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The Difference between Event Planning and Event Management

the difference between event planning and event management

For anyone unfamiliar with the events industry, the number of different roles and titles involved can be confusing. Perhaps you’re using terms like ‘event planner’ and ‘event manager’ interchangeably. Or maybe you are unaware that there is even a difference between event planning and event management.

Admittedly, there is a degree of overlap between the two job roles. But they remain separate and serve different functions.

But what is the difference between event planning and event management?



What is event planning
Event Planning

The clue here is the name. The event planner plans every aspect of an event. This starts from the beginning at the conception of the event and continues until the event takes place. Although their work often goes beyond the big day, behind the scenes, as they gather feedback and conclude everything from the project.

If you can think of any detail that might need to be considered, an event planner has already created a plan for it. Some examples of what they would be responsible for include creating the budget, deciding on a theme, and organising speakers and entertainment for the day.

This means that their level of detail and organisation extends from the overall to the minute. Their role ranges from big factors like floor-plans, down to small details like table centrepieces.

Their level of planning also includes arranging hotels and travel for speakers or guests. It is their job to organise everything needed to deliver the event, but they won’t handle the event-day itself.

It is important to remember that many venues do not offer an event planner or event planning service. Which makes it your responsibility to hire them.

Essentially an event planner will conceptualise and develop the event. An event planner is there to help you design your dream event, but it is not their responsibility to deliver it.



what is event management

Event Management

The purpose of event management is to ensure that the delivery of the event runs smoothly, and meets all expectations. The event manager takes the plans for the event and makes sure that all the relevant aspects come together on the day to create an amazing experience.

There is a fundamental difference between event planning and event management. That is that an event planner is responsible for planning the all aspects of an event; whereas the event manager is responsible for coordinating and managing these aspects on the day. The event manager will run the event on the day. From ensuring that all necessary set-up is complete, catering is available, to speakers being present.

Their role includes important tasks such as ensuring all health and safety requirements are met, emergency contingency plans are made, and managing staff and volunteers. Having an event manager ensures that an event is delivered to a high standard.



How to tell if you need an event planner or an event manager

Deciding Who You Need

It can be difficult to understand if you require an event planner or an event manager, as the roles and responsibilities often overlap. Understanding the difference between event planning and event management will ensure that you hire the professional services that you need.

When considering hiring an event planner or an event manager, the key factor to consider is if you need help in the planning the event, or help with the delivery of it.

There’s another great article about the difference in event planning and event management at The Balance. So if you’re still unsure, read on!


We work with both event planners and event managers to help them maximise the potential of their events. If you are organising or running an event and want to increase your audience and attendance, get in touch today to see how we can help.


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