Event Manager and Virtual Event Manager

Professional sit at a table during a conference.

Are you curious about how your humanities background applies to careers in event management? This can extend to planning in person events (like conferences, training sessions, exhibits) or virtual events (like virtual conferences, webinars, online courses).

Click on any of the topics in the menu below to learn more about typical responsibilities, necessary skills, general salary information, and other resources.

(Not interested in Event Management? Check out the Career Resources page to browse other interesting job titles and info!)

Why would this field appeal to someone with a humanities / liberal arts degree?

Our goal is to connect humanities graduates with jobs that are interesting, can draw on their skills in some way, and provide a stable (and even thriving) income. Jobs in event management are available across a variety of organizations, which means that you have a high likelihood of finding a job at an organization whose mission or product aligns with your interests. For example, imagine that you completed a degree in Spanish language & literature and would like to find a job that still affords you the opportunity to engage with that subject and community. You might considering working as an Event Manager from an association that organizes a major event for professionals in the field (for example, an annual meeting that assembles Spanish instructors, a travel abroad program that has Spanish-speaking countries as the target area, a Latino community center, etc). In this role, you would be involved in the strategic planning of events from end to end. It is essential to have subject matter experts involved in this event planning as they may know the key societies, target communities, potential vendors, possible sponsors, important calendar events that can affect the planning, and other subject-specific knowledge.

What is a an event manager or virtual event manager (in brief)?

Most organizations hold regular events and will need someone to organize and oversee the events. These can vary considerably by organization and purpose. Representative examples include: annual meeting for a professional organization, fundraising gala, virtual workshops, online training modules for employees, festivals, educational tours, or cultural exhibits.

What does this work involve?

Responsibilities will vary depending on whether the events are in person or virtual. These may include: coordinating with programming to strategize an event, developing collateral to promote the event, updating the website with relevant information, identifying all parties necessary to plan and execute the event, developing an event budget, soliciting bids from caterers and developing a menu, securing an A/V provider, identifying a venue, conducting site visits, creating a comprehensive plan for placing all furniture / catering tables / electrical strips / exhibit booths / displays during the event, negotiating contracts, managing event registration, drafting and scheduling automated emails to registrants for different stages of the event, securing vendors for exhibits, securing sponsorships.

Necessary skills

While the requisite skills will vary based on the organization, job scope, and type of events, here is a representative list:

  • Familiarity with virtual event platforms
  • Contract negotiation experience (largely for venues, caterers, A/V providers)
  • Experience soliciting bids from vendors for key services like A/V
  • Ability to coordinate with keynote speakers, presenters, co-organizers, or other relevant stakeholders.
  • Experience overseeing the design and printing of conference materials such as a conference guide and on-site signage.
  • Experience organizing and hosting virtual events (any experience you have had teaching online courses, for example, or organizing virtual conferences will be helpful here).
  • Project management skills such as scheduling, coordinating with committees or external vendors, and planning milestones to meet deadlines.
Salary information

Salaries for event manager and virtual event director will vary widely depending on the position, size of the organization, the region, and other factors. The national average is provided below from Glassdoor.com for each of the example job titles mentioned on this page:

Event Manager

National average: $56,927 (range of $38,000 – $85,000)

Virtual Event Manager

National average: $57,627 (range of $39,000 – $86,000).