Building A Career In The Event Industry (Part 1)

“I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger”
– The Faces

This post is, the first in a series about building a career in the event industry – it’s aimed at event management students and others planning to work in events. I’ve tried to think about, and include the things that I know now, which I think would have helped me when trying to get into the industry.

Part 1:Types of Jobs and Organisations in the Event Industry
Part 2: Aspects of Working in Events
Part 3: Ways into the Event Industry

Part 1: Types of Jobs and Organisations in the Event Industry

The event industry is really not as black and white as event organiser, or not. When I started working in events I was surprised by the wide variety of job roles in the industry. For example the company I work for is an event company and it makes money by organising events for people and companies. However, only half of the people in the company actually organise the events, the rest don’t, their expertise range from marketing and product development to finance and IT, but they all still work in the event industry.

I assumed that when I left University I would be an events manager, organising and managing events for a living. I had no idea that job roles, such as product development managers existed in the event industry, so I would suggest looking for a variety of roles in the industry that interest you, and find out what they involve.

To help with this, I selected a range of event-related videos from the career website icould, where you get a glimpse in the lives of people who work for different organisations, doing different jobs in the event industry. They talk about their job, how they got into the industry and what they like about working in events.

Marketing and Event Manager

Rachael Bee
Monthly event – ILUVLIVE

Seeing 5000 participants enjoying themselves makes Rachael happy…

Exhibition Coordinator

Jennifer Wong
Venue: Science Museum

From a family of doctors and studying Science at Cambridge to an Exhibition Coordinator at the Science Museum…

Event Administrator

Gail Davies
Venue: Sage Gateshead

Organises the non-classical gigs and events at the Sage Gateshead, where no two days are ever the same…

Steward and Customer Service Assistant Manager

Kevin Johnson
Company: Eden Project

He used to be really shy, but dealing with the public has changed that…

Conference and Banqueting Manager

Jozsef Pejak
Venue: Coppid Beech Hotel

Jozsef only came to the UK for six months, but after two years can see he has a future here…

Outdoor Instructor

Tamsin Gay
Activity Supplier: Plas y Brenin

Has days when she can’t believe that she gets paid for what she does…

Funeral Director

Brian Litster
Company: The Co-operative Funeral Care

Helps families during the most upsetting and troubling times of their lives…

Circus Performer

James Roberts
Nofitstate Circus

James gets a buzz out of being paid to jump from arena roofs at 19 metres high…

General Manager

Ian Sime
Company: Leeds Grand Theatre

The greatest part of the day is standing at the front looking at a full house of people…


Nathan Curran
Band: Basement Jaxx

80,000 people watching Basement Jaxx headlining Glastonbury Festival…

Arts and Cultural Development Officer

John-Paul Russell
Company: Belfast Youth Initiatives

A major turning point was when John-Paul realised that he didn’t have any qualifications and didn’t know what he was going to do…

Stage Technician

Joseph Davis
Venue: Leeds Grand Theatre

Gets up and actually wants to go to work…

Venue Manager

Tina Lynch
Venue: The Pierian Centre

Does a bit of everything at The Pierian Centre…

To help people work out what type of organisation to work for I’ve split the industry up by buyers and suppliers:

Although it’s not as simple as buying or selling, I think this is a good starting point before job hunting, to work out what type of organisation particularly interests you. So this model shows the primary objectives of organisations operating in the industry.

I’ve also included other organisations that don’t fit into the model but still play an important role in the event industry, such as industry associations and publications.

Click here for Part 2: Aspects of Working in Events



Michael Chidzey is the chief juicer of eventjuice and heads the digital marketing team at Chillisauce, an event company based in London, UK. He also blogs on several websites and is a visiting lecturer in events management at London Metropolitan University.Follow Michael on Twitter @michaelchidzey

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