How To Build Your Events Career.

Photography by Danielle Macinnes 

A couple of months ago I had the absolute pleasure of co-running Helen Moon‘s EWL Coffee Morning discussion, with two of my co-collaborators and great friends; Elena Clowes and Priya Narain.

As co-founders of Event First Steps the discussion was around how to build your own career within the events industry – a topic which each of us has very different stories and experiences to pull from!

As I said in my last post (which happens to tie in very nicely to this one) I’ve come round to the fantastic conclusion that in the overall grand schemes of things, I’m still only at the very start of my career journey. For any of you who are just graduating, I’m not sure if this is as great a statement or rather counterproductive – but I can promise I mean it to be seen as empowering!

Helen’s formats these events so they incite discussion rather than have people ‘present’. It was very much a chance to have a conversation with other event professionals, and I can honestly say I came away feeling inspired, they each bought a different point of view to the table and challenged points so that we justified much of what we said!

One of the points we championed was being active outside of your job.  Attend events in the evenings, be engaged and interesting with the wider industry. Be curious.

Why?

Personally I do it is because I want to make myself indispensable. I want to give something bigger back, and bring more to the table than just what is expected of me.

With so many people coming into the industry, either from education – like you and me – or from changing career paths, there is even more competition for job roles.

Sure you need to show you are competent at doing the job, but being active and engaged outside of work shows that are striving to bring the best, you want to continue to learn – and with that you’re not just expecting your employers to be the ones to teach you. It shows that you’re looking for opportunity. 

Of course you need to balance where you spread yourself. If you’re in full-time employment then make sure your job has your full attention. However work is only 8 hours of your day, how you spend your lunch break or evenings – that is down to you. 

Some people will be content with finding a good job, giving that their attention and then using their free time as they feel fit – that is fantastic. We all have different priorities. However if you want to make the most of your time in the early stages of career progression – get active. Be curious.


@BlogByKobrak 

@ImDamnStudent

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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.