Shifting Opinions

A photo by Annie Spratt.

Photograph by Annie Spratt

I have a lot of opinions. I mean seriously if you have a couple of hours – okay more like a couple of spare days – then hit me up on anything to do with politics, feminism, the UK education system, global warming, lack of education/understanding/communication on most issues, diversity in the events industry (or shall we just talk about the lack of diversity in EVERY industry). I am more than happy to have a conversation on all of these and MANY many more!

Yet I know that none of my opinions on these topics are set in stone.

My opinions develop and change as I grow up, experience more things, meet different people, and when I get challenged by others who counter my facts with their own.

The last post I wrote on here was about Brexit & the Events Industry. Whilst we are unlikely to know how Brexit will effects jobs till next year when Article 50 will be triggered by March 2017 – I have had some conversations in the past few months that have made me reconsider my personal view points on this topic. Or at least have opened my eyes to a new way of looking at the topic.

So here is a post where I retract/explain how some of my opinions have moved on and why.

I voted remain.

A vote I think I would give again if the chance came up. However I attended Future Fest a few weekends ago & sat in on a debate that looked at the Future of Europe; this conversation, filled with experts, brought to my attention many things I wasn’t previously aware of.

That it is not just the UK who have bad feelings about the EU. In fact many Eastern European countries don’t feel listened too, they feel left alone on dealing with the Migrant crisis, the debt crisis + other issues. And before Brexit the whole conversation was about Grexit – and where Greece would go.

This made me realise that I actually don’t know much about the EU, my knowledge and understanding on European politics is distinctly lacking & to really have an opinion I need to know more. How can I really call out people who voted to leave when I don’t know anything about how the European Union actually functions?!

Of course it’s going to effect our industry, when people have the choice of where to hold their event are they really going to pick a destination that has decided to segregate themselves & basically say ‘you’re not welcome’?

The above point is one I want to retract. I made a very judgmental point that grouped together the 52% who voted to leave, took myself out of the equation and basically said I am not part of the problem.

But the thing is I am.

We as citizens have a responsibility to listen to all views, 52% of the country feel that the best opportunity is for the UK to leave the EU. That means we – you & I – have a duty to understand why people voted this way and address those issues, fix them & help create a country we’re all proud of. It was at Future Fest where I learnt that many people’s reasoning for voting to leave stems from them feeling like they have no control with what happens in their local community. Rather it is the bigger cities such as Liverpool, London and Glasgow – the majority of who voted to remain – who have seen value and gained from being part of the EU.

I don’t agree with the Brexit vote, but I would rather make the best of this situation by understanding more about why people voted this way and helping to craft a country and community that I am proud of. I feel it is a chance for us to be part of something the will come to shape the UK for many generations. Might as well make it count, right?!

There are a lot of things that might not look like they have a direct relevance to the events industry, or to gaining a degree in events management. But knowing more about the world, understanding people & how they think and behave, will ultimately allow you to create the best events that answer a need.

So with the new academic year just starting I would urge you to continue to pay attention to those areas outside of the events industry, and don’t be afraid to admit when some of your previous opinions have changed!



Brexit & the Events Industry

Elliott Stallion

Photograph by Elliott Stallion (via Unsplash

The recent Brexit vote has thrown up a lot of questions, anger and uncertainty. For the events industry, and any industry that operates on an international playing-field, there are many questions that still need to be answered.

It is a result that I didn’t think would happen, a vote I was against, and one that has only heightened my belief that there’s a need to educate/inform/communicate with the young people in a way that is understandable. It continues to be the reason I am fucked off with politics.

Brexit is a conversation that everyone is having – across social media, on the news & one I had many a times whilst out in the USA. (which is where for the referendum & results)

I might have been 5,000 miles away, 8 hours behind but people still noted its importance.

And a month on from when we all went to the polls & got the momentous result, the understanding of what the next steps are seem to be as puzzling to politicians as it is to the rest of us at home.

I don’t really know how Brexit will affect the events industry, both in the short & long-term. I believe that it will change it.

We’ve already seen a shift in how people are opening talking to each other, our government has completely changed & we now have a PM who no-one voted for.

Of course it’s going to effect our industry, when people have the choice of where to hold their event are they really going to pick a destination that has decided to segregate themselves & basically say ‘you’re not welcome’?

Right now the world seems to be in a state of utter destruction. In fact it will make for some fantastic films in years to come, just a shame it isn’t fiction.

When I talk to people about what Brexit will mean for events there seems to be a strong consensus that the best tactic is to carry on. That we need to continue to maintain/build relationships with our colleagues and friends around the world. That we need to reassure clients and help people remember how strong the UK events industry is.

EU BBC News Referendum Results

I’ve read a lot of angry, powerful & passionate pieces following the results – but interestingly they seem to come from younger people. Yes 48.1% of voters were angry BUT the conversation/ the action has been (from where I stand) dominated by under 30’s.

Even in the events industry it seems that it’s the Students & Graduates who’ve acted most vocal on the topic (*Event Article w/ students), and maybe that’s because we’re most scared. I have heard more rational, reasonable and controlled points and thoughts from industry colleagues who have a longer and more developed experience in the industry (*Exhibition News Article w/ event profs). It might be because of their own experiences and understanding of how business gets done that their language is less anger fulled. Or it could be because they feel there is nothing  that can be done to ignore the result.

I’m curious to hear what you think might happen, how it made you feel. I’m especially interested to garner some understanding on how you think it might affect Job Opportunities.

In fact – more than anything – I want to have a discussion with someone who completely disagrees with me, I want to try to understand how the move away for connecting with our fellow neighbors is a good thing, how it will benefit an industry that is so international!?



Progression Question


Photography by Daria Nepriakhina (via Unsplash)

Shall we have a guess on what excuses shall be used as to why I’ve been silent on the blogging front for the last month?!

Don’t worry I shall save you the time;

I feel that I am no longer best placed to be the person giving advice to Event Students. Or more specifically that I cannot focus the whole blog on just event degrees & students.

I’m not ignorant enough to think that because I’ve been a Graduate for 2 years, I no longer remember the pain & suffering of writing essays. That I cannot relate to the confusing nature of academic books & how little they relate to the actual industry.

I’ve been through the process, spent 4 years gaining an event degree & now work for one of the best experience marketing agencies in the world! I’m also not claiming I no longer have anything to say on this topic, but rather I have established my view points on so many topics relevant to Event Students that I’m now just repeating myself;

I fully support Event Degrees & how they build up and create a fantastic group of future Event Profs. Yet I stand by the statement there is a lack of connection between course, academics, businesses operating in the events industry and event professionals.

I recommend and encourage students to go out & get experience (Volunteering, interning, taking on a placement year or some work experience) within the industry BUT more importantly in different roles – not just looking at operations or on site logistics. Look at sales & marketing, venue side, catering, working in large agencies, small agencies, for event tech companies,  in strategy & planning, for experiential companies, at festivals, running B2B events.

I think there is still not enough women in leadership positions, that there is still work to be done to make the whole industry (and event courses) more inclusive – which is why I am so excited to see the introduction of Event Apprenticeships!

How amazing and important it is for students & anyone at the start of their event career to connect with other event professionals. How networking and becoming part of associations like ILEA can help you develop, connect with peers and grown into other roles!

All of these opinions have been shared on this blog. They are view points I express on regular basis, both online and IRL. And for now I think they are unlikely to change!

One of the biggest reasons as to why I have these feelings is because of my job as a Junior Strategist. I am moving further down a career path that, whilst sill events related, crosses many different industries and disciplines.

It is leading me to different questions and conversations that aren’t as relevant to what I originally set this blog up to cover. To topics that you might want to hear and engage in.

More than anything I want to talk about what I do. I want to share my thoughts, questions and experiences, but I also want to gauge if this would interest you?

Do you want to read more about what Strategy & Planning is, how it connects with Events, Advertising and Experiential?

*to be 100% honest I will props start writing about it anyway – but please feel free to express your opinion on this 🙂

I look forward to hearing what you guys think, please feel free to share your thoughts on any & everything I’ve said in this post – discussion and conversations are the best way to develop & progress!

I also wanted to share my appreciation for a few blogs & vlogs that I think are fantastic additions to the landscape of Event Students and degrees! 🙂

Event Student View by the fantastic Melissa (who is also great on Twitter) who has just finished her Event Degree!

Tori Bell’s blog – who is the 2016 Eventice winner & all round lovely person! (She wrote a great write-up here)

Phoebe’s Event Blog by *surprise surprise* Phoebe – a recent event grad working up North!

An Events Student’s View written by Francesca a final year event student.

& one I only found today – Harriet Rose’s Vlogging channel – who is a Second Year Event Student @ Bournemouth!


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