How to become the BEST Event Student in 2017!

Photography by Clem Onojeghuo

Answer: EXPLORE

Taking that step outside your own comfort zone can be the pinnacle moment that gives you direction.

Whilst a majority of people who read this blog are currently (or past) Event Management students we are not all striving for the exact same career aspirations.

I have great friends of mine who have found a company where they are in their element. Some work in a small team of no more than 6 people running education courses for one very specific niche industry, others work in venues – big and small – across the whole of the UK where they run a wide variety of events from photo-shoots to weddings. Other friends are in catering, work for associations, have set up their own event companies, work in production, or have joined an agency!

What is fantastic is seeing the many different areas people end up working in. That whilst this industry is small, it doesn’t have to be as competitive as is first described to us when we set out on finding our first job!

Monday is the deadline for the 2017 Eventice application process – if you have a spare hour over this weekend & have been thinking of applying then I would highly recommend you go ahead a give it a go!

I think an area that is often overlooked by lecturers is pushing for students to explore the wide variety of career options available within events. That working in the world of logistics is not the only job option available – although I should add there is also nothing wrong if that is the path you are wanting to take, man my level of respect for my friends and colleagues who do that job everyday is exceptionally high!

Taking a personal look at this, in my final year of uni I had no idea what I would do when I left. I had established operations was not the place for me, but I was faced with a complete lack of understanding from the uni of other options available to me. Where I am in my career is more of a fluke than a deliberate decision.

One area of research that I think all students should take is in exploring the actual breadth of the industry. Seeing the many different ways event professionals have ended up in their current job roles, but more importantly finding out and  understanding what these jobs actually entail.

Now it is all good for me to pipe up with this viewpoint, but where do you go to find this info?! Fear not I’ve got that covered!

Exhibition News have some great interviews with event professions; 2 minutes with... and my working life are just a few examples out there.

Event Magazine have quite the collection of great interviews; 60 seconds with… interviews with Event 100 & 30 under 30 list (why yes here is one with me!)

My fantastic friend Elena Clowes has a terrific series on her blog called Women of the Week which is a great one to go catch up on!

Another event blog series comes from the brilliant Cecilia with her series Make it Happen & yes you can read one with me 😉

If you are more of a visual person, don’t worry I’ve got the perfect one for you! In fact here is one that gives you access to hundreds of event professionals from around the world!  Silvia created Events Uncovered TV and has interviewed over 300 event profs! Yes you heard that right 300! & you might have guessed it – there is also one with me!

Apart from Event Magazine (check to see if your University has a subscription to this magazine) all the above resources are 100% free. Just a click of a button away.

I came very late to the party in knowing all of this is out there – and the list doesn’t stop here, there are many many many more people sharing their own stories, interviews, videos & podcasts with event profs. A lot of people share by speaking at events, speaking directly students at university. I’ve only shared a couple of places to start this homework!

Is homework a real thing I can give people?! Would you even do homework?!

Maybe I’ll pretend that this won’t just be a fictitious task that not many people will take – but if you’ve got some time today, tomorrow, this week, later this month – whenever! Take 30 minutes to look at some of the resources mentioned. Explore your options & let me know if (aka HOW) it helps! @blogbykobrak


Also keep your eye out this year for some exploratory type content, that might fit into this category! 2017 I shall be testing a few more areas of content creation & pushing some aspects of this blog forward!

@BlogByKobrak 

@ImDamnStudent

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The Eventice 2017

Photograph by Laura Lee Moreau

I have been an Event Management Graduate for over 2 years now. November 2014 saw me back in Gloucestershire donning a Harry Potter style robe, and one of my fanciest dresses to celebrate the end of 4 years!

The 27 months since have been pretty spectacular. But the real change – my first moment of clarity – came after my placement year & when I jumped head first into something that took me totally out of my comfort zone!

I’ve written a billion times about the Eventice – in fact I have a whole section dedicated to it! I’ve spoken at length in person & online about the key reasons as why this opportunity is one not to be missed by Final Year Event Students – and you know what …

IT’S THE TIME AGAIN The Eventice is back for 2017!

The deadline for applications is fast approaching Monday 30th January (to read all the important information on what you need to include in your 2 minute video click here)

I get that you might have dissertations coming up that you really want to give you main focus to, but let me just ask you a quick question – isn’t the whole point of spending 3 or 4 years gaining a degree so you can land a great job when you finish?

The Eventice 2014 FINAL 5 – (L-R) Olivia Pole-Evans, Me, Elena Clowes, Charlotte Jarman, Holly Glover

There are 3 main reasons I strongly advocate this experience;

ONE: You will make meaningful connections with Event Professionals!

Not just with the event profs offering the jobs or individuals in attendance at International Confex (which is pretty much the whole industry) but there is a wealth of support from past participants!

 

 

TWO: You will learn valuable skills that will enhance your value when entering the industry.

The aim of the 3 day interview is to test your ability to multi task, organise, project manage, negotiate, network and present.

If you think you’re lacking in some of these areas DON’T FEAR because you learn pretty quickly to give it all a try, and my does it build your confidence!

THREE: It gives you a chance to focus on your future & not just your degree.

Like I said “isn’t the whole point of spending 3 or 4 years gaining a degree so you can land a great job when you finish?” 

This is genuinely one of those opportunities that don’t come around that often, but as with anything the experience is what you make of it.

Photograph from way back in 2014 at the Event Production Show!

A few final little tips;

Bring business cards (to give out to all the event profs you will meet across the event) bonus points if you pick a few companies who are exhibiting that you want to speak to!

Ask questions to past participants – there are 15 people who compete but 2 jobs, but lo and behold the other 13 have since entered and work within the events industry. It doesn’t end if you don’t win!!

Do your homework. Not just looking at the companies websites but at the people working there. Have a stalk on their LinkedIn, social media – see what articles they’ve written! Get interested in who and what they do beyond just the events and clients they represent!!

Have fun! You will be meeting 14 engaged, determined and exceptionally good event students – friendship can take you a long way!

If you do apply – which you all should – please let me know.

And if I can help in any way please drop me a tweet!

GOOD LUCK! 


DEADLINE: 30th Jan 2017

Dates of Competition: 28th February – 2nd March 2017

Location: London

How to Apply CLICK HERE

My video application can be watched HERE.

& all my previous posts about the Eventice can be read HERE.

Goals and Aims; Personal Reflection!

Photograph by Jordan Whitfield

One of my favourite Event Profs to follow on Snapchat is the ever fantastic Mary Baird-Wilcock (follow The Simplifiers on Snapchat). 

Mary is currently on a retreat in Spain working on her goals as a CEO and for her business – I’ve found it fascinating watching her share this journey and the process over the last 2 days. The daily list of early morning meditation and dance parties mixed with real business focused objectives. The point that gave me the food for thought and spark to write this post, was when Mary shared the process of writing and creating her own personal goals of what she wants. Having started the process & shared them on the first day,  she revisited them and adapted them so they moved away from needing other people to help her achieve them. 

I might not run my own business, but I do have ambitions and goals. Mary’s snapchat story made me take a look back at these last few months and I’ve realised that this year has been a turning point in me working out what I (singular Caitlin) want to achieve both within my career & outside.

I have been striving to be a part of the bigger picture within the event industry. It is the reason I took part in the Eventice back in 2014. It is the reason I became active on social media with event conversation. It is why I continue to write this blog. It is a core reason as to why I am active within the industry outside of just being part of GPJ. It’s a massive reason as to why I genuinely love my job because as an organisation they support and encourage this.

But my aim is  no longer just to be a part of the industry – but rather to be part of the change.

Whilst events continue to develop and grow it seems the age-old conversation of experience vs degrees – women in events – keep popping up. Great points are raised but still I struggle to see any real action happening!

I want a seat at the table that is at the forefront of making the difference and creating the shift.

I’ve never actually vocalised that aim, but it is why I took on the role of Director at Large for Education and sit on the ILEA UK Board. It is one of the reasons myself, Priya and Elena created Event: First Steps. This table might not already exist, but even if it doesn’t then I’m up for creating it!  

Thanks to the amazing friends, mentors and all round awesome event professionals I’m proud to know, I’ve realised that the real success and change comes from people who go out and do things. It is all good being passionate but it is time to channel that into something productive!

Time to be the change. Time to create our own tables and chairs!

It links quite nicely with the fact the Event 100 Club shortlist was announced yesterday & I am exceptionally proud to be on the 30 under 30 shortlist. Voting is open till next Friday 25th November, and it truly would mean a lot if you went to vote HERE.

Also many of my wonderful colleagues & friends are on that list;


@BlogByKobrak 

@ImDamnStudent

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