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Different Types of Event Industry Sequences

September 25, 2019

There are so many different types of event industry sequences. Corporate event planner, MICE, social events, but what does it all mean? In simple terms, I’m breaking down the seven event industry sequences and the different types of events under each.

M.I.C.E.Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions

Meeting planning is the most common sequence in the event industry because it has a lot of crossover with several other categories such as incentives and conferences. Meeting planning incorporates board meetings, seminars, workshops, or any other business-related purpose.

Incentive Travel/DMCs (Destination Management Company)

Incentive travel is one type of corporate event that is housed under the acronym M.I.C.E (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) due to the similarities in the planning process. Incentive travel primarily emphasizes social activities, networking, and entertainment. Destination managers assist in the meeting planning process by offering local knowledge and resources, such as transportation and lodging, in order to help execute events in a particular region

Conventions and Conferences

Take San Diego Comic Con, for example, one of the largest conventions in the U.S. Comic-Con incorporates panels, sessions, various networking, and other interactive events and activities within the convention itself. Conferences focus on professional development for the purpose of licensing, accreditation, and/or education.

Exhibitions/Trade Shows/Expos

Exhibitions are usually held in conjunction with a conference or convention. Aside from the sessions, a convention and conference can have an exhibition hall (or trade show) to showcase vendor products and services. Trade shows are mostly business to business, and exhibitions focus on consumers. The term expo is most commonly used for consumers such as a bridal expo or fair, but it is essentially an exhibition.

Corporate Events

These are events for large businesses and corporations. For example, this can include anything from conferences for professional development purposes, employee holiday parties, and client entertaining. There are many other types of events that fall under corporate, but if the primary purpose of the event is for a corporate company or entity, it’s considered a corporate event.

Social Events/Special Events and Celebrations

These are the most commonly known types of events because it’s a party! Birthday parties, retirement parties, engagement, and bridal showers, baby showers, etc. Pubic or private celebrations such as parades and fairs also fall under this category if they are not for a corporate entity. Weddings are considered an entirely separate industry, and not a stand-alone sequence in the events industry.

Charity and Non-Profit Events

These events are primarily for the goal of fundraising for the charity or non-profit. This commonly includes Galas, Receptions, and Auctions. Pop-up shops and profit shares are also other types of events that benefit a charity or non-profit. Non-profit event planners are well experienced in fundraising, and this can also include education-based organizations such as local schools.

Experiential Events

This is one of the more difficult sequences to get into as an event professional. Because of the nature of the event, planners have to have a lot of experience in marketing and public relations, and not just logistics coordination. Experiential events aim to bring a brand to life through product launches, brand activations, and immersive experiences. If a brand is launching a new product, an event is a great way to showcase the product to potential consumers through an interactive experience. These types of events have a vast range of possibilities in the design and production of the overall event which is why it is so sought after.

Within these 7 different sequences, there is a lot of crossover in the planning process and type of events. This is a simple breakdown of the types of sequences under the event industry umbrella, but there are also events such as corporate social and other hybrid events.

Many event professionals have a combination of experience in multiple sequences or are considered experts in a specific field because they have long-term experience in that category. If you are an expert in a specific sequence or have experience in multiple sequences under your belt, then you are considered a well-rounded event professional in the industry.

As an event professional, you also can find your specific niche in the event industry. Not all planners are interested in every type of event, and that’s ok to be specific about the kinds of events you want experience in. So don’t feel like you need to be a part of each of these sequences, but knowing the difference can also help guide you in which particular categories you’d like to pursue in your professional career.

For a more detailed breakdown of the different types of event industry sequences, check out this article!

Have you ever thought about the different event planning job titles and what they mean? Check this out!


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