“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.”
– Albert Einstein 1940
The Events Industry has come a long way in the past few decades, primarily because businesses started to understand the need in holding events and building their brand through them.
Governments began to understand the importance of holding major sporting or cultural events for the economy, local job creation and urban regeneration. The event management degree has also expanded rapidly and lead to skilled qualified graduates with the passion for this creative and inspiring industry! (Rhodri and Huw, 2013).
But despite the huge industry we contribute too, there are still many misconceptions about our careers, we don’t just blow up balloons and cater a few sandwiches! I’m not sure many people would understand the process taken to organise the Olympics or how to plan an exhibition show for 25,000 visitors! So below are 4 top reasons why event management is a profession and how to convince the cynics;
1. Billion Pound Industry
Yes, you read right the Event sector is worth over £42 billion to the UK Economy and is responsible for 35% of the visitor economy to the UK through events, (Booker, 2016). Over 1.3 million business events are held in the UK each year and alongside this, London is deemed the number 1 EMEA City in terms of holding meetings and events, (UKTI, 2013).
These numbers are forever growing and the industry is always developing, however many reports post-Brexit analysing the effects leaving the EU will have on the UK hospitality sector, argue that although the industry will grow, event managers and hospitality leaders must recognise the essential role events and conventions will take post-Brexit in regards to the UK economy, (Mason, 2017). This therefore further embeds the need for skilled event professionals who can continue to nurture and capitalise the industry, (Booker, 2016 a).
2. Millennials Desire Experiences
Events are revolutionising their experience economy and it is mainly down to one factor; the rise of the millennials!
Millennials or Gen Y are the new generation “around town”, they are a demographic of individuals who reached adulthood in the 21st century. Their literature defines them as the most diverse and tolerant generation alongside growing up in a world full of electronics and developing online social networks, (Demaria, 2013). However, the increasing speed of technology has made this generation less attentive and more thrill-seeking, two things which the event industry is welcoming as it paves way for more immersive and experiential events, (O’Brien, 2014).
Research shows that 72% of millennials are now more willing to pay higher prices if they are guaranteed a unique experience when attending an event. This is something an event manager cannot ignore especially in a world of virtual reality and contemporary technology there really is no limits and this is what makes the industry even more exciting, (Eventbrite, 2016).
The experience economy is budding, so are the event managers!
3. University Degrees and Professional Industry Associations
A big factor in helping the case for event management being a profession is the 66 universities that now offer a degree in the field allowing a wide scope of academic learning from event operations to event marketing, (whatuni.com, 2017).
Alongside this there are now a wide range of industry associations that persevere to ensure standards and guidelines are set and abided by to create the best industry possible. A few examples include; Event Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK), Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) and the International Festivals and Events Association, (IFEA).
Further education and qualifications are also continuously available throughout an event professionals career such as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).
So yes, the career is exciting, creative and artistic but there also needs to be technical knowledge and theory to compliment the fun side and resolve challenges – perfect balance some might say!
4. Variety of Unique Opportunities
Finally, every day as an event manager will be different! Events are temporary in nature and so this means your routine is temporary, one day you could be in London organising a small meeting, the next day you could be in Lisbon helping deliver an exhibition for 20,000 visitors.
The diverse range of roles is also extremely appealing from logistics to marketing to event producer, you definitely shouldn’t be bored – nearly every imaginable industry holds events so they all need us! You will also experience a variety of different job specifications from different clients, this can be extremely rewarding to see the final delivery, (Barker, 2016).
One major benefit of the event industry is the possibility to travel and discover incredible destinations all over the globe, which can also be great for networking.
Not everything in the event industry is glamorous but different – always different.
To conclude, the event industry is a hugely diverse profession that contributes mass amount of capital into the economy and plays a major role in developing mega-events such as the Olympics and World Cup.
To continue this, event managers need to further nurture and develop the industry in regards to ensuring the career is taken seriously and all association guidelines are abided to make the event industry the best it can be!
*Images courtesy of Graphicstock.com and freeimages.co.uk*