Whether it’s your first music festival or a birthday picnic organised by your friends, events make up some of the happiest moments of our lives.
It’s no wonder this is such an exciting career path. When you work in events, creating these special moments for other people is your daily job!
That’s not to say that life’s just a party when you’re an event manager, of course. Event management requires a lot of hard work and patience, not to mention exceptional skills in areas like logistics and people management. It takes a special kind of person.
If you’re mad about festivals or you love organising your friends’ parties, then maybe you should consider studying Event Management. When you graduate, you’ll be qualified to jump into any of these diverse career options.
1. Creative Director
Every festival, exhibition or event requires some creative direction, but some of them on a grander scale than others. Consider a huge public art event such as Vivid Festival in Sydney, for example. The current Creative Director of Vivid festival, Ignatius Jones, develops an overall guiding vision for how the audience will experience the festival. Will it challenge them to think or make them laugh? Will they be asked to engage directly, or simply invited to watch?
Jones is like the conductor of an orchestra, selecting and coordinating all the various installations, venues, stages and elements of the festival in order to turn his vision into a reality. It’s a big role with big responsibilities, but if you’re a visionary thinker with a passion for hard work then creative direction may well be for you.
2. Sponsorship Manager
Many events, whether it’s a sporting event or a film festival, rely on corporate or individual sponsors for their budget. In fact, sponsorship is so essential that often events cannot even happen without it. That makes the role of Sponsorship Manager incredibly important.
As a Sponsorship Manager, you’re responsible for finding new sponsors, developing strong relationships with them, and ultimately convincing them to support your event. Plus, you have to maintain relationships with the sponsors your organisation already has, and keep up communication across your networks to make sure your event stays relevant. Research and negotiation skills are key to this role.
3. Coordinator or Site Manager
A Fundraising Manager or a Creative Director of an event will usually work off-site in an office, and they may be working all year on the event planning. A coordinator or site manager, on the other hand, is hired to work over the duration of the event and manage the logistics directly. Your walkie-talkie is your best friend.
As the On-Site Coordinator, you’re the indispensable go-to person who coordinates all other personnel and logistical elements. You direct construction or pack down, ensure all teams are where they’re supposed to be, respond to emergencies and make sure everything is running to schedule and within budget. In a large festival, you’ll work in an on-site office, as well as running around the event itself.
To thrive in this role, you’ve got to be really good at keeping your cool under lots of pressure, and great at managing people.
4. Venue Manager
If you could run any venue, what would it be like? Whether your passion is music or theatre, running events in a more permanent space allows you to create a lasting community as well as night after night of memorable experiences. Some venues, like Melbourne’s Esplanade Hotel, take on a legendary status even after they’ve shut down.
As a Venue Manager, you’re responsible for overseeing all aspects of the space such as hiring, security, booking, accounting and ensuring that operations are in line with regulation. You’ll be interacting with talent agents and the performers themselves, as well as staff and customers. If there’s some kind of issue such as equipment failure you’re responsible for fixing it, so you’ve got to be a good problem solver.
5. Wedding and Personal Events Planning or Design
Weddings and personal events are thriving in Australia as a market. When it comes to special occasions, people are happy to pay good money to make sure their event is unique and memorable. If you want to run your own small events company, this is a great field to put your energy into.
So, what’s the difference between planning or design in the field of weddings and personal events? As a planner, you’re working with a client, but the client wants to maintain control of creative decisions. Your role is to figure out the logistics and deliver what they request.
As an event designer, you create your own brand and deliver a specific service. Your clients will expect you to be coming up with a theme, aesthetic and an overall vision to make their event unique, as well as organising the logistics.
6. Community Event Planning
From your annual local street fair to the weekly farmers markets held in your nearby primary school, community events make up a huge part of Australian life. Behind every one of these events, of course, is an Event Manager!
To manage these types of events, you will often be employed by local government, councils or committees, and often on a long-term contractual basis. Or, you may get a job working for a company that has been contracted by government to manage these events. The best place to find out about these roles is the website of your local government.
In this role, you’re responsible for stall and entertainment bookings, health and safety compliance, facilities and all other aspects of finance and administration.
7. Conference Architect
According to conferences event site 10Times, there are 565 conferences being held around Australia within the next two months. That’s almost 10 per day, and it’s only the ones registered on this website! From businesses to the public sector, niche interest groups or popular culture meet-ups; there’s every type of conference you can imagine happening all the time. There are even whole venues devoted just to hosting conferences. It’s a booming industry, with a lot of opportunities for work.
As a conference architect, you work with the conference organisers to ensure that every aspect of the event runs smoothly. From equipment to staffing, catering, scheduling, and space booking, you’re responsible for it all. The service you deliver will ensure that your venue or company has ongoing relationships with your clients. It’s up to you to make sure that everyone has a great experience.
If a career in one of these roles sounds like it might be fun, be sure to check out the Event Management courses on offer at William Blue College in Sydney.