Five Books Every Event Management Professional Should Read

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

In any field, you’re only as good as what you know – experience and tricks of the trade help in any profession and this includes event management. There are courses to take, websites you can read, and experts you can talk to – these are all excellent resources, but they take a good deal of networking and time. One of the best and easiest resources to tap into if you truly want to learn from the best is still a book.

In other words, it’s time to start reading.

Today I’m sharing five of my favorite written resources for budding event planners. This list is by no means comprehensive, but the selection has been invaluable to many event planners looking to learn more from industry experts.

1. Into The Heart of Meetings: Basic Principles of Meeting Design by Mike van der Vijver

Given that corporate meetings are pretty much an integral part of enterprise, there are plenty of books on how best to plan them. Thing is, most of those works focus primarily on logistics – something which most event planners are fairly capable of dealing with. Van der Vijver’s book instead delves into a number of core questions and practical issues involving meeting design; most importantly, it teaches how to tailor content so meetings deliver the best results possible.

2. Marketing Your Event Planning Business: A Creative Approach To Gaining The Competitive Edge by Judy Allen

This one’s a must for any event planner looking to start up your own firm – mostly because it contains every bit of advice to follow if you’re going to become a known brand. Established firms should give it a read; it’ll be a godsend if you’re looking to expand your client base.

Check out Allen’s other works. She’s an expert in the field of event planning.  Give her best-seller Event Planning a read.

3. Special Events: A New Generation And The Next Frontier by Joe Goldblatt

Another book from the Wiley Publishing Company, Goldblatt’s piece is more often than not required reading in event management courses. There’s a reason for that – the man knows his stuff, and walks his readers effortlessly through everything they need to know about the modern event management landscape.

Goldblatt's book includes topics such as running green events, measurement and evaluation, and corporate social responsibility.

4. The Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant At A Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry

I’ve said on many occasions that the more creative you can be with your events, the better. It’s for that reason that I’m recommending Henry’s work, which walks its readers through the process involved in controlling one’s creativity, rather than having it come in spontaneous, exhausting bursts. Even though it’s not directly related to event management, it’s a book that can influence how every event planner works creativity into their planning process.

5. Reflections of a Successful Wallflower: Lessons in Business; Lessons in Life by Andrea Michaels

If you don’t already know who Andrea Michaels is, take a moment to look her up – she’s one of the most legendary event planners in the industry. That alone makes this semi-autobiographical book a must-read. Trust me – Michaels has plenty of insights to share, and you’d be foolish to discount any of them.

Allow one author to lead you to another; a great event planner will often reference an influence on them, a book they read. Keep reading, books offer us golden nuggets of advice and then it’s up to us to figure out how and when these tips apply to our own life and work.