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What is Event Management? A Complete Overview


When you hear the words “event management,” you may very well start thinking of event planning. The two things do have a lot in common, but they’re by no means the same thing.

An event manager and an event planner are going to perform different functions. They will need some of the same qualities and skills, but event management tends to operate on a larger scale than event planning.

Event managers must be methodical, efficient, and calm under pressure. They can’t wing it and cross their fingers that everything will work out.

Are you considering hiring an event manager for your business function? Keep reading to find out more about the meaning of event management.

Planning Versus Execution

What is event management? Let’s use a wedding as an example. First, an event planner will sit down with the happy couple and ask them questions about things like themes, guests lists, etc.

The average wedding has 120 guests, so let’s say this hypothetical couple invites 120 guests. The event planner will then tell the event manager about the size of the guest list.

Is the event manager going to be designing and sending out invitations? No, but they are going to be in charge of ensuring that 120 guests can comfortably fit into the venue.

What about parking? Assuming most guests will come by car, the event manager will need to find out about parking in the area. They may even arrange a special wedding rate for guests and wedding party members.

In other words, the event planner will often help the couple decide how many people should be at the wedding. Then the event manager comes in to manage the event’s execution and make sure things are running smoothly.

Juggling Multiple Balls

Event managers must run an event with the precision of a military exercise. If something is out of place or not quite right, then they’re responsible.

They aren’t the only ones responsible, of course. But the definition of event management means that in most cases, the proverbial buck stops with the event manager.

Let’s go back to the wedding scenario to discuss how an event planner and an event manager can work together. If an event planner discovers there’s a security risk to the wedding, then guess who they need to talk to?

That’s right; they should have a conversation with the event manager. They can say something like “The groom thinks his estranged uncle will try to crash the wedding and cause a ruckus. What can we do about that?”

Then the event manager will hire event security who can keep the uncle out of the event. If he gets in anyway, then both the event planner and event manager have a big problem.

Event Management Is Like Theater

An event manager is a bit like a stage manager in theater: They didn’t write the show or choreograph the dance numbers, but it’s up to them to make sure the production goes off without a hitch.

Event managers manage product launches, day trips, team building exercises, themed galas, and more. It’s not just about weddings.

Got more questions about event management? We’d love to help you answer them. Contact us today to get started.

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