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Madison ShepherdFeb 24, 2024 5:51:09 PM4 min read

What is the Difference Between Event Production and Event Management?

Event production and event management are two terms that are often used interchangeably in the industry, but they actually have different meanings.

Event management can sometimes be called “event production”, but when searching for support, you’ll want to make sure you are typing in the right lingo.

In this article, we will explore the differences between these two terms and provide you with insights on how you can leverage each of these areas to successfully execute your next event.

Man working as an event producer

What is Event Production?

Lights, camera, action! 

Event production agencies specialize in managing all of the lighting, audiovisuals (AV), sound production, staging, and props needed at your event. 

Event production is a vital element in your overall event plan, as a well-produced general session can make or break your event.

Man on phone working as an event manager

What is Event Management?

Event management companies act as your right hand, guiding you from the moment you start brainstorming your event to the final wrap-up, taking care of every little detail along the way. 

Who will you call when your event faces unexpected weather challenges or when dealing with on-the-fly scheduling adjustments? That’s where your event management company comes in.

With their expertise in budgeting, vendor coordination, and logistics, they manage all the intricacies, giving you more time to focus on the important aspects of your job.

The Difference Between Event Production and Event Management

Let’s dive into the nuances that set event management and event production companies apart.

Group of attendees networking at a sales kickoff event

Event Management Agencies

Event management agencies oversee the entire planning of your event, rather than just the production of your general session or evening event.

They typically handle all the logistics of your event, including coordinating event schedules and breakout session topics to venue selection and attendee registration. 

They also will often oversee the event production vendor. They can help coordinate the design of your stage or other production aspects by communicating your vision with the production team. Additionally, they will often be in the general session room to oversee timing, help facilitate speakers, and make sure production is running smoothly.

Beyond their production oversight, their goal is to craft an overarching roadmap for your entire event. 

From knowing the timing of your CEO's flight arrival to the lunch menu options, event management companies have a deep understanding of all the details that shape the success of your event.

Audio Visual equipment at an event

Event Production Agencies

Event production companies collaborate closely with both you and your event management agency, working in tandem to bring that envisioned roadmap to life within your general session, breakout sessions, and evening events.

They begin by analyzing the planned schedule of your event, created by the event management agency, to determine what visual or audio elements are needed. 

With a focus on the physical aspects of the event, event production agencies may ask you questions like, “What formats will the presentations or speeches take (PowerPoint, videos, live demos)?” or even “What emotions do we want to evoke in the audience during the event?”

They manage all the technical aspects of your event, from bringing in necessary equipment to crafting design elements that breathe life into your event.

Who gets hired first?

It depends. But in most cases, the event management agency is hired first.

Event management agencies play a crucial role early in the planning process, laying the foundation for your entire event to follow. 

Usually, the process begins with your event management agency conducting site visits alongside you to select the ideal event venue.

Following this, decisions are made regarding the number of required breakout rooms and the envisioned setup for each session. 

The event production agency is then brought in as a creative partner, developing a plan based on the theme, atmosphere, and desired attendee experience. Typically the event management agency will provide recommendations for production agencies and will facilitate the negotiations of the partnership.

With the roadmap in place, the event production agency then spearheads the coordination of the technical aspects of your event, including designing the stage setup, room layouts, and timeline for sessions.

Which is Right for Your Business?

Here are a few questions to consider when determining if you require an event management agency or an event production agency for your upcoming event (in most cases, both roles are essential). 

For Event Management Agencies:

  • Are you primarily concerned with the logistical aspects of your event, such as timelines, budgets, and vendor coordination? 
  • Do you need someone to take charge of the planning, organization, and detailed execution of your event?
  • Are you looking for someone who can handle unforeseen challenges and be an on-site problem-solver during your event? 
  • Are you wanting someone in charge of ensuring that the event runs smoothly and according to plan?

For Event Production Agencies:

  • Are you primarily concerned with the overall creative vision and aesthetics of your general session?
  • Do you need expertise in handling technical aspects like audiovisual elements, lighting, and staging?
  • Is your event focused on creating a visually appealing and memorable impact for attendees?

By asking yourself these questions, you can better determine whether your event requires the planning and logistical expertise of an event management agency or the creative vision and production skills of an event production agency. 

However, these two roles work together to make your event shine. While there may be a difference in functionality between the two, they are partners in the process. 


Although event management companies and event production companies may appear similar at first glance, they each play unique roles that collectively contribute to a successful event. 

Ultimately, they function in separate niches within the same industry. 

Graphic describing the key differences between event management and event production agencies

Ready to Plan Your Next Event?

GoGather can help you identify whether an event management agency is right for your business, then will manage all the moving pieces so you can host an event that's talked about for years to come. Let’s brainstorm your next event together.


Madison Shepherd

Madison Shepherd is a Marketing Specialist at GoGather. When she's not writing blogs or sending out social media posts, she enjoys hiking, traveling, or reading at one of the many beautiful beaches in San Diego.