What is Event Management—and Why Does It Matter?

We all have events that remain in our memories for years. Whether it’s a friend’s wedding or an exciting product launch, personal and professional events can be memorable experiences. Regardless of the type of event,...

We all have events that remain in our memories for years. Whether it’s a friend’s wedding or an exciting product launch, personal and professional events can be memorable experiences. Regardless of the type of event, managing it requires careful planning and collaboration. Often, the most effortless-seeming events are the ones that involve the most meticulous planning.

What is event management?

Event management is the process of planning, organizing, and executing events. These can range from professional conferences, trade shows, and corporate events to weddings and parties. Event management requires careful planning, and it benefits from event management software. Event planners and management companies must balance logistics and project management while working with colleagues and external partners.

Event Management Image: Event Management

No event is the same, and the scale of events planned can range from small meetings to international conferences. That said, the skills and components needed for event management are consistent regardless of the specific event or manager.

Eight key aspects of event management

Let’s now consider eight key aspects of event management.

1. Conceptualizing the event

Before planning an event, the event manager needs to know what it’s for, what format it will take, and its goals and objectives, as well as the sort of event description they’ll use to market it. Good event management begins with clear and defined answers to these questions. The event manager may need to come up with the event’s idea or theme. This will help enhance the overall style and presentation of the final event. It will also ensure that it aligns with the organizer’s branding and company objectives.

2. Creating a budget

Budgeting for the event and creating an effective financial plan is essential. A poorly managed event budget can be disastrous and even result in cancellation.

Event Budget Image: Event Budget

Financial planning for event management includes calculating all associated costs, such as catering, speaker fees, estimating ticket sales, and establishing funding sources. You will need to continually track expenses throughout the planning process and during the event itself, as they can quickly spiral.

3. Choosing a venue

The choice of venue can make or break an event’s success. It must be the correct size, have all the equipment and spaces needed, be in a reasonable location, and set the right tone and ambiance. Event planners need to communicate effectively with venue managers throughout the planning process. Ideally, they’ll see the venue beforehand. They must also gather as much information about the venue as possible. Information they should get from the venue includes its capacity, catering facilities, accessibility, on-the-day assistance, and the audio-visual equipment available.

4. Planning the program

Corporate events and conferences typically have a planned program that appeals to attendees and offers them something of value. This might include keynote speakers, workshops, group activities, evening dinner plans, and drinks receptions. The program will need to flow seamlessly. Event managers must create a structured schedule well ahead of the event but also expect and prepare for last-minute changes. Attendees will want to review the schedule as soon as possible so they can decide what parts of the event to attend.

Event Program Image: Event Program

Remember, an in-person or virtual event can be a great way to market a business, product, or service. Make sure the program of events on the day is directly related to your business goals and branding.

5. Marketing and ticketing the event

Once the key components are in place—i.e. your budget, venue, catering, and the program—it’s time to market your event and, if necessary, sell tickets. Let’s start with marketing. Whether this event is an internal corporate event or open to the general public, you’ll need to advertise it effectively. This might include social media marketing, email campaigns, or partnering with an external organization such as a PR company.

Whether you’re selling tickets or simply need to register attendees, create an online registration portal to collect details. This will provide accurate numbers as well as useful RSVP data, such as contact details, catering needs, and accessibility requirements, and an idea of other ways you may need to support attendees on the day.

At times, the target audience for your event may be international, so consider how to boost your marketing efforts and ensure a wider reach. You may want to advertise or sell tickets via a local domain, such as a .io domain, or work with international partners to achieve your goals.

6. Contingency planning

Let’s face it, things can and will go wrong. An essential part of event management, regardless of event size, is contingency planning and risk assessment. This includes planning for and mitigating problems on the day, such as technical issues or speakers running late. There are also numerous health and safety requirements that come with event management. For example, you’ll need to consider if security is needed, what health and safety regulations are in place, and whether or not any specific permits or insurance are required.

7. Running the event

When the day of the event arrives, the job of an event manager is far from over. The day itself will require careful oversight, from setting up before the event starts to having a team in place to assist attendees and ensure the smooth running of your itinerary. Today’s workplace values diversity and inclusivity, and event managers must also consider this when planning their events. They should foster an atmosphere that honors and appreciates various cultures, viewpoints, and life experiences. This applies to both the team behind the scenes and the event attendees.

Running the Event Image: Running the Event

On the day of the event, event managers will play multiple roles. Event managers will take care of speakers and VIPs, run through any health and safety procedures with staff, and coordinate with vendors and providers. To stay connected with everyone throughout the day, event managers should consider using a business VoIP platform. Team members can use their phone to place calls over the internet or make video calls to show managers the stage set-up, for example. On top of this, the event manager can use a virtual number tied to a chosen device that can act as an event hotline for troubleshooting.

8. Feedback

Even if the event goes perfectly, feedback from attendees is essential, as it allows for better future event management. Feedback forms or questionnaires are sent via an email follow-up to your attendees. Collecting feedback digitally makes analyzing it that much easier. Event feedback questionnaires typically ask attendees to rate the day based on various aspects, such as venue, location, catering, and the overall program of events. They’re also an opportunity to gain qualitative feedback and suggestions for improvements.

What’s the difference between in-person, online, and hybrid event management?

Hybrid and online events are becoming increasingly popular. Unlike their in-person counterparts, online events are hosted entirely online, usually using a video conferencing platform. Hybrid events offer a combination of the two, giving attendees the choice to attend in person or join via a video link. Deciding whether you host your event in person, online, or as a hybrid event will depend on the event type and several other factors, including:

  • Your technical capabilities. Do you have the required technology and event management software to run an online or hybrid event? If you’re running a hybrid event, does your chosen venue have the technology to facilitate this?
  • Accessibility. Online and hybrid events allow attendees to come to events they may not typically be able to reach, perhaps because of travel costs or accessibility requirements.
  • Sociability. Hybrid events run the risk of excluding online attendees, and online events may not be as enjoyable or social as in-person ones. So, consider ways you can engage with online visitors, such as running virtual social events, including interactive elements such as quizzes and games, and making use of live chat.
  • Cost. Deciding between an online or in-person event might come down to cost. Virtual events are typically cheaper to host as there’s no need to pay for a venue or catering, but they still have costs such as video conferencing platform subscriptions. Event managers looking for a small business phone service to run an online event through should include these costs in their budget.

Hybrid Event Management Image: Hybrid Event Management

Virtual events offer a fresh set of challenges for event planners. That said, they can also provide an opportunity to enhance engagement, inclusivity, and the overall success of your event without breaking the bank. For example, running an event online gives event managers more control over its theme and branding and can cut down on costs and potential logistical problems. Nonetheless, the lack of face-to-face interaction means event planners must put extra care into ensuring inclusivity and engagement.

Conclusion: The importance of effective event management

Effective event management is critical to ensuring the success of an event. For businesses, this means creating memorable experiences for attendees, effectively communicating business ideals and branding, and satisfying any stakeholders or executives who may be in attendance. Event planning requires a lot of work—it’s not as simple as hosting a party. From risk management to social media marketing, these professionals have to wear a lot of hats. Ultimately, effective event management is key to turning ideas and concepts into successful and exciting experiences that resonate with attendees and deliver positive outcomes for both individuals and businesses.