Event production is an exciting industry to be in right now, but do you have what it takes to be successful? Misconceptions cloud the reality of this industry. We’re here to clear that up so you’ll be fully prepared for what you’re jumping into. For example, the industry embraces the “work hard, play hard” mentality; however, working hard, staying focused and being productive despite the “play hard” moments is what really drives success as a professional in this industry.
This career goes beyond event planning. It’s about bringing together every aspect an event has to offer, from minor details to major ones, all within an allocated budget. It’s about creating an experience for attendees. The event production industry is extremely grueling, but it’s also extremely rewarding. You just have to outweigh “play hard” with “work hard,” and be able to multitask while paying attention to every detail.
Do you have what it takes to be successful in the industry?
First and foremost, pick which segment of the industry you want to be in and test it out. If higher education is in your immediate path, this is a chance to experiment with what you love and what you don’t. Depending on your aptitude and passions within the industry, choose a degree program that will prepare you for just that. Here are four major subsets in the event production industry.
The technical route includes tasks like sound, lighting, video, rigging, design and architecture. It’s beneficial to become proficient in programs like AutoCAD, Vectorworks, PowerPoint, Keynote software, Photoshop and Lightroom if the technical segment is your intended route. Studying electrical engineering, material sciences, or advanced training in A/V or lighting through a theatre and communications program would be a good start to pursuing a career in this segment of event production.
The logistics route consists of tasks like choosing venues, catering, registration and transportation. This segment is more of the people-facing aspect of the industry. You’ll be scheduling meetings to work with executive boards and company leaders to determine goals for events, as well as coordinating event details.
Are you a writer? Most events require a creative theme, speechwriting and creative development for videos. This route is a mix of presenting creative concepts when pitching a business, along with research abilities and writing creative treatments. Studying and understanding brand communications is beneficial if you’re interested in entering this sector of the industry.
The best in the business always say, “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” This holds true for the event production industry as well. While the sales sector is extremely competitive, it can also be very rewarding. This route is people facing, but it also requires research, strategy and the ability to lead a team. It takes time to build a solid foundation of clients, but if you’re successful, event production sales can be both lucrative and very satisfying.
Despite which route you take, it’s imperative that event production professionals have the stamina that is demanded in this industry. From the outside looking in, it can look like a glamorous life. In reality, it’s filled with long days, lots of travel, little sleep and sometimes meals at unscheduled times or on the run. On the bright side, this career is an exciting one! Each day brings new experiences and new challenges. If you’re willing to put in the work, the rewards and growth opportunities will be immense.
If you have the resilience and passion to work in this fast-paced industry—go for it. When pursuing a career path in event production, it’s important to be ambitious and to be curious while learning. You will make mistakes, but turn them into growing opportunities. Be confident and take risks. Always remember: play hard, but work harder.