Event Management

The Event Management Course is designed to assist bookstore owners, booksellers, and key staff in learning how to develop a successful store events program. We include a wide variety of event types including author events, author visits to schools, festivals, school book fairs, virtual events, creative non-author events, and building event partnerships with other businesses. We also teach students how to write effective Edelweiss event grid pitches, how to create a publicity/press kit, and how to work with publicists. From the very beginning of the course we emphasize collecting data to understand your store, staff, demographics, and budget so the event program is built through strategic planning.

Space in this certification class is limited to 30 people. Only one person at a time from a store may apply to attend.

2023 Event Management Student Resources. Click here to access.

Our 2023 Course Instructors

Dean Elliott batTzedek, Events Manager, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA & Administrator, Professional Booksellers School

Kit Little, Certified Professional Bookseller (CPB), Owner, Little Extra LLC, Barre, VT & Executive Administrator, NAIBA

Molly Olivo, Book Buyer/Event Coordinator, Child’s Play, Washington, DC

Julie Slavinsky, Event Manager, Warwick's, La Jolla, CA

Candice Huber, Owner, Tubby & Coo's, New Orleans, LA

Robin Wood, Punctuate Communications, LLC, Social Media Coordinator for SIBA, BINC and Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West.

Find out more about our teaching team

Being an active member of the bookselling industry is a critical step in growing a bookstore and shows commitment to your chosen profession. Stores with students in all Professional Booksellers School courses are required to be current members of their regional trade association and/or the American Booksellers Association. Students must also be enrolled in PBS, which is free.

Course Components & Cost

This module will consist of live classes via Zoom, office hours, hosting an event from pitch to follow-up, and a live publicity speed dating event. Homework is assigned for each class. Students are expected to attend the live classes and complete and pass all homework in order to be certified. The course is $375, with discounts available for members of NAIBA, CALIBA, and MPIBA. Some regional trade associations refund the full registration cost for students who successfully complete the course and are certified.

Course Objectives

The Professional Booksellers School Event Management Course provides booksellers with the skills and tools to:

  • Create a balanced and successful event program
  • Understand how to use metrics to create a strategic plan for your event program
  • Create an effective data management systems
  • Understand planning, hosting, and marketing needs for a variety of events including author, non-author, live, virtual, on-site and off-site
  • Build and use partnerships to expand your event program
  • Plan and manage school-focused events
  • Build a publicity kit and learn to pitch your store to publishers via publicity speed dating
  • Strengthen management skills to create events that are welcoming to authors, guests, customers, and staff

Course Syllabus- Click to View

Major Project Deliverables
  • Data-based Six-Month Strategic Plan
  • Event Data Management System
  • Publicity Kit
  • Live Publicity Speed Dating Presentation
  • Final Presentation of a complete Event Case Study.

Class 1: Welcome, Syllabus, Getting Started

Class 2: Elements of a Successful Event Program

Class 3: Using Data for Strategic Planning

First Round of Office Hours

Class 4: Student Presentation: Your Six Month Strategic Plan

Class 5: Managing Event Program Data

Class 6: Managing Events: Proposal Through After-Report

Class 7: Above & Beyond

Class 8: Marketing and Promotional Systems

Class 9: Publicists Panel

Class 10: How to Prepare a Publicity Kit & Pitch

Second Round of Office Hours

Class 11: Student Presentation: Your Publicity Kit

Class 12: Publicity Speed Dating

Class 13: Virtual Events

Class 14: Developing Successful Event Partnerships

Class 15:  School-Focused Events

Third Round of Office Hours

Class 16: Student Presentation: Event Analysis Final Project

Learning Outcomes

As a result of this course, you will have the knowledge to:

  • Identify the kinds of events that work best for your store’s market demographics, square footage, staffing resources, partnership options, and community goals.
  • Plan a balanced events schedule that works for your staff, store, and customer base.
  • Implement best practices for scheduling, planning, ticketing, and hosting a combination of in-store, off-site, and virtual events that work specifically for your store.
  • Implement best practices for promoting/marketing an event.
  • Identify the criteria for the event manager role.
  • Train key staff members on how to support all types of events that are relevant to your store.
  • Establish and use a metrics system to track and measure the success of your store’s events.
  • Create a publicity kit that will highlight your store’s event programs.
  • Know how and when to use the publicity kit to submit author requests to the publishers and their publicity departments.
  • Approach potential event partners to increase options for event space, production, and/or promotion.
  • Know how to write and submit a compelling event request using Edelweiss+ grids and/or direct email.
If you have questions or need assistance, contact administration at hello@professionalbooksellers.com.

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