Everyone has to start somewhere when starting out in the event industry. If you don’t have much experience here are 20 ideas to get your career off the ground.
Experience counts for a lot in the world of events. If you want to work in the events industry it can often seem that everyone demands more experience than you can offer but it isn’t impossible to find a position. Here are 20 quick tips that will have you on your way to your dream job in no time!
Find a Mentor
When starting your career in events it is always a great idea to connect with someone who has experience in the industry. They can lead you in the right direction for finding jobs, seeking out education and connecting with other industry professionals.
Network Your Way In
If you starting out without many contacts in the industry you can make great connections and potentially find mentors through networking events and by networking in online groups. Finding people to connect with is a very important way to kickstart your career and find a great job within the industry.
Connect on Social Media
Social media is a wonderful way to “meet” people who work in event management. Reach out and connect online with anyone who might help your career in real life. The nice thing about social is that there are very few barriers to connecting with almost anyone!
Be sure that your social profile is up to date and gives you a creative and interesting online presence. Your profile is really the first impression that you make and an important way that others on social media can learn about you.
Build a Blog
When you are learning about a new topic, one of the best ways to enhance your knowledge is by researching and writing about the subject. By starting a blog you can learn more and share what you find with others. It is also a great way to connect and build relationships with fellow event managers and people who are passionate about event planning. Through your writing and your gained knowledge you will earn the respect of others and it could be a great way to land a future job.
Find Quick Ways to Educate Yourself
There are many easy ways to enhance your skills and knowledge through education. You don’t necessarily have to attend formal education courses to learn about about event management. You can find excellent online resources and blogs with very valuable information. There are also a variety of online courses and skill sites where you can learn at your own pace which can make a great addition to education through reading books, exploring publications and listening to podcasts.
Pick Up the Phone and Connect
You can always take the good old fashioned route of picking up the phone and calling people. Reach out to individuals you respect within your niche and explain your newfound passion. Ask if they have some time to chat and explore how they got their start in the industry, along with asking if they can possibly keep you in mind for potential opportunities. Sometimes a simple call could lead you to a great opportunity.
Have an Outstanding Resume/CV
In order to start applying for jobs you will need to have a resume or CV available for potential employers to review. Get creative with how you present yourself. Try using color in a tasteful way, create a personal website you can link to or think outside the box and find unique ideas to help you stand out.
Check Out Local Job Sites
Local job sites can be a great place to find opportunities within events. Try to look for event specific sites or niches within the industry. Some event planners and venues hire seasonal employees – i.e. wedding planners, outdoor venues, etc, so you might see an increase in opportunities during certain times of the year.
Work for Free
Volunteering is a great way to connect in your community and build experience. Find events that you want to plan and look for a way to volunteer or gain an internship. Many internships lead to full time jobs and some internships pay a small amount too.
Attend Events and Observe
Taking the time to get out and attend events can teach you a lot about the industry. Whenever you have the opportunity to check out an event, take time to think about the planning and preparation that goes on behind the scenes. While you are in attendance you might be able to find out who was in charge of the event and potentially use this as a way to connect with other industry professionals.
Focus on the Skills you Have
When speaking with people in the industry, let them know what you can bring to the table. Maybe you have experience in communications or customer service, etc. All of these types of skills can help you to land a job that will get your foot in the door with event planning. So much goes into the execution of a successful event and every planner is looking for well rounded people to assist on their team.
Connect with Local Vendors
If you can’t find a job at an event management company try exploring options with vendors and venues. Often times they are looking for part time or seasonal help and this can provide great experience and a way to network with people in the industry.
Plan Community Events
Reach out to your local parks department or community to see if they need assistance planning local events. Perhaps they have events like holiday celebrations or kids summer camps that you could help in planning. This experience will be valuable for you and provide an excellent learning opportunity.
Serve on a Planning Committee
Many local events or smaller companies need members on their event planning committee. This can be an awesome way to build relationships and show off your event planning skills to people in your area, along with helping to serve your community. Perhaps the experience and connections you build through this experience will lead to to future opportunities.
Be Willing to Travel
Some event jobs may include a high volume of travel, sometimes these are less desired positions and thus they will hire people with less experience. The great thing about travel related event jobs is that you normally get to see some really interesting places, work with people from around the country (or world) and explore different niches or responsibilities.
Sign up with an Event Staffing Agency
Large events often call on event staffing companies to temporarily staff positions for specific roles. You could potentially get paid to work as registration staff, promotional staff, a runner, steward or part of the waiting staff. This will provide good experience and might still lead to other opportunities and get you noticed.
Register on Freelance Sites
Different employers are in need of planners from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels. Try connecting on sites such as Upwork where you can advertise yourself as a virtual events assistant to assist someone on a bigger projects.
Many potential employers seek out new employees by using LinkedIn. One way to make yourself stand out is by having a fully completed profile. Think about adding more testimonials, endorsements, volunteer experience, projects, accomplishments and blog posts to your profile. Do your best to contribute to groups, connect with people, post regularly, and make it clear you are looking for a new challenge. There are also a number of great job listings to explore on LinkedIn by using their job search tool.
Create a Detailed Plan
Every new adventure needs a plan. And when you are looking for a job within event management you need to have some goals developed. Start by creating short term ideas that you plan to implement quickly, along with your longer term goals. Having a good path identified for your career journey will keep you focused. And help you to reach your goals quickly.
Do it Yourself
At the end of the day if you can’t find or get the job you want. Maybe you should consider taking on the challenge of creating your own event or setting up your own business. Once you feel like you have the experience needed to succeed. You should evaluate your entrepreneurial interest and possibly take on the role of being your own boss! This will give you the chance to call the shots. And maybe one day provide jobs to other who are looking to break into the industry.
There are many different ways to break into the event world. Whether you find a great mentor, connect online or through your community. You can create your own success with a little diligence and hard work! Try using some of our tips above to give your career a jumpstart. Keep your eyes open for the next great opportunity.
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