Must-read event planning books to boost your career

The event industry is continuously evolving, so, as event professionals, we need to constantly update our knowledge base. Following industry blogs and attending professional events are great methods to stay up-to-date, but let’s not ignore the power of a well structured bookshelf! So, we went on a search of the latest editorial publications about everything event planning, event management, and event design. The offer is overwhelming, but if you’re like us, and given that we’re now at the end of 2018, you might feel that when it comes to events, everything older than 2017 is outdated. As a consequence, all the 10 event planning books in our list were published in 2018 and 2017. Let’s dive in!

How to create events to remember: event experts share their success secrets

An easy, entertaining read, this book is presented as an insightful guide for event planners, and it’s structured in the form of a series of interviews with successful event planners and professionals working in the events industry. Each interview focuses on various areas, from each professional’s success secrets and career path in events, to behind the scenes info and insights on best practices.

(published July 26, 2018)

The Strategic Planning Guide for Event Professionals: How Strategic Events Will: Ignite Your Career, Transform Your Company & Elevate the Entire Meeting Industry

This Strategic Planning Guide focuses especially on best practices for corporate, B2B and business events like meetings and conferences. What drew our attention was the way the author stressed the importance of working towards a strategic mindset. This, in an industry sector that is still sometimes dominated by old hierarchies and counterproductive “rules”.

(published October 21, 2018)

Eventology: lessons from 20 years of event planning

Author Sean Spence has spent his career creating and managing hundreds of events across the US. This book features practical advice on how to address a wide variety of issues during your event. From how to handle the challenges arising from the use of a non-conventional event venue, to issues related to multi-day events and how to manage VIP guests, this book says it all. It’s best for event planners just starting out, but even more experienced professionals can find valuable pieces of advice.

(2nd edition, published February 3, 2018)

Event Planning and Management: Principles, Planning and Practice

With this title we’re getting into the textbook realm. It’s jam-packed with knowledge on all aspects of creating and managing an event: from developing a concept and building a team, to event venues, logistics, safety, marketing, budgeting, evaluation and insights, this book has it all. As any serious textbook is expected to, this one delivers theoretical concepts as well as loads of case studies drawn from recent successful events. And last but not least, it contains a complete toolkit of templates, planning checklists and budget sheets.

(2nd edition, published November 28, 2018)

Events Management: An Introduction

Another complete textbook on the vast matter of event management. Like the one before, it’s aimed at university students so if you want a go-to reference text going in-depth with theory and case studies, you definitely don’t want to miss it. A plus of this book is that it dedicates whole chapters to managing specific types of events: sporting events, mega-events, events in the public and third sectors, corporate events, cultural events and festivals.

(2nd edition, published November 1, 2017)

Events Management: Principles and Practice

“Do I need yet another events management textbook?” you may wonder. And the answer is yes, you do. At its third edition, Events Management: Principles and Practice provides a concise overview of both the theoretical and operational aspects of managing events, rounded off with coverage of contemporary trends and issues surrounding events. A new chapter on Expos, Conferences and Conventions outlines the rise and relevance of this particular area of events. What this book brings as a plus compared to the others is the Events and Beyond chapter, discussing sustainable festivals and events, long-term event legacy and impact, and the future of the events industry.

(3rd edition, published November 8, 2017)

The Guide to Events series

We found this series while on a quest for a solid, recently published event marketing book (which, by the way, we couldn’t find – not that there aren’t any event marketing books out there, but there’s nothing more recent than 2016, and in marketing, 2016 is not recent).

This series focuses on corporate events and contains 3 books:

  1. first volume: The Guide to Events: Everything you need to know to run brilliant corporate events
  2. second volume: The Guide to Events: Handbook for Startups: How to Run Big Events in Small Businesses
  3. third volume: The Guide to Events: Social Media & Marketing Handbook: How to Find and Engage your event’s audience

Author Alex Vail is an experienced events director with over 750 conferences and events across the technology, education, finance, innovation, publishing, marketing, and luxury retail sectors. In this 3 books series is designed to help event professionals plan conferences, trade exhibitions, seminars, workshops and brand activations. Topics covered go from strategy to content planning and marketing and even to crisis management.

(series published October 11, 2017)

Intentional Event Design Our Professional Opportunity

This book is a precious resource for any event manager/planner because it treats events as experiences and deals with the process of creating events that are unforgettable experiences for your attendees. Moreover, it puts event planning in the perspective of digital and technological transformation, with chapters like integrating Technology and Marketing to Our (Digital) Audience.

(published October 9, 2017)

Event Design: Social perspectives and practices (Routledge Advances in Event Research Series)

Again, we are in the textbook realm, and this one is one step further: it’s a scholarly work and it collects pieces of research on various aspects of event design. It employs a wide selection of current research perspectives, while exploring the entire event experience from conception and production to consumption and co-creation. The case studies included in the book examine a range of events that go from small community events and business events all the way to festivals and mega-events in eight different countries.

(published May 26, 2017)

Event Design Yearbook 2018/2019

We end our selection with some serious inspirational eye-candy. This book is part of a series of yearly publications that started in 2011. Each year, a selection of beautiful, impressive events is put together and each event included is presented in an analytical way to offer insight into industry trends and best practices. In this year’s edition, over 50 events are presented, spanning from small to large, from private to public, from cultural to corporate. The book includes events in Netherlands, Chile, Germany, UK, Spain, Macao, Switzerland, France and others, to make sure you draw inspiration from all around the world.

(published October 29, 2018)

This was our event planning book wishlist for the end of 2018. We hope it inspires you to enrich your knowledge in the field and stay up to date with industry trends and evolution. Moreover, we believe that event planning is one of those fields that are continuously changing, so don’t hesitate to get back on the books from time to time even if you’re an experienced professional. Happy reading!

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