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Have you considered a career in exhibitions and events?

A career in the exhibitions and events industry can be rewarding, challenging and ever-changing. There are opportunities for world travel and working with different people and cultures, which can be very exciting. But it is certainly not  a normal nine-to-five position as show organizers often work long hours in advance of an event and at the show site, and it does not stop there.

Career Overview

IAEE offers a wide range of information to help you get started in the exhibitions and events industry. We offer a career path regardless of where you are starting from when looking at a career in exhibitions and event management.

How Do I Get Started?

Starting a career in the exhibitions and events industry is exciting and has a defined career path. IAEE offers several resources available to help navigate the various avenues to jump start your career in exhibitions and events.


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Workforce Ready Certificate

Management recognizes the need for skilled workers and the expectations of entry-level employees is more competitive.  If you have determined that the exhibitions and events industry is your industry of choice and want to stand out to potential employers, the IAEE Workforce Readiness Assessment will demonstrate to employers that you possess the critical entry-level knowledge and skills.

IAEE has identified the competencies needed for entry level positions within the exhibitions and events industry based upon various resources including The Art of the Show textbook, the Hospitality, Tourism and Events Competency Model housed in the Department of Labor’s Competency Model Clearinghouse and IAEE job description analyses.

Upon successful completion of the IAEE Workforce Readiness Assessment, participants will receive a certificate demonstrating you have the knowledge and skills to be considered workplace ready.

Learn more about the Workforce Ready Certificate here.

Art of the Show Text Book (5th Edition now available!)

The Art of the Show, an Introduction to the Study of Exhibition Management textbook, explores the world of exhibitions and events. The fifth edition focuses on the requirements for planning and holding a successful exhibition, both business-to-business and business-to-consumer events; what must be done leading up to the exhibition, during the exhibition and post-event, to create a marketplace for buyers and sellers that fosters engagement and offers a synergistic environment. Written by a broad spectrum of industry experts, this body of knowledge is a standard resource in university and college classrooms around the globe and provides an up-to-date resource for the experienced professional. ISBN 978-0-9895833-2-9

Purchase the PRINT VERSION of the textbook here

Purchase the DIGITAL VERSION of the textbook here

Grants & Scholarships

For those interested in learning more about the exhibitions and events industry, but lack the financial means to continue in their career, IAEE has grants and scholarships to fund your journey in the industry. These grants and scholarships are merit-based and require an application. Read more about the opportunities available to you.

More information on Grants & Scholarships

Colleges & Universities

This is a career of choice. View the List of Colleges/Universities that offer event management programs.

Department of Labor

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has worked with the National Travel and Tourism Office of the Department of Commerce and with technical and subject matter experts from education, business, and industry to develop a comprehensive competency model for the Hospitality, Tourism, and Events industry. The model identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities that provide a foundation for industry workers, as well as competencies specific to key sectors. While the model seeks to cover all workers in the industry, it is not intended that each worker possess all of the competencies listed. The model is rather a compilation of competencies that can be included as a basis for preparation in a Hospitality, Tourism, and Events occupation.

Visit the DOL Competency Clearinghouse Model for Hospitality, Tourism and Events

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook provides specific information to Meeting, Convention and Event Planners that includes:

  • An Overall Summary of Meeting, Convention and Event Planner Jobs
    • The median pay
    • Work experience in a related occupation
    • On the job training
    • Number of jobs
    • Job outlook
  • What Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners Do
  • Work Environment
  • How to Become a Meeting, Convention or Event Planner
  • State & Area Data

DATA USA Public Government Industry Data

In 2014, Deloitte, Datawheel, and Cesar Hidalgo, Professor at the MIT Media Lab and Director of Collective Learning, came together to embark on an ambitious journey — to understand and visualize the critical issues facing the United States in areas like jobs, skills and education across industry and geography and to use this knowledge to inform decision making among executives, policymakers and citizens.

Visit the DATA USA list of skills for event planners