Getting Event Experience

Event Management is a very popular career choice for people of all ages and backgrounds. This is probably because it looks quite exciting, you do not need any qualifications and it covers a large number of disciplines.

The vast majority of event management companies are small, with only half a dozen staff or less. This means that very few firms can afford to employ people who have no experience at all, or if they can it is usually for very little money – or for free.

This means that it is vital for you to be able to demonstrate the skills that are required. One of the best ways to do this is to get experience within events – it will provide you with many of the skills that employers are looking for, as well as showing you what event management is really like as a job, and giving you something to put on your CV.

Working (volunteer)

There are many voluntary organisations, including charities, churches or other local groups who organise events. They will often welcome the help of anyone who is willing to get involved. This will mean working on all kinds of events, although it will usually involve a lot of the event administration to start with. This is a great place to start as it may lead to a paid job within the voluntary sector (who often spend a lot of money on events) or be the stepping stone to a fully paid job within the events industry.

Working (free)

The best experience will be gained by those who can work within an event management company, or within the events department of a local council or company. This may mean working for free or for very little money. This is a great way to gain experience, as you will be learning from the ground up. If you are working for free (or on work experience) you can often ask for more responsibility, or to be moved around departments as you are doing them a favour – so why can’t they return that favour? This will often lead to permanent work with the company or organisation you are working for, or to a job with another company.

Working (paid)

Some organisations require temporary or unskilled staff to work at events. This will include companies such as ShowSec who provide security and stewarding staff to events, affinitycrew who provide event crew or other recruitment firms who work on more localised events. It is worth looking at the local temporary staffing firms as they may be looking for staff to work at events – in silver service, collecting litter or managing traffic.

© 2006 – Dave Lake is a specialist event and production manager who has organised events all over the UK. On Dave’s event management website you will find instant access to all his event strategies, tips, tools, and resources that he’s used to organise everything from an intimate dinner for 15 to outdoor events for 17,000, as well as conferences, training days, music and sports events.

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