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The Events Student

By Cheyanne Dawson #TeamSEM

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My Placement Year Diary

Colleagues

Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how important it is that you get on with the people you work with. On reflection, I spend a good chunk of my day, 5 days a week with the same 5 people. So getting on with them is important, not only for the business to work efficiently but also for my own sanity! i recently read in an article that, our jobs are the third biggest determinant of our happiness. Anyone who knows anything about what it takes to be an event manager will know that being a team player is one of the most important characteristics to have as no event can be done successfully all on your own – as seen below.

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Can’t agree enough!

So never has it been truer than in the events industry to make sure you get on with your colleagues. This in turn led me to think about how this can be made harder when you’re ‘the intern’. You often aren’t viewed as being on the same level of the rest of your colleagues and as a result aren’t treated great. Established event professionals often seem to underestimate the value of interns. For example, with the London 2012 Olympics, it’s success relied heavily on volunteers and interns. When people are treating you as ‘less than’ it can make working with your colleagues as a team very hard.

Placement Student

As I’m sure some of you reading this blog are either contemplating doing a placement, currently applying for  placements, doing a placement as we speak or have recently completed one. Therefore, this post should be quite relevant for most of you. We all know ourselves that we are more than capable of making more than just teas and coffees! So if you are in a placement and your colleagues are undervaluing you, speak up! It can be difficult but most placements last at least 9 months and so it’s vital that you make the most of your time there which can’t be done if you are constantly at war with those on your team. If you don’t you’ll simply hate everyday and either end up miserable or quitting. Which leads me to my next point. If you have spoken up and still feel disrespected then don’t be afraid to quit. Life is too short to spend everyday dreading going into work. You can always find another job and in the event that you have lasted 9 months of say a 12 month placement then quit, your time at this awful organisation will count towards your placement year and you can always find a shorter internship to make sure you get a year’s full of experience.

What do others say?

An article I read in a magazine not long ago said this:

“Those who regard themselves as too important to communicate, network and engage with students while they are at university will come to regret it once those same students have graduated, become successful and are in the position to offer jobs and contracts themselves.”

Essentially what the writer is saying is that we are the future of the events industry! Hopefully more people like this guy will start to recognise that.

A blog I read said this:

“Whilst you need to make sure you operate professionally and engage fully with your placement (i.e. do anything that’s asked of you!), you do need to make sure that you’re time and skills aren’t abused.  Remember that volunteering should be a win-win situation, not simply an opportunity for a company to get free labour.”

You have to value yourself! This reiterated what I said earlier about speaking up if you don’t feel appreciated by your colleagues.

Wind-up! 🙂

In this post I’ve spoken about how important it is to get on with your colleagues and fell valued in your organisation, even if you’re an intern. Internships and placements are all about increasing your learning and understanding of working in the industry which simply cannot be achieved by filing everyday. Whilst I encourage you to do everything that’s asked of you by your colleagues – within reason… Don’t let them take advantage of you either! So what if you don’t get on with them? Here are a list of 10 tips that can maybe improve your situation from a Forbes article. If they don’t work then perhaps it’s time to quit?

Thanks for reading,

Chey x

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#EventInspo

Recently I have seen a number of different things that have inspired me on social media in regards to working in the events industry. So I thought I’d share some of those with you. I think it’s important to subscribe to and read industry websites and forums etc. Not only are they interesting and inspiring but also allow you to learn and keep up to date with what’s going on! In the future I will compile a list of all the blogs and websites I follow.

1. “Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.” – Hazrat Inavat Khan

I saw this quote on the event manager blog website and instantly loved it. One of the main reasons that I love working in the events industry is because you get to completely transform an events space into something else. You’re often given a blank canvas and use your creativity to turn it into an amazing event. I’m a strong believer in that anywhere can be an event venue. With enough creativity, determination, planning and teamwork you can make anything and anywhere suit your event.

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A before and after image of a warehouse party venue transformation.

2. “Either run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

This was another quote that I saw in the same article on the event manager blog and fell in love with. I think it’s an important reminder that as an event manager you have to make sure you create schedules and stick to them! Personal specifications for events related jobs often say that a requirement is being able to ‘prioritise your workload’. This goes beyond the general idea of simply being organised but also realising that there will always be tons to do due to the busy nature of an events role. Therefore, in order to prevent yourself from running around like a headless chicken, make precise plans of the tasks you have to do and follow it as closely as possible.

3. 17 New and Emerging Roles in the Event Industry

Again this was another great piece by the event manager blog website that reminds us of what an evolving and growing industry the events industry is. Advancements in technology mean that are a varied number of career paths you can take in the industry that aren’t often spoken about at university. Even if you do choose to take a more traditional role e.g. event manager; aspects of these newer roles will play a part in what you do. Technology is a major part of the industry and it’s imperative that you know and understand the event tech that is widely used. For example, Coventry University have incorporated a module on how to use eventsforce.

4. Ranking of the best companies to work for

Luckily for us, almost every large company will need some kind of event manager and this article made me think about how important it is to be happy in the company you work for. I personally think that you should feel valued by your employer as essentially you’re working very hard for them to succeed. Therefore when applying for your next job in the industry perhaps you should try and get a flavour of whether you think you will be happy and like the corporate culture and environment of that organisation. For example, if you get an interview make sure you take note of the way the staff and surroundings come across there and see if you think you’d fit in. Also, be sure to ask them questions about their staff policies i.e. do they have flexible working etc. That way you won’t have any nasty surprises or regrets if you get a job there.

Wind-Up! 🙂

There are a lot of other inspirational articles and images etc. that I have seen recently but I thought I’d keep this list short and sweet and just highlight a few of my favourites. I am thinking of turning this into a semi-regular blog post as I enjoy sharing things that have inspired me in the hope that it might inspire some of you too.

Thanks for reading,

Chey x

How to incorporate travel into your events industry career

Life goals?!

Now I know this doesn’t apply to everyone but as I understand it most people like travelling and want to do it as much as possible before they die. I fall into this category and have a long list of places I’d really like to visit. Now don’t get me wrong but I’m not your typical travel obsessed student. By this I mean I haven’t actually visited tons of countries so far and I don’t think back-packing or inter-railing are for me lol. I have much more of an ‘older’ view when it comes to travelling and although I’m a sucker for a bargain, I do like to stay in hotels that are at least 3 star; visit countries hotter than England and eat out at local cuisine restaurants. I love the beach and as a city girl from birth, a country that has both is somewhere worth visiting to me.

What is my point?? Well, as an aspiring event professional you’re constantly told about the value of work experience. This combined with my full-time study ever since I started education leaves me and most others in my situation thinking how on earth will I be able to travel after I graduate?? So in this blog post I’ll list a few suggestions into how you can incorporate travelling into your events industry career.

Travel whilst you work

A few months ago I came across a really good article on the Merlin Events website of a story from a woman who works in the industry and along with her boyfriend has managed to visit over 28 destinations in 18 months! You can find it here.

But the basis of the article is that by planning ahead, extensive research, booking over bank holidays and being conscious of your spending  it can actually be done.

Fixed Term Contract

As mentioned in my previous post – Not always plain sailing… another way to travel whilst getting experience in the industry is through having a fixed term contract job. These usually range from 1 month to 2 years. So whilst earning a decent salary and gaining valuable experience you are able to travel in between these jobs.

Freelance

Now this isn’t one I’d suggest as a recent events graduate but as you progress in your career and make contacts it is an option to go freelance as an events manager. In a similar way to a fixed term contract job there is the risk and uncertainty of not knowing when you’ll get your next job and get paid. However, being freelance means you can work as and when you please meaning that you can spend quite a bit of your time travelling!

Gap Yaaah!

As an events graduate it is quite common to take some sort of a gap year in between graduation and having your first job. This can be done by getting a full-time job for a few months after graduation to save money and then using the rest of the year to go travelling with what you’ve earned. This job can of course be in the events industry which I’d recommend but any kind of similar industry role e.g. marketing, administration or PR can be used on your CV to boost your experience as a lot of the skills are transferable. You could also volunteer in the countries you visit and use this to show off your international events skills and experience in future interviews.

Wind-Up! 🙂

Okay so again not a list of stuff I’ve done at my placement this week but for all you globetrotters out there I hope you find this useful. And as a side note to anyone looking to book a holiday soon I suggest you use Skyscanner as it has the best flight deals all in one place. Like a comparethemarket.com but for flights! Also STA Travel and Contiki have great student-focused package holidays. If any of you have any other suggestions of how to travel whilst developing your events career please let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Chey x

Not always plain sailing…

Nota Bene

Before I start this post I just wanted to address the question that you’re all probably not asking yourselves. Yes I have indeed ditched the week + number titles of my posts. Why? Because I was confused after the break I had from posting as to whether I should skip a few numbers or just continue and not actually be on that week in real life?? Dilemma right?! Lol. However, this allowed me to come to the realisation that having such a boring title probably isn’t even the best idea anyway and more people would read it if I made them a bit more interesting (soz clickbait). Therefore, from now on I’ll have a real title for my blog posts :).

Right so, this weeks blog post will be slightly different from my usual ones so apologies if you like routine. Instead of telling you exactly what I’ve been up to this week I’m going to highlight a topic that’s been on my mind recently in regards to placements.

Swings and Roundabouts

A lot of my posts for the most part highlight the good aspects of doing a placement e.g. all the things I’m learning and the positive experiences I have. But it’s important to realise that out of the 12 months (or however long you do your placement for) not every second of everyday is going to be amazing. Unfortunately, life and in particular work is full of ups and downs. Some days you’re going to be loving what you’re doing and be able to experience new and exciting things. But other days you’ll be bored stiff and counting down the minutes until the end of the day so that you can go home. If anyone who knows me personally ever asks me about my placement my usual reply is along the lines of “Yeah it’s great experience and I like my colleagues etc. but at the end of the day it is still work”. What I mean by this I want to make very clear. I am not ungrateful or regretful about making this choice to do a placement at all. I would make the same decision if I had a chance to go back to second year and do it all again. My point is that on a personal level – although I’m sure many would agree – I enjoy being able to do whatever the heck I want to. This is why the majority of humans look forward to holidays and time off, the opportunity to have that freedom and decide for yourself exactly what you want to do with your days is unbeatable. On top of this, I am someone who falls into the lazy category and isn’t really a morning person at all – I definitely work better at night.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I don’t know how many of you guys have had the same experience as me but I have only ever had a part-time job. This is due to me studying full-time all my life so I haven’t had the opportunity to have a full-time job up until now. Or really needed one tbh. With no gap years and only retail and hospitality work experience under my belt, my placement year has been full of a lot of firsts. For example, office life. Spending almost a whole day sometimes in one room essentially working on a computer is new to me. Obviously very valuable experience considering my career choice but also new. Without listing everything, (might do a ‘day in a  life’ type blog post about my placement at some point) you get the picture that doing a placement can be a bit of a shock to the system for someone in my situation. I often find myself eagerly looking forward to my last day here with the knowledge that I’ll be going back to uni in October.

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Rude Awakening

Friend: How’s your placement going? Me: I can’t wait to go back to uni!

Following on from what I said earlier, despite a wealth of work experience there’s nothing quite like a full-time job in the events industry. 9 to 5 who? I realised that many days I spend more time working than doing anything else! Another good chunk is spent doing necessities like eating and travelling to and from work. Hence, one has no time for oneself :(. Or at least that’s how I feel. As you can see, that is vastly different to uni life where although there are lectures and seminars that you are required to attend, the proportion of those hours to the hours you can spend doing whatever you want is considerably greater. I often think that had I gone straight from 6th form to my placement year I might not think the same things as that kind of routine and obligatory activities is what I was used to. Waking up early, doing tasks you’ve been assigned etc. was all very common at school then uni comes and messes up all that practice you’ve put in since you started reception! Lol.

My Plan

Experiencing all the peaks and troughs that a placement brings is invaluable as I feel that it helps you quite significantly in deciding on what you want to do on graduation. For me, I don’t necessarily want to go straight into a job as soon as my last assignment has been handed in. At the moment my idea is to have a holiday and travel for a non-descript period of time – I don’t know, maybe a few months? – and then start applying for a fixed term contract job in events. Preferably one that’s in a different sector than my placement so I can experience what other parts of the industry are like and focus my career path a bit better. I will then continue to do maybe 2 or 3 different fixed term contract jobs with a month or so in between in each one in different sectors (or the same if I decide I like one very much). Bare in mind this is just a loose plan so if I do really enjoy my first fixed term contract job (please refer to 13 Top Tips for getting a placement! Point 7 for a definition of what this is) I will hopefully extend it and work there permanently. This way I will be able to get the freedom as well as the experience and of course the money to support myself! But my main point here is that you shouldn’t feel under pressure to make your mind up now and rush into things that you could end up regretting. Especially not without knowing all your options!

Wind-up! 🙂

At the end of the day make sure that in whatever you do you’re doing it for you and that at that moment in time it is exactly what you want to do. For more graduate events career advice have a read of this blog post by an amazing event-grad-turn-prof Elena Clowes. She basically talks about the importance of following your gut instinct and taking your time when making such important decisions! I think it’s also worth highlighting that everyone is different. For example, you will want to do different things to your peers. Some of your friends will go into festivals, the others into an agency or a different industry all together. Some will take a gap year, some will go straight onto a graduate scheme and some might decide that working isn’t for them and live on benefits lol. My point is that everyone is different and it’s your life and your choices so do what makes you happy. If for a second it’s not making you happy anymore stop it and try something else. The current state pension age is 63 for women and 65 for men and life expectancy age is 81 so whatever career or job you decide on you will be doing it for a considerable amount of time. Food for thought!

Thanks for reading,

Chey x

I’m back!

Apologies!

Okay so I haven’t posted a blog since December 12 which means it’s been over a month since I’ve updated you on what I’ve been up to. Now you’re probably thinking, “Explain why! What’s your excuse then?!”. The long and short of it is I haven’t really got one. But I will tell you what I have been doing since I last posted.

So what on earth have you been up to?!

The Saturday of the week I last posted I went to visit my sister in Valencia and stayed there until 23rd December, just before Christmas. I then spent then until Monday 2nd January celebrating Christmas and New Year’s with my family and friends. I had an amazing time and did so much that it was barely even a holiday as I didn’t get to rest much at all! But enjoyed myself immensely and Christmas is undoubtedly my favourite time of year. I then started work back on 3rd January which was only a 4 day week thanks to a bank holiday and mostly consisted of me catching up on what I had missed over my time off before the Christmas break.My second week back was plagued by southern rail strikes so I spent most days working from home. I also had a placement visit from a member of staff at Coventry Uni which I will talk about more in another post. Okay, we’re now at my third week back which was last week where I spent most days running events and all my other general duties to get back in the swing of things in the office as my first full week back. Which brings us to this week in which we’ve had 2 events and countless meetings. All in this time we’ve had a new intern join us and a staff member to replace my colleague that left as mentioned in Week 15.

Holiday to Valencia, Spain

I’m aware I highlighted a ton of different vaguely exciting things in my previous paragraph so I will go into a little bit more detail about each one. Hopefully without waffling and boring you to death so I will keep things short and sweet. Anything you want to know more of or that I feel I haven’t explained sufficiently will have dedicated blog post of its own some time in the near future!

“Hola! Me llamo Chey! Gracias! Adios!” – those phrases are pretty much the extent of the amount of Spanish I used whilst I was there lol. Although Valencia is a lot less anglicised than other cities in Spain I was able to communicate with most people there as my understanding of Spanish is considerably better than my speaking and anything I didn’t understand was followed by “No hablo espanol pero mi hermana hablas espanol”. (I did do Spanish GCSE and get an A under my sleeve lol).

I spent most of my time there eating paella and going out drinking with my sister, sangria mostly – typical tourist I know but they are 2 of my favourite things to have when I visit Spain. As someone who very rarely goes out anymore due to lack of friends in London as most are at university elsewhere or busy working; a lack of energy as a 5 day week of working can make you extremely tired; and a lack of time. I find that my weekend is super sacred to make sure that I do all the things that I’m unable to do whilst I’m at work during the week e.g. clothes shopping. So as a girl without a social life I thoroughly enjoyed living the uni lifestyle again and I’m absolutely buzzing to get back to Cov in my final year and make the most of it as I know all too well how much more demanding working is to studying! But yeah, I would definitely recommend Valencia as a place to visit, the combination of beach and city life together is a marvellous one.

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My lovely view from when I visited ‘Torres de Serranos’
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… and again 🙂

Christmas

I don’t know about your family but Christmas at my house is a massive week long celebration filled with  food, games and partying. It also involves a trip to the pantomime at Wimbledon theatre which is always hilarious regardless of how old I get followed by dinner at McDonalds’s.

Everyone comes to my house on Christmas Day so Christmas Eve consists of manic cleaning, tidying and cooking.

Christmas Day is one that starts with waking up fairly early in the morning for a 10am church service, then back home to prepare dinner – a 3 course meal of starters that are usually a selection of various party selections courtesy of the supermarket that pay homage to Indian and Chinese cuisine; a main course of turkey and another meat – this year we had lamb – rice and peas, sweet potato mash, brussels sprouts with pancetta, stuffing, sweetcorn, fried plantain, salad, roast potatoes, coleslaw, gravy, cranberry sauce and of course pigs in blankets. This is followed by crackers in which we all do together at exactly the same time and go round and read the jokes one by one.Then once that is settled we’ll open presents and follow that up by dessert of which the selection on offer varies year to year but always includes Christmas pudding. Then in no particular order we’ll play games, turn up the speakers and have a dance – candy included always and have supper which often consists of – hard dough bread, bun and cheese, sweet bread, fishcakes and honey roast ham.

We then have pretty much a repeat of Christmas Day on Boxing Day at my house again complete with crackers and all. Then another day that week we will do it all again at my aunties house (exact same people) this year this wasn’t until new year’s day.

New Year’s Eve

This year I spent it with my boyfriend Jack up in Coventry as he unfortunately had to work both NYE and New Years Day so instead of spending it with my family and best friend I thought I’d join him. I felt sorry for him that he would have to spend it alone and also missed him as we spent Christmas apart this year due to his busy work schedule. Having never spent NYE with him before I was looking forward to and had a great time. We went out for dinner and brought in the new year watching the fireworks display on TV of London.

Beginning of January

The 2nd and 5th January I visited the theatre to watch the Kite Runner and The Bodyguard respectively. Both of which were amazing and I’d highly recommend. I also went to Winter Wonderland with my sister and close friend; to the pantomime as mentioned earlier and out for a meal with one of my closest uni friends to fulfil my intense sushi craving over the holidays as well. Meanwhile at work I was introduced to my new colleague who I am still getting to know and a new intern who I’m also currently adjusting to. I find that I take a while to feel fully comfortable around new people so we’re not all besties yet aha.

Placement Visit

I will definitely be talking more about this in future but a member off staff from Coventry came to visit me at work to check on how I was getting on at my placement. This took place in the form of a short meeting whereby he asked me questions and I filled out a form on my experience so far. He then had a meeting with my supervisors who thankfully gave good feedback about my performance. It was nice having someone from the uni to come and visit me because up until now I’d not really had the opportunity to talk directly to someone about my time here apart from through this blog I guess.

Not to worry, I’m shutting up now 🙂

Apologies to anyone who thought this post was insanely long and boring but my number one fan of my blog insisted that I post a lengthy update due to my absence so this is for her – you know who you are 😉 ahahaha.

Thanks for reading,

Chey x

Week 17

Southern Railway… 😡

In case you’ve been hidden under a rock for the past few months you’ll know that the train service in the south of England in general has been awful due to strikes by drivers and conductors. Unfortunately, I use Southern to get to work everyday which is one of the main train lines affected by these strikes. As I’m sure most of you know or can at least imagine what rush hour is like in London and the horrors of the daily commute on a normal day but with strikes it’s almost possible to get anywhere on time! But without boring you I thought I’d include this in this week’s post as the commute is a big part of working full-time. None more so than in London and I thought that it could be beneficial to highlight the realities of this for anyone considering doing their placement here or working here at any point in the future. At some point I’ll dedicate a whole blog to the commute and include little things you can do to make it less stressful. As well as a few techniques to get the most out of your journey e.g. what part of the train you should get on to.

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Basically.

Post-event Evaluation

This week I was tasked with creating an evaluation form for attendees that come to our events. I decided to use Google Forms as having used them to fill out forms before I found them easy to use and understand. It’s also something that can be easily put into an email as a link. This got me thinking about the whole post-event process and led me to 2 insightful articles that I think are worth reading. Post-event evaluation may be boring but it’s also very important and a big part of almost all event management industry roles. For example, it helps with measuring ROI which I’m sure most events students recognise as Return On Investment. All thanks to the Finance module! But, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on this topic so if you’re interested you can read more about it here and here! (This can also be pretty useful for any events students who have to put on a live event as part of their module. At Coventry I know you have to do one in 2nd year and part of the assessment is writing about the event afterwards. So might be worth asking your attendees to complete a survey like this to include in your report!)

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Cba really…

Wind-Up! 🙂

Today’s blog is a bit of a short one as the run up to Christmas is quite quiet and we only had 2 morning events on this week with only one of these being held at our venue. Furthermore, as I’ve previously said I don’t want to bore you with the same things in every single blog post. So I’d rather have original content that may be short then just waffle away to make it longer. Anyway, I hope that you’ve been able to get at least something useful out of this post.

Thanks for reading,

Chey x

 

Week 16

Site Visit

On Tuesday I attended the first of 2 site visits to potential venues for my organisations annual conference being held early next year. The site we visited was spectacular and without going into too much detail it is definitely somewhere that I will bear in mind for my future career when planning events. I really enjoyed the site visit and hope that venue sourcing can be a part of any future roles. There’s something quite satisfactory about going from looking up a venue online, liaising with the venue manager to actually visiting the venue and seeing it in front of your eyes. You’re able to envisage your event on a whole new level which can be very beneficial for future planning of the event. In the end we provisionally booked the venue it was so good!

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The venue I visited.

Conference Week

This week was all focused on a 100+ person conference being held at Canning House – the venue I work at – in collaboration with the Brazilian embassy. The topic was biofuels which to me isn’t very riveting but thankfully it was a success! Unfortunately the planning process wasn’t all smooth sailing as the name badges for the event didn’t quite go to plan. We ended up with plastic pin badges from the printers picked by my colleague. Despite asking for whole-punched, card badges that we could place in the lanyards that we already have… It’s fair to say that we won’t be using that supplier again! Undeterred by the badge mishap we managed to pull off an extremely successful conference even though we are one member down and neither of our intern were in that day! It’s things like this that make the event industry so rewarding as you get to see the products of all your ongoing hard work and last minute problem solving. This combined with the gratitude of guests and partners etc. makes it all worth it. 🙂

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What I learnt from the conference…

Wind-Up! 🙂

This week was a fairly standard and not particularly exciting but it goes to show that although events is an amazing industry to work in it is still work! It’s important that outside of work you make time to relax and enjoy yourself in ways that are completely unrelated to your job. For me that was enjoying a lovely festive Saturday with my little brother visiting the Coca Cola truck. But whatever it is, make sure you make the most of your free time as I’m sure you know how demanding the industry is and the non-existence of a work-life balance!

Thanks for reading,

Chey x

 

Week 15

Man Down 😦

This week was a bit of a sad one as Thursday was one of my colleagues’ last day at work. Not only was he a valued member of our team but as we are such a small team (6 of us in total) it makes quite a difference when one of us isn’t in both in terms of workload and atmosphere. However, it wasn’t all bad as that meant we had a leaving do! We decided on going to one of his favourite restaurants which served some of the best pizza I’ve ever tasted! If you’re interested, here’s a link to their website – Pinocchio’s. Of course this also meant a few in the pub as well and lots of wine during lunch leaving me more tipsy than I would’ve liked on return to the office for the last few hours work!

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Bye! 😦

BONCAs Awards

On Tuesday I attended the BONCAs Awards with one of my best friends. It was something that I had the opportunity to go to for free through an audience ticket website and unrelated to my placement but I’ll explain why I’m mentioning it later. Now most of you are probably wondering what the BONCAs are? Well it stands for the British Online Creator Awards which to me and you is an awards ceremony that celebrates the YouTube Community. As an avid watcher of YouTube – well I used to be – I thought why not? I didn’t know what to expect but the thought of being able to meet some of the YouTubers that I’ve grown up watching sold it to me. In the end we got amazing seats and I met and took a picture with one of my favourite YouTubers, it truly was a great evening. Now I’m mentioning this because it was the first of its kind and with any new event on such a large scale there are going to be issues. Now I won’t point them all out but as someone with a passion for events you often subconsciously notice all the little hiccups and things that you think could be improved upon. Enjoying an event for me also results in me wanting to be able to plan it one day and I’m hoping to get in touch with the organisation that ran it this year and see if I can be involved in next years awards show alongside my studies. In addition, it has confirmed that awards shows is a part of the industry that I would really like to work in as I feel it combines my passion for corporate events and the excitement and buzz generated by festivals and concerts that I like so much.

Wind-Up! 🙂

This past week has been extremely enjoyable and eye-opening. I have come to the conclusion that my love for awards shows and experiential marketing e.g. brand pop-ups has led me to want to experience working as part of an agency where all these and more will be part of my daily working life. I feel that the combination of the excitement and professionalism in this part of the industry is exactly what I like and am comfortable with. I love working in a fast-paced environment and my favourite part of event management is the final product where you get to see guests enjoying an experience and making memories like I did at the BONCAs Awards. Which is something I feel that is most prominent in this sector of the industry. I will write more in future posts about experiential marketing and pop-ups etc. as I feel these are fairly new concepts in the industry and aren’t really talked about during your degree.

Thanks for reading,

Chey x

Week 14

I hate technology… 😡

This week as I’m sure you can guess from the image and the heading was plagued by technology failures. I’m sure you’ve all experienced technology issues in one way or another but in the events industry it can be a real nightmare. Technology in the industry is however improving the way different processes key to the industry work – find out more about event technology here. However, a lot of organisations are yet to catch up to these advancements such as the organisation that I work for. Unfortunately, after having our IT support come in for the day to rectify password issues we were then left with new issues that probably won’t be fixed till next week. It really is at times like these when you realise how reliant we are not only in the events industry, but in general – in both our personal and professional lives. This led me to think that despite technology being an important advancement for our industry, I still believe that face-to-face communication is still just as important. Technology is there to enhance networking and attendee experience etc.

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Sumps up Thursday… 🙄
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I wonder if this cat would have genuinely done a better job than the guy that came in.. :/

Problem Solving

The technology issues also made me think about what it takes to be a successful event manager. This article – Top 5 qualities of the successful event manager by the Event Manager Blog quotes problem solving as one of the key qualities that are required to be successful in this industry. The main technology issue I had was no longer being able to mail merge despite having important invites that needed to be sent out that day. After unsuccessful attempts to mail merge I came up with the idea to BCC in all the email addresses meaning that all the invites could still be sent out. It wasn’t ideal but working in the events industry  means dealing with unpredictable issues that will inevitably pop up at some point during the event planning stage. Being able to deal with that issue effectively and efficiently without panicking is what separates the boys from the men as so to speak.

Nature vs Nurture?

Now one of the age old debates concerning the industry is whether or not these kind of qualities listed in the article above; in textbooks; mentioned by various lecturers and industry professionals, can be taught/learnt. Or whether or not you have to have the natural ability and characteristics to succeed. As corny as this may sound my stance on the situation is that if someone is passionate about the industry and determined to be successful in their career these characteristics will come naturally to them. So in simpler terms anyone can be a successful event manager and has the capacity to be organised and manage time well etc. But, where as some people already posses these qualities outwardly, others have to tap into that part of them. Similar to a programme on a computer that has already been downloaded but hasn’t ever been open. In order for that programme to be used it has to be activated by opening it and going through the start-up process. Or an alternative way of thinking about it is someone who smokes and perhaps has done for the majority of their life but decides they want to stop. Anyone can stop smoking and the ones that do are the ones that are passionate about stopping and want it with every fibre of their being. I strongly believe that with passion near on anything you put your mind to can become a reality.

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What do you think? Can anyone be an events manager?

Wind-Up! 🙂

My week has been one of learning as per usual but in a different way to previous weeks. I feel as if the skills I’ve gained are more theoretical and are equally as invaluable and beneficial to my future career in the events industry. So yeah, to end it on a positive note it’s important to remember that as events students don’t be disheartened by knock backs and competition as it’s the passion, determination and motivation that will allow you to succeed. To put it into perspective, getting a placement for example isn’t easy by any means but with those attributes I mentioned it is most certainly achievable as you will continue to apply after numerous rejections; you will grab all networking opportunities with both hands by handing out numerous business cards; you will use your contacts gained through volunteering to ask about placement opportunities; you will have peers and lecturers look over your CV until perfection etc…

Thanks for reading,

Chey x

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