Whether you’re planning a conference, workshop, or another type of community gathering, a sound event management strategy can help your entire team stay on track.
Event management is a wholesome practice. It involves logistics, close monitoring, and the ability to make decisions in a pinch. But, if implemented correctly, you’ll end up with a turbo-charged team that’s set on bringing your vision to life.
In this article, we’ll go over the definition of event management and discuss its four many stages. We’ll also share the five crucial skills that an event manager needs to have and the nuances of managing different types of gatherings.
Finally, we’ll provide some quick tips on how to manage an event successfully.
Before going any further, let’s take a moment to define event management.
Event management is the process of putting together and running an event. The management process starts before the event planning stage and continues until all post-event steps are finished.
Managing a successful event requires a team, which is led by the event manager.
What does an event manager do? This person is in charge of making decisions, delegating tasks, and organizing the entire event. In short, this person needs to ensure that the management team has the right tools and everything is running smoothly.
Additionally, managers execute all strategies, arrange meetings, craft team materials, build a network of providers, and analyze the sustainability of each event in case of future opportunities.
Event management and event planning are two terms that can get confused with each other. While both are related to the process of hosting an event, there are some key differences between them.
Let's take a look at the differences between event management and event planning so that you can better understand what each entails.
Event planning is the process of developing the complete vision and creative identity of a gathering.
As part of the event planning tasks, you have to define the core elements of your meeting, choose a central theme, and figure out how you will attract your ideal customer or attendee.
While planning requires a more creative approach, event management is more about logistics.
Simply put, event management can be described as the steps taken to execute the creative vision.
All meetings require an events management strategy. From corporate conferences to festivals and event business trips, having a detailed plan can help managers keep team members on track until the very end.
As an event manager, you coordinate the many moving parts of a meeting—from coordinating schedules with stakeholders and vendors to ensuring that all necessary materials have been prepared on time.
Here’s a head-to-head comparison of the event managing and planning processes.
It doesn’t matter if you’re organizing a local or international event for a small business or a corporate brand. A thorough event management strategy will help you meet your deadlines and deliver the best experience to attendees.
Leading large-scale meetings and other special events can be overwhelming. Having a positive attitude can help you stay grounded and push forward. But don’t think your event will suddenly take shape without a well-thought-out plan.
The right approach to event management can:
As an event manager, you have to focus on a huge number of tasks. These can be broken down into four key stages.
The first stage of the event management stage often overlaps with the planning process, given that both need to be completed well ahead of the event.
At this stage, you should focus on outlining your strategy for the event and making sure that you have all the relevant information at hand.
This includes defining the event itself, like its purpose and goals, as well as planning for budgeting and logistics. Other steps include choosing an appropriate theme and set of technology tools.
Finally, you will have to determine your target audience and how to reach them. This will help you plan the marketing strategy for your event, which we will discuss in more detail later on.
These vary depending on your type of event, so take the time to analyze your requirements and build an event management blueprint customized to your needs.
Now that you have a solid foundation for your event, it’s time to start promoting it. Depending on your goals and budget, there are several ways to get the word out.
For example, online channels are a great way to promote conferences and other types of events. You can use social media and email marketing to connect with your audience and get them excited about your event. If you’re planning a conference, then it might make sense for you to create a website. This will give attendees a place to learn more about the speakers, agenda topics, and other important information about the event.
At the same time, you can also consider traditional advertising like posters and flyers if you determine they’re a good way to reach potential attendees.
In sum, to develop a successful marketing campaign, take the time to perform an audience analysis and identify where your target attendees spend most of their time. This will help inform your choice of marketing channels.
Logistics management and administration is the main task that the event manager has to focus on. It’s also the most important stage in the event management process as it ensures the success of the entire meeting.
Some of the tasks that the event manager has to perform during this stage include:
Note that the tasks above may vary based on your meeting. This is especially true for managers that are tasked with special events management, like international corporation anniversary parties.
No event management plan is complete without post-event communication and reporting. In simple terms, this is the act of collecting data once the event has concluded and passing your findings to the right people.
This is the stage where the event manager will communicate with all stakeholders and report on the success of the event. It’s also important to gather feedback from attendees so that you can improve your next event.
This is an essential step in the event management process because it helps you to identify areas where you need to improve. The post-event communication and reporting stage can also help you make more informed decisions about future events.
The format of your conference or event will impact all aspects of your management plan, from the venues you look at to the analytics you gather.
Events can come in three main formats. Let’s take a quick look at some of the differences in the tasks required to manage each one.
Event managers are responsible for everything that happens at an event. They need to have a wide range of skills, from planning and budgeting to marketing and technical expertise. Here are some of the key skills they must have:
Now that we've covered the basics of event management let's talk about some tips for making sure you have a successful one.
We asked our community members to share their best tips and advice when it comes to event management practices—and these are what they had to say!
"Sometimes things cannot go as planned. Still, as a host, you must always be confident, ready to turn every unexpected challenge into an opportunity, and make guests' experiences even better! So whatever happens, keep calm and positive, and people will never feel that something went wrong." - Yurii Lazaruk
“Here are some of my tips for successful event management:
1. Get your swag bag done in time so there are no last-minute disappointments. Make sure the swag is in line with the theme of the event.
2. Reach out to guest speakers that are industry related in a timely fashion.
3. Curate a feedback form asking attendees what they liked about the event and what they hope to look forward to at the next one.
4. Assign people to different responsibilities/segments so that one person is not overwhelmed with five people's jobs. This makes for the overall success of the event.
5. Test drive roles and people in their various responsibilities before D-day, as it will reduce mistakes and unforeseen circumstances.” - Awele Okwudarue
"Follow the doctrine of cheerful and flexible: As said, things happen, and people are looking to you for solutions. So if you can't be cheerful, be flexible, and if you can't be flexible, be cheerful. But whenever possible, be both." - Aaron White
“From my experience, here are a few action items that I recommend every event manager keep on their checklists:
1. Project Plan (Share it with all the stakeholders i.e. tech, marketing, design, sales, speakers, and so on)
2. Book all the vendors (Photography, Venue, Food, Goodies, standees, props, and banners)
3. Cross-check the quality during the booking
4. Take timely follow-ups
5. Get things sorted (any bond or signed agreement over mail prior to the date of the event)
6. Have the distribution plan ready/How the people will discover the event (Traditional & Digital Advertising)
7. Plan the agenda and share it with all involved stakeholders, including speaker sessions, engagement activities, sponsor activities, etc.
8. Reminders over Emails, Calendar invites, SMS, Follow Ups, and Whatsapp automation
9. Support Queries to be answered timely
10. Dry run ppt and script once with the respective speaker
11. Check and make all the arrangements for the venue space, a day prior to the event
12. Block speaker and team calendar” - Jatin Premjani
"This is my advice, have a trusted and reliable event manager that you would work with to execute plans for the event. While you are busy with other plans during the event, you can be sure they will be working behind the scenes to ensure things work well because you can't be everywhere, but you need to be the first to know when something's not going according to plan." - Margareth Egbuchulam
Event management is a necessary practice for all types of gatherings because it can help ensure a smooth experience for organizers, guests, and attendees. The event manager is in charge of building a team and delegating the tasks necessary for a successful gathering.