Skip to main content

An apprenticeship is a worthy way to an events career

By David Preston, CEO, Realise

One of the most important aspects to remember about the industry of events is that the job, when we start out, is very practical and logistics biased. Is the right person sat at the right table/seat, at the right time? It is all about common sense, people skills and learning how to work as a team, for the benefit of the client.

Strategy, communications planning and academic research don’t come into it and although are important and vital for client relationships later on in your career, much of what you would learn in these topics at university would be out of date by the time you had progressed far enough to be able to use this knowledge. Remember, five years in today’s world is a lifetime.

I am not knocking the university degree course in events management but do question whether it is the right route into our industry? Is it in fact better to utilise your investment in both time and money at a later stage in your career? Our industry is a vocation. People work in it because they love it and are passionate about it, something that can’t be taught in the classroom and is a university really is the right environment for vocational studies?

Perhaps a better route would be to do an event management apprenticeship, gain the invaluable hands-on experience and a qualification, delivered by event professionals, and then go on to learn the expert skills, knowledge and research techniques that prepare you for a senior account management and strategy role at a later date, say via a Master’s degree?

There is an important marketing principle: the three Rights.  

The Right message, to the Right audience, at the Right time; perhaps the message to school leavers at 18 years old needs to be an event apprenticeship is the right route for people wanting to enter the event industry at the beginning of their careers. And, of course, you earn while you learn instead of getting a student loan.