Events always have been and always will be an incredibly important part of the creative industries and Events Designers are the ones working behind the scenes to bring events to life. If you’ve ever found yourself at an event where you were floored by the detail put into the decor and how everything just seemed to fit together, then an Events Designer was probably behind it.
Job Description, Salaries and Benefits
Events designers (or event planners) develop, plan, and execute a variety of both internal and external events. They oversee all aspects of event planning and management, including identifying and working with a variety of external venues/facilities, negotiating contracts with vendors, and maintaining and managing event budgets.
An events designer is responsible for the overall activities concerning an event, including idea generation, creating the final design for the event, determining the best production process to apply, and managing the event production and implementation. While designing an event, he/she takes into consideration the entire consumer journey at the event.
The events designer job description entails ensuring the cultivation of sophisticated events that help their company meet its brand-building and important business goals, by managing project delivery elements within the deadline.
He/she applies inspiration, creativity, and imagination that ensure events come out unique; he/she also finds ways to leverage the work of creative agencies so that every aesthetic component of the event is realised.
The daily duties of an events designer vary depending on the projects they’re working on and the size of their team. However, daily tasks may include:
- Liaising directly with customers
- Managing all aspects of an event from pre-planning, determining resource needs, pre-event marketing, and on-site coordination, to post-event follow up
- Producing complex digital files in scales from concept to finish for assigned events
- Making sure designs satisfy the client and corporate requirements, are within budget and are delivered within the deadline
- Creating event designs, drawings, and renderings for the company’s events, following departmental and company policies, procedures, and practices
An event planner's salary can vary depending on several factors, including location, experience, and whether they work independently or for a company.
An events designer should have:
- An eye for details and the ability to think deeply about consumer journey and how to give them a great experience
- The ability to ensure that all deliverables from creative agencies maintain the integrity of their creative look and feel
- The responsibility to manage inventory levels and resolve issues among clients, internal departments, and vendors
- An eye for creatively using space
According to LinkedIn, there are over 1,000 events designer jobs in the UK. Events designers who follow the entrepreneurial path are paid on a project-by-project basis, while those who work full-time for an employer earn a salary. Events designers work mostly free of supervision. They collaborate with the event planner to make sure all the design elements of an event are executed according to plan.
What is the work like?
Events designers typically hold the same duties and responsibilities regardless of industry or company. Successful events designers can expect to perform these duties in their daily job:
- Ordering supplies needed for events and ensure items arrive in a timely fashion
- Assisting in site and vendor selection and negotiating the best possible rates and terms
- Developing effective and collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders
- Supervising staff at events, assigning duties and providing general direction
- Conducting post-event data and strategic analysis to inform future events
- Planning and executing pre-event marketing
- Suggesting ideas to management for improvement of event quality and services to clients
- Organising facilities and supervising all the details of an event, including catering, décor, transportation, equipment, invitee list, location, promotional materials, and special guests
- Identifying staff requirements and providing effective management to staff
- Carrying out market research to discover opportunities for event and/or sponsorship, and working to generate client interest.
Events designers are often employed by catering companies, wedding designers, event entertainment companies, and firms that handle corporate events. This role is perfect for people who prefer a fast-paced work environment.
Hours and Environment
Events designers usually work 37 hours a week/traditional office hours. Working hours are usually Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
While events designers are based out of an office, they spend a lot of time outside the office meeting with clients and vendors. They also work on-site to prepare the aesthetics of client events. Meeting deadlines is an important part of this job. Events designers might need to travel. Long days and weekend work might be required.
Salary and other benefits
These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary, depending on the employer and where people live.
- Median Annual Salary: $49,370 in the US and £27,925 in the UK
- Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $84,900 and £82,000 in the UK
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $27,560 and less than £22,605 in the UK
Skills and Personal Qualities
An events designer must have:
- The ability to manage external vendor resources and relationships
- Project management skills so they are able to map out what resources are necessary and organise team members
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- The ability to multi-task and adapt to changing priorities and duties
- A proven ability to expect and solve problems related to production timelines and creativity
- An innovative mindset and a strong ability to generate new ideas continually concerning design creation and production techniques
- A positive attitude and the ability and willingness to work with clients and professionals from other departments of the company
- Excellent team management skills to work effectively in a team setting and to lead a team if assigned to do so.
- The ability to identify requirements of staff and coordinate team activities
- A strong ability to handle issues proactively – ability to troubleshoot problems quickly and give a solution
- Proven work experience as an events designer, organiser, or planner
- A solid portfolio of previously and successfully managed events, such as weddings, parties, corporate events, and meetings
- Excellent communication (verbal and written) and time management skills so they are able to understand the needs of their clients and collaborate with others on-site
- Extensive knowledge of production vendors, production resources, local event permit requirements, event location, and other event resources
- Strong sales skills to be able to sell ideas to clients, management, etc. and to develop productive and mutually benefiting business relationships
- A strong ability to manage several projects together independently
- A strong ability to utilise MS Office products effectively and mastery of CAD software that is generally used to plan how the space in a venue will be utilised
It is important for events designers to have an interest in:
- New technologies and software
- Recent design trends and production techniques
- The latest news in the events space
- Photography and the visual arts
- Pop culture, and counterculture
- The zeitgeist of social tastes and current affairs
- Current trends and techniques
Employers of events designers typically prefer candidates who have a bachelor's degree. A variety of different majors, such as marketing, business, or public relations, could lead to a career in event design. However, students might benefit most from majoring in hospitality management.
Entry for young people
Students in hospitality management programs usually take courses in conference planning, international tourism, public relations, hospitality law, and accounting. Though rare, specialised programs in event planning do exist and offer courses in subjects like event promotion, trade show operations, destination marketing, event services, and risk management.
Some relevant programs of study offer opportunities for students to complete hands-on work experiences, such as internships. Internships with hotels or convention centres provide students with chances to coordinate with sponsors and vendors, plan meetings, and manage event logistics.
Entry for adults
Events designers can enter the profession through lower-level positions with hotels, motels, trade show planning firms, large businesses, and various organisations. New hires are generally trained on the job, and they begin with routine tasks like scheduling and handling client services and maintaining records. They also might register guests and inspect facilities as well as promote conventions, conferences, and seminars.
Events designers can earn voluntary certification to spur advancement in the field. The Convention Industry Council offers the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation to candidates who have at least three years of current or recent experience in meeting planning and pass a certification exam. Applicants can also qualify with an acceptable amount of professional experience and education or with teaching experience.
Another option is the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) credential. This certification, offered by the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP), is specifically intended for events designers who work for state, local or federal government. After maintaining membership in the SGMP for six months and accruing one year of meeting planning experience, applicants may complete a three-day course and pass an exam to become certified
Experienced designers may take on advanced events designer jobs such as selecting service providers, training volunteers, and obtaining permits for events. Advancement in this field typically requires demonstrating strong planning skills and determination, as well as gaining respect from other event design professionals.
Some experienced designers specialise in a particular aspect of event planning, like booking speakers or training staff. Other designers become program coordinators, who take on responsibility for all aspects of an event. Eventually, some events designers go on to become executive directors or self-employed consultants.
Event Design: Social perspectives and practices by Greg Richards - This book brings together a wide range of international experts in the fields of events, design and engineering to examine the event design process. It explores the entire event experience from conception and production to consumption and co-creation.
The Art of Building Experiential Events: An Event Designer’s Almanac by Dr Deepak Swaminathan - This book offers models, practices and tips that help in building wonderful experiential events in the Indian context. Understanding the psyche of clients is yet another unique feature of this book where carefully planted questions are discussed with prospects, leading to mapping the core needs that make the experience unique that also ensures sustained Client-Agency relations.
Event Industry Boss: The Secret to Becoming Successful in the Event Industry by Jason Mace - Jason Mace has coached and inspired hundreds of individuals in the UK, Europe and the Rest of the World, to invest in their own ability to be an Event Industry Boss. Now, for the first time in twenty years, he has made this information available to all. Using his own story as the blueprint from which to grow a £2000 credit investment into a multimillion pound international market-leader. Mace incorporates first-hand experience, research, and one-on-one interviews with successful followers of his methods, to create a simple step-by-step guide for anybody setting up in the Event Industry.
Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide To Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences, Conventions, Incentives and Other Special Events by July Allen - This bestselling all-in-one guide to the event planning business is back and better than ever, fully updated and revised to reflect the very latest trends and best practices in the industry. This handy, comprehensive guide includes forms, checklists, and tips for managing events, as well as examples and case studies of both successful and unsuccessful events.
Event Planning and Management: Principles, Planning and Practice - by Ruth Dowson and David Bassett - Event Planning and Management, second edition, is an ideal resource for those seeking a step by step formula to plan and deliver a successful event. With the vital balance of professional experience behind them, the authors teach the next generation of event planners with unrivalled knowledge, ensuring an effective event process from start to finish. This book delivers a practical understanding of the theory and practice needed to activate each stage of planning, from initial venue selection, budgeting and programme content, to managing stakeholders and sponsors, promotion, risk assessment, safety and post-event evaluation.