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The UK events industry

An introduction to the flourishing events industry in the UK and the events management courses that can open doors to a variety of career opportunities.

The events management industry is a dynamic, vibrant and flourishing sector in which to work and study with excellent and rewarding career opportunities both in the UK and overseas. It is an industry that has grown significantly over the past decade and is as diverse as it is large; it draws on the skills and personalities of a wide range of people offering stimulating, varied and rewarding careers.

A recent report (produced by KMPG and the AEO) reveals that the exhibition industry alone contributes £9.3 billion to the UK economy and supports some 137,000 jobs. Exhibitions are just a small part of the overall picture, as is the UK; events management on an international scale is seriously big business and covers most industry sectors. Both private and public sector organisations require events specialists and invest in meetings, exhibitions, road shows and conferences.

Due to the growth of the sector, events management is becoming increasingly important as a specialist field of study. Indeed, it is now a recognised discipline and offers far more attractive career prospects than it did less than a decade ago.


“Events are diverse and can range from small bespoke private functions to large scale exhibitions”

Events are diverse and can range from small bespoke private functions to large scale exhibitions, festivals, award ceremonies, sports tournaments, music concerts and world events such as the Olympic Games. Many of these larger events have a truly international dimension with international delegates, logistics, marketing and multiple locations. Future employers of events management students can include events companies; hotels; charities and trade associations; festival organisations; conference centres; and football clubs.

Competition for event related positions is high and students planning a career within the sector will most definitely be far better prepared if they have proven, practical experience to show prospective employers. The most relevant events management courses have a strong practical focus and respond to the needs of the industry.

Foreign language study, international work experience and a study period abroad will all enhance a student’s future career prospects.

Events management students can expect to study a balance of core and elective modules, combing theory and practice. Modules may include the economics of tourism and events; human resource management within the events industry; international events law; project planning and IT; marketing for international events management; and organisational behaviour.

A wide range of electives will allow prospective students to specialise as they progress in the degree; these may include gastronomy; liaising with the media; luxury brand management; and public relations. 

Students’ motivation to study and pursue a career within the events management industry can vary widely, due to the diversity of the sector. Christine Bos, a first year BA (Hons) International Events Management student from Belgium says: 

“Before deciding on studying events management I seriously considered becoming an actress. After having tried a few parts I realised I would rather do something in the entertainment industry. Seeing that London is one of the biggest international entertainment centres, it seemed logical to study here. In my opinion events management is a fusion of people knowledge, creativity and business.”

Kevin Kraatz, a first year BA (Hons) International Events Management student from Germany, writes: “I had been interested in events since I was young. After organising a few events, I became the Events Operations Manager for my school. I decided to take my chosen course because of its clear focus on international events. A major feature of my degree programme is the number of electives, especially those I am really interested in such as media technology.”

Determination, resilience, enthusiasm and creativity are all needed to succeed within the events management industry – but the rewards can be considerable.
This is an exciting and fast-paced industry, in which entrepreneurial and people-focused individuals can flourish. According to the 2007 annual Event Salary Survey, most types of event activities are on the rise, giving job seekers enhanced employment prospects in an ever expanding industry.

Written by Marie-Anne Martin
Head of Student Recruitment Marketing
Regent’s College London