Work Experience programme supporting the development of students within the local community

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Venues and Events International recognise the need for nurturing young talent and introducing them to the exciting world of work in meetings and events to help with future career decisions.

Anita Lowe has always believed in the value work experience brings to students who are trying to decide on their futures, whether that’s straight into work, or further education “The meetings and events industry, as we know it, is a very exciting, but challenging industry to be a part of. It’s fast-paced with long hours that can be very demanding, and people that work in this industry must be driven and have the determination to succeed.”

With this in mind, Venues and Events International provide work experience placements for local school and university students, who want to understand more around the industry to support their future. Each summer, they have an intake of students who spend time with different departments, including account management, accounts, venue find, events, creative, production, EA and procurement to determine where their skill set lies, what gives them passion and makes them excited. The meetings and events industry covers so many areas it’s not just about booking a venue or all the elements of bringing an event together, it’s so much more!

“We believe that by providing an opportunity for students to get an insight into our industry, it allows them to make informed decisions about their future careers,” Anita continues. “Although sometimes they are only with us for a couple of weeks, even in that time they can see how fast things move and the challenges that the team face to meet critical deadlines. We hope that by giving them this valuable insight they’ll decide if it’s a future for them. If it is, great, as once they’ve finished studying we’d love to welcome them back if the opportunity was to arise. It’s a fantastic way for us to build our profile locally in the area to help develop local talent.”

Katie Clancy, a student at Ridgeway heading into Year 13, has recently finished a placement with Venues and Events International and had this to say about her experience: “Having seen a friend of mine who work at Venues and Events International and how successful she was becoming, I wanted to understand more about the event management industry.  From my experience at Venues and Events international I have realised quite how much responsibility there is behind the planning of an event, and how important it is to go above and beyond for your clients. This placement has 100% made me want to get into events in the future as I’d love to be able to go on site to experience the actual event after all the planning that has taken place!

Esther Janes has recently finished Year 12 at Wootton Bassett Academy and wanted her work experience to focus on meetings and events. Esther joined the team at Venues and Events International this summer and had this to say about her experience: “My week was full of so many new opportunities. Not only did I get to explore the roles of the different departments within the business, I was able to attend hotel visits which was something that I had never experienced before and was very eye opening to see the types of venues that are around and how they can be used. This was an amazing experience and I am so grateful to have had and a deeper insight into exactly what I want to get involved in now. I had learnt that these jobs are very much down to pressure but are so rewarding when an event is pulled off. I have taken inspiration and experience from all the staff working there and an even deeper love for events management than I thought. It has also taught me to follow the path that I may want to go down and not to worry if I don’t get there straight away.”

Esther’s parents, Peter and Janet Janes said this about the value of work experience and what this opportunity meant for their daughter: “Work experience during school life is a valuable exercise and provides perhaps the first insight to working life. The opportunity in Year 12 is very different to that available in Year 10 and if researched seriously and enthusiastically by the student can help provide a good indicator as to whether a chosen career path is the right direction. It also needs the commitment and enthusiasm of those offering the work experience, to make the short time available a meaningful one for the students. The enthusiastic feedback we received from our daughter from the very start together with the enjoyment of the week and the experience as a whole, it is clear that Venues and Events International truly value and enjoy the opportunity they can provide to students.

William Cole, a student at the time from Cardiff University, spent three months last summer focusing on their marketing, implementing his theory from his degree into new initiatives for Venues and Events International: “In 2017 I had just finished my BA Politics degree and while back home preparing for a Masters course I wanted to take on a job that would help me fund my studies but also provide some proper experience in the workplace. Marketing for Venues and Events International was the perfect opportunity.

I was trusted to work with clients and suppliers, putting together social media content, revising client-facing materials and drafting press releases for the major industry magazines. The team really encouraged me to put forward my own marketing ideas and build on my own skill set. With a keen interest in journalism, I made contacts with the industry press, and had the chance to write feature articles on some of the company’s larger projects; I also revamped the company newsletter using professional design tools which I now use frequently.

Overall, working with Venues and Events International was a great experience, and has really helped me hone my skill set for the future that I am now working for a national newspaper.”

Anita was one of the first Board Members for Wiltshire Training and Enterprise Council (T.E.C.s) when they were first created by the Government. Investors in People (IIP) was launched at the same time which Anita spearheaded as a sub Board. Her agency was the first agency to win IIP at the time.