Part 1: Types of Jobs and Organisations in the Event Industry
Part 2: Aspects of Working in Events
Part 3: Ways into the Event Industry

Ways into the Event Industry

Most people seem to have their own unique story about how they’ve ended up in the event industry, demonstrated in the clips from Part 1: Types of Jobs and Organisations in the Event Industry. I’ve learnt that there isn’t a set way in, or a standard path of progression – it’s down to the individual – to choose their route, find opportunities and build their career.

Some choose to get experience first, through placements, internships and volunteering, others apply for jobs straight away, where sometimes it can be as simple as being a suitable person, around at the right time. If you’re unsure which route to choose, compare your CV to skills required in job adverts and think about whether it looks attractive to a potential employer, and then work out whether you are able to sell yourself in an interview based on what you’ve achieved.

Every option has benefits and problems, and nothing is easy – so here is a guide to help you get to where you want to go.

Work Experience, Internships and Volunteering

Work experience, internships and volunteering are good ways to learn about the industry, find out about different job roles, plus it gives you time to test the water and think about where in the industry you would like to work.

Before interviewing, I’ve got four recommendations:
1) Think about what you want to get out of the experience and tell your potential employer about this. If you make it clear from the start, then the employer is more likely to try and accommodate this.
2) Whilst getting experience talk to as many people as possible.
3) If you’re aiming for a job with the company afterwards try and impress!
4) Can you afford it? Survival is the toughest job! The recession has had a huge impact on placements and it’s now not unusual for comapnies not to pay individuals on work experience, in fact some don’t even cover lunch and travel expenses – which I personally think is a wrong! But that is how it is.

How to get work experience, internships and volunteer in events?
⋅ If you know someone already in the event industry – ask for their advice and to help if they can.
⋅ Event Students, use Careers Advice at your University or speak to your lecturers about placements – organisations contact Universities about placement schemes.
⋅ Set up Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a useful tool that scans the internet for new content added based on keywords that you choose and then the information is delivered in a daily/weekly email (depending on your preference). Use keywords/phrases such as ‘event management work experience in London’. The more specific, the better the results.
⋅Look for the type of company you want to work for in industry magazines and websites – and find out if they run placements. Event Magazine has just published a list of FAB 50 companies to work for in the event industry, which might help!
⋅Use search engines and directories to find local event companies, have a look on their website or call them to find out if they run placements
⋅ Look on good websites, such as Inspiring Interns and Gumtree

Job Hunting For A Career In Events

Salary Guide
Take a look at this – ESP Recruitment and Event Magazine conduct and publish an annual salary guide.

Set up Google Alerts
(see work experience about Google Alerts) Agents and most job websites charge in some way for their services – so companies are more likely to try and advertise on their own website first. This is a great way to find new job adverts and beat others to it.

Online and Print…
The Guardian newspaper (Monday and Saturday Editions) and The Guardian website
Stand Out Magazine
Event Magazine
CIT Magazine
Association for Events Management Education
Spring Board UK
Association of Event Organisers
The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers
Meetings Industry Association
Business Visits and Events Partnerships

Event Specialist Recruitment Agencies…

Jobs in Events
Live Recruitment

Who are you competing against?

If you’ve got an interview – who are you competing against? Obviously, you’re competing against anybody who wants to work in events, however there are noticeable groups of people, sharing similar backgrounds (perhaps you fit into one of them):

Event Management Students
There are undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in event management, all over the world. Course content varies between the Universities and Colleges, with some requiring students to complete a compulsory year of work experience in the industry.

People In Their Second Or Third Career
These people have developed skills and experience in other industries, such as sales, customer service and management. Although this group have little knowledge of the event industry, they have the advantage of being older, and therefore seem maturer with more ‘life experience’. This is an attractive feature to an employer when considering which candidate will be able to communicate confidently with clients, suppliers and participants, and have good judgement whilst dealing with various challenges in a stressful environment.

Industry Movers
People with experience in other parts of the industry, but choosing to move, such as from a venue to an agency.

Work Experience and Internships
Those who have completed work experience and internships in different areas of the industry.

Good Luck!


Michael Chidzey is the chief juicer of eventjuice and runs Event Organiser, an event company based in London, UK. He also runs John Cabot, blogs on several websites and is a visiting lecturer in events management at London Metropolitan University.Follow Michael on Twitter @michaelchidzey
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