Opinion: The age of the Event Manager is over

Event managers need to be far more than a good organiser with a little black book full of contacts, writes Rob Frank.

The business events industry has changed forever. An event manager needs to be far more than a good organiser with a little black book full of contacts, writes Rob Frank, Creative Director, of Verve Creative.

I believe the title ‘event manager’ is no longer an adequate description of what we do.

Sure, we may have to book venues, negotiate on behalf of our clients, know about the latest entertainment options and prepare a comprehensive run schedule.

But that’s a ‘ticket to entry’ to the business. And, increasingly, clients are taking these functions in house.

So where does that leave us? How do we use our skills and expertise to help our clients’ businesses grow in the face of this changing market?

Our job is to work with our clients to create event campaign strategies. After all, as part of a business strategy, the most important aspect of an event is the outcome: How has the audience changed as a result of their experience? What will they do differently when they get back to the office? And, importantly, how will they feel about the business?

In order to deliver outcomes from events, we need to understand the answer to this fundamental question:

“What do you want the audience to know, feel and do in the days, weeks and months after the event?”

That process starts way before the event and is certainly not over once the audience/delegates/guests have left the venue – in fact, in many respects, that’s only the beginning.

As event campaign strategists, we offer our clients the benefits of our skills as communicators at both an emotional and an intellectual level. We have the potential to have a huge impact on our clients’ businesses.

So those in our industry who recognize that events are more than logistics and entertainment and have the appropriate skills to work with clients at this strategic level, are the ones who can truly help our clients’ businesses to grow.

After all – that is why we are here!

3 thoughts on “Opinion: The age of the Event Manager is over

  1. Great article! The real question we should be asking is – “What do you want the audience to know, feel and do in the days, weeks and months after the event?”. Events are more than logistics and entertainment!

  2. Good article Rob. Only thing I would say is why are some event planners so obsessed with ‘the latest thing’? If your clients audience hasn’t seen a popular and successful act…then…they haven’t seen it. Why don’t planners gift their audience a well loved act instead of going for the ‘latest’ which may turn out to be nowhere near as endearing or memorable. If an act’s been going for a while then there’s a reason. Greatest example…’The Three Waiters’. First show was in the late 90’s! Still going strong because it’s just so good. (A caveat – I sold out back in 2009) Another example ‘The Leading Men’ 10 years old. Class is class and that’s what gala dinner audiences expect. But then again as a corporate entertainment producer I would say all that wouldn’t I?…carry on everyone…

  3. Well said Rob. Events, as we have discussed numerous times form part of an overall marketing strategy. Event outcomes need to be measured to determine if the event met the strategy and are not just a party.

    Rob, you are one of those who have consistently driven this message and in doing so continue to build credibility for this important industry.

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