I guess at some point in life, we all end up responsible for some sort of event. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something official, but even when you get a bunch of friends over for an anniversary, it still counts. Obviously, the larger or more official an event is, the more professional your approach should be, too.

Now, whether you like to work in the industry (which is quite profitable, by the way) or you simply love being a host for friends and a big family, above some obvious tips, there are some important things to learn that can make a huge difference.

And to be on top of everything, let me introduce you to a few event management books that have truly transformed how I (and some of my professional friends) plan events.

What Are The Top Event Management and Hospitality Books?

Trivia Hosting Tonight (Boost Your Business with Trivia Book 3), by Jon Nelsen (2024)

I was told about this book by a local pub manager. She used to organize all kinds of events on a weekly basis. Trivia one night, quiz night next week, a bit of live music and so on. Every week was different, quite fun, but nothing extraordinary. Until one day, when her trivia night literally smashed it.

I read this book at her recommendation. Back then, I used to work in a care home and I had to organize all sorts of events for our guests. It’s by far one of the best event management books I’ve been through lately.

It's filled with strategies for planning as well as scheduling everything to ensure a seamless event. It's mainly aimed at trivia nights, but of course, you can also adapt its valuable insights to other types of events. You'll learn how to choose the right trivia, but also how to entertain different types of people.

Since most of these events require a bar as well, there are strategies to optimize your offers for higher revenue. From creating dynamic nights to interacting with a broad audience, there's a little something for anyone who needs help organizing an event.

The Event Manager's Bible 3rd Edition, by D.G. Conway (2014)

We all know events, necessities and demands change on a regular basis. This means the book has been released in a few different editions, so I recommend getting the latest one to ensure you’re following the trends.

Be it a public event, a voluntary job or perhaps a business one, you’ll learn how to do it in a safe manner, but without compromising fun. This book will help you conduct proper research, plan everything in the smallest details, manage the requirements and ensure a successful result.

It makes no difference if it’s a special night in a restaurant, a marathon or perhaps a school sports day. This isn’t a plan you have to follow for a certain type of event. Instead, I found it useful because it teaches you how to do everything by the book, regardless of the event.

It’s one of those hospitality books that teaches you when to organize, where, how to advertise, how to research and plan, how to secure parking, plan emergency solutions and so on. It’s suitable for any type of event out there, literally.

Event Planning, by Alex Genadinik (2015)

I find this book more suitable for those doing big events, like business events or festivals. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't mean your meetup with some old high school friends won't work. I'm just saying it's well-detailed and offers a professional approach.

It’s one of the most complete event management books I’ve been through. It’s ideal for those who want to start a career in event management, as well as those who already work in this industry. You’ll learn how to actually generate income while making sure your guests are having an amazing time.

From attracting audience to ways to make money, there’s a bit of everything. I like the promotion part in particular because personally, I believe a good event is worthless if it doesn’t benefit from the right advertising.

At the end of the day, this is a good read with straight to the point techniques, no fluff or general stuff whatsoever.

Event Management For Dummies, by Laura Capell (2013)

We all know these series for dummies. They give a nice insight and some useful tips and tricks. And while this book isn’t as detailed and professional as other event management books, I believe it’s one of the best resources for newcomers.

It’s great for anyone thinking to start a career, but it’s even better for those dealing with light events, such as a night in a restaurant, a trivia event, you name it. It features a wide variety of tips and tricks, things you don’t always think about.

Then, it covers the checklists for more types of events. If this is your first event, you'll also learn about how to run it properly. I think this is the part I learned the most from. It helped me a lot with budgeting but also with promoting the event without really breaking the bank.

Anyway, like I said, it’s not the most detailed book for professionals, but it’s a good start for anyone thinking about joining this industry or dealing with small events. Over 300 pages of tips and ideas, very well structured.

The Non-Obvious Guide to Event Planning 2nd Edition, by Andrea Driessen (2023)

I believe this book takes it in a different direction because it adds a bit of spice to your events. I mean, let’s be honest about it, many events are quite boring. People attend because they have to, whether they’re business related or they involve your extended family.

Now, most weddings are the same. Most trivia nights go in the same direction. You'll know exactly what to expect upfront. Sure, some events are better organized than others, but that's pretty much it. There are no surprises whatsoever, and everyone follows the same rules.

In my opinion, Andrea Driessen’s book comes as an extension to some of the more professional books I’ve mentioned before. Basically, once you become a bit more professional, it’s time to make a difference and stand out.

This book has taught me some amazing strategies to ensure an unconventional approach to my events. It’s full of ideas and solutions to turn boring events into captivating experiences. And no, it doesn’t imply spending a fortune, but just using your imagination.

You’ll develop some new strategies, regardless of your experience, but you’ll learn how to plan and make sure everything goes according to it. No matter how inexperienced you think you are, this is one of those event management books that will put you on track.

Event Planning, by Judy Allen (2010)

This is one of the classic hospitality books out there. No matter what type of event you’re trying to plan, I believe it applies to everything. Sure, it might be over 20 years old, but trust me, the basic principles of event planning and management still apply today.

It covers everything in the process, from invitations and operations to marketing and the actual meeting. It applies to all kinds of events, that’s the part I like the most. It doesn’t matter if it’s for 25 people or 1,000 people.

All in all, this book covers venue selection, setting the budget, scheduling, deciding on the staff, coordinating foods and drinks, working with other professionals in the industry, and pretty much everything. Moreover, you'll love the cost forms and samples, so budgeting should never be an issue.

The book is great for all kinds of planners, from occasional voluntary planners to actual professionals.

Event Planning and Management, by Ruth Dowson and David Bassett (2018)

This masterpiece covers the basic principles of event planning. It’s a must for anyone who needs to organize an event, whether they do it for a living or just for their family and friends. Sure, event trends change every now and then, but principles stay the same.

I believe this is the foundation to a proper career in event planning, but also a solid piece of information for anyone who’s doing it occasionally. It helped me understand both the theory and the practice required to tackle an event and not just the theory, like many other books do.

Of course, it covers all the little bits, too, such as budgeting, tips for finding a location, promotions, and so on. Now, while principles are less likely to change too soon, small bits like marketing or PR do require some innovation.

I’m not saying find another book for these things, just make sure you get the latest edition of the book, rather than the first one.

Final Thoughts on Top Event Management and Hospitality Books

Event management doesn't seem too complicated, but it does become a challenge once you get involved. It may look easy at first glance, but small details often make the difference. And without the right book or proper training, that's where most of us fail to succeed.

The above mentioned event management books are some of the best hospitality books you’ll ever go through, covering a wide variety of details and data you won’t find anywhere else. From professional planning to tips to ensure your event isn’t boring, you’ll find everything you need for your event to stand out.

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