- Dr. Pradeep Nair
Event management, the most profound form of advertising and marketing, is a glamorous and thrilling profession. It provides an opportunity for unleashing one’s creative potential to a very high degree. It demands a lot of hard work and effort but at the same time offers enormous scope.
Event management is a process of organizing a professional and focused event, for a particular target audience. It involves visualizing concepts, planning, budgeting, organizing and executing events such as fashion shows, musical concerts, corporate seminars, exhibitions, wedding celebrations, theme parties, product launching etc. It is a good career option which does not require much investment and offers a lot of independence and flexibility. If you have a passion for conducting events, having good organizing ability and be flexible to work for long hours, you can make a successful career in this field.
Today, there are a number of companies hosting and organizing events on a regular basis. These range from the small time private events to the large-scale international events. A good number of young people are entering in this field because they realize the potential of the market and the demand and supply situation. In fact, the most profitable aspect of this field is the need for creativity. And that is how and where one earns.
The management of events calls, largely for coordination, from stage one. The first thing required is to get the orders for the event. This process is also known as pitching for an event. Usually, whether it is for small time events (birthday parties and weddings), or then for the larger ones assigned by companies (exhibitions and trade fairs), or the international concerts; the event manager/company is asked to submit a project report, with the finances involved. On the basis of this, the assignment is given to them.
The Skills Required
The field of event management not only requires a great amount of creative skills but also involves lots of discipline and meticulous planning. Planning an event is an event in itself. The job of organizing an event begins with the very basics. The client comes to the event manager with a vague idea in mind. It is entirely upto the event manager to work on the idea and turn it into a reality. Events could be anything from concerts, product launches, conferences, promotions, press conferences, jubilee celebrations and farewells to television based events, fashion shows, wedding or parties… it could be just anything.
In terms of educational qualifications, a formal education in the form of a diploma or degree in event management or in advertising or public relations with a specialization in event management should be ideal though not much stress is laid on education. But there are a host of other qualities, which are essential for a person to be well-equipped in this field. These include:
- Analytical/Critical thinking and problem solving - Analytical thinking, critical thinking and problem solving are abilities that are a must in this field. You should be able to acknowledge a problem, recognize that it has to be solved then and there, and always think on how the situation could be avoided in future.
- Client/Customer service orientation - Client/customer service orientation is the ability to be client focused and committed to meeting the needs of your customer. An event manager has to be client focused, he must attempt to know the client’s needs, he must be able to put them at ease while interacting with them, build trust and respect with customers and clients.
- Good negotiation skills - It is a general opinion that negotiating means underestimating the seller. On the contrary it is a skill in business which, when developed, makes you an astute minded businessman.
- Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines - An event manager should be able to handle pressures and deadlines at ease. In spite of meticulous planning and arrangement, a small error or miscalculation can wreak havoc and disrupt the entire schedule. At such testing times, you should be able to remain calm and cool and perform your role as though everything is under control, so that others are not adversely affected.
- Teamwork, facilitation and co-operation - Needless to say, one of the most important things in event management is the ability to work as a team. You should not only know how to lead a team but also work with everyone and get the job done. You should be able to build efficient teams of people and facilitate their effectiveness. Always remember, “There is no ‘I’ in Team”.
- Planning, co-ordination and organisation - This involves the ability to effectively coordinate and organize oneself, others, information and/or situations at a personal and/or organizational level.
- Good networking skills - An event manager needs to build up his own network. The more number of contacts he has the more successful he will be. Any kind of business can be only expanded through contacts and you must therefore have the skill and aptitude to go out and talk to people.
Nature of the Job
An event manager has to first design the basic framework of the event. After which he/she prepares the marketing plans, hunts for sponsors, works on the logistics, locates the site/destination, contacts vendors, hires performers, prints/mails invitation cards, creates menus, looks after the stage/lights, books the artistes, arranges for transport for different people, and on the event day, co-ordinates, plans and finalizes every aspect of the event. Event managers usually start working months before the event. Sometimes, in order to make the work easier, large event management companies hire the services of smaller companies on a contract basis.
Event Management is an excellent field to make money. In fact once you start getting the feel of the field, it will never be a problem. Even freelancers today earn anywhere between Rs.20, 000 and above today. It is a very lucrative profession. Money again depends on the kind of events you handle. If you prefer to deal with weddings and parties it may easily come around Rs. 30, 000 to 40,000 or even more. Event coordinators with a good deal of experience could earn much higher.
Where to Study and the Eligibility
Many of the University Departments offering a PostGraduate degree in Public Relations and Advertising or Mass Communication generally have event management as one of their main subjects. Some Universities, Colleges and Media Institutions also offer specialization in Event Management.
Now a days some management and media institutions are also offering MBA programs in Event Management. Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism, Bhopal, Annamalai University, Madurai Kamraj University, Tamil Nadu, Punjabi University, Patiala, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar are some institutes which offer a Master Program in Public Relations and Advertising with a specialization in Event Management.
The eligibility to take admission in master level courses is a Bachelor’s in any stream having some understanding of media issues. The selection is generally based on a written test followed by a personal interview.
How to get Started
The best way to get into the profession of event management is to enter into this field as a trainee with a degree or diploma in this field. While doing your training with an event management company you will get an opportunity to learn how events are organized. Once you learn how to coordinate and promote, you should make your career really big in this field. A good understanding of various stages of planning in event management will definitely promise you a high position.
(Dr. Pradeep Nair is presently working as a Research Scientist with AJK – Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC), Jamia Millia Islamia (A Central University), Jamia Nagar, New Delhi – 110025 — e-mail Id: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)