If you are fond of versatile jobs and if you love planning and organizing, you may consider becoming a conference and exhibition organizer. A conference and exhibition organizer is an individual who plans and run events, exhibitions and conferences. If this sounds interesting to you, then read on!
As a conference and exhibition organizer, you are expected to manage tasks primarily related to marketing, operations and sales. You may have to perform various jobs such as:
- Working on event dates and venues
- Dealing with contractors and suppliers, such as exhibition designers and caterers
- Selling stand space to exhibitors
- Arranging sponsors for events
- Advertising and promoting the events
- Working with venue staff during events
- Managing safety and health issues at venue
- Dealing with complaints and enquiries from exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and visitors
- Overseeing the task of designing and printing tickets, posters and other promotional items
Working Hours and Conditions
Your working hours are usually normal office hours during week days i.e. 9am-5pm (approx.). But you may have to work evenings and weekends in case of upcoming events.
You are normally based within an office and you are expected to spend a lot of time on the telephone. Your work may also demand you to travel to meet your clients, and visit venues and contractors.
£17,000 to £21,000 a year
£25,000 to £40,000 a year
To become a conference and exhibition organizer, there is no requirement for any formal qualifications but it is advantageous to possess a qualification in events management or hospitality management. For seeking a job, it is vital that you have relevant work experience and possess skills vital for the job. It is highly recommended that you gain work experience in hotel conference and banqueting, travel, sales, marketing, PR or fundraising.
There are many regular and part-time courses offered in Event planning and management by various colleges and universities. You may refer to UCAS website for detailed information on the courses offered. Such courses include:
- Level 2 Award in Principles of Supporting Business Events
- Level 2 Award/Certificate in Event Planning
- Level 2 Certificate in Live Events and Promotion.
You may work as a steward at large events or exhibitions or you may start as an administrator or marketing assistant with a conference management company to kick start your career.
There is also an option to enter into this profession through an Apprenticeships scheme offered in events or hospitality.
In this profession, you are usually trained on-the-job. You may get an opportunity to do short in-house training courses to hone your skills.
Once employed you may consider working for various industry qualifications such as:
- Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Event Management
- Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma in Event Management
- Level 3 Diploma in Live Events and Promotion
- Level 4 Award in Conferences and Events Operations
- Level 4 Certificate in Business Events Management.
You may also consider joining the following professional bodies for training, networking and career growth opportunities:
- The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
- Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO)
- Association for Conferences and Events (ACE)
Skills and Interests Needed
To be a successful conference and exhibition organizer, it is vital that you possess the following:
- Excellent organizational skills
- Great team working skills
- Multi-tasking ability
- Creative and problem solving skills
- Be able to pay attention to detail
- Administrative and IT skills
- Excellent negotiation and marketing skills
- Good inter-personal skills
- Impeccable communication skills
- Be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines
- Be able to work within allotted budget
You may find easy employment with exhibition management or event management companies, in-house marketing departments or with large organizations such as universities.
With significant experience and a good performance record, it may be possible for you to progress to management level position at a company. You may also work freelance, or set up your own business in the future.
Lastly, this job, while fascinating, is a job suited only to those who are highly versatile and responsible. If you make any mistakes or cross budget limits, you might ruin your career.