Whether you’re thinking of switching careers, or you’re venturing into the world of work for the very first time, event management is one of those roles that’s sure to catch your eye. It offers a whole host of hands-on and practical experience you won’t find in many other jobs, and it also exposes you to an interesting and varied workload. If you want a career where you can progress, you’ll never get bored, and you can learn something new and interesting every single day, you’re going to want to know how to get a job in event management. That’s why we’ve condensed everything you need to know into an easy-to-follow 3-minute read that’s guaranteed to set you off in the right direction.
Volunteer so you can build your experience
Events companies are always looking for volunteers who are willing to pitch in and lend a hand at short notice. Their workload can vary dramatically from one event to the next, which means if you do yourself justice first time around you’re highly likely to be called upon in the future too. This allows you to get practical experience of what the industry is all about, as well as building a valuable reference which could prove priceless when you come to take the next step in your career. The key is to treat your placement like a job so that you give it the maximum chance of eventually becoming one. By being positive, proactive, and punctual you’ll certainly begin to stand out from the other volunteers and temporary hires.
Create a portfolio of work to showcase your skills
Everyone in events needs a portfolio to show off their skills, and you’re no different. Just because you’re only just starting out doesn’t mean you should have to go without. Ask the companies you volunteer with if you can reference them in your portfolio and you’ll find they’re impressed by how professional and driven you are. You can also include projects and skills you’ve amassed in your free time such as graphic design, social media management, or even organising an event at work. Just make sure it shows your creativity and organisation.
Decide where you want to be in 12 months to give yourself direction
One of the keys to becoming an events manager, or any other highly skilled professional for that matter, is knowing where you want to be 1, 3, and 5 years from now. It’s simply not enough to turn up to an interview and tell your prospective boss you want to join them. They want to see you have a plan, you’re committed, and you’re likely to be around for the foreseeable future if they invest in you. It’ll also give you a clear direction and focus you need to make things happen.
Be proactive on LinkedIn to build your network
Speaking of making things happen, are you using LinkedIn to your advantage? Whilst you really don’t need to be on Facebook and Twitter to get hired, LinkedIn is a different proposition entirely. It’s a great way to network with people in your industry, get your name out there, and make sure people you met only fleetingly at events remember your name for years to come.
Look for formal qualifications in hospitality management
If you want to really make a name for yourself in the industry, there’s no substitute for formalising your knowledge and education. Nothing beats practical experience of course, but so often it’s higher education and specialisation that will get you in the door in the first place. One of the most common paths people in the industry take is studying for a degree in hospitality management. It will give you a clear understanding of the basic principles and functions of the industry, as well as demonstrating your professionalism and commitment.
Approach employers in your chosen niche
Companies are always most impressed by the candidates who appear to have done their research before firing off an application. Every events company will have chosen areas and niches that they focus on, plus a range of satellite projects they are just starting up, or looking to wind down before too long. You job is to identify the companies which are the established players in the specific areas of the industry you think you can add most value to. This is so important because you’ll not only make the right first impression, you’ll also dramatically improve your chances of landing in a position that makes you excited to go to work each day.