I got started in events when I took at job at Brands Hatch due to my lifelong passion for motorsport. That led to me getting hired to work on the British Motor Show and I’ve mostly worked in events ever since. How did everyone else start out and did you plan it that way?
I certainly never planned to become an events journalist. A friend of mine from my local newspaper days who had moved to a trade mag asked if I’d be interested in a trip to Spain to write about organising corporate events there and, of course, I jumped at the opportunity. Once I learned about the MICE industry and that I could travel the world writing about destinations and venues, I knew I’d found the niche for me! That was nearly 10 years ago and I’ve since visited around 40 different countries on work, and many different cities. It’s an amazing industry to be a part of.
Clearly meant to be then Belinda! Do you see much of the places you visit for work or just the venues and airports?
I fell into it. I started temping in the National Health Service as an administrator in an education team which runs many training events across complex subject areas, around the UK in a variety of venues. From there I’ve worked my way up and have a keen interest in designing and evaluating successful educational events.
We often got to experience incentive activities such as city tours and visits to attractions. We also got to eat in a lot of great restaurants. They were always whirlwind trips, seeing an enormous amount of things in a short space of time, without much time for sleeping in between, but I’d trade sleep for travel any time!
Was it a steep learning curve or did you have lots of cross over skills from your experience in administration?
Great stuff @HannahP Were you given an established template for evaluating the events or have you developed your own? Do you survey attendees afterwards?
Hello! I started out in events 15 years ago for a small business who then ran bespoke client packages at Formula One and Music festivals around Europe. It was great fun! Like you, my career just went from there… Events is a very fun but gruelling style of job. Hard work but great fun! Never a dull day.
Hi Sally, what are you working on at the moment?
And what are the biggest changes you’ve seen in that time @Sgsocial ?
Hey @MelissaJane, my apologies for the slow response. I currently work for myself after having retrained on an intense 6 month course to learn all about social media to compliment my events background. I’m currently in the process of setting myself up as a business helping to support freelancers starting out/established in the event industry, writing blogs on my experiences and supporting those in general who work as a freelance or who work remotely with international clients amongst working with businesses both events and with their SM. I plan for the business to evolve as I’m in my infancy stages! So to answer your question (!) I’m in the process of looking for work/clients to work on/with. Thanks for your interest.
Great questions Belinda. I hope you’re ready for the essay. Apologies for the not getting back to you sooner than this. I worked on the same large international technology event for 9 years and yes I did see some big changes there, certainly on the registration side of things which was my area of expertise along with customer service. Security around events has probably been the biggest change that I’ve seen. We went from a relatively small event of around 30k when I first start on it, and grew up to over 100k earlier this year, with a substantial investment in security on all levels, from the registration systems themselves right through to venue, and having core staff trained (including myself) on international security protocol and procedures. It’s incredible what an event company should go through if it wants to ensure the safety for it’s attendees.
In terms of promotion for the event, being a technology not-for-profit organisation we had to be seen at the top of our game, so with Twitter launching in 2006 we were on that from the start, alongside the regular and typical PR newsletters and Press conferences through to blogs being launched a few years ago.
What do I miss? Oh the simplicity of the good old days. Nowadays we have to think of everything ‘just in case’ from H&S perspective and a process for everything (well at least our team were very driven by these factors) - working life becomes quite complex, but personally I think it’s necessary.
Anyway, I should stop and get on with some work! Thanks @Belinda_Booker this has been very therapeutic writing this! I could write for days, but I might just save that for my blog series I intend to start … Thanks for your questions! Happy to be of any help.
I fell into the rabbit hole that is the events industry thanks to a celebrity client who was an ambassador for an event. My main job is in bilingual social media management and training and the event was looking to improve it’s social media and to improve it’s bilingual marketing.
Interesting! So when you post for that client do you have separate social media accounts for each language or do you post in both languages on one account?
Facebook has the facility to write multilingually in one post and the language that appears is the language that you use for Facebook or the default that I’ve set.
On the other platforms I send messages individually starting with the language of the target audience.
Had no idea about this feature - how do you access it out of interest?
Facebook provides an automatic translation if the post is written in a language that’s different to the one your account is set up in. You can view the original text too.
Thanks for taking the time share your story, Sally. Wow, that sounds like a huge event - 100k attendees? What event was it? An event of that size has to be run as a well oiled machine so I can see why the processes are necessary. But I agree, it was nice when you just flew by the seat of your pants and hoped for the best. Alas times have changed
Share a link to your blog once you’ve started. I’d be interested to have a read.
Check that it’s switched on for your page by going to settings then ‘Post in Multiple Languages’. When you write a post you should see in light grey in the bottom right ‘+ Write Post in Another Language’.
Thanks @DewiEirig I’ve not had to do this so I’ve learnt something today!