A little while ago, I got interviewed by a student in event marketing. One of his questions was : "Could you give me 5 tips that I can apply today to become a great event manager later?"
This question triggered me, and I wanted to share my answer to him with you. By the way, if you do not have the time to read this, you can also just listen to the podcast version of this article by clicking here.
So here are my five tips to students who want to become an event manager.
1. First of all, get a solid education in marketing. You will probably like to become a B2B event marketeer, working for brands like L'Oréal, Nike, Deutsche Bank, Porsche etc. Know that your clients will be Chief Marketing Officers or Brand Managers or even CEO's of these companies. And event marketing is a marketing tool. So, you must be able to speak their language. You must be able to understand how brands work. How they market. How they communicate to their target groups. That is why a solid course in marketing is a real must to start your career.
2. Get as much internships as you can. You do not only need it for the experience. But you need to understand what a great experienced event manager does every day, again and again to get the jobs done. You need to see which behaviors are needed. You need to know how they communicate with clients ànd suppliers. Even if your task is just making coffee for these guys, just watching them will help you understand the skills you need to make it as an event manager. So, pick the best marketing managers in your country, and ask if you can help them for free for a couple of weeks. It will help you a lot.
3. I can not stress this enough, but emotional intelligence is key in this business. You need to be a cameleon. You need to be able to adapt your behavior, depending on who is in front of you. You need to be able to talk to the CEO of a large company ànd you need to be able to communicate with the driver delivering your rented materials on the day of your event. Both need a totally different approach, and you want both of them to be in your team to make your event succeed. So : work on your skills of emotional intelligence. Talk to all kinds of people, get to know their "language", you will need it later.
4. As you are speaking to all kinds of people, make sure to broaden your network. Even now as a student! Your network will be so important to get the business as an event manager. Do not only talk to the same 5 friends during your 4 years in college. Talk to everyone and connect. Even if they seem a bit weird today, in 10 years, that weird guy could become a potential client or an amzingly creative supplier later. Connect and engage. Build a network. That is sò important!
5. You need to know the world. You need to travel. You need to see all kinds of bars, restaurants, concept stores, flower shops, chocolate designers, fashion shows, festivals, etc etc. You need to know a little bit about everything. You need to know what's happening. If you do not have the money to travel, find out what's happening next to you. Ask your parents if you can join them on a next business trip. Ask a friend if you can join her on a fashion show. You need to know all about trends and concepts. Because that will be your added value as an event manager working for brands who are very demanding in terms of creativity.
So... That's it! Hope this was useful to you? If you liked this, please share it with your network, share it with your friends. And if you want to connect, please feel free to contact me by e-mail email@example.com
get Laurent Lootens to personally send you
his new posts:
Leave your e-mail and we will send the PDF straight to your inbox.