Until I started looking for internships and jobs in the event industry I didn’t realise the range of positions there were to choose from.
There are event and entertainment agencies, experiential marketing agencies, tour and concert operators, festival organisers, conference producers, wedding planners, hotel coordinators, charity fundraisers, event caterers and everything else from your local nightclub promoter to Seb Coe’s PA.
It can be overwhelming when you start looking but it gives you a great idea of what’s out there and what it actually is you want to do. If you’re still studying I advise keeping an eye out for jobs now, even if you just read a couple of job descriptions a week.
I’ve recently started working as Event Coordinator at The Louise Blouin Foundation, a contemporary cultural space for hire in West London. The great thing about working for a venue is the variety of clients, suppliers and agencies you get to work with.
In my fourth week I’ve already seen the space transformed for two luxury product launches, a photo shoot and an art exhibition while taking enquiries for VIP parties, weddings, film shoots, fashion shows and all of the weird and wonderful!
Myself and Event Manager Phoebe Smith make up the small events team for the venue. Working in small teams can mean a lot of work but also it means you are part of every aspect of the business: marketing the venue and generating new leads, taking enquiries and inputting creative ideas, helping clients through the planning process, meeting with caterers and production companies, making sure all runs smoothly and planning ahead for the business.
Having worked for a few event companies large and small I have found that working within a small team lets you learn the business and get the hands on experience you need straight away. Sometimes in huge teams you can be pigeon-holed into one role that’s hard to break out of. This kind of role lets you gain a huge range of experience, skills, expertise and contacts that you can use as you progress in your role or in any other role you move onto.
Interesting and varied job
Being an Event Coordinator, especially at a blank-canvas space like the Louise Blouin Foundation, is an extremely interesting and varied job in which two days are never the same. The hours can be long and anti-social but if you are passionate about a career in events you will be aware of that already for almost any position in the industry.
It is a very sociable job in which networking is vital, not only getting a phone number or email address but getting to know the people behind a company and staying in touch. While on the job these contacts will build up naturally but you still need to be constantly on the lookout and always up for meeting new people. Even before you start work it’s useful to get a good grasp on what’s out there through reading industry news and following relevant companies and individuals on Twitter and Linkedin.
Along with sipping cocktails and sampling canapés the job includes a sales element that may put some people off, especially if you’ve entered the world of events to make the most of your creative flair and ability to throw a good party. You are essentially selling a product, and as with any product marketing and generating sales is the key to success.
The process of getting a lead, turning it into a booking and seeing it through to the live event is a really exciting one in which you’ll use your creativity and business knowledge simultaneously, plus a lot of venues will offer commission.
You don’t need to start off an expert but be active, willing to learn, able to adapt, open to new people and experiences and ready to work hard. In turn you’ll get to be part of beautiful, exciting and exclusive events. It’s not all glitz and glamour… but some of it is and that’s good enough for me.