19 January 2011

How to become an Event Manager: WORK EXPERIENCE

If there is anything that will set you apart from other candidates, allow you to gain and develope skills and network it is work experience. There is nothing more valuable than this yet sadly it isn't too easy to find.


When I first decided to study event management and attended the open days I was told that work experience was crucial in getting accepted on the course. I immedently went home and searched event companies in my local area and went about emailing around 25 of them asking if they would take me on for work experience. I recieved only ONE reply.


On my course I have to do 90 hours of work experience to pass one of my modules, this time around I enlisted the help of my parents who know a few people who know people who work in the events industy and emailed them. It is true about the saying its who you know, not what you know. It is very important to 'network' and gain the contacts that will enable you to meet more people in the industry and in turn get more experience. I would like to point out that everyone on my course used 'contacts' to gain there work experience because cold calling isn't very effective and most of the time event companies don't have the time to reply to people who ask for work experience.In fact I would go as far as to say that don't bother to email or contact event companies for work experience.


Below is a list of places that I would suggest you look at for work experience:


Hotels: Many hotels have 'inhouse' event organisers. They are more likely to be able to take you on for work shadowing & experience and are really great places to gain skills. Hotels host venues for weddings, conferences and corporate events.


Bars: Special events such as bands playing, celebrities hosting and parties are all forms of events and if you are over 18 (sometimes 21) it can be very benificial helping and working at places like these.


Festivals: These are very easy to gain skills from. Almost all festivals are looking for voluteers and even if you are stewerding for any of the summer festivals you are meeting event coordinators and working on making sure the events run smoothly.


Charity events: Again a very very good way to gain experience and sometimes you can have a much bigger role as they look for local people to help plan and organise these events.


School/University events: These are not only a lot of fun but putting these on your CV make you look very good and if you do this regularly then you can update your CV to show that you are doing a lot of current work.


Remember to keep you CV updated and always get references, write down what you did and what role you played and  talk about what you gained from the experience.


The ability to show that you have the skills to work in the event industry is very important as is actually knowing what you are doing.




If you have more questions for me either leave a comment below or email me @ caitlinkobrak@gmail.com


Caitlin
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