Getting in and getting on the events ladder

What’s on offer for young blood entering the industry?

There has been many a debate about how to get into and then succeed in the events industry. Opinions have been mixed, criticisms flown, and stubbornness has persisted, but there’s plenty of encouragement for the ambitious potential of the UK’s #eventprofs.

At this year’s Confex, the UK Centre for Events Management (UKCEM) at Leeds Beckett University is launching The Big Conversation, which aims to bring industry and academia together to visualise what will be needed in terms of skills, knowledge and education in the next 20 years.

So, is the industry currently working together to help students reach their full potential?
Arora Hotels announced in December that it is offering up to 20 graduate development programme opportunities in 2016.

Such graduate programmes aim to help graduates experience on the job training and learning across hotel operations, finance, human resources, and sales/revenue functions in a 24-month period, and will take place at six different London hotels.

Human resources director at The Arora Group, Anne Davey, commented: “Our graduate development programme represents a unique opportunity for driven, passionate, and ambitious candidates to take real ownership of their career path.”

Events and experiential agency WRG announced recently that it had taken on its second work placement graduate in its partnership with Ashdown Academy. Izzie Dale, as of January, started her five-month work placement with the agency.

Dale, a student from Oxford Brookes University, said: “I’m so excited to be working for WRG. To be able to apply myself across a variety of different projects, each with a completely different role, is going to be incredibly fulfilling. My passion and interests lie in events and design, so working with this company will be really rewarding.”

Rob Bagust, head of congress at WRG, said: “We believe in encouraging and supporting the next generation of young professionals who want a career in the events industry.”

Aileen Crawford, head of conventions at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, also believes: “The quality of talent coming through tourism courses in higher education institutions is outstanding.

“These are the future influencers and decision makers in our industry and it’s a pleasure to be in the position to help nurture them, develop their skillsets and encourage them to make their way in the market place.”

Crawford says it’s important to make time for students, as it “ensures we encourage the best to come and join the industry that we are all so passionate about.”
Of course there’s also schemes in place to help further the careers of people already in the industry.

Fay Sharpe’s Fast Forward 15, a scheme aiming to help women in the events industry improve their careers, has just opened its applications for 2016 mentees after a strong inaugural year.

Founding mentee, Hannah Coleman, logistics coordinator at WRG, commented on the scheme: “Guidance from my mentor helped me realise and capitalise on my capabilities; invaluable for someone making their first steps in the industry after graduating”.

The events industry wants the best of the best in young talent, and therefore already established professionals, climbing their way up the events ladder, seem to be committing themselves and their time to helping graduates achieve their full potential.

Emily King

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Emily King

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