The Institute Of Event Management – An Ambitious Global Initiative

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

On July 8, 2014 an interesting and ambitious new organization known as The Institute of Event Management made its official debut at The Meetings Show in Olympia, London. The IEM, initially operating out of the United Kingdom, hopes to eventually become an international organization establishing global professional standards for the event industry.

Universal standards in the meetings and event industry have been a long time coming.

The Meeting Show was a perfect setting for the announcement of this type of global initiative. This annual event focuses on the needs of professional meeting and events planners providing dedicated educational programs, guest speakers, and innovative vendors, and it brings together a wide variety of industry community.

See, one of the biggest problems with event management is that it’s a largely unregulated field. Although there are plenty of certifications around, there is no real universal benchmark used to value the various certificates and therefore how does one gain proper professional recognition for their achievement.

Furthermore while educational streams do exist for event planners, they're few and far between. Career development in event management is largely up to the individual. There’s no centralized, authoritative source of information or education. While this admittedly tends to weed out those who aren’t passionate about the career, it likely also serves as a barrier for plenty of otherwise talented, capable individuals.

A central authority also provides accountability. Today there’s no regulatory body or industry specific network within which to report unprofessional conduct, nor is there a consistent means of determining whether or not a particular event planner is worth hiring. It’s largely about how one markets and manages their reputation.

All these are issues the IEM is hoping to address in due time.

“Lifelong learning opportunities will prove key to assisting personal development and enhanced career pathways. We intend to open up an ambitious spectrum of information resources, signposting and knowledge sharing,” explained IEM executive board chair Susan Spibey to Meet Pie.

“Longer-term aims include establishing a portfolio of awards and bursaries, creating a publications library, setting up recruitment and support services, plus research fellowships.” Spibey went on to note that the IEM has already gathered ‘widespread support’ from every sector of the UK event industry, and is currently working with a number of influential organizations to further their development and reach.

As an event planner, the concept of an organization with a global reach could mean a more professional events industry. New event planners will have an easier time breaking into the field, while veteran planners will have an easier time showing prospective clients that they know their stuff. Most importantly, it means that event managers – both new and old – will be equipped with all the necessary tools to run bigger, better, and more efficient events.

The Institute of Event Management is scheduled for a full launch later this year and it should be interesting to see how its influence may indeed go global over the next decade.