d like to be an event manager, you should be very organized, creative, an idea machine, good with numbers, and cool under pressure. Formal education in hospitality management or business administration is also a great idea, which could give you the edge in a competitive market.

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How are Event Managers Different from Event Planners?

Event management and event planning are very closely related and often used interchangeably even though they are two very different functions. While the skill sets sometimes overlap, managing and planning are not the same and the key difference lies in the two phrases. In simple terms, event planners plan the event and event managers manage the event.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these functions.

Event Planning

Event planning involves planning all types of events from wedding to baby showers to big corporate gatherings. Event planning starts from the early stages of concept and continues all the way to the actual event. In most cases, event planners wrap up details and return follow-up items a few weeks after the event. An event planner works with clients to develop an event that reflects the main objective and the client’s vision.

Typical job duties of an event planner include:

  • creating a budget
  • choosing a theme for the event
  • choosing the color scheme
  • booking a venue
  • planning the menu
  • hiring outside vendors
  • hiring a caterer
  • negotiating hotels contracts
  • finding transportation
  • developing invitations
  • booking guest speakers or entertainment

Event planning typically falls under the larger umbrella of event management.

Event Manager

While the event planner executes the day-to-day operations of the event, the event manager (normally at a slightly higher level) is in charge of overseeing programs. It could be someone who manages marketing teams or multiple planning teams across an organization. Every event is made up of numerous parts that fit together to create one piece.

An event manager’s role is to ensure that the pieces come together at the right place and the right time, smoothly and efficiently. Event management involves creating, managing, and coordinating all different elements of an event, including the tactical teams responsible for each component.

Typical job duties of an event manager include:

  • event program goal-setting
  • event program strategy and processes
  • designing emergency and contingency plans
  • reserving a location for an event
  • monitoring the event
  • developing a parking plan
  • managing staff responsible for each function
  • overseeing execution of an event
  • resolving situations on site
  • ensuring compliance with health and safety standards

What Education is Required to Become an Event Manager?

Event managers often have a bachelor’s degree in an applicable field such as hospitality management, marketing, or business administration. Benefits of formal education in event management include:

Lots of job opportunities

The event industry is booming with a need for talented, energetic, passionate and quick to learn people needed to run the events. The growing interest in throwing high-end parties and working with events managers means that there’s enough work to go around for trained professionals.

Acquire a Great Skillset

An event manager must be efficient, eloquent, and have the ability to manage a team. An event management student is able to pick up all kinds of useful skills that increase their employability in the events industry and in others. The value of networking opportunities offered by formal education can’t be underestimated.

Improves Communication

Event managers need to be able to chair meetings, negotiate deals with clients, and write emails, letters, and brochures. Formal training also helps you develop listening and proper body language skills.

Prepares an Individual for the Modern Office

An event management course helps students learn how to use the most up-to-date ICT packages needed for effective management of events. With this, you will learn how to successfully plan campaigns and promote the event on websites and social media.

Offers Flexibility

Having a bachelor’s degree on your resume will show your passion and commitment to potential employers. Formal education can provide you with the flexibility of switching roles in business management, hospitality management, and event management, allowing you to find a role that suits you across different industries.

Do You Need a Degree to be an Event Manager?


Are you interested in event management? If you want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Hospitality Management, consider ECPI University. With accelerated classes and a year-round schedule, you could earn your degree sooner and start looking for work faster. For more information about this exciting opportunity, connect with a friendly ECPI University admissions advisor today.

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