An 'Eventful' choice

A career in event management extends far beyond stage set-ups and designs

An Eventful choice

In the movie ‘The Wedding Planner,’ wedding planning takes center stage, much like in other films and series such as ‘Band Baaja Baraat’ and ‘Made in Heaven.’ These portrayals often lead people to believe that event management primarily revolves around weddings. Of course, wedding is a huge part of event management but then it is a highly diverse and multifaceted field that extends far beyond the portrayals we see on the silver screen. While movies often focus on wedding planning, the industry covers a broad spectrum of events, including corporate conferences, music festivals, product launches, and charity galas. It’s crucial to understand that event management plays a pivotal role in virtually every aspect of our social and professional lives, making it a versatile and essential profession.

Event planning goes beyond designing and setting up stages. It involves marketing, communication, and sales. To become an efficient event manager, you need both theoretical and practical skills. This makes on-the-job learning crucial in event management education. Event management covers various verticals like marketing, finances, leadership, and legal aspects, so understanding the field and having a passion for it is essential.

Jeet Nandy of Abybaby Events Private Limited in Kolkata, is concerned about the absence of good event management institutes in West Bengal. This forces those interested in the field to either move to South India or consider colleges in Mumbai and Delhi. He also points out that even when courses are available in Kolkata, they may lack faculty with practical expertise. “In event management, hands-on experience is as vital as theory, and this aspect is often missing in Kolkata,” he said.

Those interested in event management can start after high school (10+2). They have choices like undergraduate and postgraduate programmes such as BBA and MBA in event management. Certificates, diploma courses and online programmes are also available for skill development. Top institutions for event management programmes include the Xavier Institute of Communications, Amity School of Communication, National Institute of Event Management, Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication, and the National Academy of Event Management & Development (NAEMD). These programmes encompass a wide range of options, including bachelor of management studies, undergraduate diplomas in media, marketing, and events, undergraduate diplomas in event management and PR, as well as master’s degrees for those seeking to further their education and expertise in this dynamic field.

“One can also choose from online and offline options. However, it is advised to take up an offline course within a university setting since event management is an applied programme and requires hands-on experience. Peer learning is also better achieved in a physical classroom than in an online mode. Each university or institute will have its eligibility criteria, including entrance exams, personal interviews, and cut-off percentages from your last degree,” said Dr Preetha Menon, assistant dean and associate professor at FLAME School of Communications, FLAME University Pune.

She also added that event managers are in demand across various corporate sectors, ranging from IT companies to the hotel industry. “Some of the industries and career outlets include corporate event management such as trade shows, event planning and coordination for weddings, celebrity tours, corporate parties, academic conferences, hospitality and tourism industry events, fundraising and nonprofit event management, sports and entertainment events,” said Dr Menon.

In today’s fast-paced world, the success of an event manager hinges on their ability to bring a unique approach to their work. This profession demands not only passion but also innovation and creativity. Additionally, event managers need to excel in interpersonal skills, time management, and attention to detail, leadership qualities, and top-notch organisational abilities to thrive in their roles.

“People who study event management gain a broad skill set that can be used in a variety of employment domains. The knowledge and abilities acquired through event management courses are transferable and valuable in today’s competitive employment market, whether it be project management, communication, problem-solving, or financial acumen. Event management students learn essential organisational skills, such as planning and executing events, resource management, setting priorities, making decisions, and developing teamwork and leadership abilities. They learn and develop communication skills, crisis management, financial and budgeting planning and control, negotiation skills, technology proficiency, event production and management,” said Dr Neelam Raut, Programme Director - Marketing (MBA & BBA), MIT World Peace University- School of Business.

In fact, individuals with marketing degrees can excel in event management, given that it demands a combination of exceptional marketing and management skills. According to Nandy, who manages a 200-person event management company with 12 branches across India, the profession of event management requires a strong grasp of marketing and sales. Consequently, students who pursue BBA and MBA programmes have a solid chance of thriving in this field. “In the modern landscape, event management is not confined to event organisation alone. Companies like ours provide comprehensive 360-degree solutions, which include digital teams, Below the Line Marketing (BTL) teams, and rural marketing teams. This highlights the diverse facets of event management, and individuals should understand the subject thoroughly and select their courses accordingly,” he said.

In today’s event management, technology is essential from planning to execution. Concepts like the metaverse provide immersive experiences, and gadgets like drones capture events from all angles. Technologies like AI, QR codes, and augmented reality (AR) enhance customer experiences, making IT-savvy professionals valuable in this field.

One of the most rewarding aspects of learning event management is the opportunity to embark on your entrepreneurial journey in event planning and management. Dr Raut emphasises that the robust foundation of skills, knowledge, and industry connections acquired during your event management studies will significantly boost the success of your entrepreneurial ventures in this field.

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