Event Management Courses and Classes Overview
Aspiring meeting/event directors, Trade show managers and convention planners might all seek degree programs in event management and complete coursework addressing management, marketing and budgeting. Event management programs can be found at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Event management courses can be found in associate's and bachelor's degree programs in meeting and event management, hospitality or tourism. Some degree programs offer online training. Certificate programs, both undergraduate and graduate, offer courses in event management without the general education requirements.
Concepts one could expect to study in event management courses include:
- Fundraising and sponsorship
- Catering and hospitality management
- Meeting management
- Financial management
- Contract management
- Public relations and promotions
- Food service management
Some programs include an internship. Graduate event management certificate programs are geared toward students with business or marketing backgrounds.
This course provides a broad introduction to the process of planning and managing meetings and events. Organization and information management in event planning is discussed in terms of creating event checklists, timelines and master event production books. Instructors present event management tools, such as service proposals for catering, printing, lodging and other services required to carry out an event. This is the first required course in an event management certificate or degree program.
When dealing with a large event, such as a wedding or fundraiser, the event manager must coordinate multiple vendor, volunteer and attendee activities simultaneously. In this course, students learn the principles of managing large events while concentrating on the elements that make events distinctive, such as venue, decorations, food selection and entertainment. Creating a themed event and making theme-appropriate choices are discussed. This course may be taken in the second year of an event management associate's degree program.
Students learn public relations and promotion skills in this marketing course for event managers. In an undergraduate event management program, this course would cover marketing fundamentals, such as targeting an audience, creating promotional materials to reach that audience and setting ticket prices to cover event costs. In an event management graduate certificate program, this course may also discuss event sponsorship. Event marketing courses are required and may be completed in the second or third semester of a 2-year degree program or in the first semester of a graduate certificate program.
Producing an event takes funding. Event managers learn options for funding events, from acquiring sponsors to charging ticket or registration fees. Creating an event budget that incorporates pre-event, event and post-event costs is taught. Students learn to use spreadsheets to create and analyze budget data. Profit margins for fundraising events are discussed. This required course is sometimes taken over two semesters.
Event managers secure contracts with lodging facilities, such as hotels, motels and conference centers. This course includes instruction on inspection and evaluation of event lodging facilities for convenience, cost and comfort. Students use spreadsheets to manage room lists. Consideration of special lodging needs is discussed.
Students analyze common vendor contracts to determine areas of negotiation, including cancellation and termination clauses. An overview of potential event management liability issues is presented. This legal issues course includes an examination of what types of events require individual licenses, such as alcohol permits. Risk management is discussed in terms of liability insurance for the event manager and the event facility. This advanced course is for students in the final year of study.