What’s the Difference Between Event Management and Event Production?

When it comes to putting on a large event, it typically requires an “all-hands on deck” approach. As a meeting planner, you need to bring your entire staff on to assist with all the details – from pre-planning to execution on the day of the event. But even then, your team may not have the time or experience necessary to do all that’s needed to pull off the event and make it a success.

That’s when it may be time for you to consider hiring an event management company or an event production company – or both.

We’re often asked, “What’s the difference between an event management company and an event production company?” In this post, we’ll explain the difference between the two roles so you can decide which is best for your next event. You may decide that hiring both is the best route to take!

What Does An Event Management Company Do?

An event management company specializes in planning, organizing, and executing various types of events, ranging from corporate conferences to large trade shows and everything in between. They work with you to manage concepts and plan the event, ensuring it aligns with your vision and objectives. The early phase often includes brainstorming themes, deciding on the event’s format (in-person, virtual, or hybrid), and setting the preliminary budget.

Their role also includes venue selection. Based on the event’s size, nature, and audience, they research, negotiate, and secure the right venue for your event. This also includes managing contracts and ensuring the venue meets all event requirements, like accessibility, capacity and all the technical needs required.

They also handle logistical arrangements, such as choosing vendors. Event companies coordinate with and hire various vendors, including caterers, AV technicians, decorators, and entertainment providers. They are responsible for getting quotes, managing contracts, and coordinating the logistics of their services during setup and the day of the event. 

Event Management companies also manage the logistics and operations of your event. This includes the detailed planning and execution of event logistics, like transportation for attendees, parking arrangements, and onsite coordination so people know where they need to go on the day of the event. This may mean hiring people to stand throughout the event venue to guide people and answer questions. 

They also keep track of all event-related expenses, negotiate with suppliers to ensure costs stay in line with the budget and they’ll provide regular financial updates to you.

For events requiring registration, they set up registration platforms, manage attendee lists, handle ticket sales, and provide on-site check-in services, ensuring registration is a smooth experience for attendees.

These professionals excel at creating memorable experiences for attendees by leveraging their creativity, organizational skills, and industry knowledge to bring events to life. Their expertise helps to ease your stress but also ensures that each event is executed flawlessly, leaving a lasting, positive impression on the event’s participants.

By managing these tasks, an event management company ensures that every aspect of the event is carefully planned and executed, leading to successful and memorable outcomes for both you and the attendees.

We work with several event management companies and would be happy to refer you to them should you need an event management company for your next event!

What Does An Event Production Company Do?

This is where our company shines! An event production company focuses on the technical and creative execution of events, ensuring that your event vision is brought to life through logistics, technology, and compelling visuals and audio. Unlike event management, which covers the broader aspects of planning and organizing, event production focuses on the production elements that make an event visually engaging. 

An event production company can help with location selection. However, if you don’t hire them to help with venue selection, make sure you bring them in early so they can offer suggestions and see the venue as soon as possible so they can plan the event accordingly.

They handle all types of technical aspects of an event, including sound, lighting, video, staging, and special effects. This involves designing technical layouts, selecting appropriate equipment, and managing the setup and breakdown. Their goal is to ensure that the event space is used effectively and that all speaker presentations and performances are supported by high-quality audio and visuals. They will work with speakers to determine what type of microphone they prefer and what type of presentation files they have so there are no surprises on the event day. Coordination and planning ahead are key!

Event production companies also design and construct stages, sets, and backdrops that align with your event’s theme and objectives so that every visual element contributes to a cohesive and immersive experience.

Another area they bring to the event is lighting. They can create and design lighting plans that not only illuminate the event space but also enhance the mood, highlight key elements, and support the overall aesthetics of the event. This can vary from spotlights for performances to entryway lighting.

High-quality sound is crucial for any event, and these companies manage the sound design to ensure clear audio — whether it’s for a speaker, musical performance or a multimedia video presentation. They select and operate sound systems, microphones and mixing boards, tailoring the audio setup to the event’s specific needs.

Podium microphone in front of room of wooden chairs for event attendees to sit in

Another area of expertise is video! From live video feeds and presentations to pre-recorded content and interactive displays, event production companies manage all aspects of video production. This includes video recording, editing, and projection, ensuring that visual content is engaging and professionally presented.

Custom LED design and setup is also another specialty. Creatively using LED screens throughout the event is an artistic way to bring your event to life! A good event production company has the LED screens and creativity to put those screens to use in an imaginative way.

On the logistical side of things, they coordinate the delivery, setup, and operation of all production equipment. This involves planning to ensure that everything runs smoothly from setup to the day of the event, from the timing of deliveries to the scheduling of technical rehearsals with speakers or other performers.

Providing creative direction is also in their wheelhouse. Event production companies often provide creative direction to ensure that all event elements — from the stage design to backdrops to the lighting and multimedia content — work together to tell a story or convey a message. They work closely with you to understand your vision and turn it into a visible experience at your event.

Male with glasses working as technical director sits in front of AV computer setup for video playback and managing show operations

They also offer on-site technical support throughout the event, handling any issues that arise quickly and efficiently to minimize disruptions. This ensures that the event proceeds as planned, with technical glitches getting resolved quickly.

In summary, an event production company plays a crucial role in bringing the creative and technical aspects of an event together, creating memorable experiences that resonate with attendees long after the event ends.

If you need an event production company, contact our team. We’d be happy to discuss your next event with you!