Taking those First Steps in the Events Industry


Logo designed by the fantastic Francesca Stephens

A few weeks ago I had planned to write a post sharing a new event that myself, Elena Clowes & Priya Narain are running called Events: First Steps – which is aimed at anyone who is working towards gaining their first steps into the industry – either whilst studying or as a career change.

However something mad happened & we sold out of all tickers within 7 days (& from just three tweets worth of marketing) But whilst there are no more places available for Tuesday’s event (1st November) we now have a twitter set up & will be sharing a lot of the event on here – so worth a follow even if you’re unable to join us for this first event!

So what is First Steps? Why are we doing this event? Well if you’ve not already read Elena’s fantastic post from a few weeks back – here’s a little description! 🙂

The events industry is vast.

It brings together a breadth of different people striving to create sparks of interest, from suppliers providing lighting/AV /furniture/catering for large B2B events through to festivals. Event organisers who are the day-to-day logistical masterminds able to seamlessly bring together weddings, conferences, exhibitions for crowds of 30 through to 30,000. You have event technology bringing Virtual Reality into the fray alongside gamifications, and apps. Agencies that take everything under one roof, Venues providing the home ground for all the different elements, creative designers bringing ideas to life. And to top it all off you have associations that continue to develop and enhance the industry, taking the reins after the academic learnings have ended.

There are so many different paths that you can take when you enter this industry, and it can feel overwhelming knowing where to take those first steps.

How do you know where you should go?

First Steps brings together 6 fantastic speakers, all working across the industry in different roles, all at different stages of their own career path. Taking 10 minutes of your time to tell their own story & give you that nugget of advice that could make jump starting you career that little bit easier. TED Style!

The sole aim of this event is to give you, the next set of powerful event professions, a chance to really understand the many career possibilities, and a few ways you can move towards taking you own first steps!

Being completely frank I would not have ended up in my job, with the connections, confidence & understanding of the industry if I hadn’t had the opportunity to see a few more examples of what opportunities there are outside of becoming an Event Manager.

We’re all on different paths, with different skills to offer & getting to hear from real people about why and how they have ended up in the positions they are in now can be one of the most inspirational & interesting conversations!

Give First Steps a follow on twitter to keep in the loop for future announcements! And as always if you want to ask any questions drop me a message on here or via social media 🙂





Shifting Opinions

A photo by Annie Spratt. unsplash.com/photos/ZVQhy9KGoSY

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!?