What Does an Event Management Trainee Do?

Jeri Sullivan
Jeri Sullivan
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

An event management trainee works under the tutelage of an event manager to ensure all aspects of a planned event run smoothly. Event management is a term used to describe the act of planning and executing events, and many schools offer degrees in hotel and hospitality management to train event managers. The event management trainee works with the event manager to coordinate the theme, budget, food, venue, music, press releases, security, and many other logistics aspects required when hosting an event.

The theme is typically the first item discussed when event managers work with a client. Understanding exactly what the client wants helps the event manager and event manager trainee know where to start. Trainee positions often involve researching the history behind the theme to achieve historical accuracy. For example, a Gone with the Wind costume party should include antebellum dresses and possibly even food and music from the period. The event manager trainee researches the normal items from that time period and provides the event manager with the necessary details to develop a plan.

Budgeting is another important aspect in event planning. Once the theme is established, the event manager will discuss budget thresholds with the client to determine what spending amount is available. The trainee is then responsible for requesting quotes from the various vendors, consolidating the information and providing the event manager with a report to review. Depending on the final report, negotiations may be required to ensure the client’s needs are met. The trainee may sit in on negotiations between the event manager and either the vendors or the client to learn how the art of negotiation is conducted.

An event management trainee is sometimes considered a “gopher” due to the number of last minute tasks assigned. As the day of the event approaches, many small activities such as calling to confirm deliveries or verifying the R.S.V.P. list fall to the trainee. Daily feedback sessions are common where the event manager and trainee run through a checklist to ensure all aspects are handled timely.

On the day of the actual event, the event management trainee is typically tasked with coordinating behind the scenes with the various vendors. Mundane things such as scheduling the parking and unloading zones for the vendors as well as confirming the correct items ordered were delivered fall to the trainee. When the event has started, the event manager may be part of the festivities and the trainee will continually monitor the vendors to ensure things run smoothly.

Once the event concludes, the manager and event management trainee will work with the vendors to ensure the venue is left in pristine condition and that all materials are removed. In the days following the event, the trainee will work to return any rented or borrowed items and prepare a report of the final expenses. The manager and trainee discuss any issues that resulted and determine how to handle going forward. Once the final expenses are paid, the trainee files the event report and moves on to the next event.

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