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Event orchestration | 16 March 2022

What is Event Management? The Ultimate Guide

Bizzabo Blog Staff

Event management is a massive undertaking that requires the expertise of an event manager with exceptional attention to detail, precise orchestration, and the right mindset.

What is event management?

In short, event management encompasses everything that goes into putting on an event — no matter the event type, size, or whether it’s in person, hybrid, or virtual. Event management encompasses choosing your target audience, developing the event concept, and managing finances, vendor relationships, and speaker panels — plus all the little things that pop up in the process.

According to Zippia, there are more than 52,000 event managers in the USA comprising 59.2% women and 35.9% men. The majority of event managers are located in New York City and Chicago, IL, according to Zippia’s data.

What does an event manager do?

Event managers are essentially project managers for events. They manage event staff and teams (e.g., A/V, IT, catering), take care of logistical concerns (e.g., booking a venue, managing vendors during the event), and handle the mechanics of executing an event.

It’s important to note that the event manager role is different from the event planner role. An event planner is responsible for choosing a theme, picking out the hotel, sourcing catering, lining up speakers, and other creative endeavors. That said, event planners and managers work closely throughout the lifecycle of an event.

Event managers need to stay on the lookout for any mishaps during the event and work diligently to resolve them as quickly as possible. For example, if a livestream cuts out during a hybrid event, an event manager needs to be ready to drop everything and coordinate with IT until the stream comes back online.

Additionally, Zippia reviewed resumes and found that some of the most common skills listed on event manager resumes are interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, and organizational skills.

What are the 5 ‘Cs’ of event management?

Event managers need to ensure the event goes off as smoothly as possible, which is where the 5 Cs of event management come into play.

1. Concept

The first step is to develop an event concept. Think of this as the “why” to your event. Are you hoping to bring people together to launch a new product? Do you want to boost employee morale? Once you figure out the “why,” everything else will start to fall into place.

2. Coordination

After the concept is locked in, it’s time to enter the coordination phase. At this point, you need to figure out the budget, where and when the event will take place, how you’ll decorate the venue, what tech you’ll use, and who the speakers, staff, vendors, and caterers will be. Also, you need to decide whether the event format will be virtual, hybrid, or in-person and whether it will be a webinar, conference, or some other type of event?

3. Control

At this step, event managers make sure all vendors, staff, and speakers are confirmed, all technology is ready to go, and the venue can accommodate all attendees. During this phase, event managers might have to review or create contingency plans should something happen. This step also includes conflict resolution and relationship management with partners and vendors.

4. Culmination

After months of hard work, the big day is finally here — the event is underway! Congratulations. For event managers, the work is just getting started. At this stage, event managers need to ensure their teams have everything needed to support the event. They also have to monitor the event as it progresses to make sure everything is running smoothly. Because things rarely go entirely according to plan, this is where it pays for event managers to be able to roll with the punches and rapidly adapt to change.

5. Closeout

The event itself might be over — but you’re not done yet. It’s time to close out the event by ensuring bills are paid, and contracts have been fulfilled. At this stage, you’ll also want to collect feedback from attendees to see what went well and what you can approve on next time. While you’re at it, reach out to speakers and vendors and measure their experiences. You’ll also want to get and give feedback to your team at this point, too.

Bonus: Event Management Considerations for Hybrid and Virtual Events

Today, all events require technology, but event managers need to consider the additional technology required to manage and execute hybrid and virtual events. For example, choose an event management partner that offers studio-quality video production solutions, including livestreaming, content management, and video editing. Your event tech should also offer audience engagement solutions, such as networking, audience reactions, and more.

What tools do you need to manage events?

Savvy event managers invest in powerful solutions tailormade to make event management a breeze, increasing the likelihood that each event succeeds. Managing events becomes much easier when you have every tool you need conveniently in one place.

As you begin searching for an event management software solution, here are some must-have features to look for:

  • Event registration features that enable you to personalize the event experience for each attendee, run analytics to increase registrations, set different pricing tiers, and let attendees register for the whole event and individual sessions
  • Event promotion features that help you build an event website, streamline email marketing, and offer promo codes
  • Attendee engagement features that ensure all attendees stay connected during your event with an app, community, real-time polling, automated messaging, real-time announcements, event surveys, and more
  • Event operations features, including on-site check-in, event analytics, digital schedules, and an open API that enables you to connect your event software with other tools you need

What should you look for in an event management partner?

Finding a solution that has all the management features you need is essential, but most importantly, prioritize choosing an event partner — not just another vendor. When you find an event management software partner, you can manage your event with the peace of mind that comes with knowing someone is there to help you bring your event to life, your way.


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