The best event management books: what to read to become a better event manager

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By Emma Jones - eve

Whether you’re looking for the best event management books for beginners or the best event management books for pros, here at eve we have some top insider recommendations for books to read to become a better event manager full stop!

eve is made up of 11 venue and event professionals who are experts on some of London’s most iconic venues. Our team of event management gurus have planned conferences, parties, exhibitions, team building events, weddings and more – so we’ve put together some of the best event management books that helped us get there.

Seven of the best books for event managers

The Business of Events Planning, Judy Allen

The Business of Event Planning is valuable to both current Event Managers and aspiring event profs, packed full of practical advice and tools for every aspect of planning an event.

Judy Allen shares ‘behind-the-scenes secrets’ to her success in event management, right from winning proposals to budgets and cost planning, negotiation and how to increase efficiency using new technologies.

Tori Bell – Agency Business Development Manager at eve says: “This book just covers everything. Judy Allen really does have vast experience as an event planner so her advice and anecdotes on the subject are priceless. Understanding what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ in events can be especially valuable for aspiring event managers and the information provided by Allen really does help you to get thinking about every small detail, which is something that really matters to us here at eve.”

The Business of Event Planning

Event Management For Dummies, Laura Capell

Whether you’re planning a one-off event and need a bit of guidance or are actually considering a career in events, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in Event Management for Dummies.

The book covers every aspect of event planning, covering all bases throughout the entire process in an easy to digest format. You’ll find checklists, advice and hints alongside a whole load of information to guide you through every step of the event planning process – even the things you haven’t thought about. This is a must-have for event planners!

Rupi Sander – Referrals Business Development Manager at eve says “What I love about this book is how the author strips down the topic into bitesize chunks to enable the reader to read the chapters and really feel like they’re learning and building on their knowledge. I even found myself scribbling notes and underlining the most useful bits for me to remember personally, and it’s brilliant to refer back to at any point. For any event, the devil is in the detail and this book 100% follows suit and describes the detailed planning needed for various types of event.”

Event Management for Dummies

Events Management, Glenn- J Bowdin

This book is actually a first-year textbook for students who are studying Event Management – but don’t worry, you won’t feel like you’re back at school.

Given that this is a book used to educate the next generation of event planners, Events Management by Glenn A.J. Bowdin is regularly updated and continues to be a valuable resource for event planning that moves with the times. Now with additional chapters on sustainable events, updates on legislation and health and safety, this book works as a brilliant introduction to a career in event management.

Laura Toogood – Senior Venue Consultant at eve says:

“This book is a great find for those looking to get into the events industry. It was one of the first books I read about event planning and I think it set me up really nicely. It gave me some valuable starter knowledge which I hadn’t seen in other textbooks, and helped me to create a solid foundation to build myself as an event manager. I would recommend it – especially to anyone who is just making their way into the industry – but also because it’s updated as the events industry moves on, there’s always something new added in that I find to be valuable to planning events in the here-and-now.”

Events Management

The Event Manager’s Bible, D.G Conway

Having planned events for over 20 years, it’s fair to say that Des Conway has a fair bit of experience in what to do and what not to do when it comes to event management.

Conway reveals all he has learned from the mistakes he has made along the way, in this book especially designed to stop fellow event managers from making the same mistakes.

You’ll read about all the different things to consider when planning an event to ensure that you don’t overlook any important details, handy lists to help with this process and even advice on working with third party agencies or contractors to pull off your event.

Emily Coupe – Venue Consultant- eve says: “As an event planner it is of course important that your event is a success and goes down well and achieves your objectives, but you also have to think about it being safe and lawful which is what I found particularly useful about this book. I’ve found that it helps you to understand the principles of planning an event in a way that ensures that whatever you’re planning is not only a hit, but a compliant and safe one, too!”

The Event Manager's Bible

Made to Stick: Why Some ideas Survive and Others Die, Chip Heath & Dan Heath

This is a great book for those in any profession, not just events.

Made to Stick is essentially a communication bible, utilising anecdotes and examples to share why some ideas success and others don’t – and it’s all in good humour.

You’ll discover how to make your ideas ‘stickier’ using a range of principles hilariously outlined by Chip and Dan Heath which reveal the psychology behind why your ideas aren’t being heard – or, why they are.

Jerri Howlett – Marketing Co-ordinator at eve says: “At eve we like to keep ‘on the ball’ about new technologies, ideas and updates within the events industry and sometimes that involves some whacky ideas. We’re pretty open-minded and often in the events industry you really do need to get creative for an event that’s extraordinary. This book is a huge help for getting those more unique, creative ideas heard and considered, and I’ve found that the principles outlined in Made to Stick have helped me to make more of an impact in my career. It’s really useful info and can be pretty empowering, actually.”

Made to Stick

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice, Todd Henry

The Accidental Creative focuses on the idea that ‘it isn’t enough to just do your job anymore.’ We know it sounds depressing – bear with us.

The book isn’t specific to event management but discusses principles that can really be taken into any aspect of your life or any career path that you choose, and helps readers to understand how to be creative ‘on demand’. Yes, really.

Whether you’re an event manager, a content writer, a marketer or an artist – we all know how difficult it is to have your creativity on tap. Lots of people say they’re most creative at a certain time of day or after a run (or your fifth coffee, as the case may be) but according to Todd Henry, we all have it in us to produce the goods on demand.

Becci Thomson – Head of Business Development at eve recommends this book and says:

“This is a really interesting book that I think can be relevant to so many people and professions, and it explores an issue that I didn’t know could be resolved. I totally have my better days, as we all do, and of course there are those patches in which you just can’t get the creative juices going. This book claims to change that, and it does, somewhat. The tips are really useful for anyone in a creative industry.”

The Accidental Creative

The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You, Julie Zhuo

Becoming a manager is an exciting career step, but it’s also pretty daunting. There’s much more to think about than you may have had to deal with before and all in all, you’re not just responsible for yourself anymore.

You might now be interviewing, hiring and firing, dealing with a whole load of admin, logistics and planning and spending more time in meetings than you do at your desk which means that your time management skills are more important than ever – so how do you manage the shift to management with confidence?

The Making of a Manager’s Julie Zhuo first became a manager at 25 – good on you, girl – and shares her wisdom on not only what it was like, but how to do it well. According to Zhuo ‘good managers are made, not born’ – and this book reveals how to get there.

The Making of a Manager

If you’ve read and benefited from some other event management books to boost your career, we’d love to hear about them. Share your favourite event management books with us on social media and we’ll add our favourites to this list.