How To Get Into A Career In Events

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The events industry can be a daunting prospect for anyone looking to get into it. With many different types of events and roles within them, how on earth do you get started? We spoke to Esther, Rachael, and Kim about how they got into the industry. All with varying backgrounds and experiences, they are sharing their stories and advice on how to start a career in events.

Esther

Esther Janes, a member of our lovely Conference Support team, got into the industry by following her passion. After discovering a drive for event planning in school when she helped with organising parties and shows, Esther knew she wanted to do events. This passion continued after school when Esther knew she wanted to go into the event industry. She went into an internship role with the events team at her local church, working on Christmas Showcases and weekends away. She discovered in this role how much she enjoyed speaking to suppliers and venues to get everything in place. Esther went on to do a Diploma in Event Management which helped her truly understand the theory behind events and helped further her career even more. After this, she looked for a job in the industry and recognised a company that she did work experience with when she was younger, Venues and Events International. As a familiar face, Esther was welcomed into the team and she continues to fulfil her passion and drive for events.

Esther’s Tips

  • Look into courses that can help you understand the terminology and give a basic understanding of the industry. Esther used New Skills Academy which she loved.
  • Take up any opportunity, especially in school or college to get some experience. Even if it’s one event, you can see how they run and if you enjoy them.
  • It’s easy to start from scratch. Everyone has to start somewhere, so take the plunge by doing a course or volunteering at an event.

Rachael

One of our Senior Event Managers, Rachael Lakin, discovered her passion for events early on. Rachael knew she wanted to get into events since she was in school. She helped to plan the school proms and events and realised this was the path for her. So, to start off her career, Rachael went to university to study Event Management. During the summer holidays of her course, she got a junior role at the Chelsea Flower Show which helped her gain some more experience in the industry. She continued working with Chelsea Flower Show after university and moved up to a larger role focusing more on logistical management. After picking up lots of logistical experience, she moved to IMG, a large events company that put on events such as Winter Wonderland and the National History Museum’s Ice Rink, which Rachael had a huge part in. From there, she worked in roles at a wedding venue and a DMC, all the while gaining a portfolio of experience that helped Rachael to decide what area she wanted to go into.

Rachael’s Tips:

  • Stay calm and don’t panic. In events, something is always bound to go wrong, that’s the nature of events. But there will always be a solution.
  • Take on as much experience as possible. Consider every opportunity that comes to you as each one will add to your experience and knowledge. That’s what Rachael did and her experiences are what made her realise what she was good at, and what she enjoys.
  • Every day is different, and some days are very stressful, so you have to love what you do. If you enjoy it, every minute is worth it.

Kim

Kim Cavilla, our COO, fell into the events industry in a different way. She started when she was only 13 washing pots and waitressing at a local bar. Following work experience during college, Kim had to decide whether to go to university or to go into a full-time job at a Hilton hotel, Kim chose the hotel. She was a receptionist and loved every second. Kim really enjoyed helping people and making sure expectations were always exceeded. After this, she transferred to the Swindon branch to continue her career, this time as Reception Manager. Kim continued to get experience in many other roles such as Restaurant and Bars Manager. Once Kim had decided to move on from hotels, she met Anita and has been by her side ever since. It all worked out for Kim as she is doing something she loves, but she never planned it!  Back in her day Event Management was not recognised and there was no university degree.  The opportunities Kim had come from the experience and dedication she put into the industry.

Kim’s Tips

  • Hard work is key. You have to get into hospitality and hotels, work the long hours and understand the service before going into the event management side.
  • Work experience and volunteering will set you on the right path to succeed. Any experience is invaluable so take any chance you can.
  • Strive to know all areas, knowledge is power, the more you know the better you will be.

If you’re interested in a career in events or would like to find out more, please get in touch.