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 40 people. Only one staff member per store may enroll to be certified.

2024 Student Resource Page

Our 2024 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

Kathy Ellen Davis, Social Media Manager, NAIBA

Meet 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 course will consist of live classes via Zoom, office hours, communication on a Discord server, 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, NEIBA, CALIBA, MIBA, SIBA, and MPIBA. Find out what support your Regional Trade Association offers on our website.

2024 Course Syllabus

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
Major Project Deliverables
  • Events Capacity Analysis

  • Event Data Management System

  • Publicity Kit & Pitch

  • Live Publicity Speed Dating Presentation

  • Final Presentation of a 6 Month Strategic Plan

2024 Student Resource Page

2024 Classes

01/21 Class 1: Welcome to Event Management

01/28 Class 2: Elements of a Successful Event Program

02/04 Class 3: Marketing & Analytics

02/18 Class 4: Using Data for Understanding Your Program

02/19 - 03/01 Office Hours: Help with the Events Capacity Presentation

03/03 Class 5: Live Presentations: Events Capacity Analysis

03/10 Class 6: Running an Event: Proposal Through After-Report

03/17 Class 7: Managing Event Program Data

03/18 - 04/06 Office Hours: Present your event management system

04/07 Class 8: Publicists Panel & Using Event Grids

04/14 Class 9: How to Prepare a Publicity Kit

04/15 - 04/27 Office Hours: Help with the Publicity Kit & Pitch

04/28 Class 10: Live Presentation: Your Publicity Kit

05/05 Class 11: Virtual Events

05/08 Class 12: Publicity Speed Dating (This is a Wednesday) 

05/19 Class 13: Developing Successful Event Partnerships

06/02 Class 14:  School-Focused Events

06/09 Class 15: Above & Beyond

06/10 - 06/22 Office Hours: Help with the 6 month strategic plan

06/23 Class 16: Live Presentation of 6 Month Strategic Plan 

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Understand the types of bookstore events, and the components that make each kind successful

  • Establish and use a metrics system to track and measure the success of your store’s events

  • Understand the best tools and channels to market your events and how to use analytics to evaluate which promotions are working

  • Know what data to gather in order to evaluate your store’s current event program capacity to help shape an effective growth plan

  • Know  how to run a successful event from proposal through after-report, including best practices for scheduling, planning, ticketing, and hosting all types of events

  • Establish a system to effectively manage event program planning and data, including making information available to key stakeholders such as buyers, frontline staff, and partners

  • Know how to write and submit a compelling event request using Edelweiss+ grids and/or direct email

  •  Create a Publicity Kit and pitch that will highlight your store’s personality, customer base, marketing, and event programming

  • Know how and when to use a Publicity Kit to submit event requests to the publishers and publicity departments 

  • Know  how to use a Publicity Kit to pitch the store’s event program quickly and efficiently through participating in Publicity Speed Dating

  • Identify and evaluate community partners to increase options for event space, production, and/or promotion

  • Know best practices for working with school-focused events, including author visits and book fairs 

  • Understand how a hospitality model helps event managers care for their guests, their staff, their stores, and themselves

  • Use all of the skills taught in the course, build a six month strategic plan that identifies the kinds of events that will work best for your store’s mission, market demographics, square footage, staffing resources, partnership options, and community goals

If you have questions or need assistance, contact administration at hello@professionalbooksellers.com.

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