Hello events world! I have now entered into the 21st Century and have started my blogathon in line with so many others who have been doing this for quite a while, whilst I’ve been strapped to my desk keeping my business alive and growing. As my Chairman, Richard Waddington said to me about 3 years ago “My dear, my challenge is to get you out of the weeds!”
And so here I am, raising my head above the parapet, ready to impart some of my pearls of wisdom. Rather than simply preaching tips about various event delivery techniques and new products on the market, I thought that I would talk more about my personal journey from a young person, straight out of university to where I am now as a CEO of a growing event management agency.
How did I get here? God knows! Through a lot of tenacity, belief in me as a person and a tireless ability to network, learn and sell! I too once upon a time in the Palaeolithic age, was a constantly hungover, tired student at Newcastle University and have managed to navigate my way through owning 2 businesses which weren’t quite right, a recession post setting up Pure Events and now we are going from strength to strength, our greatest achievement so far being winning the Gold Award for Challenger Agency Of The Year at the EVCOM Live Awards in November last year.
This starting blog rhetoric is really directed at fresh, excited students straight out of university looking for a career in the events world. I have been fortunate to have lectured at Sheffield Hallam University 3 or 4 times, and met a number of students looking for opportunities and it’s been hugely rewarding to meet so many bright sparks. I then became a little despondent when I interviewed people who have got a foot through the door and firstly they arrive looking like they have just dragged themselves out of bed, and secondly you then ask them why they want a job working in the events industry and for your agency and they look at you rather vacantly and say ‘I think I want to work in the industry because I like to travel, its glamourous and your agency seems to do fun events.’ Oh dear Lord, firstly all you budding event enthusiasts out there, it isn’t glamourous when you find yourself in the Travel Lodge in Birmingham producing an eye wateringly boring conference for a plastics manufacturer!
My tips to anyone looking for a job in the events world currently are the following:
- Arrive at an interview looking bright eyed and bushy tailed, like you are ready to take on the world.
- Look at the website of the company you are interviewing at, understand their brand values and dress accordingly. If they appear to be blue chip corporate, arrive in a black suit, without a hair out of place and look immaculate. If the agency is based in Shoreditch, the chances are you can arrive looking more informal.
- Speak the language of the agency, again do your research online and look at the words they use, such as strategic, analytical, unique, relationship orientated….
- Prepare a presentation of your past experience, such as any events you have produced at university or in the past. You could prepare a presentation of potential venues that you might use for events, and tailor make it to each company you present to, to reflect the kinds of locations or destinations they use.
- Have a comprehensive list of questions to ask your interviewer, this shows total interest in the industry and the agency in general. (This personally has always impressed me, one person actually interviewed me rather than the other way round….she got the job!)
- Do your research on the individual who is interviewing you…trust me…they will have done their research on you!
- Brush up your online social media profiles to ensure that they look as professional as possible.
- PLEASE use a spell check on all emails and your CV, there is no excuse for spelling mistakes!
- Always send a follow up email post the interview, thanking the interviewer for their time and expressing your sincere interest in the role. You can’t put a price on manners….
I hope that this is useful as we start a new year in 2018 which will be full of anticipation, excitement, challenges and achievements. At Pure Events we believe in giving people opportunities who are really deserving even if they don’t have the experience. One highly valued member of our team, came to me when she was working in a souvenir shop on Oxford Street saying that she was desperate to get into the events industry…she came and worked for free for one whole year on her one day off a week to show her commitment. She is now a Senior Events Manager and looks after some of our largest client accounts. This epitomises pure commitment to me.
Written by Charlotte Wilson, Managing Director, Pure Events