Remember the job fair, festival, or business conference you recently attended? It was planned and managed by someone -- or a number of people -- in the event industry. Also known as event management and event planning, the event industry includes one-person party planners to large companies with a passion for and experience in the intricacies and creativity of throwing a memorable and rewarding corporate or social event.
Depending on your involvement desire, available time and budget, you may hire an individual or company to handle one or more aspects of your event. Party planners and event industry companies are widely available and can take the reins on one, some or all the following responsibilities: concept design/theme, location scouting and procurement, catering, decorating, entertainment, audio-visual logistics, transportation and accommodations, invitations and other marketing collateral, hiring and direction of event personnel, hosting and event evaluation.
If you’re planning a corporate event, you likely have a marketing objective: reach your target audience, introduce a product or service, increase your exposure or create/enhance your image. You also likely have a lot on your plate already, and using the event industry to plan and execute your event may allow you to stay focused on the content while the people you hire handle the event itself. Examples of corporate events are company and product launches, trade shows, meetings and conventions, team building activities, retreats, and celebrations, such as holiday parties.
The marketing objective and event-industry potential for nonprofit and civic organizations are the same as corporate, but common events instead include fundraisers, such as fashion shows and auctions, parades, commemoration and award ceremonies and competitions.
Special occasions will come up throughout your lifetime. You may find yourself in the hot seat to plan, organize and manage one or more due to lack of volunteers, or truly want to take charge but not have the time. Enter the event industry. Party planners and event-industry companies specialize in social events, and you may participate as much as you want or can. Examples of social events include weddings, birthdays and anniversaries, family and high school reunions and bar and bat mitzvahs.
Whether your event is corporate or social, you have a lot riding on it; if you hire a person or company in the event industry, the end result is still a reflection on you. Ask for referrals from friends, business associates or organizations if you attended one of their events and were impressed. Research online for event-industry professionals in your area; interview candidates, review their portfolios and check references. Your event-industry professional(s) should be organized, detailed, calm but energetic, decisive, creative, extroverted, presentable, flexible, tactful and -- most of all -- a good fit for your personality and needs.
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