Like to be the life of the party? Become an Event Manager!
Have you ever wanted to play a role in bringing an event together? Putting a name and face to an event certainly draws the crowds. DJ Fresh is a major drawcard, through his musical talent and the brand he has built in House Music. However, a successful event requires so much behind the scenes work – more than just creating a poster with a famous person or brand. For a successful event, it involves completing tons of work before anyone even sets foot on the premises! It is because of this that Boston City Campus & Business College created the unique offering of the Diploma in Event Management.
“The Boston course provides a solid foundation for anyone wanting to be successful in this industry,” says Kerren Leibowitz who works in the industry and studies with Boston.
Event organisers are responsible for the production of events from conception through to completion. Events can include anything from exhibitions; fairs; flea markets, music festivals, sports events; corporate conferences, promotions; product launches and fundraising and social events. Events cater for both the public and the private sector – think of elections and the work involved behind the scenes! “It’s a fast-paced profession, often working to tight deadlines, and potentially being let down by suppliers last minute! Then you scramble through your contact list to find someone to fill in,” says Boston’s Dean – Institutional Advancement, Dr. Linda Meyer. “While the pace is tough, the outcomes are so rewarding, this is what keeps events managers motivated,” she says.
“It’s an exciting industry,” comments Leibowitz. “One of my most memorable times has been the team building event with well-known actor Harry Sideropoulos. It was a big success, and everyone had an amazing time.”
What kind of person should you be?
An event coordinator must be creative and needs to be a good problem solver. “You need to enjoy meeting new people, coming up with creative ideas, be able to multitask and think on your feet,” Leibowitz continues.
It is a hands-on role and often involves teamwork. Event organisers must be able to work under pressure, completing a wide range of activities requiring clear communication, excellent organisational skills and attention to detail. “Organising something like a music event with an artist such as DJ Fresh requires organising the venue, transport, liaising with traffic coordinators, perhaps, seeing to the needs of the DJ’s and ensuring good security,” says Tsholo Mosaka, manager of DJ Fresh. “You will also work with ticket sales, promotions, advertising and social media” she adds.
Meyer explains that the role of event organiser varies depending on the organisation and type of event involved. “There are many varied activities, and these are covered in the Boston Event Management Diploma. Activities include: market research; liaising with clients; producing proposals; budgeting; booking venues; ensuring legal, health and safety obligations are adhered to; caterers, stand designers, contractors and equipment hire; organising facilities for parking, traffic control, security, first aid, hospitality and the media; securing speakers or special guests; preparing delegate packs; – the list is really long”. You will also need to see to tickets, posters, sales brochures, plus social media coverage.
Organising an event means being in attendance to do troubleshooting and ensuring everything runs smoothly. “While events can be exhilarating and glamourous, they are also about putting in a lot of time and effort and energy!” says Leibowitz about working in the field. “It may also involve travelling which could mean working twenty-four hours a day”. Aside from planning and overseeing the actual event, there is also the less fun part that includes managing the dismantling and removal of the event, clearing the venue efficiently, and post-event evaluation (including data entry and analysis and producing reports).
“People pay good money to attend shows,” adds Dr. Meyer. “Everything must be kept on track. Event managers really need to know their stuff. It is essential to invest in good training and spend some time gaining practical experience before embarking on a fulltime career.”
Boston City Campus & Business College offers the Diploma in Event Management (qualification code: HDIPEM) on NQF Level 6.