What does a conference and exhibition organiser do?
As a conference and exhibition organiser, you would deal with three main areas of work: marketing, operations and sales. You might specialise in one of these, or you might deal with all three.
In marketing, your work might include:
- researching the level of interest in an event
- publicising events
- finding suitable venues and dates
- overseeing the design and printing of tickets, posters and promotional items
Operations work involves making sure that everything runs smoothly on the day, and can include:
- planning timetables
- booking venues
- supervising and paying contractors and suppliers, such as exhibition designers and caterers
- working closely with venue staff during events
- handling enquiries from exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and visitors
- supervising health and safety issues, and ensuring that venues are cleared safely
Your work in sales would involve selling stand space to exhibitors by telephone or face-to-face, and arranging sponsorship for events.
What do I need to do to become a conference and exhibition organiser?
To do this job you will need to be able to multi-task. You will need good communication and people skills. You’ll also need to be able to build good working relationships with all kinds of people.
You could move into conference and exhibition organising from a range of jobs.
Employers will look for relevant experience or strong skills such as organising, budget management and sales.
Experience gained in hotel conference and banqueting, travel, sales, marketing, PR or fundraising can be especially useful.
Taking a qualification in events management or hospitality management may help you, although this is not essential if you can get relevant work experience. Courses at foundation degree, HND or degree level often include work placements, which will help you gain practical experience and develop contacts.
Where to find out more
Where could I be working?
You could work for exhibition management or event management companies, major exhibition venues, or in-house marketing departments at large organisations, such as universities.