Big events don't just happen. Behind every successful promotional or corporate event stands an exhausted but happy event organiser. If you're looking for a career change and you've got good organisational skills and multi-tasking abilities, you might want to take a closer look at this job.
An event organiser is responsible for putting together all the behind-the-scenes details connected with a large event, corporate meeting or exhibition. Work responsibilities will include initial meetings with the client to gather ideas and to determine budget and timings. Following that, as an event organiser you will usually investigate different venues and locate suppliers.
The event organiser is also responsible for negotiating with various contractors, such as those who supply catering or security services. It will also be your job to coordinate the marketing of the event. Finally, when the big day arrives, you will do whatever is required to make sure that everything runs smoothly and within relevant regulations.
Qualifications and Skills
The good news for those seeking a career change to this type of job is that the role requires no particular qualifications. It would be extremely beneficial and a good opportunity to highlight your relevant experience and Transferable Skills. Several organisers already at work in the industry have pointed out that a degree is less important than personality. But bear in mind that you will have an edge over other candidates if you have college-level training in events management, marketing or public relations.
Prospective employers may look for practical experience in areas like hotel conferencing, travel or public relations. If you haven't had the opportunity to do this sort of work for pay, you could build contacts through volunteering or organising events in your personal or social life. Also, learning a second European language would be a definite plus point. Apprenticeships are available in some areas.
To be a successful event organiser, you will need excellent communication and people skills, and have a knack for solving problems creatively. If working under pressure and meeting tight deadlines are a problem for you, you may want to reconsider. You will probably be working a lot on your own, but at times you may be part of a larger team. You should possess good attention to detail and be able to work within a budget.
Possible employers include event management companies, conference and exhibition venues, hotels, leisure facilities or charities. Large companies, universities and local governments also need event organisers. Once you gain some experience and a good track record, you could also work as a Freelance Organiser. Although most of your work will be done in an office, you'll undertake some travelling as you may often need to visit different venues, suppliers and clients. Most of the time you'll be working normal hours, but as the deadlines for your events approach, you may be working round-the-clock. And remember, it's possible you'll be planning multiple events at one time, each with their own deadlines and schedules.
If you're interested in a career change to the world of events organising, spend some time Talking To People already in the profession. Perhaps you can arrange to shadow them as they work for a few days, which would allow for a much better feel for what the job is really like. This in turn would prove beneficial and noteworthy, as you'll also be a much more knowledgeable job candidate if you choose to move ahead into this area.
Being an event organiser is certainly not easy nor is it stress-free. But when an event comes together successfully, knowing that you're the one who made it happen gives you an unparalleled sense of accomplishment.
Other Career Options
Another career that requires similar skills to those of an event organiser is a wedding planner. Find out more in our feature How To Become A Wedding Planner on this site.
Hi I am a staff nurse at present but looking to change my career, I love organising parties as I am known as party queen in my family.
Wot do I do where do I go from here.
Shazza - 20-Feb-16 @ 10:27 AM
I am a events management graduate , I graduated in 2013 with a 2:1 since then I have been working with a corporate and entertainment company doing voluntary events assistant work. After that I decided to come up with my own events management company , where I planned and organised events for up and coming businesses and artist. I no longer have this company . Since I left university I have been trying non stop to get a job in the events industry, organizing, planning or assisting, and still no luck. The main reason I do not get the job is due to experience I have been told someone is more experienced than me. I was told this before hence the reason I started my own events company , to show my knowledge and experience, but still has not worked so far. I am currently started to do freelance work and build my own company. I am still looking for a job , Could you advise or give any suggestions how I can get my foot in the door ?
Rach - 16-Feb-16 @ 5:20 PM
I am looking for a career change in event management.I sadly did not do well at school and only got grade D's. As for experience I have been involved in putting events together mainly the entertainment and cars for weddings and corporate events.
I am 35 and I really need to land a position, start earning and move up in the company.
Most of the college courses sadly need grades A-C which I don't have.
Ant - 12-Nov-15 @ 8:30 PM
eventsgoddess - Your Question:
I have organised several events on the past, mostly parties, or charity events. It is something I have always loved. After planning my own wedding it confirmed how much I actually wanted to do it. I have to qualifications in that area, but do have the personality and a good eye of detail. Where do I start? Who do I contact? I'm on a lost road at the moment. Any advice would be amazing! Thank you
There are qualifcations you can get (search for courses in events/hospitality etc), and these might help you with finding contacts to help you set up your own business or to join an existing events company.
ACareerChange - 1-Sep-15 @ 10:36 AM
I have organised several events on the past, mostly parties, or charity events. It is something I have always loved. After planning my own wedding it confirmed how much I actually wanted to do it. I have no qualifications in that area, but do have the personality and a good eye of detail. Where do I start? Who do I contact? I'm on a lost road at the moment. Any advice would be amazing! Thank you
eventsgoddess - 31-Aug-15 @ 2:01 PM
@katielou. Helping out at local events would be a great start. Lots of places need help with marshalling etc. Ask about part time courses in event management & hospitality at your local colleges. With all this experience and a qualification under you belt, you can then start to look at jobs in events sector.
ACareerChange - 30-Mar-15 @ 11:42 AM
Can you. Help? I have just organised a local charity night and it was a huge success! I enjoyed it so much that I am thinking of making a career out of it! Where do I start and how do I get noticed?
katielou - 25-Mar-15 @ 7:07 PM
@jeanie beanie. The course you suggest would be useful but there are also courses in hospitality with events management at many colleges/universities. Good luck...we don't think 52 is too old if that's what you really want to do.
ACareerChange - 16-Feb-15 @ 12:37 PM
am looking for a career change a bit late in life!! at 52 but I would like to become an events organiser Im quite an organised person and have great people skills and could use my personality however,I realise that I may need some sort of qualification. i am looking to do a Food and Safety Level 2 course. Can you suggest any other course to point me in the direction of events organising hospitality ect thanks