Applied Business Studies Unit 7: Career Planning

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Unit 7 Career Planning – Double Applied Business As Level

  1. Introduction

For this piece of coursework I am looking at the Events Industry, as this is the industry I wish to have a career in. Most likely working as an Event Manager. During the course of this piece of work I will look at the types of jobs available and the different routes to get to them.

The Events industry is relatively small in terms of job availability, as using Event planners is not common practice for most people when holding a party or event, although this is on the rise. The industry first started as small departments within big corporations that would plan the company events, as well as companies that would organise product lunch parties. Gradually the industry began to grow to include private parties and wedding planners. Now the industry is steadily growing despite the recession (at a rate of approximately 2% a year and is forecasted to keep growing until at least 2011). This is due to the rise in number of people requiring the services of Event Managers.

There are 3 main types of Event organisers;

  • Firstly Event co-ordinators that work for a hotels or holiday resorts. Normally the event co-ordinator would have their own department and/or team dedicated to liaising with people holding events at their venues and ensuring the smooth running of the event from the employer’s point of view.

For example Butlins not only has its own internal department that organises all the company Events at head office, but also they have a small department at each resort that co-ordinates all the events held on resort. Another example of this would be Kenwick Park Hotel, they have their own event co-ordinator on staff whose job it will be to make sure that all services provided for event held by customers at there hotel are carried out to the high standards and that any problems are solved quickly and efficiently. Big hotels now normally have an Event Manager on staff to oversee any and all Event that go on in that hotel (this is one the reasons why the Events industry and the hospitality industries overlap).

Event managers in these type of companies have a slightly different role, they are responsible for the events that the company holds, below is a list of typical responsibilities for an event manager for a corporation.

Typical corporate Events would be:

  • Organising company conferences
  • Product Exhibitions
  • Company activities and parties

  • The second type of Event Manager is one that works for an Event management company. The main purpose of these companies is to organise Events (both corporate, for companies that don’t have there own event management teams, and private). Not only will they have Event Managers on staff they will also have other types of staff as well for example DJ’s and bar staff. Below shows the types of Event that a company such as this would organise:

Typical private Events would be:

  • Planning weddings
  • Funerals
  • Balls
  • Dinner dances
  • Parties
  • Shows
  • Concerts
  • Club/venue openings
  • Festivals

  • The third type Event Manager is freelance. These people would work for both companies and the general public organising Event on per Event contract. The duties would be the same as an event manager (for an events company). Freelance is particularly difficult to do successfully as you are not guaranteed a pay check if there is no events to plan. Successful freelance event managers have normally work there way through event management companies first and have decided to break away, they normally then go on to start up there own company after a period of being a freelancer.

3 jobs within the industry

Now i will be research into at least 3 jobs within the events industry. The aim of which is then to decide which job i would like to do within the industry.

Event Manager (for an Events company)

Event Managers or organisers plan, co-ordinate (and sometimes publicise, depending on the size of the company they work for and where or not it have its own PR department) a wide range of promotional, educational, corporate, sporting and social Events. Some Event Managers specialise in one or two areas, which could include:

  • Exhibitions
  • Educational events and seminars
  • Sports events
  • Conferences
  • Product launches
  • Fundraising Events
  • Festivals
  • Weddings
  • Parties

However not all do. The advantage of specialising is that it allows the event manager to perfect their skills towards a single event type, this should in theory make them better at planning that event than the average Event Manager, which would then allow them to charge a premium for there services.

Event Managers may be responsible for:

  • Creating budget and venue proposals
  • Developing a publicity campaign (if the company does not have the own PR department)
  • Producing promotional material
  • Creating the “wow factor” for clients
  • Booking venues, entertainment and hiring equipment
  • Selecting and managing caterers, designers and subcontractors
  • Ensuring compliance with health and safety, and security regulations
  • Managing finances and contracts
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of an Event

Skills, Interests and Qualities
Event Managers should:

  • Have excellent time management and organisational skills
  • Be enthusiastic, self-motivated and outgoing
  • Be able to establish productive relationships with people at all levels
  • Have good communication and presentation skills
  • Be able to gather and interpret information for business research
  • Be commercially aware and customer-focused
  • Have a positive and adaptable approach to problem solving
  • Be innovative and creative to distinguish your Event from the competition
  • Have knowledge of sales, marketing or copywriting
  • Have an understanding of budgeting and financial management
  • Be able to work as part of a team
  • Be able to pay attention to detail.

  1. Entry

There are no set qualifications needed to get into Events management but, as there is strong competition, and as a result qualifications are often necessary. The majority of employers will expect a high level of academic achievement or experience in a related Industry (such as hospitality or Events itself).

Although a degree is not essential, entrants are typically graduates. Those with a degree in Events management, business administration, marketing, leisure and tourism management or languages are likely to be judged more favourably.

Case Study: Jessica; A Day In The Life of

On a non-event day Jessica would be expected to arrive at work around 9 o’clock (this will however vary from company to company). Her first task of the day will be answer messages and emails left for her since end of business the previous day (or the day before if she were previously out of the office attending an event/location). Messages may include calls from clients checking progress, calls from suppliers checking details and enquires about quotes from prospective clients.

Once she has finished that she could be doing any number of different things, for example she might have meetings organised with clients or prospective clients. Theses could be to discuss a number of things for example; budget, concept of the event, progress reports and so on.

Aside from meetings with clients Jessica could also be out of the office on a location search, the first part of this process is office based, it involves looking at information about venue in the area the event will be held, and then the venues will be shortlisted. It is at this point that Jessica would leave the office and go and visit the locations personally to get a better sense of which ones would work for that particular event and which ones wouldn’t.  

If there are currently no events in the planning stages or prospective clients to meet it would then be Jessica’s job to research into new opportunities for events, as well as contacting businesses and other prospective clients to try and drum up business.

On days where they have an event (or the day before in some cases) Jessica is responsible for overseeing the preparation of the venue as well as the event as a whole. Her typical duties on the day of an event would include; checking the catering, flowers, table settings, bar and any activities that are running. If any of these things are not right, it her responsibility to see that they are redone to the proper standard in time.  She is also responsible for briefing the event staff and checking the set up of the venue. The day of an event can be very stressful as even before the event has started she must check that everything is done right and done on time. When the venue is ready and the event starts Jessica’s work isn’t over yet, she must see that everything that should happen happens at the right time, and anything that shouldn’t happen doesn’t.

As part of Jessica’s job she has to do what can only be described as damage control at events she planned, basically this means that during the course of the event any time a problem arises she must fix it quickly and efficiently (and do if preferably without the client being aware there a problem).

  1. Wedding Planner

A job as a wedding planner is much like that of an Event Manager however it is more specialised. Wedding planners do the same things as event managers the only difference is that event manager plan all sorts of different events, including weddings (see above), whereas wedding planners only plan weddings. Just like an event manager the job is about 60% office based (although not all wedding planners have offices some work from home), and about 40% of the time they would be travelling to see suppliers and venues. Wedding planners work one of two ways either they visit clients in their home to plan the wedding or a client comes to them at there office. Some wedding planners done have dedicated offices for this, it is quite common for a wedding planner to also have a bridal shop (out of which they also plan wedding).

The skill set needed to be a wedding planner is the same as that needed to be an Event Manager. And entry into the wedding planning field can be similar to an event manager (for example university then work), however more often than not people set up businesses of their own without having much experience, this is normally due to people either thinking they did a good job on their own wedding and would like to make a career out of it, or they were dis-satisfied with the service they receive for the own wedding and therefore want to set up a business offering a better service,

Duties of an event planner are similar to that of an event manager and could include:

  • Attending Wedding shows to promote the business
  • Booking in Consultations appointments
  • Meeting couples to discuss their requirements and budget
  • Coming with up creative ideas and themes
  • Preparing proposals and quotations for the work
  • Booking, confirming and securing a budgeted amount of Clients
  • Setting up payment options with Clients
  • Negotiating prices with suppliers such as, photographers, makeup artist s etc
  • Booking, confirming and ensuring that suppliers are paid on time.
  • Maintain a Quality Assurance standard on all work produced, meeting deadlines and maintaining a high level of communication with other
  • Keeping detailed records to make sure that costs stay within budget
  • Researching new products, services and suppliers
  • Keeping a database of suppliers and contacts
  • Dealing with paperwork, phone calls, emails and letters
  • Being there on the day of the wedding to make sure that everything goes to plan.
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A day in the life of a wedding planner would be very similar to that of Jessica (the event manager), expect for instead of researching to identify new event optertunites when there are no events in the planning stage, a wedding planner would attend wedding shows to promote their business.  

  1. Conference Organiser

Again, just like a wedding planner, a conference organiser has a similar job to an Event Manager. The main difference being that conference organisers only plan the one type of event, and the working hours are different too, there are fewer nights and ...

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